Judas Priest – A Touch Of Evil Live (2009, Sony/Epic)
- Judas Rising
- Between The Hammer And The Anvil
- Riding On The Wind
- Beyond The Realms Of Death
- Dissident Aggressor
- A Touch Of Evil
- Eat Me Alive
Rob Halford – Vocals
Glenn Tipton – Guitars
KK Downing – Guitars
Ian Hill – Bass
Scott Travis – Drums
Producers: Tom Allom & Judas Priest
Total Time = 59:58
Hot on the heels of Judas Priest’s latest tour to promote the 30 year anniversary of BRITISH STEEL (1980), the band has delivered another live album titled A TOUCH OF EVIL LIVE. This new live record marks the band’s fifth live album and the first with Rob Halford since their reunion in 2004…..it’s also the first live album with Halford since 1987’s PRIEST…LIVE. Hard to believe that it’s been 22 years since the band has released a live album with the classic lineup!
I’ve seen Judas Priest in concert four times since 2005 and each time I’ve witnessed a great Heavy Metal concert. What has really made the shows special for me is that the band has sprinkled in new songs from both ANGEL OF RETRIBUTION (2005) and NOSTRADAMUS (2008) with a bunch of classic album tracks to go along with the usual hits. Don’t get me wrong, I always enjoy hearing ‘You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’ and ‘Living After Midnight’ but there’s something special about a Judas Priest concert when they dig deep for the diehards in attendance and perform songs like ‘Dissident Aggressor’ and ‘Beyond The Realms Of Death’.
Six of the eleven songs on this album come from the last three studio albums with Halford: two come from ANGEL OF RETRIBUTION (‘Judas Rising’ & ‘Hellrider’), two come from NOSTRADAMUS (‘Death’ & ‘Prophecy’) and three come from 1990’s PAINKILLER (‘Between The Hammer & The Anvil’, ‘A Touch Of Evil’ & ‘Painkiller’). I really enjoyed the last two Priest records so the newer songs have come off well in concert and both PAINKILLER songs have been live staples since 1990, even during the Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens era. That leaves room for four album tracks. When I saw the band in 2005, the arena went completely crazy when the driving ‘Riding On The Wind’ was played so it was good to have it on here. ‘Dissident Aggressor’ has always been one of my favorites from SIN AFTER SIN (1977) and ‘Beyond The Realms Of Death’ is a classic track from the excellent STAINED CLASS (1978). The best track for me is ‘Eat Me Alive’ because it comes from my favorite Priest record DEFENDERS OF THE FAITH (1984). When I saw the band play live at Mohegan Sun last summer, I almost lost my mind when the band pulled this out four songs in.
A TOUCH OF EVIL LIVE is another good live album from Judas Priest. What makes the album is the tracklisting, outside of ‘Painkiller’ and ‘A Touch Of Evil’ the rest of the setlist is a diehard’s dream. There are enough old school album tracks mixed with the newer songs to give a bit more variety than yoour standard live record full of hits. This record is more of a souveneir for me, I like having a piece of the last two tours that I saw on CD and I’m hoping that the band releases a live album of the current BRITISH STEEL anniversary tour. My only complaint with the album is that there are gaps between the songs and that disrupts the album’s flow. That shows that these songs were pieced from different tours and shows and sequenced accordingly. I would rather hear a continuous live show for a better feel of what it was like to be there but I’ll take what I can get.
Like I mentioned, the tracklisting is great of you like the new studio records and some of the older album cuts. For me, the best song is ‘Eat Me Alive’ with ‘Dissident Aggressor’ coming in a close second. Of the newer songs, I think ‘Prophecy’ and ‘Judas Rising’ come off the best.