is quite a cool set. The group is Al Atkins (the original lead singer
of Judas Priest) and Paul May (musician extraordinaire). They have
released three albums together so far and all but one song (I’m ignoring
the two unlisted tracks) here are taken from those discs. I’ve reviewed
all three of them so the track reviews are copied from those or adapted
for use here for the sake of consistency. I think this works well as a
play from start to finish experience. Given that it’s a compilation,
that says a lot. There is a bonus DVD here, but I can’t get it to play
on any of my players. It might just be a problem with my copy. Still,
it’s a bonus, the CD is worth getting whether the DVD works or not.
Track by Track Review
Unlisted Track 1
with the sound of a needle on a record, this comes in a bit like very
old Judas Priest. It’s a short instrumental fanfare.
Here Comes the Rain
Basically a power ballad, this is quite proggy in a lot of ways. It’s also very classy. It does get quite heavy as it continues.
Enslaved To Love
The sounds that open this are quite mean and metallic. The cut is quite heavy, quite dark and yet very modern in texture.
killer metal jam opens this. Then it powers from there into an even
more screaming arrangement. The vocals come in over this killer swirl of
guitar starts this, and the vocals come in over the top of this sound.
Then it powers out to a slow moving, and rather blues inspired hard
rocking metal vibe. It drops back down the mellower territory for the
next vocals. The cut alternates between mellower movements and harder
rocking ones and is a killer number. The guitar solo section really
World at War
is a dramatic introduction that gives way to some pounding, powerful
heavy metal. This is very much an epic metal styled piece, with the
emphasis on the metal end of that equation. I love the vocal hooks and
the guitar soloing. It’s a real stomper. The closing bit is dramatic and
This sounds so much like old school Judas Priest that it’s crazy. This is great. It’s got some more killer guitar soloing.
Valley of Shadows
This is a dramatic and powerful metal ballad. As cool as this tune is, though, it’s a bit overlong.
Harder They Fall
There’s a killer riff and metal groove driving this monster.
Theatre of Fools
really no Priest in the mix here. Instead we get a great modern epic
metal sound that’s incredibly cool. Without question this is the best
track on the first album. It gets taken through several different
sections and yet never crosses into Judas Priest like territory.
Whisper to the Wind
starts with a dramatic and powerful ballad-like movement. That section
holds it for a while with some great vocal work and tasty musical
arrangements. It powers out into a rather progressive metal like
movement for the more powered up section. This is just so cool. It’s
also an epic length piece, landing at over twelve and a half minutes.
It’s epic in scope, too, conveying a whole universe of sounds in one
cohesive and coherent track. This is mellow through a lot of its time,
but it also rocks out really well. It has some particularly meaty
melodic metal guitar soloing. This one is worth the price of admission
all by itself.
In the Air Tonight (bonus track)
would have never thought of turning this Phil Collins tune into a metal
track. Listening to this version, it seems so obvious, though. Don’t
get me wrong, I prefer the stylistic atmosphere of the original.
However, this is pretty amazing.
Unlisted Track 2
This is essentially a revisit of the first cut of the disc. It makes for a great bookend.
...BECAUSE SOME OF US THINK THAT THIS STUFF IS IMPORTANT
What happens when you mix what is - arguably - the world's most interesting record company, with an anarchist manic-depressive rock music historian polymath, and a method of dissemination which means that a daily rock-music magazine can be almost instantaneous?
Most of this blog is related in some way to the music, books and films produced by Gonzo Multimedia, but the editor has a grasshopper mind and so also writes about all sorts of cultural issues which interest him, and which he hopes will interest you as well.