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JUDAS PRIEST - Angel Of Retribution
Epic - Sony

Release Date:

by: DAN 'SOFT BOY' SKIBA

Email: SoftBoy (at) MetalExpressRadio.com

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Epic - Sony The reunification of Rob Halford with Judas Priest has caused a level of anticipation and excitement in the Heavy Metal world unlike anything experienced for quite some time. Although Priest has always been on the top of the food chain when it comes to earned respect and accolades from both fans and peers alike, the adage of “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone” never was more applicable in the Metal community than from the time Halford announced his intention to leave the band to pursue an independent musical direction. As Metal flailed in popularity and lost mainstream support in the mid-1990’s, Metalheadz across the globe clenched tightly onto albums such as Priest’s Sad Wings Of Destiny, British Steel, Screaming For Vengeance, and Painkiller (to name a few) as mementos of a magical time in heavy rock music … a time when quality, well-crafted Metal flowed bountifully, creatively, and with purpose. Halford’s return to the Priest nest, in a way, has created a welcomed Field Of Dreams nostalgia in the souls of die-hard Metal fans … exemplified certainly by the success of Priest’s 2004 Reunited tour – a tour hugely embraced even without the benefit of a new album to support – where Metalheadz turned out in droves to see the Metal Gods morph back into the shape and structure that had etched so many fond memories in the minds of Metal fans everywhere.

Needless to say, Halford, Glenn Tipton, and K.K. Downing knew when entering the studio to begin assembling new material for their first album together in over a decade that the fan expectations were going to be sky-high. To make things more difficult, human nature, when dealing with extended periods of elapsed time, causes these expectations to converge and nestle into personal comfort zones … in other words, many fans undoubtedly were expecting Priest’s new album to be “just like” Painkiller, or of the ilk of Defenders Of The Faith, or possibly retro’ed to a feel similar to British Steel. Yep, the pats on the back, the abundance of interviews and media shots, and the impressively attended reunion tour were all nice, but largely the impetus behind all of that was the enthusiasm behind what was yet to come from this historic band … Metalheadz everywhere, point of fact, where chomping at the bit like Ralphie from A Christmas Story on Christmas Eve, waiting for their own version of that Red Rider bee-bee gun to arrive.

So, now the wait has ended … and the operative question to address is whether or not Halford, Tipton, and Downing were able to conjure up that Metal Magic again in Angel of Retribution after so many years apart. The answer, dear Metalheadz of the world, is a resounding YES!

The album starts with a distant guitar riff that builds with power and aggression, similar in concept to the intro for “Victim of Changes,” that explodes into the opener “Judas Rising,” and establishes the beginning for the loose theme periodically running through this album, which is that the final day of reckoning is now upon us. “Judas Rising” indeed is a solid opener, and it off-hand gives the feel that Priest indeed decided to bridge right where Painkiller left off.

The album really takes shape, however, with the 2nd track, “Deal With The Devil” -- a song that generally outlines Priest’s personal rise to glory and their influence on the Metal movement, with lyrics such as: “Fighting through the din and accolades/ Turn the phase around with razor blades/ Watched the movement grow - Into one voice/ Took on all the world - It had no choice”. From this point forward, it becomes pretty evident that Priest had no intent of replicating any one proven style of old. Instead, the band borrows some of what was successful in a variety of past albums, but adds a new flavor and spin to each song, making the sound come through as original and unique, yet familiar … and unmistakably Judas Priest!

Next up is the first single off of Angel Of Retribution, “Revolution,” which includes a catchy lyrical pattern, a few clever guitar tricks and stereo effects, and a hypnotic, mentally programmed chorus that certainly will have an anthem-like impact when performed live.

“Worth Fighting For” follows; a song largely driven by Ian Hill’s bass play. Here Priest establish a mid-tempo groove, a la “Desert Plains,” and mesh it together with some melancholy, reflective lyrics by Halford, resulting in a very “listenable” tune that certainly should get some air-play attention.

“Demonizer,” a high energy “Painkiller” Part II track that’s absolutely outstanding, is up 5th. Scott Travis, especially, shows why he’s regarded as one of the best Metal percussionists in the industry during this song. His foot speed on the double bass drums is indeed impressive, as are Tipton and Downing with their guitar work during the solos. Here too, Halford casts away any naysayers who may possess blasphemous thoughts that he’s no longer capable of ripping out inhuman high notes … rest assured, he is!

Implementing a Sabbath-esque riff and guitar chord pattern, up next is “Wheels Of Fire,” a tribute, of sorts, to the free-spirit nature of the biker breed, and to Priest's own collective Metal heart that beats with incessant loyalty to the lifestyle and musical convictions that have served them so well: “Wheels of fire/ In my soul/ Wheels of fire … Let ‘em roll!” With its deliberate and heavy beat and catchy lyrics, Priest indeed have created another track that could/should enjoy air-play attention.

Totally shifting gears, Priest deliver the ballad “Angel.” Halford masterfully crafted the lyrics to create memorable imagery and reflection of a special friendship/relationship of the past, while beckoning for its most welcomed return. The acoustic nature of this song eventually gives way to a guitar-based crescendo that further elevates the emotion inherent within this song, making this one of the best performed ballads, not only in the history of Priest, but in the history of ballads over all time.

“Hellrider” takes the stage next, a song that similar to “Judas Rising” and “Demonizer,” could easily have fit on the Painkiller album. At about 6.5 minutes in length, this track offers the listener one of the more impressive musical jams on the release.

Ballad number 2 is “Eulogy,” which is a fairly short, somber, acoustic-based requiem that essentially wraps up the “day of reckoning/retribution” theme.

Last up, and shifting focus once again, Priest deliver the epic track “Lochness,” a tribute to, of all things, the Lochness Monster. At 13.5 minutes, there’s plenty of great music and guitar work in this one, and even a slowdown section similar in style to the beginning of the classic Led Zeppelin psychedelic tune “No Quarter.” Yeah, only Priest could have pulled this one off!

Overall, Priest fans of all sorts should find plenty to enjoy within Angel Of Retribution. Measuring against previous efforts, one would certainly have to place this album in the upper tier of Priest’s classics. By any standard, the 7-track stretch starting with “Deal With The Devil” and ending with “Hellrider” is arguably as good as anything Priest has ever done! The great dual attack of Tipton and Downing still sounds fresh, Hill continues to hold the songs together with his bass play, Travis shows again why he was such an important addition to the band in 1990, and, well, Halford is Halford … and further solidifies his reputation as a result of this album as not only the true voice of Judas Priest, but the most talented vocalist in the history of all of rock ‘n’ roll. As Ian Hill simply says about the return of Halford to Priest during the interview sessions with the band on the DVD side of this release, "It was meant to be." In the end, one thing is indeed clear once again within all of Metal: There is Judas Priest, and then there are bands that wish they were Judas Priest. Job well done … again.

REPORT CARD:
Guitars: B+
Bass: B
Percussion: A-
Vocals: A
Lyrics: B+
Recording Quality: A
Originality: B+
Overall Rating: A-
Release Date: February 28, 2005
Web site: www.JudasPriest.com

Note: This release also includes a DVD section, which includes about 30 minutes of concert footage from the Reunion tour of 2004, along with interview segments with the entire band describing the events surrounding the reunion, along with insights about the making of Angel Of Retribution.

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User Comments


Posted by jgb on 28/10/2011 12:56:42

i love meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetaaaalllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll 666


Posted by David Fuentes on 04/03/2009 07:15:31

thanks for your your visit to sport palace Mexico city in september 2005 Im remember day after day that concert very very great the halford vocals .Desde Coacalco Mexico saludos a todos los metaleros del mundo.


Posted by Chris Pittsburgh on 25/02/2009 19:21:59

Black Sabbath are heavy JUDAS PRIEST ARE METAL!!!!!!!!!!!


Posted by James "Knight" Joseph from Cochin, Kerala, India on 03/07/2008 06:01:13

It is not over reaction, just like when Spanish won Euro 2008, it is hailled has win of attractive, technical,skillfull and positive football.It is a win for football. Like wise with Rob and Priest it is positive heavy metal contribution, it is pure ,heavy, raw and unadultered metal.It can hailed as a win for heavy metal.


Posted by Shawn Dougherty on 28/06/2008 21:04:38

I've grown up listening to metal since I was 2 and Judas Priest has always stuck with me, and always will, my favorite band THE METAL GODS are back.


Posted by James" Knight "Joseph from Kerala India on 06/06/2008 02:19:46

JudasPreist by the return of Rob has proven that real heavy metal is not dead but truly alive and vibrant.They are the defeders of metaldom from the pimps like Mettalica ,rapp and other bastards.


Posted by w4yn31967 on 26/08/2007 13:28:55

hellrider. awesome!!!!!!


Posted by Wouter on 30/03/2007 03:22:12

Great album, but aren't you guys overreacting?


Posted by Trashman038 on 03/02/2007 21:34:40

Judas Priest is without a doubt the supreme rulers of metal. hands down the fucking greatest band to ever exist. I have seen them on tour for every album since Defenders of the Faith. I don't care what anyone says Ripper Owens could never fill Rob's shoes. WELCOME BACK ROB!!!


Posted by harley 1200ss on 10/12/2006 19:28:04

I saw Judas Priest in 1977 phila. and every priest and all other heavy metal shows since then!.with that said,how dare any of you even mention a second or even third rate warm up band like metalicka !.judas fuckin priest is and always will be the best band of all time.the angel album is great and one listen to wheels of fire proves that,live to ride ride to live!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!no.1


Posted by The Antichrist on 23/11/2006 16:21:57

OH MY GOD!!!!!!!! Judas Priest are the greatest band ever. No one is better. Am listening to 'Deal with the Devil' right now and it's AMAZING. JUDAS FOREVER!!!! \m/ \m/


Posted by todd on 31/10/2006 12:49:01

i saw priest on the turbo and ram it down tours, and they rock severely...i can only echo what others have said before me...best metal band of ALL TIME!


Posted by Wilson on 28/07/2006 19:10:11

Black Sabbath bought Heavy Metal, and Judas Priest perfected it (Period)Plus, Their original, unlike these other fucked up band like The White Stripes or Poison.Cunts the lot of 'em. Priest, on the other hand, were the in thing from the very beginning. Pity where I'm living, these motherfuckers don't even know who the "Metal Gods" are! As far as the album is concerned, 10/10. A Job well done.


Posted by 747 Tiili on 05/07/2006 13:15:43

Judas is Rising ,there is nothing else to say. =)


Posted by maiden1 on 19/06/2006 16:12:55

havent bought the new one yet but own all the rest priest has always rocked and always will i am happy your back its about time


Posted by Ian Johnson on 16/03/2006 17:59:56

This is easily the best Priest album since Screaming, if not British Steel! It has everything you need in a metal album. So many bands loose it after a few albums, this their 15th! It sounds as fresh as anything being put out by these metal wannabees. Move over boys, the KINGS have reclaimed their throne.


Posted by P diddy on 15/03/2006 05:26:16

Screw Rap!! You put a rapper on one stage and JP on another stage slammin' home Demonizer and which one do you think you're gonna hear? Ha- I have been a Priest fan since at least 1983 and I am so so so so so glad that Rob came back and that they made this off the charts album - Thank you JP and never stop!! You guys are the supreme masters of Metal - All bow down!


Posted by trevor leon south africa on 09/03/2006 14:31:45

i am a 42 yr old metalhead from dbn south africa.bought my first priest album rocka rolla when i was 14 and havent looked back since.aor is their best album ever.pity ill never see them live.rob is god.


Posted by Eddie on 27/01/2006 10:00:29

I have only been into the Priest, for around a year, but i love them so much. I wish i had been introduced to them on the release of Painkiller, even though i was only 1. Angel of Retribution is an amazing album, and i love them!!!!! Rob Halford is up there with the people id like to meet. He is god. Simple as that


Posted by Judit from Hungary on 21/01/2006 16:38:56

M.J.E.C., mettalica is metaLLica. So what. Just try to write right. I'm 15 and I started listening to metal 3,5 years ago. I started with Metallica and they're still one of my favourites. I don't think they're "stupid little kids, who think there metal"! Have you ever listened to Master of Puppets? That's fuckin METAL! But I don't say that Metallica is better than Priest. They're both fantastic.


Posted by trevor on 09/01/2006 12:58:43

They fucking rock, that's all there is too it!!!!!


Posted by M.J.E.C. on 23/12/2005 22:12:57

im a new priest fan. dont blame me for not listening to them before, i just wasent born in 1990 when painkiller came out i cant help it lol. anyway started listening to them when AOR came out. evrybody on the forum was like the mighty priest is back!!! and i was like huh? whats the priest so i downloaded it fuckin loved it then bouth it. and now im buying all there albums. oh yeah and the lame fuck thats saying that mettalice is better then the priest. GO TO FUCKIN HELL if it wasent for judas priest there woudent be a mettalica. there just stupid little kids who think there metal, i sure like to see them bring out an album like AOR after 35 years and impress a 14 year old little nu-metal kid. who before only listened to system of a down and slipknot but now knows what, bands really are the best


Posted by StevenZurwerra on 07/12/2005 16:43:32

By the way angel of retribuiton was well made a bit of any kind of what they plaid during there years...ROCK THE FUK ON PRIEST...keep it up till death...


Posted by StevenZurwerra on 07/12/2005 16:38:21

That concert in october 14 on a friday night in the year 2005, the tour of angel of retribuiton.Made a bigger wave of heavy metal in ottawa and it will never be forgotten. ottawa may not have a lot of priest fans kuz ottawa is small and its a city of a lot of raps fanaticks.I Hate ottawa for that but when i went to that concert it was unbeliveably AMAZING. maybe they didint put up some photos of ottawa. but meh who cares we saw them and i did i just hope Judas Priest Comes Back!!!!!. i am a huge Priest Fan i would of cried for them at the concert but i didint even think about my mom or my family or anything else all was in my mind was Priest my dad and the metal maniacs priest fans. im disapointed me and my dad saw 2 headbangers before priest went on stage they were cool, but not for long kuz when priest came on stage after the backup band anthrax they left....real dumb idiots...they wasted theire money for one band who plaid for 1h of time and ditch OMG..i would of never done that i couldint wait no longer for priest i waited the second day the tickets whent on sale my dad got them the second day around september. my dad came that night after work and showed me an enveloppe containing tickets im like no way priest tickets i honestly almost fainted on the floor i was shocked. it was the biggest shock i had in my life...sincerly Steven Zurwerra a witness of a priest concert that rocked my life forever..oh and one last thing before i go. ever since that concert was over all of those days after the concert all ive been listening too was -JUDAS PRIEST-..no zeppelin no sabbath or rush or floyd none only Priest and still today i only listen to priest as i wright i listen to them anywhere skool home friends bus anywhere u name it they will be some priest with me...good buy....


Posted by salieri on 24/11/2005 16:25:38

this album kick ass


Posted by King Kong on 18/11/2005 01:42:03

Saw The Priest in Cincinnati and wow fuck me running what a show.


Posted by Chow on 14/11/2005 06:38:39

Hi Dudes, I am from Singapore and thought Judas Priest is gone. I have bought 3 copies of the fucking great "Pain Killer" as it always get borrowed but not returned because it is too damn good. I am excited with the unification and thrill with the return of the powerful metal. Hail to the king of metal.


Posted by Kim@nton on 25/10/2005 19:06:14

F**king great album, The Metal God is back, The Priest is better than ever. I went to their show in Copenhagen, and damn they make other acts look like amateurs on that stage.


Posted by Si on 06/10/2005 16:49:21

Judas Priest... My God what a fuckin amazing band... AOR right up there with Defenders o.t. Faith and Painkiller one of the best metal albums of all time. Best British band EVER, which makes them the best band in the world ever.


Posted by great white on 06/10/2005 02:45:12

who is headbanger? you're a moron!-you don't write stuff like that on the internet--besides the guy from metallica sucks, compared to K.K. Judas Priest is a great metal band--their longevity proves it


Posted by Master of Reality on 02/10/2005 21:57:29

I picked this album up the second day after it was released and I was instantly hooked. Good to have you back Rob.


Posted by ENRIQUE REQUENA MTZ. on 29/09/2005 23:51:12

!!!!!!PURE FUCKING HEAVY METAL!!!...THE METALGODS RETURN!!!, WE ARE THE BEST, THE MASTER...QUE DIOS LOS BENDIGA!!!! MEXICO CITY 03/09/05


Posted by John McCale on 15/09/2005 02:29:11

The Priest is the bomb!!!!I saw them several times way back in the day......they are better than ever!!!!!


Posted by Lymberis on 08/09/2005 23:44:56

Priest forever...


Posted by JUAN CARLOS MARTINEZ on 29/08/2005 22:11:13

GRACIAS POR VENIR AMONTERREY


Posted by Johan Persson on 29/08/2005 21:01:28

I'm from sweden and I saw the band when they where here...they are fucking great and now that rob's back they are even better and Tipton on guitarr rocks! A+ on the record, angel rocks!


Posted by Gunther on 28/08/2005 07:11:03

I Touch Myself


Posted by A HEADBANGER! on 28/08/2005 07:09:45

VINNY GALARCE, UR A FUCKIN IDIOT PAL!, YOU REALLY NEED TO LISTEN TO MUSIC, JUDAS PRIEST IS FUCKIN PIMPED, BUT METALLICA FUCKIN RIPPS SHIT, U DO NOT AMOUNT TO NUTHIN IF YOU JUDGE A SWEET BAND LIKE METALLICA, YOU'LL NEVER RIPP SOLOS LIKE KIRK HAMMIT YOU FUCKIN GRUB LISTEN TO REAL MUSIC, YOU LITTLE FUCKIN BITCH. I


Posted by A HEADBANGER! on 28/08/2005 07:09:45

VINNY GALARCE, UR A FUCKIN IDIOT PAL!, YOU REALLY NEED TO LISTEN TO MUSIC, JUDAS PRIEST IS FUCKIN PIMPED, BUT METALLICA FUCKIN RIPPS SHIT, U DO NOT AMOUNT TO NUTHIN IF YOU JUDGE A SWEET BAND LIKE METALLICA, YOU'LL NEVER RIPP SOLOS LIKE KIRK HAMMIT YOU FUCKIN GRUB LISTEN TO REAL MUSIC, YOU LITTLE FUCKIN BITCH. I


Posted by donald kepple on 21/07/2005 17:40:18

angel of retribution is the most awesome cd from the best metal band judas riseing really sets the stage so metal head judas is rising crank it up and just let it rip


Posted by Darko Milovanovic on 17/07/2005 17:45:07

I realy like the album.


Posted by Aceshigh on 06/07/2005 17:05:52

Saw them at Ford Ampatheater in Tampa June 22nd.It had been 21 years since I saw them in Indy on the Defenders tour and i have to say they havent lost anything,a great show a great band.It's great to see metal the way it should be,done with talent.All new and older metal bands should take a hard look and see how it's really done.And to new metal bands buy the album and find out what a GUITAR SOLO IS!!!!!!!!


Posted by ozzy on 05/07/2005 13:34:58

it is a fucking best album,good british music


Posted by vinny galarce on 05/07/2005 05:23:24

Just saw them yesterday on sn fco. and it was like being on the precense of a natural phenomenom as an earthquake or a tornado. you just cant describe it! judas priest its the premier heavy metal band on the world,period. no other band can get close to them,they epithomize the true faith on the metal religion and they never let you down. this words goes to Metallica those arrogant mercenaries pretending to be a metal band.


Posted by ben on 30/06/2005 12:34:51

well to say a xben like me feels unworthy to give comments for this great news which rings bells to my ears....well that's just a simple intro this great band


Posted by Nick on 30/06/2005 04:17:34

Saw Priest in West Palm Beach, FL and let me tell you: Thy still have it! They are, always been and always will be the METAL GODS. Halford's voice as solid as in "Sad wings of destiny". This band will never fade!


Posted by Martin Draganov on 27/06/2005 10:16:52

I am simply not surprised!!!! A of R is the logical result of the METAL GODS work!!!Bravo Priest!


Posted by Andy on 25/06/2005 02:17:21

Priest are the Metal Gods, JUst seen them in West Palm Beach Florida, And the show blew me away. Rob has put all the old Preist and the sounds of Fight into the Priest today... Keep Rocking


Posted by Ron Geeeeee on 23/06/2005 15:59:25

The Priest is back with Angel! Big Rob sounds as good as ever. Saw them in chocolatetown USA. AWESOME SHOW. Keep rocking "METAL GODS".


Posted by GEGEX on 15/06/2005 10:00:11

Thks GOD !! Robbie is Back !!! Once of the best rock vocalist in the world. After PAIN KILLER, angel of retribution is owesome priest. From: Indonesia


Posted by mr greg jeffrey on 13/06/2005 03:49:02

JUDAS PRIEST ARE BACK TO THIRE BEST ANGEL OF RETRIBUTION WAS A GREAT CD MADE THE LAST CD BUY WAS PIAN KILLER IN 1990 GOOD YOU ARE BACK BOR HALIFARD


Posted by URANUS on 11/06/2005 22:00:25

Rob Halford is one sexy fucking gay beast :0


Posted by Anvil Brook on 11/06/2005 21:59:23

This album appealed to my weiner. I really enjoyed sticking the speakers up my bunghole, and turning up the bass.


Posted by Jerry Webster on 05/06/2005 23:28:42

Greatest or greatness, each mean Judas Priest.


Posted by Jerry Webster on 05/06/2005 22:56:46

Angel of Retribution, another Priest masterpiece. Since "Painkiller", no band has come close to the greatest of Judas Priest. With Halford leading the way and Travis as the fuel that powers the engine, Judas Priest should dominate the music world for many years to come. Keep Rockin guys.


Posted by Kai of the Universal Love Attack on 04/06/2005 10:59:54

This album is awesome. Halford rocks I would give the guitar playing an A+ Actually I give the whole thing an A+ Good work Priest.


Posted by Frank Hollowell on 04/06/2005 00:28:56

Metal Express needs to get with it. Wake up indeed. Scott Travis IS the greatest drummer in history. As Modern Drummer says, no one has ever reached the level that Scott Travis has, and not likely anyone ever will. Check out His drum tracks in the June Modern Drummer. He is respected by all drummers in the world because no one else can do what He does. Hello...


Posted by Christine Olivia on 23/05/2005 01:55:33

I enjoy reading Dan Skiba's reviews, he is very thorough in his coverage and you can tell he actually listens to them with interest and intent. He's a keeper!

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