Let me start by saying that I like Judas Priest quite a bit. Along with Iron Maiden , they're one of my favorite heavy metal bands of all time. Their ‘70's and early ‘80's albums contain some of the best metal you can listen to. Yet I wasn't thrilled about the musical direction they took with “Turbo,” “Ram It Down” made me go cold turkey on Priest , and when Rob Halford left the band, so did I.
That being said - I listened to “Revolution,” the new single off their “Angel of Retribution” album with some wariness. Right off, the bat I was treated to some muffled and distorted bass-y chords somewhat reminiscent of Kyuss. Then came the power chords, the drums, the Halford scream, and the guitar riffs all with an anthem cadence eerily similar to a sped up “When the Levee Breaks” by Led Zeppelin . I was intrigued by this intro. Right from the start, Scott Travis' powerful and solid drumming stood out, driving the song forward. Glenn Tipton, K.K. Downing, and Ian Hill are all in form providing the fuel, and Rob Halford is back to send it into over-drive.
The song hearkens back to an older sound for Priest, with it's slower pace and the presence that it has – it's a more deliberate statement. Although the lyrics are quite clichéd, they do proclaim that Priest is back and you better not stand in their way.
Revolution is one of those 800-lb gorilla / show openers that you have to crank your stereo all the way up to 11 to really appreciate. While it may not be one of Judas Priest's best songs ever, I'd be hard pressed to find a better song by them in the last 15 years!
Rob Halford: Vocals
Glen Tipton: Guitar
K.K. Downing: Guitar
Ian Hill: Bass
Scott Travis: Drums