18 Years Ago: Judas Priest Release Reunion Album ‘Angel of Retribution’

In many ways, Judas Priest’s career has been defined by his comeback moments. This is the band that followed their 1980 breakthrough, british steelmatte entry pointfrom which they bounced back to the rebels cries of revengeThen there is victory pain reliever Inspired by experimental, synth-heavy music turbo and Ram It DownBut the biggest challenge is climbing the Metal Summit again after a long-awaited reunion with frontman Rob Halford was marked by Priest’s first album with Metal Gods since 1990. bottom. Angel of Retribution.

Released on February 28, 2005, Angel of Retribution It arrived adorned with a cover of the chrome-plated metal monster we saw tearing the sky apart fifteen years ago. pain relieverWhile this instantly established the reunion album as the natural successor to where Halford and the band had last left off, the digitized rendering shows that Priest’s vision remains equally entrenched in modern times. He also argued that

After all, they had just finished attending Ozzfest before the album’s release, armed with a new generation of fans who might not be so easily convinced by a band imitating past glories. Speaking to Loudwire, the Metal God said: Those feelings are inside you and you tap into them when you’re back in the studio. Knowing where to go next is instinctive for us. “

CA: Ozzfest Tour 2004

Tim Mosenfelder, Getty Images

Judas is Rising

From chaos to destiny, forged from fire

Metal in its pristine state felt very much alive by 2005, especially considering the influence of the ’80s greats on the ’90s. Nu-metal was becoming obsolete, and the metalcore explosion of 2004 signaled a fresh and exciting direction away from the hustle and bustle made for MTV.

Outside of Judas Priest, after a whimsical career that included his groove metal band Fight and his ill-fated attempts at industrial with 2wo, Halford established himself as a metal god with two tearing, unwavering heavy metal solo albums. I regained my identity. revival and daringly heavy crucible from 2002 live rebellion So he also belted out a vintage Priest Classic with new power.

From an external fan, “I walked alone into battle / No longer stood in the devil’s light / I tried to look too far / Instead I saw the road go past me’ Not just ringing the reunion bells, but from ‘Resurrection’.

Judas Pristo “Resurrection” (Live)

But looking back on that song in particular, Halford has a more holistic mindset, telling Loudwire: You can build bridges with music, and this song did just that. “

the singer even said in his confess His autobiography states that his split with Priest was due to an overwhelming misunderstanding, and that he didn’t really want to leave the group in the first place.

While this was a high-profile reunion, it actually got together pretty casually behind the scenes as they had a pending Ozzfest offer from Sharon Osbourne that helped put things in motion.

time for retaliation

If you think it’s over, you should think again / Don’t compromise

With Metal Gods re-seated on the Judas Priest throne, the band began working with producer Roy Z, the singer’s close friend, who produced the aforementioned two solo records. He has also worked with Bruce Dickinson and played on his two solo albums released before rejoining Maiden in 1999.

This inherent pressure defined the sound of the 2005 reformed Judas Priest. With Halford’s replacement, Tim ‘The Ripper’ Owens, in a long-running metal career, his group forged a distinct sound across a variety of genres. juggler and Dismantling The album seemed to stray far from their recognizable signature, partly responding to the groove tendencies that dominated metal at the time. There’s a reason you’re talking, right?

Besides, Priest had spent their entire first Halford era keeping pace with the progress of heavy music and the occasional departure from it (uh… those guitar synths) — this is what keeps Judas Priest’s legacy in their It was a chance to cement their self-definition, stepping into an old-school sound and the same path they’ve been blazing together for almost 20 years.

Finn Costello, Redferns/Getty Images

Finn Costello, Redferns/Getty Images

“It was very easy to be in the same room as Rob,” guitarist KK Downing told The Aquarian in 2005 after the album’s release. “Everything he sang sounded like what everyone wanted, like Halford’s voice. Pretty much everything he did with Rob’s voice sounded like Judas Priest, so the Ripper sang, “Oh, that’s good, but will people take it?” or whatever.


Here comes the gods of steel

Angel of Retribution Boasting a booming contemporary production, it was easy to distinguish the reunion as authentic and positive. Beyond the distortion barrier (which was felt quite a bit on the roaring “Demonizer”), this production value benefits the softer end of the spectrum, even in parts of the ballad “Angel” and the meditative “Worth Fighting For.” brought Rather than consider these songs decades-old work, it’s not simply his return to the ’70s, as the subtle guitar tones are rendered with instant clarity.

A sort of Greatest Hits approach when it comes to style, Priest used variety to pay homage to some of their most acclaimed productions. For the most ardent headbangers, “Demonizer,” “Judas Rising,” and “Hellrider” were nods to the most full-throttled Priest, while the more steady “Revolution” and “Wheels of Fire” were marginally The former has garnered plenty of radio airplay, with the commercial leaning towards the arena-built direction.

Judas Priest “Judas Rising”

And yes, there was even room for something new – the meandering 13-minute piece “Lochness.” Here, Priest puts his hat on his Birmingham companion Black his Sabbath, performing a doom-filled cinematic tribute to the mythical creature of the deep sea, the mythical Lochness his monster. It’s a polarizing effort that wasn’t well received by the time of the album’s release, but has gotten a little better with age, at least in Judas Priest’s vast catalog of over 100 songs. And this is an interesting song.

Lyrically, Halford’s battle-tested themes are the stumbling blocks of this return to fine form, gone are the weakly worded worries and painfully bad puns about the cyber age.Do not visit the site / or beware of his megabytes” from Dismantling‘Cyberface’).

Angel of Retribution We also saw the return of the legendary priestly characters Sentinel, Painkiller, and “Ram it Down,” a reference to past albums and titles. stained class — in which Halford commented: There are endless opportunities to find new directions in that world. Change, whether dull or subtle, is what I look for in every album. The past can propel you forward. “

These salvation themes are not only consistent with tried-and-true Priest, but convey Halford’s own experiences since he first left Priest. Pursuing a career built on his name alone, he later came out as gay on MTV in 1998.

Rob Halford’s coming out report on MTV

“You see the overriding story of optimism and the overpowering story of defeating anything that prevents you from achieving your goals and dreams,” the singer told NPR in a 2005 interview. A lot of the lyrics I’ve written for Priest come from this thread within me, and it’s always been one of determination and overcoming hardships.”


So it goes on forever Steady to the core

The only real knock here is maybe Angel of Retribution No sacred classic Firestorm sequence cries of revenge again pain relieverbut again, Priest didn’t have to craft an entirely new sound and direction.

What was needed was what Priest had built on these 10 tracks, a categorical overview of the entire Judas Priest sound. Two people and the unmistakable voice and range of a self-proclaimed metal god.

The fresh, evocative, and daring direction suggested by the closing “Lochness” is a conceptual double-album, divisive NostradamusIronically, the song actually took about 20 years to make. “A good idea is the fact that he’s been around for over 20 years to make it happen,” Halford says of the song that stands out most today. “Once we started writing, the themes took on a life of their own, becoming as big as Metal his monsters themselves.”

Judas Priest “Lochness”

If you’re reuniting for fans, or at least partially reuniting, there’s an inherent liability to please fans of all Judas Priest eras (maybe not when it comes to the Ripper era). How the band perceives it is another matter, but ultimately the fans value the music.

It’s no exaggeration to say that the debt has been easily collected by decades of Priest fans. And 16 years later, that metal his monster continues to grow in size as Judas Priest continues to write his 19th studio album, his 2018 successor. . thermal power.

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