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Judas Priest - "Demolition"
SPV 2001

"Demolition" is one of the most controversial albums that were released back in 2001. It is quite simple to answer why. Final results of a new album were different from all expectations. But this is problem only for all those who were again expecting another "Painkiller" (1990) or "Defenders Of The Faith" (1984). Along with "Turbo" (1986), "Demolition" represents another album in band's history that went through largest amount of style and sound experiments. So "Demoltion" is quite a different and new story. This time Judas Priest are combining their seventies and eighties legacy with modern almost "Mansonic" and even futuristic sounds. If you are familiar with Tipton's solo album "Baptism Of Fire", than generally speaking you know what I mean. Glenn produced "Demolition", too. And "Demolition" is new excellent album, challenging in all senses starting from point that it sounds so fresh, by it's caught diverse moods, that changes so unpredictably. This results of course in fact that "Demolition" is another unique and therefore highly provoking album, made by a band. "Demolition" proves that Priest don't give a shit about copying themselves, they are digging further and combining their metal basics with new fresh creative ideas. So this band can never get old. They follow their perpetual change and "Demolition" is yet another movie, that proves Judas Priest are doing again something really cool.

Now if we compare "Jugulator" (1997) and "Demolition", than it can be concluded that "Demolition" is less extreme in terms of providing real aggressive sound terror of it's thrashy brutalized predecessor, but on the other hand it offers again a lot of melody. Sophistication comes back to town.

What was obvious on "Jugulator" became on "Demolition" even more obvious. Solos and double twin harmonies are no longer of great importance in band's new musical shape. Forget about many divisions of lead breaks between both guitars, while only expressive moment that caught twin harmonies lies in cool melodic ballad Lost And Found, that calls for the seventies Priest most intense. By it's style yes, but not by it's modern sound of huge depths.

Album opens with Machine Man. What shocks immediately is it's production. Well opening is classic Priest with drum attack of Painkiller or Sinner types, but than what happens is interesting. Drum's double footwork which can be clearly detected in opening is accompanied with guitar shredding and gets somehow lost in the sound. On the other hand snare drum comes into center and due to fact that the rhythm drive doesn't change, it felt out actually very boring, also because of it's intentionally flattened sound in terms of sound production. This can be disturbing moment for many of you on this song. But what Priest tried to draw here is right atmosphere. Building right atmosphere and sound contrast is priority for modern Priest. Guitar riffing of real melting steel sound driven through sharp compressors, Ripper's extraordinary singing and aforementioned snare drive makes those contrasts and I must not forget a lot of space, that has been left for Ian's bass guitar with fantastic groovy beat and special sound depth throughout entire record, which steps into spot light especially inside mid-tempo sections.

Songs that were composed together by K.K. and Glenn include most elements of classic Judas Priest sound. In terms that they are in dominion here. Those songs are One On One, Hell Is Home, Close To You, Bloodsuckers and Lost And Found. Nevertheless that they are based on classic riffs, these songs contains new aged ornaments, that won't suit to all Halford era fans. But as I already said, this is their problem, which only makes them blind and narrows their minds. For all the others who don't give a shit about what Priest where, this album will surely be a kind of extra special new sound and style discovery, something quite unique and very exciting. All those futuristic new aged twisted sound ornaments are present throughout all the record. And addition is quite versatile. Priests are making huge massive atmosphere, unique for "Demolition". There are some very nice "two faced" songs like In Between and Metal Messiah, with tasty conversation between modern new aged musical tongue and Judas Priest usual basics. Also other songs where groovier face dominates in style and sound are Jekyll And Hyde, Devil Digger, Subterfuge and Cyberface. All songs holds to band's classic legacy, but fully breathes in modernized new sound and style dressings. Atmosphere is huge here and album's dynamics and caught moods fluctuate constantly. Also track list is fantastically mixed and all those contrasts therefore even starker. For example Feed On Me with classic riff is stacked inside sandwich of groovier In Between and Subterfuge with now and then nearly raping vocal line sequences.

"Ripper" offers even more singing in comparison with "Jugulator". I mean versatile singing. He does not force by all means his brutality and extreme screams. He is adopting to structures of songs and takes a great care for building that very special climax on "Demolition". Still obscured, yet very colorful. Poetry is fantastically colliding with music and "Ripper" is exactly the right person to sing it. He brings to life all those ideas via his expressive soulful approach. He screams (in a Halford way if you like) only where it is necessary. For example in angry chorus of Bloodsuckers or his giant fills during Hell Is Home. He uses more melody in chorus of Metal Messiah or ballads Close To You and Lost And Found. What offers "Ripper" is he, himself. He got absolute freedom in singing, and he used this opportunity very well. So please no more pathetic wishes over Halford. "Demolition" is purely Ripper's record!

Eh, a little warning! You can purchase "Demolition" in black digipack European version with two bonus tracks, guitar pick and logo sticker. Bonuses are fantastic versions of Rapid Fire and Green Manalishi (With The Two Pronged Crown). Heavily distorted Judas Priest sound basic is not disturbed with addition of extra new age twisted sounds. Green Manalishi was done in slower beat when comparing to band's officially issued versions of this song. Enjoy in Ripper's amazing shouting abilities. He is truly a top league metal singer!

"Demolition" is a record full of fantastic sound contrasts and special caught climax. As I said, Judas Priest combined their classical attributes with groovier modern designs. And result is fresh sounding new record. It is another band's face which follows tradition of exploring a new musical horizons in heavy metal rock. "Demolition" is prove that Judas Priest are again on a right path. Fantastic record in all senses, with huge palette of different sounds and moods that provides maximum joy for listener. Priest achieved their goal. With new album they shocked to thrill the musical masses again.

Author:   Aleš

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