An astonishing show of force
Within the world of metal and hard rock, there exists an unspoken hierarchy. Not everybody can rank every act the same way another would, but there are a select few bands that universally find themselves at the top of the heavy metal food chain so to speak. Judas Priest currently is, and pretty much always has been one of these bands. For almost a half-century, Judas Priest has been a constant fixture in the hard rock and metal scene. Just when the doubters show their presence, the band roars back into the mix screaming for vengeance and silencing those who would have the nerve to call them old, irrelevant or washed up and they have done it again with Firepower. It is just as raw and powerful as many of their iconic works and there is no confusing the fact that they deserve the title of heavy metal royalty that has been bestowed upon them by countless metalheads for generations.
The album begins with the title track “Firepower,” and within the first two seconds, they are rocking at full capacity. Brimming with amazing riffs, Halford’s hauntingly powerful voice and an amazing guitar solo it opens up the door to show that both as a track and a whole album Firepower is an astonishing show of force that is not to be trifled with. The track is the perfect introduction, as its high energy and sinister melodic presence leave nothing to the imagination as the band puts it all out there for the listener to embrace.
The subject matter is all too familiar to listeners that are well versed in the nearly insurmountable Judas Priest catalog. The theme of good versus evil runs very heavily with titles such as “Evil Never Dies” and “Necromancer,” as well as tales of epic battles and warriors in tracks such as “Never the Heroes,” “Rising From Ruins” and “Children of the Sun” among others.
Firepower as a whole is a triumphant release that will undoubtedly be well received by the multi-generational fan base that the band has cultivated and molded over their illustrious career thus far. It is a titan among mortals and its larger than life persona is apparent at every point throughout the album from beginning to end and every point in between. For a band that doesn’t care much for accolades, it can’t go unnoticed that this material is not only appealing to their rough around the edges fan-base, it also has all the components to please a Grammy panel that has historically been nothing short of unforgiving to hard rock and metal acts in the past.