Judas Priest, A Touch of Evil: Live

Judas Priest, A Touch of Evil: Live

Judas Priest’s new live CD, A Touch of Evil:Live, is a nice little payoff for diehard fans. The 11 tracks that make up the release are all songs that have not been previously recorded live, and this is saying something considering that the band has something like 30 live albums in their career. Okay, not really — they only have five, but three of those have come out in the last decade.

All kidding aside, the content is a little uneven. The listing has two songs from 2008’s Nostradamus, an ambitious yet uneven release, and one could argue that the two selected, “Death” and “Prophecy,” where the wrong ones. Those mistakes are quickly offset, though, by renditions of “Beyond the Realms of Death” and “Eat Me Alive.”

One of the supposed highlights is “Painkiller” — the original is a massive Teutonic slab of metal greatness that showed the band incorporating the heavier styles of bands from the early ’90s that were influenced by them. Singer Ron Halford’s voice sounds horrible on this version, however. His attempts of recreating the gravelly vocal style sound woefully inadequate, and if anyone else would have done this, they would be getting mocked.

In the same song and throughout the rest of the album, though, his voice still sounds amazing when he sings. A lesson to all the kids out there: if you take care of your voice, your voice will take care of you. Also noteworthy is the drumming of Scott Travis. It was his debut on the Painkiller album that helped to boost the band’s sound and bombast, so it’s refreshing to see him still having the same effect 15 years later.

While A Touch of Evil: Live is a nice attempt at filling in holes for diehard fans, the set is so specific that it comes off like a cash grab rather than as a sincere release.

(Epic Records -- http://www.epicrecords.com/; Judas Priest -- http://judaspriest.com/)
BUY ME: Amazon

Review by . Review posted Friday, July 24th, 2009. Filed under Features, Reviews.

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