JUDAS PRIEST - Demolition
Throwback!! Released July 16/2001 (Atlantic Records)
Review originally published in Rip'N'Tear Magazine Issue #12
This sucker will cause Priest fans to run a gamut of emotions over the course of multiple listens. Bewilderment is the first impression, as the mind tries to comprehend the synthesized guitar sound and the plodding, repetitive material. Anger then takes over, curses flying out of the mouth at Tipton and Downing for wasting four years in the creation of this atrocity.(Are the guitarists deaf to the activities of their former singer who has returned to metal glory over the past year with a brilliant studio release and storming live disc?).
Second guessing then kicks in as you begin rationalizing that there are three good tracks and that Ripper puts in a strong vocal performance. However, disappointment quickly rectifies this lack of clarity when you realize that two of these tracks are dirges/ballads ("Close To You" and "Lost and Found"), leaving only one quality uptempo stormer ("Bloodsuckers"). Considering that there are 13 tracks totaling over 70 minutes (!), this is clearly unacceptable.
The final emotion (to date) is one of despair. It is now clear that the writing skills of Tipton and Downing have eroded with age, leaving Judas Priest a hallow visage of its former glorious self. Truly a sad day in metal.
Updated analysis: Some 18 years later, Demolition remains one of the low marks of Priests recorded legacy (remember, Nostrodamus was still to come!). So I stand by my original review, and in fact drop it down a notch further in the rating department. That said, I'm glad to admit that my assessment of the band's writing skills having been dried up was proven wrong with 2018's Firepower return-to-form. (3)