"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Halford - "Resurrection (remastered)" (CD)

Halford - "Resurrection (remastered)" CD cover image

"Resurrection (remastered)" track listing:

1. Resurrection
2. Made In Hell
3. Locked And Loaded
4. Night Fall
5. Silent Screams
6. The One You Love To Hate
7. Cyber World
8. Slow Down
9. Hell's Last Survivor
10. Temptation
11. God Bringer Of Death
12. Fetish
13. Sad Wings
14. Twist
15. Drive
16. Savior

Reviewed by on October 16, 2009

"Two of the greatest voices in metal join forces on 'The One You Love To Hate,' which brings Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson on board for a furious duel. The song is a definite high point on an album full of them."

After his break with Judas Priest in the 1990s, Rob Halford seemed to be drifting away from the classic metal sound he and Priest helped to invent in the 1970s. With his first post-Priest band, Fight, Halford embraced thrashier, more brutal sounds. Then came the industrial tangent, 2wo.

The new millennium brought Halford's "Resurrection," an album whose title couldn't be more appropriate. With this album, Halford returns to the sound of Judas Priest with a vengeance. Nine years later, the album has (finally) seen a remastered version available on CD (the remasters had been available in iTunes since 2006). The album's notable in the Halford/Priest canon for all the historical reasons I listed above, but here's another reason: it kicks ass, especially with four new songs that should've never been left off the first pressing.

The disc's first two songs set the stage nicely, with Halford shrieking his way across the title track, "Resurrection," talking of the "son of Judas" (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) and a resurrection that will "bring me home." Then, it's time for a heavy metal history lesson on "Made In Hell," which features a guitar part more than a little reminiscent of Judas Priest's "Electric Eye."

"Locked And Loaded" resurrects another Priest standby — the song that could be about taking and giving a beating, having sex, or likely all three. Sure, it's one of the weaker songs on the disc, but it's still got that huge chorus that Halford does so well.

If you're looking for an epic track, "Silent Screams" is the one, with a seven-minute length and elegiac guitar work that gives way to a speedy part that will raise the hairs on the back of your neck. This seems as good a point as any to talk about the fact that Halford's lyrics on this disc are among the best he's produced. Usually, there's some moment on a Priest album (and there were plenty of 'em on "Nostradamus") where I cringe because of silly lyrics. This disc doesn't have many of those moments at all.

Two of the greatest voices in metal join forces on "The One You Love To Hate," which brings Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson on board for a furious duel. The song is a definite high point on an album full of them.

There are no worries on the guitar front, with Mike Chlasciak and a pre-Damageplan Pat Lachman (as well as producer Roy Z.) laying down the riffs and solos.

It's a testament to the strength of the band that the songs left off the initial release don't sound out of place, especially since they've been interspersed throughout the album rather than being tacked on at the end. The best of them, "Fetish," is a thrashy masterpiece that makes your skin crawl (in the best possible way), with lyrics that once again reference sadomasochism.

There aren't too many negatives here, save for the occasional moment when Halford's too obvious about the fact that he wanted this to sound like Judas Priest. "Sad Wings" is a bit too direct a quotation from Priest for my liking. Still, that's probably like criticizing Ozzy Osbourne for using the word "paranoid" in some ways.

I'd say even if you bought the original "Resurrection" back in 2000, this would be a worthwhile purchase. It's a must-have for Priest fans and those with a taste for classic metal.

Highs: The heavy metal history lesson "Made In Hell," "Silent Screams" and "Fetish"

Lows: "Sad Wings" and "Locked And Loaded."

Bottom line: An essential slab of metal from arguably the greatest voice in the genre.

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)