Review Summary: Halford is trying to revive his glory days with Halford IV: Made of Metal, but lacks the amazing band he had back then.
Rob Halford needs no introduction. His career with Judas Priest, while it had its ups and downs, was glorious, and earned him and his great voice the title of Metal God. However, there was a period in time (1992-2003) that Halford split up with his band and created three solo projects. These were Fight, Halford and 2wo. His most succesful side-project, Halford, still exists today and Rob has released a new album wih them, following the mixed reception of his previous effort with Judas Priest, Nostradamus
It is obvious right from the beginning of the album, that Rob Halford is trying to recreate his past glory days on Halford IV. He does not always succeed at that. The best example of that not happening is the lead single and last track on the album, The Mower
. He tries so hard to make his voice resemble to what it was during Judas Priest's Painkiller era that it sounds terribly forced and totally ruins the song, which already sounded like a watered down version of Painkiller.
However, Halford IV has a few enjoyable moments to offer. Like, for example, the second single Made of Metal
. This song is almost the inverse of The Mower
, with a more relaxed vibe and a Halford who sounds actually comfortable with his voice having changed over time. His vocal delivery is overall worse than on Nostradamus, but he does a pretty good job here and most of the time he actually manages to pull it off, if you forget what he is actually singing about. Okay, Halford was never really known for his great lyrics, and he sure as hell won't be after people have heard this album. With lines like “He descends from the sky, and he's ready to die”, he may have hit an all time low for himself.
Enough talking about Halford, it's time to talk about the band. They're bad, really. The guitar playing is acceptable, but when you've heard a Judas Priest album, Roy Z's skills will not impress you the least. The same can be said about the other band members, who simply follow Halford's lead, and will do absolutely nothing unpredictable(remember Scott Travis' drumming on Painkiller" Yeah). The same can be said about the production, which makes the album sound like it was recorded on auto pilot. It gives the sound a robotic, soulless feeling.
All in all, Halford IV: Made of Metal is an decent offering from a heavy metal icon on his return. If this band had shown any actual skill, and if the production would have been better, this could have been a great record. For now, it's just an alternative for the Judas Priest fans who really didn't like Nostradamus.
Halford returns to Judas Priest's heavy metal roots.
Halford's singing is still enjoyable.
A few nice riffs.
The band doesn't show much musical skill.
Tracks worth checking out: Made of Metal, Hell Razor, Thunder and Lightning