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(Album Review) JUDAS PRIEST - Demolition (2001)

Originally written in 2001

Atlantic Records

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 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 lead singer who has returned to metal glory over the past year with a brilliant studio release and a 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 ballads/dirges ("Close To You" and "Lost and Found" respectively), leaving only one quality up-tempo stormer ("Bloodsuckers"). Considering that there are 13 tracks totalling 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 hollow visage of its former self. Truly a sad day in metal.


Update: Do I stand by this review some 20 years later? Damn right ... other than I'd bring down the score a notch. Can't bring it down too low though, since we need to leave room for 2008's Nastradamus to go under this bar! (3)


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