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iTunes Review

In 2008, after four decades surviving the changing fortunes of heavy metal, Judas Priest are dedicating themselves to their hardest core fans with this elaborate collection. It weighs in at over 2 hours on 23 tracks and includes introductory pieces (“Dawn of Creation”), minor key laments (“Awakening,” “The Four Horsemen”), epic heavy metal riffing from Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing (“Prophecy,” “Revelations,” “Nostradamus,” “Death”) and, of course, lead singer Rob Halford’s gruff pronouncements and blood-curdling screams. Priest’s genuine magic has always been their ability to remain accessible even in their heaviest moments. They flirt with pop conventions but never succumb to them, and Nostradamus is filled with the heavy metal traditions they in part invented. The additional keyboards and strings throw them slightly off track and the over-serious tone and occasionally forced melodrama makes for unintentionally comic moments. But like any good supernatural trip, a certain willful suspension of belief is necessary to enjoy the ride. And with Tipton and Downing guitar soloing in lockstep, Priest hang on for dear life as well.

Customer Reviews

An Amazing Journey with Nostradamus

First off..I'm a Judas Priest fan since 1978 when I first heard Stained Class, now 30 years later I'm still a "Defender of the Faith", Priest have a produced a "Masterpiece"..I know some of you will argue this till the cows come home, but this is the kinda album I have been waiting for. It's alike a journey back to the early 70's with Sad Wings of Destiny, Rocka Rolla, Sin after Sin and so forth. There's no 4 chord "Hits" on this cd, Priest have really worked hard on making "Progressive" music on this album. If you want Painkiller, or British Steel then go put those albums on, because what you have here is a journey of Light and Dark Themes, some Agressive some very melodic and soft. Rob Halford has given you the perfomance of his life on this album, some beautiful compositions on this really make his voice shine. So if your into the more Symphonic, Progressive, Melodic Rock and Metal this will be to your liking. If you into the more Heavy Jugulator & Painkiller type then you'll be dissappointed...again I love Priest and I'm happy they did something different instead of the same old "Formula". Highlights are: Calm before the Storm Nostradamus Sands of Time Death lost love Persecution Exiled

An evolution of the Priest's sound

Saying that Judas Priest are back in 08 with a vengeance may be an exaggeration, but Nostradamus-- at the very least-- proves that this classic band is not about to be a forgotten as a relic of metal past. More than a concept album, the band has created a true rock opera on a scale that challenges the grandiosity of any album before it. But is it any good? The answer to that is subjective. First, you have to accept that Judas Priest is getting old and simply doesn't have enough energy to create another Painkiller. So, if you are a diehard fan of Judas Priest's screeching metal sound, you will probably hate this, because it is much slower. But if you have an open mind, or happened to LOVE "A Touch of Evil", you just might be able to appreciate Nostradamus the way I do. That's because Nostradamus sounds like it took that song, and expanded it enough to become the foundation for the entire album's sound. By listening to "Dawn of Creation" from start to finish, you will get an instrumental preview of the brand new elements that Judas Priest have come to embrace, which include classical intrumentation, orchestra, piano, and electronic beats. Yes, you read that correctly, but don't judge just yet. Where this album really shines is when these elements allow Judas Priest to--I don't want to say "transcend"--but, to effectively "break through" the typical boundaries of metal to create some fantastic music. Instead of straightforward, instant, head-bashing gratification, these songs provide a powerful experience that benefits from your full attention. As examples, songs like "New Beginnings" and "Alone" actually have emotional backbone, while others like "Revelations", and "Conquest", and "Nostradamus" sound more epic. "Visions" is great with minimal production as well. I strongly suggest that you don't listen to the album in order, however. One thing that holds this album back is the way the songs are arranged. While making sense plot-wise, musically... not so much. If you're like me you'll be bored before Act 2 even begins. By playing Nostradamus on random you get a more even mix of rock song and ballad. In conclusion, this is a huge step forward for Judas Priest's sound in general, but it leaves much to desire in the metal department, which is somewhat disappointing considering Halford and co. are the "Gods of Metal" and all.

An achievement!

It is not often that a band can exercise its creativity and break the mold they have created for themselves. Here we see a rock band whose name in Heavy Metal is recorded as one of the greats. Judas Priest are the stuff of legend. Yet, they have a formula. They make records with songs....until now. "Nostradamus" breaks the mold Priest has forged over the years yet still retaining their signature sound. It is an epic two disc adventure collection that seemlessly blends from one track to another all exploring the story of the famous soothsayer. The story is unimportant. The artwork is unimportant. What is important is we have an amazing musical adventure done well and done with art. Sure..some Priest purists will hate this. Sure...some critics will call this contrived or an attempt at legitimacy. In the end, this is about musicians getting together to create music. Judas Priest have given us a lot of great rock over the years and now the are giving us a musical accomplishment. This is a worthy buy on so many levels. If you like good rock played by masters, you cannot go wrong. If you want to hear an exploration of how to take a musical theme to the next level, this is for you. It is not perfect but it is very very good. Do not buy this to hear Rob Halford and his famous falsetto. He sings here and his voice is silky and well suited to the music. His scream sees very little time. This is not the same sound as that 80's sound and that is a good thing!


Formed: 1969 in Birmingham, England

Genre: Metal

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Judas Priest was one of the most influential heavy metal bands of the '70s, spearheading the New Wave of British Heavy Metal late in the decade. Decked out in leather and chains, the band fused the gothic doom of Black Sabbath with the riffs and speed of Led Zeppelin, as well as adding a vicious two-lead guitar attack; in doing so, they set the pace for much popular heavy metal from 1975 until 1985, as well as laying the groundwork for the speed and death metal of the '80s. Formed in Birmingham,...
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