Mojo’s Pick of the Week – Judas Priest: Firepower

A revitalized Judas Priest rises from the flames with their latest effort, the 18th studio album in their remarkably long career. Firepower is honestly Priest’s best album since 1990’s “Painkiller”, sounding like they never missed a step in between. Producer Tom Allom is back for the first time since “Ram it Down”, along with co-producer Andy Sneap (Slayer, Accept).

Younger gun Richie Faulkner has taken over former founding member K.K. Downing’s spot at lead guitar, yet the riffs are classic Priest and the tones never better. Sadly, Glenn Tipton has bowed out of the album tour except for special appearances due to Parkinson’s Disease, but Metal God Rob Halford continues to carry the torch with his always-distinctive and surprisingly agile vocals. Andy Sneap will be taking Glenn’s place on the tour.

As far as subject matter, Priest haven’t strayed from their formula of dystopic, post-apocalyptic anthems and scenes of godlike, archetypal warriors, but if it’s been working this long, why mess with that? It’s what they do best! Top songs: “Firepower”, “Never the Heroes”, “Rising from Ruins”, and “Necromancer”.

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