GLENN TIPTON – Baptizm Of Fire (Re-Release)

GLENN TIPTON - Baptizm Of Fire (Re-Release)


Rhino/Warner Music
Release date: March 7, 2006
Run Time: 62 minutes – 13 tracks (which includes 2 bonus tracks not included in the 1997 version)

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With the surge in popularity (and well-deserved) of Judas Priest upon the reunification of the band in 2003, the time indeed seems “right” to give Glenn Tipton’s solo release Baptizm Of Fire another moment in the sun, and Rhino Records/Warner Music has jumped at the opportunity. Baptizm Of Fire is being re-released concurrent with the “original” solo album created by Tipton. However, due to the significant involvement by the collaborating Rock Icons John Entwistle (The Who) and Cozy Powell (Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Whitesnake, and a host of other bands), the initial solo album has been released under the title Tipton, Entwistle And Powell – Edge Of The World. The genesis behind Baptizm is rather interesting … Tipton originally recorded tracks for the Edge and took them to Atlantic Records for evaluation. Atlantic liked the idea of a “Tipton solo effort,” but made it clear they preferred younger musicians get involved in the project too. Tipton abided by their wishes and went on to create a second album … an album that did, in fact, include numerous supporting musicians, including Billy Sheehan, Brooks Wackerman, C.J. De Villar, Shannon Larkin, and others. So, even though Baptizm Of Fire hit the streets first, it technically is Tipton’s sophomore solo effort.

If you’re already familiar with Baptizm, you’ll recall that musically this album was aggressive, fresh, and filled with passion. The only weakness within the album centered around Tipton at the microphone … the lyrics and vocal patterns ranged from adequate to downright catchy, but Tipton’s range limitations made it pretty evident that for Judas Priest to continue on at some point, it would have to be with somebody else’s pipes leading the way besides Glenn’s. That said, this reissued version also includes a remastering of the original source tape … and an excellent job was certainly done! The clear strength of this album was Tipton’s “let ‘er rip” guitar playing, and that aspect of the album was brought out further in the remix, while Tipton’s vocal volume seems to be blended back a bit, making now the true focus of the album where it should be, and that is on Glenn’s musicianship and song structure creativity. Bottom line … a good album just got better, and with the addition of two quality bonus tracks in “Himalaya” and “New Breed,” there’s plenty here to warrant a 2nd look and/or purchase.

For those not familiar in the past with this album, Tipton has effectively blended Traditional Metal with several Contemporary Metal concepts that had evolved and/or were beginning to evolve in the late 1990’s. Songs like “Enter The Storm” delve slightly into quasi-Death Metal (Pantera-ish) realms, while songs like “Cruise Control” have an Industrial Metal (Ministry-ish) feel. Tipton also throws in a few change ups with a cover version of The Rolling Stones classic, “Paint It Black,” a song that he energizes quite effectively, and also with “Left For Dead,” a very enjoyable banjo-influenced sing-along song. Mostly, though, there is just good Metal here to be heard. Everything seems to come together remarkably well for “Fuel Me Up” and “Kill Or Be Killed,” and these songs should sound comfortable to those who are familiar with and enjoy the heavy side of Judas Priest’s music. Tipton also includes an instrumental in the lot, the title track “Baptizm Of Fire,” perhaps the best song of them all. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better instrumental Metal tune out there anywhere, which conjures up the thought that perhaps Tipton should someday toy with the idea of creating a totally instrumental album? Tipton revealed to Metal Express Radio, however, that the odds of this actually happening at some future point were slim to none … too bad.

As mentioned, the re-release includes 2 bonus tracks … both are quality pieces, to be sure. Topically, “Himalaya” appears to deal with inner spirituality and strength found at the footstep of the grandiose power of this geographical phenomenon, and the majestic, slow-tempo music captures those elements quite well. “New Breed” was actually written by Tipton with his daughter Karina, and his son Rick plays the drums on this track. Drummer? How in Hades could an offspring of Tipton become a drummer? Well, let it be known, based on Rick’s performance here, this kid’s got quite a future behind the drum kit! In the end, “New Breed” definitely ranks among the best tracks on this album.

Back in 1997, this album likely didn’t get it’s fair shake, and the fact of the matter is that during this point in history, Metal as a whole was on the skids as a musical genre with the record labels, garnishing minimal industry support. Yes, the time is indeed right again for the re-release of Baptizm Of Fire … if you missed it the first time, don’t let the opportunity pass you by again … and, if the album is something you’re already familiar with, do yourself a favor and check it out for a 2nd time!


  • Dan Skiba

    Dan is a former partner at Metal Express Radio, and also served as a reviewer, photographer and interviewer on occasions. Based out of Indianapolis, USA he was first turned on to Hard Rock music in the mid-1970s when he purchased Deep Purple's Machine Head as his first album. He was immediately enthralled with the powerful guitar sound and pronounced drumbeat, and had to get more! His collection quickly expanded to include as many of Heavy Rock bands of the time that he could get his hands on, such as Ted Nugent, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath, to name just a few.

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