Judas Priest - Firepower review



Reviewer:
8.3

467 users:
8.60
Band: Judas Priest
Album: Firepower
Release date: March 2018


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


The long-awaited and highly anticipated release of the 18th Judas Priest full-length album comes in the shadow of the sad discovery regarding Glenn Tipton's health condition. This is the bad news. The good news is that Firepower is a very successful attempt by the Metal Gods to revisit their past decades of glory with a modern sound.

The band unleashes a searing and blazing attack from the first notes of Firepower and the title track along with "Lightning Strike" constitute a jaw-dropping 1-2 to start the album, showcasing Judas Priest defying their age and firing on all cylinders. "Evil Never Dies" is not an Overkill cover, but its thrashy character would fit nicely somewhere inside the New Jersey thrashers' discography. "Necromancer", "Spectre" and "Traitors Gate" are riff-heavy metal anthems with face-smashing guitars and possessed vocals. "Never The Heroes" and "No Surrender" have this 1980s vibe that used to fill up massive stadiums. On the same note, the piano introduction, titled "Guardians", leads to the epic "Rising From Ruins" and I can already picture thousands of long-haired metalheads dressed in leather singing its chorus as one at big festivals.

The recipe of "intro - verse - chorus - verse - chorus - bridge - solo - double chorus" is a pretty effective one in the heavy metal genre when all these elements are well written and executed. This is exactly the case in Firepower, a record that finds Judas Priest in exquisite form so late in their career. Most tracks are short, between three to five minutes, with thick and hooky riffs and flashy solos and with a very solid rhythm section that provides a strong backbone for the axemen to build upon.

What makes this album stand out from the rest of the pack though, is what has actually made this band so individual and special throughout all these years; and this is no other than Rob's throat. Here he is using his mid-range vocals more often, even though we still hear him wail and scream and roar with anger and passion, putting almost every other metal vocalist to shame and sounding better, just a few months before his 67th birthday, than those who could have been his children or grandchildren.

Redeemer Of Souls was a good release, which could have done without some filler songs. More importantly, it was severely demeaned by an appalling, brickwalled production. Firepower is one big step up in songwriting quality, since its so-called "filler" songs are not necessarily skippable. The production by Tom Allom and Andy Sneap is miles ahead compared to the one our ears suffered four years ago and Judas Priest finally have the sound their legacy deserves. In all fairness, this is the best the band has sounded since Painkiller. Moreover, this is the best they have written and performed since their 1990's masterpiece. The only flaw is that the album may feel a little bloated towards the end, mainly because "Lone Wolf" and "Sea Of Red" are not engaging enough after having listened to the previous twelve tracks. Had it been trimmed to ten or eleven songs it would have been an absolute banger through and through.

Firepower is simple, yet it is emphatically ambitious in its simplicity. If you listen to it at the comfort of your home, said home will look like an ant heap some giant has kicked to pieces. You all know who this giant is and he has saved some of the best for last.

There is absolutely no reason to reinvent the wheel if you are in fact the one who invented it.

"We're standing as one,
We're carrying on,
Rising From Ruins"


 



Written on 10.03.2018 by I was into this music when you were still in diapers.


Comments

Comments: 29   Visited by: 456 users
10.03.2018 - 02:24
trzyszostki
Good review man.. i like the feeling of different genres in here ..overkill like evil never dies.. then kreator like in necromancer...then the mentioned previously no surrender which remains me of aerosmith...traitor's gate i keep thinking of iced earth....this album is freaking cool!!!!!
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10.03.2018 - 02:39
nikarg
Old Nick
Well, all the bands you mention (apart from Aerosmith) exist because of Judas Priest
I think "No Surrender" is my favourite. It could have been in Turbo, if Turbo had been a good album.
----
on and on south of heaven

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10.03.2018 - 04:38
el_grego
That's a great review of a great album !!! So many years ,so many albums,a thousand faces but never sellouts,changing and evolving but respecting the fans and the music.I think this right here ,after the out-of-this-world Painkiller ,is their best album.Extra props to Glenn Tipton and the rest of the band that supported him and went on to produce this masterpiece. Spectre and my favourite , Traitors Gate, belong to the metal Pantheon forever and ever.
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10.03.2018 - 06:32
Malignar
I definitely enjoyed the first 4 or 5 songs. Overall, I miss the over the top solos and speed. I can't really complain too much as there are probably three great songs on here and the production is top notch. If this is the end it is a worthy addition, that is much better than the previous album. I would describe this as a Judas Priest with some very good rhythm guitar parts and very good production. But don't expect an aggressive solo driven metallic attack.
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10.03.2018 - 07:17
StRicardo6
This is what Iron Maiden should to do ... shorter more powerful Metal songs !!!
  long life 💀 JUDAS ╚╬╝ PRIEST     💀
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10.03.2018 - 13:34
Written by nikarg on 10.03.2018 at 02:39

Well, all the bands you mention (apart from Aerosmith) exist because of Judas Priest
I think "No Surrender" is my favourite. It could have been in Turbo, if Turbo had been a good album.


I really unironically love Turbo, you're right that it could fit on that record however!

I'm going to stick Turbo on and slot No Surrender in the middle, I wonder how it fits!
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10.03.2018 - 13:34
Written by nikarg on 10.03.2018 at 02:39

Well, all the bands you mention (apart from Aerosmith) exist because of Judas Priest
I think "No Surrender" is my favourite. It could have been in Turbo, if Turbo had been a good album.


I really unironically love Turbo, you're right that it could fit on that record however!

I'm going to stick Turbo on and slot No Surrender in the middle, I wonder how it fits!
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10.03.2018 - 13:55
Bad English
Masterchief
Written by nikarg on 10.03.2018 at 02:39

Well, all the bands you mention (apart from Aerosmith) exist because of Judas Priest
I think "No Surrender" is my favourite. It could have been in Turbo, if Turbo had been a good album.


Og corse Tyler was huge Painkiller fan, thats why he ebcame a singer
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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10.03.2018 - 15:21
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Theoncomingstorm on 10.03.2018 at 13:34

I really unironically love Turbo, you're right that it could fit on that record however!

I'm going to stick Turbo on and slot No Surrender in the middle, I wonder how it fits!

Many people love Turbo. That's the magic of the Priest. So many albums to choose from and apart from about 5-6 that are unanimously adored, the rest are a matter of personal taste. Let me know how the experiment works out!
----
on and on south of heaven

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10.03.2018 - 15:22
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by el_grego on 10.03.2018 at 04:38

That's a great review of a great album !!! So many years ,so many albums,a thousand faces but never sellouts,changing and evolving but respecting the fans and the music.I think this right here ,after the out-of-this-world Painkiller ,is their best album.Extra props to Glenn Tipton and the rest of the band that supported him and went on to produce this masterpiece. Spectre and my favourite , Traitors Gate, belong to the metal Pantheon forever and ever.

You've said it all.
----
on and on south of heaven

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10.03.2018 - 16:58
Marchosias
"There is absolutely no reason to reinvent the wheel if you are in fact the one who invented it. "

Couldn't agree more. Perfect review for an awesome album!
----
A mediocre metalhead.
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10.03.2018 - 17:23
Danyael
I think it's boring. Redeemer of Souls wasn't great, but in my opinion, it was better.
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11.03.2018 - 01:28
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Written by nikarg on 10.03.2018 at 15:21

Written by Theoncomingstorm on 10.03.2018 at 13:34

I really unironically love Turbo, you're right that it could fit on that record however!

I'm going to stick Turbo on and slot No Surrender in the middle, I wonder how it fits!

Many people love Turbo.


Probably dpends on where you live. Where I live most people hae Turbo and rightfully so.
----
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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11.03.2018 - 01:51
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 11.03.2018 at 01:28

Probably dpends on where you live. Where I live most people hae Turbo and rightfully so.

I don't know if it depends on the geographical location. I also don't know what other people think about it in the place I live. I do know that I don't like it at all.

How much do you hate what do you think about Firepower though?
----
on and on south of heaven

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11.03.2018 - 20:23
The Shape 1973
When I heard the first snippet release I was not that impressed, sounded like a HammerFall clone. Now it has grown on me massively. Rob's voice sounds great, hitting the screams and sounding like he means it. Some recent stuff of his has been a bit lazy (Dio tribute), but this rocks. Only one track for me falls short, Children Of The Sun.

Surprize of the year contender, maybe. Best since Painkiller, probably. Album of the year, we will see.

If this proves to be their last album, then it's a good way to go out.
----
Just because you believe in your strong morals it doesn't mean they are correct
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11.03.2018 - 23:11
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by The Shape 1973 on 11.03.2018 at 20:23

If this proves to be their last album, then it's a good way to go out.

I love JP to bits so I hope Firepower will be their last album and this is not an oxymoron. It is a fucking awesome way to exit and they should preserve their legacy. Priest without K.K. was a hard pill to swallow, I don't think I can handle Priest without K.K. and Glenn. Quitting while they're ahead is the wise path to choose.
----
on and on south of heaven

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16.03.2018 - 13:44
The Shape 1973
Entered UK album charts at no.3
----
Just because you believe in your strong morals it doesn't mean they are correct
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28.03.2018 - 02:48
IH8Hipsters
This album is a Super Bowl victory. I think the reviewer gave this album a score lower than it deserves. I'd give it a solid 9. I think it's neck and neck with Painkiller which is my favorite Priest album. They are masters and I selfishly hope they never retire. KK and Glenn are guitar gods that have influenced millions of musicians. There are some crazy talent out there that knows their catalog inside and out and worships them. If Priest wanted to they could find the next KK and Glenn. Rob is a different story. His voice is transcendent in not just heavy metal but music history. However, he can't do this forever, at least I don't think he can.
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28.03.2018 - 02:54
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by IH8Hipsters on 28.03.2018 at 02:48

This album is a Super Bowl victory. I think the reviewer gave this album a score lower than it deserves.

The reviewer agrees.
----
on and on south of heaven

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30.04.2018 - 12:38
BloodTears
ANA-thema
Still haven't checked out the full album. Big fail for a Judas Priest fan but everyone seems to be so positive about it, which is very surprising.
----
Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29

Like you could kiss my ass.
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30.04.2018 - 23:41
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by BloodTears on 30.04.2018 at 12:38

Still haven't checked out the full album. Big fail for a Judas Priest fan but everyone seems to be so positive about it, which is very surprising.

You should definitely try it. I wouldn't change a word in the review, but I'd bump up the score I gave it to 8.7-8.8 because it's that good.
----
on and on south of heaven

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01.05.2018 - 15:28
Polaria
Written by BloodTears on 30.04.2018 at 12:38

Still haven't checked out the full album. Big fail for a Judas Priest fan but everyone seems to be so positive about it, which is very surprising.

You should listen to it. For me this album deserves a 9 purely on its own merits. Before listening to this album, I only knew 2 songs and 2 half songs from Judas Priest*.


*Since then I have bought five albums and played 64 songs on the bass on Rocksmith...
----
Life is all the pain we endeavour.
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03.05.2018 - 12:41
BloodTears
ANA-thema
Written by Polaria on 01.05.2018 at 15:28

Written by BloodTears on 30.04.2018 at 12:38

Still haven't checked out the full album. Big fail for a Judas Priest fan but everyone seems to be so positive about it, which is very surprising.

You should listen to it. For me this album deserves a 9 purely on its own merits. Before listening to this album, I only knew 2 songs and 2 half songs from Judas Priest*.


*Since then I have bought five albums and played 64 songs on the bass on Rocksmith...



What albums do you have now? Sad Wings Of Destiny and Screaming For Vengeance are still my favourites, closely followed by Painkiller and Defenders Of The Faith. So, I recommend those. But seriously there's so much good stuff to choose from with this band that it's impossible.

So, I finally listened to the new album and I'm happy. Thanks Judas Priest for keeping it classy. When I think about this band, the first word that comes to mind is always "classy". No-one does it better.
----
Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29

Like you could kiss my ass.
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03.05.2018 - 18:26
Polaria
Written by BloodTears on 03.05.2018 at 12:41

Written by Polaria on 01.05.2018 at 15:28

Written by BloodTears on 30.04.2018 at 12:38

Still haven't checked out the full album. Big fail for a Judas Priest fan but everyone seems to be so positive about it, which is very surprising.

You should listen to it. For me this album deserves a 9 purely on its own merits. Before listening to this album, I only knew 2 songs and 2 half songs from Judas Priest*.


*Since then I have bought five albums and played 64 songs on the bass on Rocksmith...



What albums do you have now? Sad Wings Of Destiny and Screaming For Vengeance are still my favourites, closely followed by Painkiller and Defenders Of The Faith. So, I recommend those. But seriously there's so much good stuff to choose from with this band that it's impossible.

So, I finally listened to the new album and I'm happy. Thanks Judas Priest for keeping it classy. When I think about this band, the first word that comes to mind is always "classy". No-one does it better.


I have Firepower, Painkiller, Defenders of the Faith, Screaming for Vengeance and British Steel. Now bear in mind I have a lot to catch up and that I have spent far more time playing on than listening to the other albums. What I find great is that each album has its own personality.

I have to say that I am surprised to see you associate the term "classy" to Judas Priest. Musically, certainly; lyrically, well... sometimes not at all?; visually: hell no!
----
Life is all the pain we endeavour.
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03.05.2018 - 20:36
BloodTears
ANA-thema
Quote:
Written by Polaria on 03.05.2018 at 18:26


What albums do you have now? Sad Wings Of Destiny and Screaming For Vengeance are still my favourites, closely followed by Painkiller and Defenders Of The Faith. So, I recommend those. But seriously there's so much good stuff to choose from with this band that it's impossible.

So, I finally listened to the new album and I'm happy. Thanks Judas Priest for keeping it classy. When I think about this band, the first word that comes to mind is always "classy". No-one does it better.


I have Firepower, Painkiller, Defenders of the Faith, Screaming for Vengeance and British Steel. Now bear in mind I have a lot to catch up and that I have spent far more time playing on than listening to the other albums. What I find great is that each album has its own personality.

I have to say that I am surprised to see you associate the term "classy" to Judas Priest. Musically, certainly; lyrically, well... sometimes not at all?; visually: hell no!


I mean classy musically of course. Their sound is impecable. I don't care about what bands wear at all. It could be tutus for all I care =P

So, those are great albums to start. I also like British Steel even though it gets a bad rep sometimes. Still a pretty good album.

I play some Priest on guitar, it's pretty fun to play so I can relate
----
Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29

Like you could kiss my ass.
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04.05.2018 - 02:13
nikarg
Old Nick
You ladies are criminally overlooking Stained Class (the class Ana refers to, lol) and Sin After Sin. Both are up there with the masterpieces you've already mentioned.
----
on and on south of heaven

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04.05.2018 - 09:19
Polaria
Written by nikarg on 04.05.2018 at 02:13

You ladies are criminally overlooking Stained Class (the class Ana refers to, lol) and Sin After Sin. Both are up there with the masterpieces you've already mentioned.

Huh ? I am not overlooking anything, I just bought the four older albums that were available in my local Media Markt while they had a 2 + 1 promotion. I haven't had quite the time to listen to the EIGHTEEN albums in the two last months.

I've listened to Stained Glass and Sin after Sin on Spotify, and played some songs on bass as well.
----
Life is all the pain we endeavour.
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04.05.2018 - 10:09
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Polaria on 04.05.2018 at 09:19

Huh ? I am not overlooking anything, I just bought the four older albums that were available in my local Media Markt while they had a 2 + 1 promotion. I haven't had quite the time to listen to the EIGHTEEN albums in the two last months.

I've listened to Stained Glass and Sin after Sin on Spotify, and played some songs on bass as well.

Indeed, Judas Priest's discography is extensive, but discovering it will surely be a fantastic experience for you. Enjoy the journey!
----
on and on south of heaven

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20.05.2018 - 14:35
Olethros
Never the Heroes = best song of the album!
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