Title - 'Anthology'
Artist - Atkins May Project
Admittedly, you may not have heard of the rather brilliant (it has to be said) Atkins May Project, but you will have heard of its infamous, and original Judas Priest lead singer, Al Atkins. You haven't? Shame on you! OK, well, here's the quick how-it-all-went-down scenario: Atkins began his musical career in 1964, singing in a succession of blues rock outfits before forming a band in September 1969, named Judas Priest. FYI: Did you know that it was named after the Bob Dylan song "The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest"?
Anyway, featuring a musical direction unrelated to the future metal band, this band lasted until April 1970, developing a small following in Birmingham before splitting up over creative differences. By this time, bands such as Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath were emerging, and Atkins was interested in pursuing a similar direction.
A fair few musical journeys later, and together here with guitar virtuoso band mate, Paul May, Anthology sees the Atkins May Project (AMP) come lovingly back into our lives. Sure, Anthology is a collection of the best of AMP, but it also signifies the bands fought-to-carve-out niche territory in rock with this selection of brilliant tracks. Lest we forget that, and no, this is not a warning or a joke, this brand new compilation of their work comes complete with a previously-unreleased bonus track: a cover of Phil Collin's “In The Air Tonight”!
1. "Here Comes The Rain "
2. "Enslaved To Love"
3. "The Shallowing"
4. "Bitter Waters"
5. "A World At War"
6. "Dream Maker"
7. "Valley Of Shadows"
8. "Harder They Fall"
9. "Theatre Of Fools"
10. "Whisper To The Wind"
11. "In the Air Tonight" (unreleased bonus track)
This album isn't just for metal purists, it's for lovers of all things titanic rock, trust me. Following on the heels of their third project together, Empire of Destruction (2014), Anthology maintains the classic and traditional metal leaning of its predecessors. So, for the uninitiated amongst you, you get the heavy rhythm guitar sound straddling lead guitar solos that range from manic to melodic, from hulking to methodical.
Packed to the brim with some diverse, and yet at no times seemingly trivial songwriting, the storytelling on all AMP albums is top class. Ergo, this collection brings together the best of the best - if there truly has to be a "label" put on it. For, to my mind, everything that AMP puts out; front to back, back to front, is the best of the best, my friends.