JUDAS PRIEST CONFUSED BY RESURGENCE:
August 11, 2008
Andre Mihsin of Chart Attack reports that Judas Priest reunited with original singer Rob Halford in 2003 and released the strong comeback album Angel Of Retribution, their first record together since 1990’s Painkiller, two years later.
After a successful comeback tour, Priest were ready to begin writing songs for their next record when longtime manager Bill Curbishley suggested the band attempt a concept album. They’d long entertained the idea and agreed, resulting in the June release of Nostradamus, an epic 102-minute double album based on the life of the legendary physician, astrologer and alleged seer.
With lengthy symphonic interludes, spoken-word pieces and an array of piano arrangements, Nostradamus is quite a departure from what people normally expect from the metal gods. It’s therefore garnered mixed reactions from both critics and fans, making it one of the most talked-about and controversial albums of the year.
“To be honest, we don’t give a damn what people think about our music,” says Halford. “We just go into writing or recording sessions and give it 1,000 per cent and play it from the heart, and it’s left in the lap of the gods for people to make of it what they will.
“I think if we worried too much about reactions, we’d be sitting at home twiddling our thumbs. We’re really happy with what we made, and that’s the main thing for us.”
This wouldn’t be the first time that Judas Priest have shocked longtime fans with a questionable change in direction. Turbo was heavily criticized for its use of synthesizers and a more ’80s glam metal approach when it came out in 1986.
“I think all musicians are directed by their own sense of creativity,” says Halford. “If you worried yourself about what people are going to think about what you’re doing, I think the world would be a very stale place to live in.
“It’s all about shaking things up and bringing new ideas forward. Ironically enough, Turbo is our most successful commercial release in the United States. I don’t know what that means, but it must mean something.”
Despite the mixed reactions to Nostradamus, Priest plan on playing the record live in its entirety when they go out on their headlining tour. But fans of more classic Priest needn’t worry, as the band are currently on tour with Heaven & Hell, Motorhead and Testament as part of one of the best packages of the year, the Metal Masters Tour. Not only is this a great opportunity for older fans to see their favourite bands again, but it will also be a treat for young metal-heads who seem to be embracing classic heavy metal bands now more than they have in many years.
“I think there is a renaissance going on, which is really out of our control,” says Halford. “We’ve been experiencing that recently in Europe and in Canada.
“We had a show in Winnipeg 48 hours ago, and I’ve never seen so many young metal-heads at the front end of the crowd in my life. It was absolutely mind-blowing. Why they’re picking Priest, I don’t know.”
Judas Priest will play with Voivod at Montreal’s Bell Centre on Tuesday before rejoining the Metal Masters Tour the next evening at Toronto’s Molson Amphitheatre.
Courtesy of www.chartattack.com