The 18th album from British heavy metal legends, Judas Priest is called Firepower and was released on March 9th 2018 via Sony Music. 14 tracks of old school, classic heavy metal. You know what you’re getting with Priest; screaming solos, huge metal riffs, thumping drum beats and Rob Halford’s unmistakable screeching vocals.
Both the title track and Lightning Strike are so very Priest. In that they follow the verse, chorus, verse format that has served them so well. Hefty tracks that exude heavy metal power, the riffs here pack a mean punch & Halford is on form.
Evil Never Dies is where the modern slick production really becomes noticeable, something that doesn’t compromise the band’s classic sound. It’s the first showing of the diversity that exists throughout Firepower. Proof that Priest are still feeling adventurous even though they’re so far into their careers.
The anthemic style of Never the Heroes, Rising From Ruins and Traitors Gate continue to show the scale of what Priest are capable of pulling out of the bag. The latter of three making a good shout for being the best track of the album.
Even when harking back to their earlier years, Priest still show that they are capable of providing intense & head-bangingly enjoyable music. The likes of Flamethrower and Spectre will sit alongside the likes of Painkiller and The Ripper comfortably.
There can be no faulting the rhythmic power of the guitars and the flourishes that often accompany a chorus gets the adrenaline pumping. Halford is in fine form & while he isn’t firing off as many shrieks as he used too he is delivering a near-pristine performance.
Where the album is found wanning is with the Sabbath-esqe Children of Sun that fails to light a fire.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about Firepower is just how relevant it feels. Lyrically it’s often rooted in modern issues, it doesn’t sound dated & still feels daring. It can proudly sit alongside the classic Priest albums as a showcase of the band’s excellence.
Judas Priest – Firepower Full Track Listing:
2. Lightning Strike
3. Evil Never Dies
4. Never the Heroes
6. Children of the Sun
8. Rising From Ruins
9. Flame Thrower
11. Traitors Gate
12. No Surrender
13. Lone Wolf
14. Sea of Red
Firepower is out now and available to stream from all the usual places!
Judas Priest - Firepower (Sony Music)
The Final Score - 8/10