Judas Priest - Firepower

Judas Priest – Firepower (#1)


Judas Priest do not entirely resurrect their 70’s or 80’s career with this album, it’s a very heavy and robust recording, which keeps true to their recent work, and also to 1990’s monster ‘Painkiller’.

Written by: gdmonline

ARTIST: Judas Priest
ALBUM: Firepower
LABEL: Columbia, Sony Music, Epic
SERIAL: 19075804832
YEAR: 2018
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List

LINEUP: Rob Halford – vocals * Glenn Tipton – guitar * Richie Faulkner – guitar * Ian Hill – bass * Scott Travis – drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Firepower * 02 Lightning Strike * 03 Evil Never Dies * 04 Never The Heroes * 05 Necromancer * 06 Children Of The Sun * 07 Guardians * 08 Rising From Ruins * 09 Flame Thrower * 10 Spectre * 11 Traitors Gate * 12 No Surrender * 13 Lone Wolf * 14 Sea Of Red

RATING: 85/100



Late 2017 saw news of the latest Judas Priest album being earmarked for early 2018, and just last week, it landed. The album still features guitarist Glenn Tipton contributing in the studio, but ill-health will prevent him from travelling on the road to support ‘Firepower’, so his place has gone to producer (and Hell alumni) Andy Sneap.

Judas Priest do not entirely resurrect their 70’s or 80’s career with this album, though there are snippets to be found. It’s a very heavy and robust recording, which keeps true to their recent work, and also to 1990’s monster ‘Painkiller’.

The Songs

The title track leads off, and is a rampant excursion of metal, propelled by some industry strength drum work from Scott Travis. ‘Lightning Strike’ will be a great live track I’m sure; it’s like taking a time-travel trip back to their heyday. ‘Evil Never Dies’ keeps up appearances and is boisterous as ever a Priest track could be.

‘Never The Heroes’ is the first point of entry difference, less metal and more hard rock with a power-ballad/anthem edge. Necromancer’ returns to the slam-dunk metal of old, proving to all that time is but an illusion for these industry vets. ‘Children of The Sun’ is one of the songs where Judas Priest are reincarnated back to 1977, especially the slow mid-section.

Certainly different, but good to see them go down this path. ‘Guardian’ is a brief instrumental which segues into ‘Rising From Ruins’ which again sounds borne from the 1976-1977 era. No complaints from me. ‘Flame Thrower’ throws off the shackles mid-album, generating momentum as we go deep into the back-end. ‘Spectre’ undulates between slow and mid-speed sections, but the next pair of ‘Traitors Gate’ and ‘No Surrender’ take it up a notch in terms of intensity and power.

More 70’s reincarnating is going on with ‘Lone Wolf’, a very different sounding affair, and then there’s ‘Sea Of Red’; a subdued closer not quite in the vein of the 1978 classic ‘Before The Dawn’, but still, to hear acoustic elements again is going to make me drag out ‘Killing Machine’ for a bit of nostalgia later in the week.

In Summary

‘Firepower’ is a much better representation of the band than say ‘Redeemer Of Souls’. The inclusion of many 70’s remnants from the Judas Priest back-catalogue will probably be a big talking point among critics, but I’m hoping that will be seen in a positive light more than anything. It’s hard to say how I feel about a band that is getting up there into senior citizens territory. Just ask Phil Mogg!

But then again, we could be talking about The Rolling Stones who have at least a decade or more on Judas Priest, The journey will have to end soon surely? In the meantime, and before they call it a day, ensure you get some ‘Firepower’ into your musical consumption!


Lightning Strike

Judas Priest - Lightning Strike (Official Video)

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