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Joe Geesin
joe geesin

judas priest

Acclaimed Birmingham formed Metal Gods Judas Priest have epitomised Heavy Metal since their 1974 debut 'Rocka Rolla' and two months after their new live album 'Battle Cry' was unleashed on CD and DVD it gets a heavyweight double vinyl release. Numbered, with gatefold sleeve, this is glorious on every level.

While Black Sabbath undoubtedly invented Heavy Metal, Judas Priest helped define it in its purest form. In the late 70s, through 'Stained Class' and 'Killing Machine', culminating in 1980s 'British Steel', Judas Priest were one of the first bands to notably progress Heavy Metal, transcending any blues, psychedelic or classical roots.

After a line-up change or two along the way and a Spinal Tap-esque rotation of drummers including John Hunch, Les Binks, Dave Holland and Simon Phillips, plus a well-publicised court case in the late 80s after two fans attempted suicide after listening to 'Stained Class', the band are still going strong.

With hits like 'Breaking The Law', 'Living After Midnight', 'Sinner', 'Turbo Lover' and more recently the concept album 'Nostradamus', vocalist Rob Halford still fronts the band after his return in 2003 to replace his replacement Tim "Ripper" Owens.

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The Priest’s twin guitar sound has influenced many, like their contemporaries Saxon and Iron Maiden, and they have found a new lease of life since the turn of the millennium when KK Downing surprisingly left the band and Richie Faulkner stepped up the plate gave the flagging Priest a right old kick up the arse.

KK's departure left Ian Hill as the longest serving Priest member. There are no original members left from their 1969 formation but Ian joined in the early 70s with Rob Halford replacing founder Al Atkins. Only Ian and guitarist Glenn Tipton have appeared continuously on record.

This live set was recorded on the 2015 ‘Redeemer Of Souls’ tour, the first album to feature Richie and what a stormer it is.

There have been a number of noted live albums along the way, including 1979s 'Unleashed In The East', dubbed 'Unleashed In The Studio' by certain factions of that era's music press, and while Judas Priest have had some fantastic cover art, 'Sad Wings Of Destiny' being a great example, further packaging was always a little light but not here. 'Battle Cry' on vinyl stands out as it's a double LP that feels good just to pick up and hold.

The intro leads nicely into 'Dragonaut' to which the band take the stage to a huge roar. Taken from the most recent opus, it shows how good the band currently are. The twin lead guitar is as good here as throughout the Priest catalogue.

'Metal Gods' and 'Devil's Child', from the classic ,Screaming For Vengeance' album get the crowd going and Halford eggs on the audience as well as he always does and there are plenty of early songs which are all crowd pleasers, 'Victim Of Changes' being a standout. This version is expanded to over eight minutes making for a much more enjoyable live experience.

Again from 'Redeemer Of Souls' is 'Halls Of Valhalla' and here is excellent, classic Metal in its purest form. If it’s guitar solos you want then the seven minute 'Beyond The Realms Of Death' will more than satisfy. If it’s lyrically simple yet honest, catchy as hell three minute blistering hit singles you want then 'Breaking The Law' is here too with the crowd in full vocal form.

'Painkiller' closes a blistering show and by this time Halford does sound a little hoarse on the introduction but he does however sound as good as ever when hitting those high evil notes in the song and te rhythm section are strong, precise and blistering throughout on a number where it counts.

Judas Priest sound fresh and energetic here - as though they are souls redemmed.

judas priest

Rob Halford – vocals
Richie Faulkner – guitar
Glenn Tipton – guitar, keyboards
Ian Hill – bass
Scott Travis – drums

Tracklist: Side 1
Battle Cry (intro)
Metal Gods
Devil’s Child
Victim Of Changes

Side 2
Halls Of Valhalla
Redeemer Of Souls
Beyond The Realms Of Death

Side 3
Breaking The Law
Hell Bent For Leather
The Hellion
Electric Eye

Side 4
You’ve Got Another Thing Coming

judas priest

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Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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