Judas Priest’s ‘Demolition’ was released in 2001, but in that time it’s become more forgotten than Glenn Tipton’s ‘Baptizm Of Fire’ solo effort from 1997.
Written by: Dangerzone
ARTIST: Judas Priest
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: England
LINEUP: Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens – vocals * K.K Downing – guitars * Glenn Tipton – guitars * Ian Hill – bass * Scott Travis – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Machine Man * 02 One On One * 03 Hell Is Home * 04 Jekyll And Hyde * 05 Close To You * 06 Devil Digger * 07 Bloodsuckers * 08 In Between * 09 Feed On Me * 10 Subterfuge * 11 Lost And Found * 12 Cyberface * 13 Metal Messiah * 14 Metal Messiah (diff version)
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Judas Priest Background
Judas Priest’s ‘Demolition’ was released in 2001. But in that time it’s become more forgotten than Glenn Tipton’s ‘Baptizm Of Fire’ solo effort from 1997. It didn’t help that four years had passed since ‘Jugulator’ (Priest’s comeback after Rob Halford quit in 1992). An album lovably cornball, but missing some of the charm of the Halford years.
Priest signed with Atlantic in the interim, reestablishing with a major label after languishing with indie CMC for several years.
Their first release included a diabolical double live set in 1998. Indeed ‘Demolition’ isn’t as awful as it seemed in 2001, but it is woeful at best. A sad example of a one time legend sinking without trace.
One of ‘Ripper’ era Priest’s problem was the absence of Halford’s writing style. Rob having taken the JP sound with him to his solo career. Much like David Lee Roth did to Van Halen.
Thus Tipton has assumed most of the writing duties since. It exposed his shortcomings, as here he is credited on every track, five by himself. Owens name is on nothing, reinforcing the hired gun notion.
Something is lacking, the music not as high pitched as in the 80’s. It’s more bottom ended, although still metal naturally. It’s hard to argue with ‘Machine Man’, a promising start. We typically get a fast start with confrontational lyrics. This time regarding motorcycle racing! It is bizarre to hear the term ‘motherf—–‘ used in Priest’s lyrics however. As close to a Judas Priest classic as you’ll find here.
Next up is ‘One On One’ is similarly strong, real mans metal, with Owens delivering a muscular edge to the chorus. ‘One on one, bring it on!’. The famed tandem of Downing -Tipton opting for thundering riffs instead of screeching solos.
The slide is imminent of course, begun in earnest by the dull plod of ‘Hell Is Home’. Plus there’s the shite keyboards that attempt to give ‘Jekyll And Hyde’ an 1800’s London feel.
‘Close To You’, ‘Devil Digger’, ‘In Between’, ‘Feed On Me’, ‘Lost And Found’ – are all redundant melodically. The heaviness repetitive, enough said. Offering some respite is ‘Bloodsuckers’, more energetic and with Owens indistinguishable from Halford with an exciting chorus.
Lurking in the back is the same stale guitar sound that has been overdone since ‘Painkiller’. ‘Subterfuge’ caused a bit of a stir with its industrial effects. But I think it’s a high point, with a hook that sticks, metal to the core at heart.
A bit of a joke is ‘Cyberface’, one of Judas Priest’s requisite characters that follow the likes of ‘Jugulator’, ‘The Hellion’, ‘The Sentinel’, ‘Exciter’ etc. The metallic voice is metal at it’s worst and some of the rhythms in the verse are almost grunge. That’s Owen’s fault, the chap formerly in some duff Seattle grunge cover act in the 90’s. This is comedy metal, horrific even by Judas Priest’s low standards.
As if this wasn’t enough ‘Metal Messiah’ follows with rap influenced verses and a victorious hook. It also flirts with middle eastern accompaniments. Ambitious yes. Crap most definitely. In a good way of course.
When it’s good ‘Demolition’ is appropriate for a laugh, occasionally eye openly heavy, as Judas Priest should be. When it bogs down (often) you might be put to sleep – it runs at seventy minutes.
Sadly there’s no real excitement to speak of, no moment that might cause you to say ‘bloody hell’ out loud to yourself. But that’s hardly the bands fault.
They progressively got worse after the shift in style from ‘Stained Class’ to ‘Killing Machine’ (I prefer early, more seriously heavy Priest any day). Inevitably ‘Demolition’ might as well have never been made.
Hardly anyone bought it, it’s never mentioned and crucially Judas Priest have suffered as a result, their legend tag worn. After all Iron Maiden are still a fairly big deal. To think they were once equals.
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