Metal Is Records / Sanctuary 2002
Here is new Halford at last. "Crucible" is a great deviation from what Rob offered us with "Resurrection". What makes "Crucible" so different? Vocals in the first line. Those aren't Rob's standard wellknown trademark. "Judas Priest" or "Resurrection" screamed vocal line that is put in front can be heard only in "One Will" and "Betrayal". Other "priest" sounded vocals are mainly used for hidding the background ("Handing Out Bullets" for example). He's offering us (again) the old adventure as he did with experiments in Two or during Fight projects.
Record has a great production which was done by Roy Z. It contains a real live, unpolished and full sound. Dirty, modern and fresh sound. But what can't impress is again a lot of experiments that were made throughout entire record. This music doesn't flow through ears and veins anymore, as "Resurrection" does. Half tuned riffing with low sounded Rob's singing in front makes "Crucible" very hard for listening. Sometimes riffing is even stopped by unfortunate bridges in parts where band developes its powerfull drive, and this takes away all dinamycs of the songs.
Well, I understand that everyone has his own freedom in doing what he wants, but Rob just can't convince me. With Fight he left Judas Priest saying that heavy metal is dead and he began to mix his own musical perception with thosedays trends. He blew it again with his next project called Two a few years later (in thosedays it was industrial meets metal Rob Halford). And when we were expecting for him to retire, he stroke back with a real jewel called "Resurrection", to show what real heavy metal should sound like. But this new adventure with "Crucible" misses this line. He simply tried to do a "cross-over". So he added all kinds of nowdays metal trends to pure "resurrection" style.
He blew it for the third time. And so he tries to target on the young crowd which doesn't mind about "Judas Priest era Rob" much and simply follows new things on the market. So everybody who are not looking for Rob singing in Judas Priest frames can be positively surprised with new Halford. But everyone who knows well what real Rob's singing sounds like, keep away from "Crucible".
There are too many new young bands that are authenthic and are making new things, which are called trends (or popular music) much better. So Halford is making another copy by simply loosing himself in those trends. Once again I must point out that I'm not sure if Rob followed his heart with "Crucible".
On a strictly limited edition we can find two bonus tracks. "She" is a ballad that is bacgrounded with lazy groovie beat, and singing is once again untipical for Rob as the entire structure of the song. The other bonus piece is called "Fugitive" and is presenting another strange adventure of Rob Halford. So I'm pushed in front of the same old retorical question: "Quo Vadis Mister Halford?"