Rob Halford, Judas Priest's legendary former vocalist and refugee from a couple of his own solo bands, has finally released a live product of his own. The good news is that it's stronger than anything he's released studio-wise since he left the Priest almost a decade ago. While it's obvious Rob is trying to bury the recent past (no tracks by his last band, Two, appear, and he's returned to a "leather and studs" image), it's a welcome return to true metal, contrived as it may be. His new band are rather faceless, devoid of personality, albeit excellent on their instruments. The lack of personality even extends to having a guy who does a low grunting kind of voice like his old band Fight used to have. Still, the drummer could rival Scott Travis in the double bass department, and he performs the material well.
The songs are culled from the Halford album, the Judas Priest back catologue, and the first Fight album (note: no tracks from the second dissapointing one), with a lot of added surprises.
These surprises include three studio tracks, two of which are tracks written by Judas Priest, but never released (until recently with the Priest remasters)! You also get Rob's duet with Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden, live, and the two bonus tracks from the Japanese version of the Halford album, again performed live. Rob sings his first-ever solo track, "Light Comes Out Of Black" which was originally on the Buffy The Vampire Slayer soundtrack back in 1992. The Priest material is a great mix: old obscure stuff from Sad Wings and Stained Class, as well as more obvious stuff from Hell Bent and Screaming. Rob's voice is in fine form, doing justice to the Priest and Fight material.
The Japanese bonus track is "Blackout". Yes, the old Scorpions tune, and recorded here with a Scorpion: Rudolph Schenker! Halford easily handles Klaus Meine's vocal part. It's a great bonus track, easily worth the extra cash.
They give you lots of great packaging with this live album. Decent liner notes, lots of pictures, plenty to look at while you spend a couple hours listening to this platter of metal perfection. Enjoy.