Judas Priest
'98 Live Meltdown


1.5
very poor

Review

by Matthijs van der Lee USER (219 Reviews)
August 1st, 2009 | 21 replies | 6,738 views


Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Owens-era Priest not only fails in the studio, but also in their first, too hastily brought out live recording.

4 of 4 thought this review was well written

Following the release of their first studio recording with a different vocalist, Jugulator, Judas Priest already issued a live recording with Owens. A surprising move, considering how little material the new line-up had created. ’98 Live Meltdown was even a double live album, like its live predecessor Priest…Live!, and contained mostly material Priest recorded with Rob Halford, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. In contrast, however, it contains an entire concert instead of different live cuts, for the first time in Priest’s live albums history. Needless to say, its reception was lukewarm, like Priest’s first studio effort with Owens.

’98 Live Meltdown’s Judas Priest was:
- Timothy S. Owens ~ Vocals
- Kenneth Downing Jr. ~ Lead Guitar
- Glenn Raymond Tipton ~ Lead Guitar
- Ian Frank Hill ~ Bass Guitar
- Scott Travis ~ Drums

That reception, however is again very justified. Priest’s 3rd live album is truly a very poor output, and interesting or entertaining features are hard to find. The track list isn’t that bad. 24 songs, of which 5 Jugulator songs are featured. Surprisingly though, the two best songs on that album, Cathedral Spires and the title track, are not present. As for the classic material, Priest can’t really go wrong there, having produced tons of it from Sad Wings of Destiny up to Painkiller. Unlike Priest…Live!, material spanning their almost their entire career is featured, with cuts from the 70’s such as Victim of Changes, The Ripper, Beyond the Realms of Death and The Green Malanishi. Their famous 80’s albums British Steel and Screaming for Vengeance, along with Painkiller, are most prominently featured.

This means, that on paper, Judas Priest will put out an excellent live show. Unfortunately, the album is plagued by two very major problems. The first and obvious one is Owens. While, as he showed in Jugulator, he is a very solid vocalist, even having a range comparable to Halford’s, he lacks the distinctive voice and charisma that his predecessor had, which means he is having a very hard time pulling off the classic Priest material in a convincing way. His work on the Jugulator tunes is fine, of course, but the songs featured here weren’t very inspired to begin with. Again, it’s not his fault, but these are not really the vocals we would like to hear.

An even bigger flaw, however, is the rest of the band. Not only have they grown older since Priest’s inception in 1973, but with the loss of their key figure, the spark from their live shows has disappeared just as well. The playing of the boys sounds forced and dull, as if the energy has been sucked away from the band. Rather than melting the place down themselves as the title implies, they seem to have experienced a meltdown themselves, and they don’t sound like they quite feel like playing concerts anymore. That’s really how bad it is. I feel sorry for Owens putting in so much energy, for his band mates do the exact opposite.

That is what ’98 Live Meltdown simply is. A half-assed live record with a band playing far worse than they are capable of, and a singer that really tries but cannot recapture the glory of the old days. Releasing this so soon after Jugulator is about the worst move the band could have made. Maybe, with more playing experience together the new Priest could have made a better live recording, but as for this, I advise everyone to stay the hell away from it.



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user ratings (36)
Chart.
3
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Nagrarok
August 1st 2009



8169 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

They shouldn't have one live album per studio album with Owens. It's ridiculous.

rasputin
August 1st 2009



14520 Comments


oh man

Douchebag
August 1st 2009



3624 Comments


I never bothered with this, and to be honest I have never really seen it anywhere. I would be interested to watch a DVD with owens but to be honest besides a couple of the songs on demolition, owens era priest does nothing for me.

once again, good revew pos.

FadeToBlack
August 1st 2009



10913 Comments


’98 Live Meltdown’s Judas Priest was:
- Timothy S. Owens ~ Vocals
- Kenneth Downing Jr. ~ Lead Guitar
- Glenn Raymond Tipton ~ Lead Guitar
- Ian Frank Hill ~ Bass Guitar
- Scott Travis ~ Drums

Not sure if you meant this or not. Nice review


ReturnToRock
August 1st 2009



3448 Comments


saw this once at a really low price, like a double CD for the price of a regular one. my mum wondered about getting it for me, but the guy at the store said it was so weak, it wasn't worth it, even at that price. apparently it's true.

Nagrarok
August 1st 2009



8169 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

@FadeToBlack: Yes, they both play lead guitar, only they switch. Maybe I should change it to: Lead & Rhythm Guitar.

shindip
August 1st 2009



3536 Comments


For such a JP fan, you sure dish out the low ratings... great review though,

Xenorazr
August 1st 2009



348 Comments


@shindip: You aren't a true fan until you acknowledge the low points lol.

shindip
August 1st 2009



3536 Comments


Well JP must have a pretty limited part of their discography worth downloading. Just look at the ratings Nagarok has given many of their albums.

OllieS
August 1st 2009



2029 Comments


I'd say Priest albums worth hearing are Sad Wings, Stain Class, Screaming For Vengeance, Defenders Of The Faith and Painkiller. 5 classic traditional Metal albums.

Love these reviews Steve.

Nagrarok
August 1st 2009



8169 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

@shindip: I am not even a huge Priest fan, you misunderstand. I just wanted to review a very large discography of a band that is easy to analyze musically, and that turned out to be JP. Sad Wings is one of my fav albums of all time though.

@OllieS: Who's Steve?

OllieS
August 1st 2009



2029 Comments


I thought it was your first name '

NebSnurb
August 1st 2009



535 Comments


What the fuck is with all these JP reviews in the past week?

Nagrarok
August 1st 2009



8169 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

@OllieS: No, that was just a joke. I called myself after Iron Maiden's genius bassist for a while. And as you can see on top of this review, that first initial is not an S.

@NebSnurb: I see some people still don't know it yet. I'm reviewing Priest's entire discography.

quaazi
August 1st 2009



200 Comments


I'd really like to get my hands on this to see Ripper sing. I managed to hear Beyond somewhere and he was great.

XulOnerom
August 1st 2009



1818 Comments


Beyond The Realms Of Death is their best song

Did anybody see the documentary of the two retarded kids that blew their faces off after getting drunk and listening to Judas Priest (one of them survived) and their mothers sued the band??

Xenorazr
August 1st 2009



348 Comments


@XulOnerom: Yeah, I saw that doc a couple months ago, really absurd but the documentary itself was nicely done if I say so myself.

Nagrarok
August 1st 2009



8169 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Didn't see the documentary, but the reason they got sued was ridiculous.

Nagrarok
August 2nd 2009



8169 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I'm doing the discography, just because I wanted to very ambitiously review a large discography. Iron Maiden would have been first choice, but well, Mikesn beat me to it a long time ago.

lostforwords
August 3rd 2009



443 Comments


I think that 1,5 is REALLY harsh!I saw them live that year or one year later, not only were they awesome, they also were the most professional live act I ever saw. They were in perfect form, Ripper didn't miss a single note and I believe the CD reflects this.
I think you missed Halford way to much!!
Other than that, and despite our disagreement, I'm gonna pos this again because of the good argumentation!



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