In 2008, I have been very anxious for four bands to release their new albums, Whitesnake, AC/DC, Judas Priest and Motley Crue.
Out of the four, I was mostly concerned with the new Judas Priest disc, Nostradamus, as it is a concept album. That style of album rarely turns out well for most hard rock and metal acts.
With this being a two disc set, I wanted to take some extra time before I put my thoughts down in a review. There is over 90 minutes of music over the two disc set. That is a ton of music to take in at once.
I have no problem with the subject matter of Nostradamus that was used for this disc. I thought if Judas Priest wrote the right songs, this album could be something special.
The first disc starts off strong enough, with the first couple of songs. Prophecy, and its intro, Dawn of Creation are pretty good tracks. I also next two songs, Awakening and Revelations. Revelations is full of those trademark guitar riffs that Judas Priest is known for.
Things start to get a little theatrical with the songs The Four Horseman, and War. It picks up the pace again somewhat with Pestilence and Plague. The song doom laden song, Death sounds more Black Sabbath like, than it does Judas Priest. This lengthy metal track has some killer guitar work, but you have to struggle through parts of the song to get to it.
Disc 1 continues to drag on, and I must admit, I had a really hard time getting through the latter half of this disc.
The first song on Disc 2 that I enjoyed was the mid-tempo track Alone. This song is a little long, but pretty good. The rest of material on this disc I felt was very average until I heard the title track, Nostradamus. This song could have easily been on Painkiller. Sadly, their are not enough songs like this, in this two disc set.
If you are looking for another British Steel, or Painkiller album, Nostradamus is not it. If you have an open mind, you may find some songs to enjoy. If you are looking for instant, memorable hits, you will not find those on Nostradamus. This isn’t Judas Priest’s best work by any means. This album has the potential to grow on you, if you give it the proper chance. Nostradamus isn’t a complete disappointment, but I hoped for more from Judas Priest.
You can listen to the song Nostradamus, and download it for free, from the Judas Priest myspace page.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Dawn Of Creation
5. The Four Horseman
7. Sands Of Time
8. Pestilence and Plague
12. Lost Love
4. Shadows In The Flame
7. New Beginnings
8. Calm Before The Storm
10. Future of Mankind
Judas Priest is:
Rob Halford – Vocals
K.K. Downing – Guitars
Glenn Tipton – Guitars
Ian Hill – Bass
Scott Travis – Drums
MetalManiaOnline, put up a clip of the new Judas Priest single, Nostradamus. Check it out below!
Judas Priest will be releasing their sprawling double disc concept album, Nostradamus via Columbia Records on Monday, June 16th in the UK/Europe, and a day later in the US on Epic Records.
Long in the works, Nostradamus takes epic storytelling to a whole new level, as it recounts the life of this mysterious, world-known 16th Century French prophet. Some of the events that Nostradamus experts have interpreted as his predictions include the great fire of London in 1666, the rise of Adolf Hitler, and most recently, 9-11, among countless other renowned events.
“As in any concept piece, the lifeline needs to be of a solid source, taking the music over many levels of interest and perception,” points out singer Rob Halford. “Nostradamus” contains new frontiers explored and defined. The sense of adventure and the journey we undertook bringing the man”s life alive with metal was a real labour of love.”
As with all new Priest releases, the group – singer Rob Halford, guitarists Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing, bassist Ian Hill, and drummer Scott Travis – will embark on a mammoth worldwide tour in support of “Nostradamus.” Priest will be performing at the 2008 Download Festival – on a bill also featuring Kiss – which will serve as a “homecoming” of sorts for the group, as they performed at the first-ever “Monsters of Rock Festival” at Donington Park in 1980.
Since 1974, Judas Priest has been one of heavy metal”s most successful bands, issuing such all-time classic albums as 1980″s British Steel, 1982″s Screaming for Vengeance, and 1990″s Painkiller, and such arena-rocking anthems as ‘Breaking The Law’, ‘Living After Midnight,” and ‘You”ve Got Another Thing Comin”. However, Priest”s influence goes far beyond their music – they were the first metal band to embrace the “leather biker look,” a fashion that has since become synonymous with the musical genre. Additionally, Halford”s powerful four-and-a-half octave vocal range and the twin guitar harmonies of Downing and Tipton have been “studied” by countless metal bands in Priest”s wake.
“The Nostradamus album – above all others – is perhaps the one I’m most proud of,” says Tipton. “Whilst in essence and character still very much Judas Priest, it has afforded the opportunity to explore areas of classical and operatic dimensions that the band normally wouldn’t. As a guitarist and writer it has inspired me to greater heights and opened new doors to intrigue and passion. From start to finish, it will take you through a magical experience filled with light, shade, drama, melody and emotion that reflects this unique man and his life.”
“For me, Nostradamus has been a musical journey without comparison,” adds Downing. “The intrigue and mystery that surrounds this revered man has expanded my perception of heavy metal to the highest plateau and enabled me to reach the outer limits of my imagination and transport unique feelings and emotions to the instrument that allows me to express myself.”
In addition to the regular jewel case double CD version of the album, collectors will undoubtedly be interested in hunting down a copy of a Deluxe Double CD housed in a 48 page hardbound book package. But that”‘s not all – a Super Deluxe Box-set version will also be available with triple vinyl, the double CD, an expanded booklet and a poster.
Most bands of this high stature would be happy to play it safe. But not Judas Priest, who continue to take chances and break new ground. No other rock band could have pulled off such a grand statement, and Judas Priest have raised the bar once more with “Nostradamus.”
As to why they chose to make a concept album about Nostradamus, Tipton explains: “We didn’t – he chose us. We feel it was meant to be!”
To get a taste of what awaits for you within Nostradamus, go to Livenation.com/judaspriest on Monday, April 21st to download exclusive free MP3 of the album”s title track, as well as view the world premiere of the album cover art.
“Nostradamus” Track Listing:
01. Dawn of Creation
05. The Four Horsemen
07. Sands of Time
08. Pestilence And Plague
12. Lost Love
17. Shadows In the Flame
20. New Beginnings
21. Calm Before the Storm
23. Future Of Mankind
The following report is courtesy of Greg Prato from Billboard.com:
Over two years in the making, Judas Priest will finally unveil its 16th studio album, Nostradamus, June 17 via Epic in North America and a day earlier internationally.
A double-disc set that tells the story of the 16th century prophet, Michel de Nostredame (whose name is often ‘Latinized’ as Nostradamus), the release is Priest’s first-ever concept album, and was recorded throughout 2006 and 2007 at Old Smithy Studio in the UK.
“Making Nostradamus was a new experience for us in Judas Priest, insomuch as this was going to be a conceptual writing and recording event,” Priest singer Rob Halford tells Billboard.com. “His life is well-documented, so for us it was all about taking the significant episodes he went through, and then with the right emotion, create music and lyrics that would convey them.”
On the album, Halford, guitarists K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton, bassist Ian Hill, and drummer Scott Travis spread their stylistic wings, experimenting with symphonic orchestration and choirs.
Three configurations of Nostradamus will be issued. The most common will be a regular jewel-cased double CD, but there will also be a “CD deluxe hardbound version,” which features a 48-page booklet, while a “super deluxe version” will include three vinyl records (in addition to the CD deluxe packaging, plus a poster).
While there have been some European dates announced in support of Nostradamus (the chief one being a performance as part of this year’s Download Festival in England, which also features KISS and MOTÖRHEAD, among others), there will soon be an announcement about Priest’s plans for a U.S. tour.
In the meantime, Halford dropped a hint as to what’s in store for the group’s later headline dates. “As we recorded and listened to the music, and much like a lot of Priest songs, you cannot help but see images in your mind. We constantly thought about special effects and visual elements that will connect musically that we want to use onstage when we will perform all of ‘Nostradamus’ live,” he says. “Again, like every song we compose, the transition from studio to concert is one we think about and make sure we can deliver the goods.”
Here is the track list for Nostradamus:
Dawn Of Creation – “Prophecy”
Awakening – “Revelations”
The Four Horsemen – “War”
Sands Of Time – “Pestilence And Plague”
Peace – “Conquest”
Solitude – “Exiled”
Shadows In The Flame – “Visions”
Hope – “New Beginnings”
Calm Before The Storm – “Nostradamus”
“Future Of Mankind”
JUDAS PRIEST’s long-awaited concept album, Nostradamus, will be released in Europe on June 13th as a regular CD and Deluxe Edition CD via Sony/BMG. Guitarist K.K. Downing told BW&BK recently that the album – based on the life and predictions of 16th-century French prophet Nostradamus – will contain “18 songs clocking in at over an hour and a half.”
In a separate interview with BW&BK, frontman Rob Halford added: “We’re treating this like it’s the holy grail of heavy metal. We’re so protective about it – which you have to be – because I think that one of the intriguing things about creating anything – whether it be writing a book or making a move – the less you say about something, the more people want to know about it. And we don’t need to hype it up, it’s internal. The metal fans around the world have great expectations for this record. They know we’re not going to drop the ball. They know we’re going to give everybody something that’s fantastic and top quality. And that’s what it should be after 35 years.”
Courtesy of Bravewords.com