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Judas Priest - 2016 Battle Cry (Live)

ARTIST: Judas Priest
ALBUM: Battle Cry (Live)
LABEL: Sony Music (UK), Epic (USA)
SERIAL: 88985302262
YEAR: 2016


LINEUP: Rob Halford - vocals * Glenn Tipton - guitar * Richie Faulkner - guitar * Ian Hill - bass * Scott Travis - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Battle Cry * 02 Dragonaut * 03 Metal Gods * 04 Devil's Child * 05 Victim Of Changes * 06 Halls Of Valhalla * 07 Redeemer Of Souls * 08 Beyond The Realms Of Death * 09 Jawbreaker * 10 Breaking The Law * 11 Hell Bent For Leather * 12 The Hellion * 13 Electric Eye * 14 You've Got Another Thing Coming * 15 Painkiller



No stranger to the world of redundant live albums are Judas Priest and in another stopgap move they've unveiled a live set from their August 2015 gig at the Wacken Festival. We always hear how the record industry is dying and has no future, but somehow it doesn't stop albums like this being released. The most immediate reaction is to the set list, which contains a handful of tracks from 2014's 'Redeemer of Souls' but is otherwise bloated with the same tired classics you've heard too many times to count. The artwork appears to be an afterthought also, with a crude design that must have taken five minutes to conjure up. It all combines for an underwhelming experience which really makes you think about the necessity for this album, along with all the other similar terrible efforts by veteran acts over the last few years.

The Songs
I truly believe these types of albums deserve to be exposed for the cash grabs they are, only how much money is being made off them is open to question. I'm sure the DVD of this show provides a more aesthetically pleasing experience, but even still who's really excited to see Priest at this stage of their career? The crowd was reputedly 85,000 strong and they're mixed into the set as loud as possible to remind you this is indeed a live show. 'Dragonaut', 'Halls of Valhalla' and 'Redeemer Of Souls' are the token inclusions from the latest album, which reminds me I haven't listened to it since it was released. 'Devils Child' and 'Jawbreaker' can be construed as mild rarities, but they're the only ones. Aside from those it's a procession of songs so worn out it defies logical comprehension. Like the Iron Maiden live debacle of 2012, who is buying this to hear less than essential versions of 'Living After Midnight', 'You've Got Another Thing Coming', 'Hell Bent For Leather', 'Metal Gods' and 'Electric Eye' among others? Halford sounds like he's in a padded cell in a psychiatric ward singing these songs, such is his excitement. It makes sense now why K.K. Downing quit. After the 7000th time playing these tracks he probably was on the verge of insanity. The crowd reacts to each of them like it's the first time they've ever been aired, their fanatical response like that of a brainwashed cult. The worst offender is 'Painkiller' though. Why they still play this is unclear, Halford struggling to reach the high notes in excruciating fashion. It's painful in itself to hear. It's almost on Paul Dianno and Joe Elliot levels.

In Summary
I wonder how many copies this shifted in its first week of sales. 750 worldwide? I can't even imagine the most ardent Priest fanatic parting with money to own this worthless addition to their catalogue. Who has time to listen to this stuff these days anyway? I know I don't, which condemns 'Battle Cry' to the wastelands of metal history forever.

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