Firepower by Judas Priest (Sony Music)
As Judas Priest approach the monumental 50 year landmark of an epic career, the legendary NWOBHM collective has unleashed Firepower – their 18th magnum opus supreme! Firepower finds Judas Priest at the very height of their creative prowess, presenting a massive slab of heavy metal anthems that should thrill their fans all over the world! Each and every member of the Priest machine is in top notch form, exhibiting a passion with the new material that is stunning to behold. With both Tom Allom (Ram It Down) and Andy Sneap (producer credits galore now Priest touring guitarist) at the production helm, Firepower is a massive 14-song manifesto containing soon to be Priest classics that will be revered for the heavy metal ages ahead.
Opening with the scorching refrains of the title cut Firepower; one notices at once a band blazing hot with a ferocity that stuns the senses. Lightning Strike then proceeds with its thunderous reprieves, further demonstrating a band ready to rage right in your face! And what a wickedly infectious tune Evil Never Dies is, followed by the pulsating refrains of Never The Heroes.
The pedal is then placed firmly to the metal when encountering the Necromancer coming to life and ready to rip your cranium off with its sonic intensity! The Children Of The Sun then appear upon the horizon for some fist waving intrigue. Guardians serves as a sparkling intro to the triumphant Rising From The Ruins, capping off the first half of the Firepower experience.
Flame Thrower fires mercilessly into the heart of the matter with its ripping chorus and relentless razor sharp delivery. The metal assault continues tenfold as Spectre arrives onto the scene, followed by the speed and thrash reveries when throwing yourself headfirst upon the blistering Traitors Gate. The fist pumping raging into stratospheric heights with the powerhouse No Surrender, where “chasing the dream” is the only option and endgame.
“Hey, I am the voice of your anger,” Rob Halford growls with a sense of ferocity on Lone Wolf, where metal and blues collide with absolutely devastating results. And then closing out the Firepower adventure is an exhilarating power ballad Sea Of Red, leaving an indelible impression that will make you want to revisit the entire disc time and again!
There is no doubt about it – Firepower is jammed packed with heavy metal greatness that will enrapture music enthusiasts all across the board. Rob Halford is at his most impassioned, delivering the vocals with a staggering amount of urgency and conviction. Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner remain the guitar force for all time, delivering a mighty wall of spiraling artistry. And then driving it all home with an all-out vengeance are rhythm section dynamos Ian Hill on bass and Scott Travi on drums.
2018 may still be in its infancy, but expect to see Firepower on many a top ten list when the year spins to its diabolic conclusion! All this and the upcoming Firepower Tour too! What a glorious time in heavy metal history to be a Judas Priest fanatic!
(Review by Ken Morton)
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