Judas Priest
Nostradamus


2.0
poor

Review

by Mike Stagno EMERITUS
June 14th, 2008 | 231 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Yawn.

Judas Priest could release just about anything – provided that Rob Halford is the vocalist, of course – and their fans would eat it up. How else can you explain the praise for such uninspired records like Hell Bent For Leather (Killing Machine) or British Steel? Hell, even Angel of Retribution was widely praised as the band's "return to form", despite feeling just as half-assed as the widely criticised Jugulator and Demolition.

Honestly, sometimes I have a hard time understanding how Judas Priest earned the nickname "Metal Gods". You could play the influence card, I suppose, and I can't deny that they are one of the most influential metal bands of all time. But at the same time, their material is more inconsistent then Dave Mustaine's ramblings on Metallica, and for that reason their sixteenth full length album, Nostradamus, somewhat worried me. The British band has had a hard enough time stringing two quality albums together, so how in God's name could they manage to get a double album right?

Don't get me wrong, though. Despite Judas Priest's inconsistencies in the past, I was still looking forward to hearing Nostradamus. Even with a concept seemingly ripped straight from Spinal Tap, a two year wait will kind of do that to you. And I suppose that's what makes Nostradamus all that much more disappointing. The album is one-hundred minutes long, yet the band never really manages to get any momentum going. The closest we get to a driving track ala "All Guns Blazing", "Electric Eye", or "The Sentinel" is the title track, which is the second last song on Nostradamus which essentially nullifies its effectiveness. Every other song (and when I say every song, I mean every song) that isn't a two minute interlude is a mid-paced rocker, save for the disgustingly corny ballad, "Lost Love". If anything, this is what cripples Nostradamus the most. It's twenty minutes shy of lasting two hours, yet there's hardly enough variety to warrant a twenty-five minute record.

With that in mind, listeners should at least take solace in the fact that that Nostradamus isn't another vain attempt at creating a Painkiller or Screaming for Vengeance. In fact, the album doesn't sound like anything the band has done in their career. Judas Priest has cast away both speed metal and hard rock in favour of a more symphonic metal approach; verily, the band has put a much greater emphasis on synths and keyboards, almost to the point where they overpower the guitars. Fortunately, Priest doesn't go about this in the same way they did on Turbo, but the symphonic element isn't much better. Though music fits Nostrodamus' concept – that being the sixteenth century prophet from whom the album takes its name – the band's inexperience in writing these types of songs is painfully obvious; Nostradamus just sounds too epic, too forced, and too overwhelming.

The only aspect of Nostradamus that is on par with past works is Rob Halford's vocal performance. But even then, there isn't really much to say. The album is simply status quo for Halford, and as nice as his falsetto is, it hardly helps the rest of the album from feeling anything other than mediocre. Nostradamus ends up sounding incredibly generic, tiring, and stale. In hindsight I suppose that shouldn't be very surprising considering that when the dust settles, it's been eighteen years since Judas Priest just has released a good album. Maybe it's time to pack it in, guys…or at the very least just stick to doing concerts.



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user ratings (668)
Chart.
2.7
average
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Matthijs van der Lee (3)
    A record almost ruined by its own ambition....

    Chris (3.5)
    'Nostradamus' benefits big-time from shift in perspective....

    Jake Cole (2)
    The metal gods fail to capitalize on their solid comeback by releasing a bloated and clich...

    perkunas (4)
    The album would have been a lot stronger if they had cut it down to one disk but the at...

  • Scott M. Baldwin (1)
    A bag of potato chips that is 80% air, trying to pass itself off as a full meal....

    Ironpriest (4.5)
    The Most Epic Judas Priest Release Yet......


Comments:Add a Comment 
Mikesn
Emeritus
June 14th 2008


3708 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

stream: http://www.vh1.com/artists/az/judas_priest/2284206/album.jhtml

Willie
Moderator
June 14th 2008


17288 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Great review as usual. To be honest, I don't like Judas Priest. The closest thing I've come to enjoying is the song "Painkiller" (although I could possibly like the whole album, just never tried it). Halford's "Two" side project was pretty cool though.

Digging: Samael - Hegemony

Mikesn
Emeritus
June 14th 2008


3708 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Honestly, the more I listen to them, the less I like them. Painkiller is really good though. If you liked the title track, you should like the whole thing. It's one of the better speed metal albums.

SHOOTME
June 14th 2008


2393 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Another great review Mike, I will be avoiding this like R Kelly at a middle school.

Lunarfall
June 14th 2008


3178 Comments


Come on, it wasn't that bad. I'd give this a 3 or 3.5.

But yeah, get Painkiller, it's basically speed metal goodness the entire way through.

SHOOTME
June 14th 2008


2393 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

lol

Epilogue
June 14th 2008


1695 Comments


I will be avoiding this like R Kelly at a middle school.

Some guy on IMDB told me that Judas Priest were The Beatles of rock music.

lolx2
Good review, but I have no doubt in my mind that I shall be listening to this as my father will buy it the day it comes out and blare it.

SHOOTME
June 14th 2008


2393 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

unlucky you.

TheStarclassicTreatment
June 14th 2008


2910 Comments


No suprise, Priest suck period.

SHOOTME
June 14th 2008


2393 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I liked everything about Painkiller except the vocalist, that guy is so head ache inducing.

badbrain
June 15th 2008


7 Comments


Good Review, despite everything i'm a big fan of judas. Unfortunately they doesn't play like the other albums
i'm gonna listen either way
This Message Edited On 06.15.08

Pebster49
June 15th 2008


3003 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

sweet lord the 80's are over with, someone tell JP I think the forgot.

theyneedyou
June 15th 2008


229 Comments


Yeah, Judas Priest are officially done. Or, at least they should be.

Painkiller was the greatest thing ever, and this is just poop.

Altmer
June 15th 2008


5700 Comments


will prolly listen to this eventually and not care

Dayvan Cowboy
June 15th 2008


63 Comments


lolx2

Wizard
June 15th 2008


20114 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Exactly my thoughts on the album when I listened to the stream a week ago Mike. Excellent review. You nailed this right on the head.

SylentEcho
June 15th 2008


1606 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Good review, I dont think I'll be checking this out. Youre right, theyre a little over rated.

SylentEcho
June 15th 2008


1606 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

lulz

jrowa001
June 15th 2008


8752 Comments


damn i love the Priest. i havent listened to this yet but im getting it on tuesday. im a Priest fanboy, plus it comes with a free condert ticket when you buy it at best buy. good review though

SHOOTME
June 16th 2008


2393 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Mike, I hope #200 is damned brilliant. If it isn't you stay in the Lars' cage.



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