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  • Henry Nulf

Review: Judas Priest still packs a punch

Despite having been around for almost 50 years, it seems that acclaimed heavy metal act Judas Priest has no intention of slowing down as they release not only one of the best albums of the genre from recent memory, but perhaps even one of the best in their entire discography.

Littered with those classic chugging metal instrumentals associated with the iconic group, the best way to describe this record would be purely diabolical in all departments. The blood pumping, theatre-esque music, combined with the cartoonish lyrics, ranging from the futility of hope to bringing back the dead and feedingon esh, “FIREPOWER” feels like the music equivalent of a gateway to the underworld from front to back.

On the track “FlameThrower” for example, Rob Halford seems to be singing about killing the listener and likely everyone else with a flame thrower (“You’re on the run from the stun of the flame thrower, sealing your fate, terminate by the flame thrower”),

while the repeated riffs and killer solos adds a realistically over-the-top intensity.

The band also throws in some more ballad-esque sounding songs such as “Never the Heroes” or “Rising From Ruins,” both of which continue the villainous themes but on a much more emotional sounding level, along with some of the less than fictional songs such as “Sea of Red,” which seems to honor World War veterans, or “Children of the Sun,” which talks about our horrendous treatment of the planet.

By the time the album concludes,it all cumulates into what feels like this grand journey through a demon infested land void of purity, and I meant hat in the most fun way imaginable. At its core, “FIREPOWER” is simply a modernized classic piece metal at its best, and through a revamped versionof that classic sound, it does a fantastic job of avoiding the washed-up image many legacy bands end up trapped in during the modern era.

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