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Judas Priest - "Priest...Live!, 1987 (re-release)"
CBS Records 2002

"Priest ... Live!" crackles from unbelievable delirium and charging atmosphere. This is surely one of best live albums from golden eighties. Just listen to the crowd's response! They would do anything for Rob Halford. Amazing magnetic attraction and cohere on stage chemistry of metal gods standing in front of you is hypnotizing. Sonic responses, almost frantic shouts deriving from everywhere, and when this choir collides into one and begin to call for the priest: "Priest, Priest, Priest..." a pure magic is born. Everything was possible on stage in mid-eighties, at least if Judas Priest were marching the stage. After controversial masterpiece "Turbo" (1986) they decided to issue a second full length live album, that merely represents a performance of eighties material. This remastered issue is actually doubled. Entire material is divided onto two CD's. First contains less than forty minutes of total playing time and ends with Private Property, second CD opens with Rock You All Around The World and finishes on the same way as regular vinyl version, with one but very important difference. Addition of bonus tracks of course. Judas Priest included three killer tracks that were also live performed on the same tour and these are: Screaming For Vengeance, Rock Hard Ride Free and only song from band's seventies legacy Hell Bent For Leather. Along with bonuses second CD is extended on almost 57 minutes. If you ask what bothers me on this album, than the answer is, that this live album is again, as "Unleashed In The East" (1979), a way too short.

"Priest ... Live!" album detonates convincingly through melodic metal anthems like Breaking The Law, Living After Midnight, Metal Gods, Hellion/Electric Eye, Freewheel Burning, an extended You've Got Another Thing Comin' and grandiose Sentinel. "Priest...Live!" is a living proof of how convincingly strong live act Judas Priest were through eighties. Their fame was slowly fading but on stage they still simply ruled the metal scene. "Priest...Live!" was recorded during American leg of "Fuel For Life" tour during1986. Throughout, the set crackles with exploding energy that only best live acts can provide.

Album opens surprisingly with Out In The Cold which sounds far convincible and metallic than original studio version. With phenomenal sonic roars of the audience, this serves as a background layer that contributes to magical atmosphere of strong charge. Mood is rapidly changing and listener can experience complete different climax when Dave adds his powerful snare smashes in after song's intro. Ultra melodic and one of epic romantic highlights on "Priest...Live!" is followed by striker Heading Out To The Highway, monumental Metal Gods and of course hit smash Breaking The Law. All tracks from "Turbo" album are sounding far aggressive, carrying even greater amount of dynamite and synthesizers are also creating special feel and are very tasty and welcome addition, which can not be said entirely for "Turbo" album. Halford's personality radiates spirit of a man being on his artistic peak. His vocals are especially poisonous in You've Got Another Thing Comin'. Passionate, wild and dangerous Halford kills throughout the record with his sharp as a blade and clean as an eye soaring screams of thrilling powers.

"Priest ... Live!" is a classic live album, with renewed and fully revamped sound of beautiful stark sound contrasts, full of real metal sound terror, with fantastic live atmosphere and conversation between public and the band. With classics merely taken from band's monumental albums "British Steel" (1980), "Screaming For Vengeance" (1982) and "Defenders Of The Faith" (1984), it represents a great chronicle and how this band was shocking live act through eighties. You can feel all strong vibes of love and devotion to the music. The vibes they were summoning from their strong belief in phenomenon called heavy metal. Don't let this album pass you by!

Author:   Aleš

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