Judas Priest
A Touch Of Evil Live


3.0
good

Review

by Matthijs van der Lee USER (219 Reviews)
August 6th, 2009 | 22 replies | 8,604 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Priest's most recent release is nothing more than a collection of live tracks, but a solid collection nonetheless.

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

The year is 2009. Judas Priest have, since their formation in 1969 (yes, they’ve been around for 40 years now), provided us with various and often influential pieces of heavy metal. The band have given us, up till this release, 16 studio albums, the most recent one being Nostradamus in 2008, and 4 live albums. July 14 saw another addition to the live album list: A Touch of Evil. The album consists of various live performances recorded on Priest’s world tours in both 2006 and 2008, and contains, along with more recent material from Nostradamus, Angel of Retribution and Painkiller, some oldies such as Dissident Aggressor and Beyond the Realms of Death. No tracks heard on this album have ever been released as live performances before.

Judas Priest is:
- Robert John Arthur Halford ~ Vocals
- Kenneth Downing Junior ~ Lead Guitar
- Glenn Raymond Tipton ~ Lead Guitar
- Ian Frank Hill ~ Bass Guitar
- Scott Travis ~ Drums

Priest’s live albums have always been plagued by something that didn’t make them quite as great as we would want them to be. The (in)famous Unleashed in the East had studio vocals, Priest…Live! didn’t have a quite as memorable set list, and suffered from a poor production and lack of intensity. The two Owens-era albums ’98 Live Meltdown and Live in London were, even with a trying vocalist, forced and dull affairs. Would Priest ever be able to get a live album right?

The answer is both yes and no. Yes, for a lot of things have improved since the previous 4. The production is the best yet, with the noise coming through very clear. The performances are honest and intense enough, which makes for Priest’s most ‘live’ sounding album up till now. The featured songs have all never been released as live performances before, so we don’t get another Breaking the Law or Living After Midnight, which is a relief. Halford is back, and he regained his old post well, despite not being able to hit quite all the notes anymore. The rest of the band, revitalized by his return, put down a memorable and heavier than usual performance, as the guitars have been clearly toned down a bit. The album only seems to benefit from it.

No, for there are also a few flaws. The first and unavoidable fact is the aging of the band, and especially Halford, who is sometimes out of breath, especially on the title track. Nevertheless, the boys are playing excellently considering they’re all close to or just beyond 60 (except for Travis, who is quite a bit younger). Unfortunately Priest repeats a mistake made on both Unleashed and Live!: they just grab a bunch of live performances. This creates a feeling that you’re just listening to a collection of tracks with no added value to the entire experience (the same what happens when an album isn’t bound by a similar theme between the tracks). Still, they’re good performances, and there isn’t really anything wrong with them either, but in this aspect Priest makes it seem A Touch of Evil is a money-grabbing attempt (though you could also just say fan-only).

I have also often argued that live tracks must have something that makes them stand out beside their original counterpart. Gladly, Priest succeeds in that in some tracks. Riding on the Wind sounds actually more intense than the Screaming for Vengeance original, in fact, Halford seemingly forgetting about his age there, as he ferociously rages through the song like it’s 1982. The two classic oldies from the 70’s, Dissident Aggressor and Beyond the Realms of Death, benefit from the tuned-down, heavier playing style and sound fantastic (plus, Dissident Aggressor is rid of the useless intro). On the other hand, some performances are inferior to their originals, especially the previously mentioned title track and the two Nostradamus songs, Death and Prophecy. What is lacking in these two is not the band’s performance per se, but the carefully created atmosphere found on Priest’s most recent studio release, in which the symphonic elements, not as neatly created on stage, played a great part.

The rest of what can be found on A Touch of Evil is all solid, albeit not too surprising or amazing. Tracks like Hellrider and Eat Me Alive are almost impossible to do wrong live, and Painkiller makes a rather interesting closing track. Though this is most obviously a fan-only release, there is nothing particularly wrong with it. There is nothing so great about it either. Priest will never manage to create a truly essential live release anymore, and that is a shame.



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user ratings (47)
Chart.
3.7
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Nagrarok
August 6th 2009



7966 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I have done it.

21 Priest albums, the last 13 in 13 days. Complete discography including live albums.

Time for a short break from reviewing. What the hell should I do next?

Inperiour
August 6th 2009



78 Comments


Find a rock and live under it.

JacobsLadder
August 6th 2009



554 Comments


Congrats man that's a lot of bad albums.

Nagrarok
August 6th 2009



7966 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

hehe

OllieS
August 6th 2009



2024 Comments


Awesome man. Your writing has definitely improved over the course of this.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
August 6th 2009



8223 Comments


the last 13 in 13 days.
you maniac! But no, congratulations and nice to see you closed out with a very strong review, good stuff
Time for a short break from reviewing. What the hell should I do next?
If by that you mean what should you DO next, then I suggest you check out some new music, but if by that sentence you meant what reviews you should do next, then just do the ones you think you would do good at.

FadeToBlack
August 6th 2009



10913 Comments


You are a machine. tbqh I had no idea how many bad albums Priest had.

Nagrarok
August 6th 2009



7966 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

@metalstyles: Yeah, I meant reviews. I've got an idea for a conceptual kind of thing, but I'm not getting to it right now. I might cover Deep Purple's most interesting line-up's, meaning Mark II and III.

@FadeToBlack: I was getting tired of all the Priest reviewing, and I didn't allow myself to review anything else in between, of course. That's when I started speeding things up starting with SFV. I'm NOT going to do a 21-album discography again, it's no good for ya. As for the bad albums, that is no coincidence, as better albums are also always better known albums.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
August 6th 2009



8223 Comments


you could write about some crazy stuff which no one has heard of ever before. Something I like to do from time to time (aka pretty much always)and then look how about 3-4 people comment on my reviews.

Nagrarok
August 6th 2009



7966 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Don't think that's gonna work. See, crazy stuff that no one has ever heard of before I usually encounter on Sputnik.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
August 6th 2009



8223 Comments


hahaha ok then.

Douchebag
August 6th 2009



3624 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

You could go do the beatles Discography including ALL solo work done by the members.

Good review, well done, I know I wouldn't be able to get through 21 reviews.

LOL I also like how only 2 people have rated this album!

KILL
August 6th 2009



67191 Comments


i think you should check out death alligator

Digging: Pink Fairies - Never Never Land

Douchebag
August 6th 2009



3624 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I heard their cover of Painkiller and I hated it. sorry.

KILL
August 6th 2009



67191 Comments


his voice is crazy high in that song, check this out its more death like :P

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uehawoxA708

Douchebag
August 6th 2009



3624 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

It's not bad, I just can't stand the vocals.

KILL
August 6th 2009



67191 Comments


too "gruff" eh :P

Douchebag
August 6th 2009



3624 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Yup :P

Nagrarok
August 7th 2009



7966 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

@Alligator: I don't like the Beatles.

And SURPRISE! The other one who rated this is you.

I thought the Painkiller cover was pretty good though.

Douchebag
August 7th 2009



3624 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

haha it was a joke man :P
I know! I uploaded the album too! I hated that cover though, his vocals were awfull.



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