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Listened to it yesterday on Spotify. I think I liked it. The guitars sound quite prominent and they didn’t shy away from soloing. The songs didn’t sound bad... Anyway, let’s listen to it once again and let’s see if I get hooked —some potential there. :) To be continued...

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That was the first Judas Priest show without a Hamer on stage in how many years?

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1 hour ago, zorrow said:

Listened to it yesterday on Spotify. I think I liked it. The guitars sound quite prominent and they didn’t shy away from soloing. The songs didn’t sound bad... Anyway, let’s listen to it once again and let’s see if I get hooked —some potential there. :) To be continued...

I'm interested to see if you like better after another listen or two like I did.

I watched some of the live videos from the opening show and I'm amazed that Rob Halford has not lost a thing vocally.  And this will not be a popular thing to say, but I think Richie Faulkner is the best guitarist they've had.

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2 hours ago, Steve Haynie said:

I had to see if someone posted a setlist.  It looks good! 

It's accurate too.

 

Black Star Riders were disappointing.  The sound did not help them at all.  They were at their best when the songs had that Thin Lizzy swing.  But it took a while to get there as they played a lot of tunes that droned and sounded generic. 

Saxon kicked ass: Thunderbolt - Power and the Glory - Nosferatsu - Motorcycle Man - Secret of Flight - They Played Rock and Roll - Denim and Leather

And Judas Priest ... well worth it.  Can't deny it's not the same without KK or Glenn.  But Richie can flat out play.  Andy did great holding down the rhythm.  Ian was rocking that bass.  Scott was flailing away.  Rob is still Rob.  They played with a ferocious intensity.   I've seen younger bands fail to play with this energy level. 

 

 

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Richie Faulkner makes the show a live show.  On the last tour he was doing most of the soloing. 

As much as I want the original band (plus a drummer) on stage it is not going to happen.  The current band has a good album to their credit and they are the ones moving forward. 

It kills me that I had to sell my ticket, but it is what it is. 

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20 minutes ago, Steve Haynie said:

Richie Faulkner makes the show a live show.  On the last tour he was doing most of the soloing. 

So  I AM seeing that right, they're not splitting lead guitar duties?

It looked like Richie doing Tipton's former guitar parts (the whammied runs) on "Sinner".

Great show, but it's kinda not Judas Priest if the guitar solos aren't divided and intertwined, IMO.

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25 minutes ago, Ed Rechts said:

So  I AM seeing that right, they're not splitting lead guitar duties?

It looked like Richie doing Tipton's former guitar parts (the whammied runs) on "Sinner".

Great show, but it's kinda not Judas Priest if the guitar solos aren't divided and intertwined, IMO.

You're seeing it right.  Richie is playing the leads.  I wasn't sure about this either.  They were playing in the moment, and the crowd went along for the ride.

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1 hour ago, BubbaVO said:

Black Star Riders were disappointing.  The sound did not help them at all.  They were at their best when the songs had that Thin Lizzy swing.  But it took a while to get there as they played a lot of tunes that droned and sounded generic. 

Ricky Warwick addressed the sound thing on Twitter. I'm bummed that they're not included on the bill at the show I'm seeing in April; BSR was the main reason why I bought a ticket. But it's never a bad thing to see a legend like Halford in action.

 

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59 minutes ago, Ed Rechts said:

So  I AM seeing that right, they're not splitting lead guitar duties?

On the last tour Glenn Tipton played his solos, but Richie Faulkner did more of them.

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3 hours ago, tommy p said:

I think Richie Faulkner is the best guitarist they've had.

Well, he’s from a newer generation, that of those who grew up studying music theory and building their guitar techniques upon Yngwie’s, Friedman’s and Satch’s chops. The original Judas Priest guys also paved the way for them. So, it’s normal for a player like Faulkner to jump circles around (almost) any player from Downing & Tipton’s era. Which leads me to the following:

3 hours ago, tommy p said:

I'm interested to see if you like better after another listen or two like I did.

Definitively! The tunes have a certain catchiness to them and one needs to take a step back from the neat production and from the tight guitars in order to get it. Even sometimes the band sounds a bit like Halford solo band, or like Fight —track number 3 was the first on which this became apparent to me.

Now I’m listening to “Firepower” for a third time and I’m thinking this actually is a great album, in spite of all the cheesiness and all the metal cliches (which they are absolutely entitled to use) and in spite of the precise shreddy style of Faulkner (which pushes them into modernity, but whose total lack of sloppiness does make me miss the “organic” vibe of their original guitar duo).

But in short, yes, I’m liking it. A bit too perfect to come out from this classic metal band, but it’s a well-performed, well-produced and well-written album. I will buy the limited edition as soon as possible. :) 

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Interesting to me Andy chose a Black Explorer for his guitar. Shades of Hell and a history of Black Standards. I thought he played Vs. Guess twin Vs were not a thought.

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16 minutes ago, BTMN said:

Interesting to me Andy chose a Black Explorer for his guitar. Shades of Hell and a history of Black Standards. I thought he played Vs. Guess twin Vs were not a thought.

Probably he’s too much under Kev’s influence? :) 

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Bought 'Firepower' a day or two back, and after a few listens, posted the following thoughts of the moment on a FB page that I infrequently dabble with (for the 6 or so people that follow, lol)  

 

Thanks for the links to the live video.  I must've caught Glenn on a good night back in 2015.  He really sounded decent-- yes, was not riding the edge like the 90s, but in control of the instrument.    A shame that those days may be well past now.   Faulkner was impressive, high energy and nailed his parts.

 

on to my ramblings...  :)

--

 

Been a Judas Priest fan since the early 80s as a teenager, and they're probably my single biggest musical influence since I started playing bass as a 13 yr old kid.

Bought "Firepower" yesterday, and after about 5 trips through, can say it's a very solid album, easily sharing space in the car with 'Screaming...', 'British Steel,' and 'Painkiller.'     In fact, I'm ready to call it their best record for fans to bridge the gap between  the styles of the Classic 80's Judas Priest and their remarkable evolution into their 1990 benchmark, 'Painkiller.'

After helping pave the way for Metal in the mid to late 70s in twin-guitars, double kick-drum work and iconic leather-and-studs imagery, 1980 to 1984 saw Priest go from the raw, stripped-down fundamentals of British Steel, to swinging the pendulum more to an airplay-oriented batch of songs on 'Point of Entry' in 1981.   I liked 'Point of Entry.'  I think it catches heat, only in that-- aside from "Hot Rockin'" it didn't quite have the range of darker, heavier tunes, like 'Grinder', 'The Rage' and 'Steeler,' to balance the anthems and (mostly-soured) relationship songs like "Don't Go," "You say Yes," and "All the way."

Priest found their balance in '82 with "Screaming for Vengeance."  Fierce and friendly,  from "Fever" to "Devil's Child" and capped with radio-ready anthems "Electric Eye" and "...Another Thing Comin'," it was a powerhouse album, and remains their biggest seller to date.

"Defenders..." continued the theme, with an even heavier, darker edge, with masterpieces like "Jawbreaker," "Love Bites," and "The Sentinel," to balance the very underrated "Night Comes Down," ( which I admit to fast-forwarding past, almost without fail-- as a teen, to my fave track of "Heavy Duty."  "Night Comes Down" upon reflection, is actually a very well-executed song .)

I bought "Turbo" on vinyl when it was released in 1986 from a local K-mart.  I was so unbelievably pumped for that first listen that I left my turntable on 45 instead of 33 amd didn't realize it until Rob, the chipmunk, informed me that I wouldn't hear him....

"Turbo" still polarizes to this day, whether for the synths or the spandex, and as a result, a lot of good moments get overlooked, like the guitar solos on "Locked In," or the overall soul bare-ing of "Out in the Cold."

"Ram it Down" just happens to be MY 14 yr old son's favorite Priest album, (with "Redeemer..." 2nd for him,) and I remember it as being a steady listen, but less enthusiastically, as the guitar tones were far more sizzle than crunch, and try as i might, the "Johnny B Goode" cover still made me wince more than a little overall.   Halford, however, was incredible on this album.  Unbelievable performance. 

"Painkiller" was a real surprise 2 years later.  Had no idea what to expect when I bought the casette (which i still have,)  least of all a relentless buzzsaw of drums, vocals and some SERIOUS woodshedding that had been done by two established guitar guys that had no need to prove a thing--except to themselves.  28 years later, it still remains a benchmark of intensity in the Metal world and I've grown to appreciate it much more over the years, though I didn't realize at that time that Priest had truly evolved and I was still trying to force a Square 'Painkiller' peg into a 'Defenders...' shaped hole.  ( I imagine, much like the 'Sad Wings...' and 'Stained Class' fans before me.)

Which brings us to today.   After K.K.Downing retired and Ritchie Faulkner  stepped up to an unenviable task,  This new lineup of Priest released "Redeemer of Souls" in 2015, which both raised some eyebrows and scratched some chins.  Containing a range of tunes and tempos, with Glenn Tipton's technical and melodic  Classical sensibilities now complemented by Faulkner, who not only provided the testicular intensity of Downing, but added an other-worldly level of precision and speed to the mix, new classics like "Halls of Valhalla," "Cold blooded" and "Battle Cry" came from the new writing trio.

"Firepower" also finds Halford comfortable in the evolution of his voice.  While his incredible range gets it's well-earned kudos,  His greatest asset has always been the passion of his delivery.  There are some inspired moments here, with "Traitor's Gate" and "Lone Wolf " a couple of the standouts.   Producers Tom Allom, from the band's heyday, returns after a long absence, and the talented Andy Sneap make a great pair, with Tom's focus and familiarity with the band's history and strengths allowing Sneap to bring an impressive and dynamic mix to the record.   Thick, sturdy tones in guitars and bass with an aggressive edge, drums that never get harsh and Rob's vocal clear and up front, this record sounds fantastic LOUD.    A real treat to the ears.  Turn up "Never the Heros" and see for yourself.

Priest has been doing this for over 40 years, so there are a few riffs that will be familiar.  "Flamethrower" may remind you in the verses of "Hot for Love" for a moment, and so on, but there's  more than enough freshness and fire on this album to be worth your time and money.  

A very solid "A" rating and one you'll find playing more and more.

High points ( for me ) "No Surrender" "Traitor's Gate" and "Lone Wolf."

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I watched several videos on YouTube of them with Richie and Andy. Andy was strictly playing rhythm on every song, excepting some few second lead lines in some duets. I think the band played it safe there. Of course, the contrasting soloing styles and tones of Tipton and Downing were part of their identity, but now they just released a new album, they need to tour, Richie knows all the guitar parts already and all what they needed was a backing guitarist who could play the entire setlist tight enough for the others to shine.

So, Andy is not filling in for Tipton, no. His job there rather is being a team player who can take a supporting role very seriously. That’s how he’s helping the band to mitigate all the risks inherent to the current situation —the loss of a key member of the team. He’s doing great —and whoever coached the band to make that decision did an excellent management job.

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17 hours ago, zorrow said:

A bit too perfect to come out from this classic metal band,

This phrase sums up how I feel about Cheap Trick, Aerosmith, Van Halen, AC/DC, Saxon, and any number of other bands that I loved growing up.  I still buy or at least listen to all of their new music, but there's an edge missing that makes them sound stale to me.

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Well, I finally got me the limited edition. It was a bit hard, as in Montreal it sold well and I wasn’t around last week. Finally found it at the Sunrise Records store in Laval —for the locals interested on it.

Good atwork, but it bothers me it’s not specified in the booklet who played which solo, which is something I always look forward to in albums from bands having two guitarists who can play leads. :( 

But well, once again I’m enjoying this album, now playing it straight out from my CD player. :) 

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