Judas Priest – Battle Cry [Album Review]

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Judas Priest – Battle Cry
2016, Epic Records

Buy the album

1. (Intro) Battle Cry
2. Dragonaut
3. Metal Gods
4. Devil’s Child
5. Victim Of Changes
6. Halls Of Valhalla
7. Redeemer Of Souls
8. Beyond The Realms Of Death
9. Jawbreaker
10. Breaking The Law
11. Hell Bent For Leather
12. The Hellion
13. Electric Eye
14. You’ve Got Another Thing Coming
15. Painkiller

Band:
Rob Halford – Vocals
Glenn Tipton – Guitar
Richie Faulkner – Guitar
Ian Hill – Bass
Scott Travis – Drums

Producer: Tom Allom

Well, it’s been seven years since the last one, so I suppose Judas Priest was due for another live album release. If nothing else, it’s as good of a time as any to show off Richie Faulkner, even if isn’t Richie Faulkner’s first live release with the band. He was previously featured on 2013’s Epitaph, which was only released on DVD & Blu-ray.

And just as this is Richie’s first live album with Judas Priest, that also means it’s the first live album to not feature founding guitarist K.K. Downing. As a fan, yeah, it sucks that Downing isn’t a part of the group anymore but, in my honest opinion, his exit did not hamper the band at all. I think Faulkner joining has energized the band on stage and in the studio. It’s hard to say that K.K. Downing is missed when the band is sounding so well without him.

Most of the tracks are taken from the band’s appearance at the Wacken Open Air Festival in August 2005. If you happen to pick up the video, the three bonus tracks included (“The Rage”, “Screaming for Vengeance” & “Desert Plains”) are taken from a December 2015 show in Poland.

We all know live shows are doctored up, but Rob sounds really good here. There’s a few tracks where he really lets loose. I think he sounds exceptional on “Beyond the Realms of Death” and “Painkiller”. And, yes, the setlist is a pretty good one. Thankfully the band doesn’t tour with the same tired “greatest hits” setlist that so many bands do these days. I love that Judas Priest switches things up for every year. Obviously they have to deliver a few songs like “You Got a Another Thing Coming”, “Breaking the Law” and “Electric Eye” but it’s great to hear “Devil’s Child”, “Painkiller”, “Jawbreaker” and the inclusion of three songs from Redeemer of Souls.  Battle Cry is a worthy live release entry into Priest’s catalog.

Oh, and as is the trend these days, there is a DVD or Blu-ray that accompanies the CD. You can buy the CD/video bundle or buy either format separately. I’ve noticed that it seems like a lot of bands/labels push the DVD or Blu-ray itself more than they do the album or the bundle. Sometimes bands don’t even mention the album on their own official websites or social media pages.

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Posted on April 9, 2016, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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