Judas Priest - FIREPOWER
Despite having been around for almost fifty years at this point, it seems that acclaimed heavy metal act Judas Priest have 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, theatrical-esque music combined with the cartoonish lyrics ranging from the futility of hope to bringing back the dead and feeding on flesh, 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 literally singing about killing the listener and likely everyone else with a flamethrower (“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 to things.
The band also throws in some more ballad-ish sounding songs as well such as such as Never the Heroes or Rising From Ruins, both of which continue the villainous themes 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 mean that in the most fun way imaginable. At its core FIREPOWER is simply a modernized classic piece metal at it’s finest and through a revamped version of 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.