Title - 'Firepower'
Artist - Judas Priest
For those not in the know, Judas Priest are an English heavy metal band formed in West Bromwich in 1969 and, as a band, have sold over 50 million copies of their albums to date.
They are frequently ranked as one of the greatest metal bands of all time and despite an innovative and pioneering body of work in the latter half of the 1970s; where the band struggled with indifferent record production, repeated changes of drummer, and lack of major commercial success or attention until 1980, when they adopted a more simplified sound on the album British Steel, it actually helped shoot them to rock superstar status.
The band's membership has seen much turnover, including a revolving cast of drummers in the 1970s, and even the temporary departure of singer Rob Halford in the early 1990s.
The current line-up consists of Halford, guitarists Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner, bassist Ian Hill, and drummer Scott Travis.
The band's best-selling album is 1982's Screaming for Vengeance with their most commercially successful line-up, featuring Halford, Tipton, Hill, guitarist K. K. Downing, and drummer Dave Holland. Indeed, both Tipton and Hill are the only two members of the band to appear on every album.
Released March 9th, 2018 via Sony Music Distribution, Firepower is the 18th studio album by British heavy metal band Judas Priest. It is the first studio album since 1988's Ram It Down to be produced by Tom Allom, and the first one with Andy Sneap as co-producer.
The album sold around 49,000 copies in the United States within its first week of release, debuting at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 chart, making it the band's highest-charting album in the US.
A lot of people (metal heads) here in the office are saying this is the best Priest record since Painkiller. It's true. I'm a huge Priest fan, but even I'm very picky when it comes to Priest recordings.
With all my favorite bands, there are tracks on most albums that I don't carry over onto playlists. For example, as superb as both Priest's Screaming for Vengeance and Defenders of the Faith are (true classics), they have some tracks that just don't do it for me.
But all of Painkiller makes onto my playlists. Even Painkiller's weakest track, "Metal Meltdown," has some things that recommend it - breakneck speed, screaming vocals.
Well, so it is with this brand new release of theirs, the incredibly impressive Firepower. So far, I haven't ditched any of its tracks and there have also been some stand outs come quickly to the fore also re: "Firepower," "Lightning Strikes," "Guardians/Rising from the Ruins," and even "Traitor's Gate."
These tracks hang with the best of Priest's work. Even less intense songs like "Flamethrower" and "Lone Wolf" are super solid rockers. The performances are terrific (Halford sounds fantastic) and the production is excellent (put this team on a remix/remaster of Redeemer of Souls!), which can only lead me to end with this: Firepower is an album of outstanding performances and song writing.
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