Judas Priest
Firepower


4.0
excellent

Review

by BigHans USER (118 Reviews)
March 9th, 2018 | 123 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: If there is a way to go out in style, its on fire. Flamethrowers and axes in hand.

If you like Metal, at some point your lion heart has been set on fire by Priest. Backed by a vocalist with range only surpassed by Freddie Mercury and the choir of Hell itself, and a spiraling, flying V led onslaught of unrivaled riffage, Priest ARE Metal. Repeat. Judas Priest ARE Heavy f*cking Metal. Album covers with skulls being drilled with ferocious intensity, Titanic sawblades astride by robots in full air guitar mode, razorblades pounding the world like a battering ram, Angels toiling in Hell, lyrics about the demons, prowling wolves, rippers, tyrants, and the gentle dawn. If there was ever an entity that defined ANYTHING EVER, its Goddamn Priest and METAL.

It has to be cool to be Rob Halford. For years, he strutted onstage with 1400 horses of Harley between his legs, whip in leather cloaked hand, confidently backed by the roar of a twin guitar act powered by the fumes of Satan’s grin. A different inclination of Priest that was, and there have been many over the years, but Halford has reigned supreme as Heavy Metal’s Deity for over 45 years. At this point, there is nothing Halford or Priest have left to prove. They could easily have joined their rock brethren and frolicked on the golf course while filling their pants over AARP coupons. But no. Not Halford. Not the kings of Heavy Metal. Not Judas Goddamn Priest. In the twilight of their years and all of the loin cloths and Thunder Gods they have inspired, they just decided to spit shine their axes and release their best album in 28 years.

“Firepower” has every quintessential Priest element on display. The first two tracks belong on the genre defining smashing opus “Painkiller,” and might have landed on the albums top half. There’s “No Surrender,” which would fight the beastliest tracks on “Defenders of the Faith” and “Screaming for Vengeance,” and had it been released in the 80s while Halford was still fully funding the S&M retail clothing market, it would have absolutely been a Priest classic, on the hallway with “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” and “Living after Midnight.” “Firepower” is awash in anthemic choruses, gentle bridges, and of course the ever-present twin guitar act, only the production adds a tremendous amount of meat to the riffs. There's "Never the Heroes" and it's Balls to the Wall aping riff that could impregnate a cobra. Not to be outdone, "Rise From the Ruins" follows a gorgeous piano intro to rival "United" as the quintessential cheesy Priest rallying cry anthem, only this time around they get it right. The theme throughout is "Firepower" finds Priest with a thundering groove, and when combined with the stalwart tropes of their past (songs about striking serprents and demons and the beasts of the night and riffs of might and forging through the fire with honor) with cutting precision, we are left with an incredibly impressive output, the sardonic “for their age” barb be damned. This is the sound of a much younger band fueled by the early excess of Rock n Goddamn Roll.

A much sh*ttier band once proclaimed that if they are going to go out, they are going out on a chariot of fire. From a realistic perspective, this might be Priest’s last album, and it's so undeniably impressive that it probably should be. There’s a incredible, gentle song called “Epitaph” on Priest’s greatest album, dropped 42 metal juggernaut fueled years ago. If there is a way to go out in style, its on fire, Flamethrowers and wails and axes in hand. The final track, a gorgeous opus that rivals “Before the Dawn” in sheer beauty and sentimentality, is about the years gone by, and the dreams realized. For a genre defining entity like Priest, there isn’t a more fitting ending. The entity they are at the core, Heavy Metal, has always been powered by a metaphor like fire. Intensity. Burning Passion. Freewheel Burning. See you on tour, Rob. If this time Priest won’t be back, we raise our flamethrowers to you.



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user ratings (391)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (4)
Take it with a grain of salt, but Priest’s eighteenth record is the best thing the band have done ...

PsychicChris (4)
Angel of Retribution remains the best of Judas Priest’s reunion era, but Firepower’s consistent ...

perkunas (4.5)
In short this is the most focused album that Priest has written in a long time, there are no filler ...



Comments:Add a Comment 
BigHans
March 9th 2018


29343 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

This fucking rules

TheNotrap
March 9th 2018


8930 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Indeed, album rocks.

Their best since Painkiller.



Have a firepos Hans.



Digging: Funeral Mist - Hekatomb

Ikarus14
March 9th 2018


1143 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album is dope as fuck. Classic old school Priest as I like it.

InFlamesWeThrash666
March 9th 2018


7994 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Man i fucking love this album...Hope they play Traitors Gate live,that chorus is fucking huge

Digging: Master's Hammer - Ritual

BigHans
March 9th 2018


29343 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

No Surrender belongs on every late 80s/early 90s Karate movie ever

Trophycase
March 9th 2018


719 Comments


Local rock station has been playing Lightning Strike a lot, decent song. Not a huge fan of the genre so I probably won't check this out

BigHans
March 9th 2018


29343 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Album is m/ as fuck

manosg
Staff Reviewer
March 9th 2018


11071 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7 | Sound Off

Yeah this rules. I was kinda worried about its duration but flows really nicely.



Nice write-up as always, Hans.

Digging: Battleroar - Codex Epicus

BigHans
March 9th 2018


29343 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Thanks man, theres only maybe 2-3 weak songs and the rest is straight fire.

InFlamesWeThrash666
March 9th 2018


7994 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Riiiisiiing from ruuuiiins

BigHans
March 9th 2018


29343 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

This should rule live

manosg
Staff Reviewer
March 9th 2018


11071 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7 | Sound Off

For sure. And even the weaker tracks aren't awful. Listened to the album two times in a row this morning and couldn't believe how solid it is.

TheNotrap
March 9th 2018


8930 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Rising From Ruins is easily one of the best songs here.

BigHans
March 9th 2018


29343 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

That's exactly what I thought, I honestly couldn't believe a couple of 66 year old dudes could write this

MO
March 9th 2018


22309 Comments


fucking bighans m/m/m/

you've made me want to check this hard

BigHans
March 9th 2018


29343 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Hell yeah man check it hard

BallsToTheWall
March 9th 2018


48648 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Hard pos.

Digging: Jonti - Tokorats

Advent
March 9th 2018


111 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Solid record, agreed hard

BigHans
March 9th 2018


29343 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

m/ fellas

BallsToTheWall
March 9th 2018


48648 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Party hard.



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