Posts Tagged ‘Judas Priest’

2012 is over so that means it’s time for my year end awards! It’s been another awesome year for Hard Rock and Heavy Metal with so many releases on CD, DVD, Vinyl and Digital formats, not just new studio albums but also live records, reissues and special edition releases. I have had more albums submitted for review this year from bands, labels and PR agents as digital promos have taken over as the easiest way to get the word out as quickly as possible and I have done my part as a consumer and purchased plenty of new and old albums & DVDs from record stores, Ebay, online vendors and direct from bands and labels. The only problem has been finding the time to do through everything!

With all this music it’s been every hard to keep up so this has been the worst year for posting but I have made a serious push in November and December to listen to as many CDs, and watch as many DVDs, as possible to prepare for my year end lists. I said the same thing at the end of 2010 & 2011 but 2012 was in fact the worst year for posting at Heavy Metal Addiction…..I only managed to post 19 times! I couldn’t even break 20 posts on a blog I started 7 years ago as an extension of my hobby! Pathetic! Obviously sitting in front of a computer writing wasn’t something that interested me again this year.

I did listen to a lot of albums this year but I stayed mainly with albums in my collection even though I have piles on my desk, and in boxes right next it, chock full of CDs and DVDs released in 2011 and 2012. I bought a ton of new releases as they came out and I’ve spent some time listening to them, I just didn’t get around to writing about them. I haven’t completely abandoned this website as I plan to continue it because there’s a lot to write about and I will try and catch up on as many reviews as I can but the reality is that there’s no way to “catch up”. I think it’s best to try and concentrate on 2013 and add in what I can from previous years.

I have been re-listening to as many 2012 albums that I can since November so I can post my year end awards. Usually I break this up into a week’s worth of posts but I decided to take advantage of a couple new WordPress features and do it all as one big article. I’m pairing down my lists a bit to give you the absolute cream of the crop in each category and I’ve also decided to re-define a couple categories. This year the Best DVD category will include DVDs that came with CD releases, because that seems to be the current trend,  and the Worst Album category will get a name change to Most Disappointing Album so I can try and maintain some positive spin…..but if an album makes it into this category, then I thought it sucked! Last is the Miscellaneous Release category, that stays the same but there could be some crossover between this and the Best DVD category with all the multiple CD and DVD or Blu-Ray combo releases coming out. I tried to limit the crossovers but the best package is going to get on both lists.

That’s all I’ve got for changes so I hope you enjoy the 2012 awards, please leave comments and give me your thoughts on what was the best & worst of the past year. I’ve got my sights set on 2013 and I expect and even bigger year in Hard Rock and Heavy Metal as I keep checking out new releases and catching up on things I missed from the last couple of years.

The Top 15 Albums of 2012

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  1. Van Halen – A Different Kind Of Truth
  2. UFO – Seven Deadly
  3. 3 Inches Of Blood – Long Live Heavy Metal
  4. KISS – Monster
  5. Accept – Stalingrad
  6. Nightwish – Imaginaerum
  7. The Darkness – Hot Cakes
  8. Kamelot – Silverthorn
  9. Gojira – L’Enfant Sauvage
  10. Testament – Dark Roots Of Earth
  11. Rush – Clockwork Angels
  12. Lynyrd Skynyrd – Last Of A Dyin’ Breed
  13. Lita Ford – Living Like A Runaway
  14. L.A. Guns – Hollywood Forever
  15. Lamb Of God – Resolution

There were a ton a great albums in 2012 but only one album can earn the top honor of being the best of the year and that is reserved for A Different Kind Of Truth from the “reunited” Van Halen. By reuniting with David Lee Roth a few years ago, the only thing the Van Halen brothers had to do was release a new album with Diamond Dave on lead vocals. Let’s call it like it truly is: this isn’t a TRUE Van Halen reunion because Michael Anthony is out of the band and replaced by Eddie’s son Wolfgang. The good news is that A Different Kind Of Truth is a great album! Forget the fact that Eddie and Alex went through the Van Halen tape vault for ideas because EVERY band does it…..hasn’t the father of Heavy Metal, Tony Iommi, stated often that he has tapes of riffs for miles? Every band looks for ideas and revisits demos and music they created years before, it’s the updating that counts. This album has that unmistakable classic Diamond Dave/Van Halen sound circa the late ’70s and early ’80s and, even though he’s a bit older, Dave does a great job on the mic. The first single, ‘Tattoo’, wasn’t the best song on the album and might have been better suited to a follow-up single but everything after is classic Van Halen. ‘She’s The Woman’ is a re-worked demo from the ’70s that is clearly the best song on the album for me and it definitely fits that 1984 album era well. ‘China Town’, ‘Blood And Fire’, ‘Stay Frosty’, ‘Big River’…..all new Van Halen classics that sit right up against anything in their back catalog. A Different Kind Of Truth is the true follow-up to 1984, unfortunately 28 years after the fact, and it’s my top album of 2012.

Taking a look at the rest of the Top 5…..UFO released Seven Deadly and earned the 2nd spot with another excellent album of bluesy Hard Rock. UFO has done much wrong since they came back in 1995 and I can’t find a weak track on the album. Phil Mogg’s lyrics are modern poetry and there is no slack in the guitar department because Vinnie Moore has more than a few albums under his belt with the band. Hard to pick a favorite track here but ‘The Last Stone Rider’ is my favorite this week! Had Van Halen not released their new record, UFO would easily be #1. The third best goes to 3 Inches of Blood with Long Live Heavy Metal, probably the best pure and traditional Heavy Metal record of the year. Take one listen to the opener ‘Metal Woman’ or the Judas Priest influenced ‘Leather Lord’ and that’s a great example of not only this record but the band’s career. Of all the Metal albums I heard this year, 3 Inches of Blood got the most rotation on my stereo and iPod. My favorite band KISS comes up a bit short of the top spot but still maintains the #4 album with Monster. When it comes to KISS, I’m extremely critical because they are my favorite band and they have barely released anything since new in 15 years. We got Sonic Boom in 2009 and it took the top spot that year and Monster is just as good but I had a harder time getting into it like I did with Sonic Boom. Maybe it was the anticipation of the previous album, or the travelling circus atmosphere that KISS creates with everything they do, but after repeated listens the album is just as good if not better. Anyone worrying about Dave, Eddie and Alex recycling should give Gene Simmons grief too because it’s obvious he does it but his songs are the better ones on the album. Paul Stanley has great moments too but I worried about his vocal issues going in and Gene hasn’t lost a step vocally. a lot of good songs here: ‘Wall Of Sound’, ‘Back To The Stone Age’, ‘Shout Mercy’ and ‘Eat Your Heart Out’…..here’s hoping they give us another one! Rounding out the Top 5 is Accept’s Stalingrad, the second record to feature new vocalist Mark Tornillo (formerly of TT Quick). The last Accept album with Mark debuting on vocals, Blood Of The Nations, was a superb record and Stalingrad is a great follow-up and it might be more powerful. I think Accept shares the same fate as KISS here, the anticipation for the first new album was so high on my part that a second release suffers just a little. Don’t get me wrong, ‘Hung, Drawn and Quartered’, the title track, and ‘Shadow Soldiers’ are awesome tunes but can anyone explain the meaning behind ‘Flash To Bang Time’?

Rounding out the Top 15…..Nightwish’s Imaginaerum was very close to the Top 5 but came up short because they first 5 albums were so good. I expected nothing from The Darkness but I bought Hot Cakes when it came out and I loved it immeadiately, same thing with Silverthorn from Kamelot despite the change at singer. Gojira was a surprise of the year because I’d never bought an album from them before and L’Enfant Sauvage kicked major ass, so did the new Testament album at #10 and the new Lamb of God at #15, giving the more extreme side of Metal a presence. Rush picked up #11 with Clockwork Angels but I expected a great album so their was no surprise there but Lynyrd Skynyrd surprised with their latest album proving that good music always prevails despite the genre, time or legacy. Lita Ford had a great comeback with Living Like A Runaway, a very introspective Hard Rock record, especially after the debacle of Wicked Wonderland and L.A. Guns proved that they still write great songs and that usually the lead singer’s version of the band will always out do the founding guitarist’s version because the singing voice is the most identifiable thing to most fans.

The 5 Most Disappointing Albums of 2012

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  1. Aerosmith – Music From Another Dimension
  2. Steve Harris – British Lion
  3. Geoff Tate – Kings & Thieves
  4. Slash – Apocalyptic Love
  5. Great White – Elation

Usually I call this “the worst albums” of whatever year it is but I wanted to keep a positive spin on this category because who am I to say an album sucks? I have no musical talent, I don’t write songs or play an instrument. I could change it back next year if a bunch of albums do indeed suck but, for 2012, these are the most disappointing records of the year. I heard the first two singles from the new Aerosmith album and I was hooked right away, especially with ‘Lover A Lot’, but the bulk of Music From Another Dimension sounded formulaic and forced. Too many outside writers, too many ballads, too many predictable songs. Do we need another Diane Warren ballad? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it and the ballad is what gave the band ultra-success from the Pump record straight through Nine Lives. I was really looking forward to a reunited Aerosmith and a bunch of rocking songs but there’s too much filler. Take a page from KISS…..lock the band in the studio and do it mostly yourself.

There was a lot of surprise when it was announced Iron Maiden’s founding bass player, Steve harris, was releasing a solo album that he had been working on for a long time. With Maiden’s hectic schedule, who knew? Apparently Steve did and he enlisted musicians from a band he had been producing called British Lions, to create the British Lion record. It’s supposed to be a throwback album to the days of classic Thin Lizzy and UFO that had a big impact on a young Harris but, aside from the hard Rock style, I didn’t hear much of the influences. Let’s call it like it is: anything Steve Harris does outside of Iron Maiden will always be compared to Iron Maiden. There’s a different style to the music on this album compared to Maiden but I expected the same excellent quality from Steve. The songwriting seems too pedestrian, too simplistic……then again, we are used to epic lyrics on Maiden albums. The band can play well but Steve seems pushed back purposely in the mix (probably due to the Hard Rock style) and the singer has no range…..then again, we are spoiled with Bruce Dickinson in Iron Maiden. There’s no helping the comparisons to Iron Maiden but the quality of the material just lacks on this solo album from Steve Harris.

Rounding out the Top 5 here…..Geoff Tate’s new solo album comes on the heels of his split with the Queensryche camp, who are no strangers to this category! In the back of my mind, I knew this wouldn’t be good but I had hope but Kings And Thieves was just plain boring. Same thing with Apocalyptic Love from Slash. Slash is an iconic guitarist and hopes were high for this album with lead singer Miles Kennedy (Alter Bridge) but it was just boring. remember that Izzy Stradlin and Axl Rose were the creative forces in Guns ‘N Roses, not to say Slash didn’t contribute, but anything he does will always come back to Guns…..and even then, Guns only had two albums of classic material with Appetite For Destruction and if you cherry pick off the Use Your Illusion albums. Last album in this category is Elation from Great White, featuring former XYZ singer Terry Ilous on vocals replacing the fired Jack Russell. I’ve read a lot of mixed reviews on this album but, for me personally, it comes down to the voice and Jack Russell’s fits the bluesy Hard Rock of Great White’s music better than Terry Ilous. It’s by no means a bad album and, considering the vocalist change, it a solid effort. I just couldn’t get into it and I expected a bit more after the last two records, Back To The Rhythm and Rising.

The Top 5 DVDs of 2012

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  1. Scorpions – Live In 3D: Get Your Sting & Blackout
  2. Iron Maiden – En Vivo!
  3. Saxon – Heavy Metal Thunder Live: Eagles Over Wacken 2009
  4. Queen – Days Of Our Lives
  5. Ozzy Osbourne – Speak Of The Devil: Live At Irvine Meadows ’82

This year I decided to included DVDs and/or Blu-rays that came with CD releases or box sets because this seems to be the way bands and labels are adding something extra for fans. My favorite DVD of the year is also the first Blu-ray release I ever bought…..Scorpions – Live In 3D: get Your Sting & Blackout. An excellently produced concert film with plenty of extras, this got the top spot because I saw this tour live over the summer and that put Live In 3D over the top. The Scorpions needed that emotional attachment because iron Maiden delivered another excellent DVD in a long line of excellent DVDs with En Vivo! Does Iron Maiden ever do anything wrong went it comes to video releases? Plenty of awesome concert footage from Santiago, Chile and plenty of documentary film as well the only thing I could complain about is to package the DVD or Blu-ray with the double CD live album for a special package (that’s the next category). The new Saxon DVD is solid and part of the Heavy Metal Thunder Live: Eagles Over Wacken 2009 release, the DVD incorporates the band’s best performances from the Wacken Open Air Festival in Germany for 2004, 2007 and 2009…..that’s 31 songs! and some behind the scenes footage and you’ve got a Saxon fan’s dream DVD, only bettered by the super limited edition box set of this release that included separate DVDs of the full concerts. Had I been able to get one of those, Saxon would own the top spot easily. Rounding out the Top 5 is the Queen documentary, Days of Our Lives, finally getting a proper DVD release and the famous often duplicted, VHS only Ozzy Osbourne concert Speak Of The Devil: Live At Irvine Meadows ’82.

The Top 10 Miscellaneous Releases of 2012

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  1. Saxon – Heavy Metal Thunder Live: Eagles Over Wacken 2009
  2. UFO – The Chrysalis Years (1980 – 1986)
  3. Motorhead – The World Is Ours Vol.2: Anyplace Crazy As Anywhere Else
  4. Motorhead – The world Is Ours Vol.1: Everywhere Further Than Everywhere Else
  5. U.D.O. – Celebrator
  6. Judas Priest – Screaming For Vengeance (30th Anniversary Edition)
  7. KISS – Destroyer Resurrected
  8. U.D.O. – Live In Sofia
  9. Dio – The Very Beast Of Dio Vol.2
  10. Quiet Riot – Live At The US Festival ’83

I never like to put these kind of releases into my top albums category because I like to reserve that for albums of new material but there are always other great new releases aside from new studio albums and 2012 was no exception.

The #1 spot goes to the 2CD/DVD release from Saxon – Heavy Metal Thunder Live: Eagles Over Wacken 2009 because that was my favorite release with the DVD of the best of the band’s last 3 appearances at Wacken Open Air and the double audio CD from Glascow on the Call To Arms Tour in 2011. My only regret is not knowing about the preorder for the limited edition that came with extra DVDs and CDs but it was also a couple hundred bucks. The second slot goes to the second volume of the UFO back catalog on Chrysalis Records from 1980 thru 1986. You get 5 CDs that include the 5 post Michael Schenker albums (No Place To Run, The Wild, The Willing And The Innocent, Mechanix, Making Contact, & Misdemeanor) all with bonus tracks, plus a full BBC In Concert from February 1980 and the live tracks from the Headstone compilation from Hammersmith 1983. I was lucky to have the label send me a copy but to get all this at retail for around $50 is a steal! I already have all the UFO albums on Japanese import with bonus tracks but this is another great compilation for a great band.

The #3 and #4 spots belong to Motorhead with The World is Ours Vols 1 & 2. I couldn’t decide which was better so I put the second volume first because it was fresher in the memory. Both sets have 2CD live sets and a live DVD in great packaging just like the Saxon set. Their label UDR is really putting out great stuff! U.D.O. also gets 2 slots in this Top 10 with the Celebrator two disc compilation of rare tracks and the Live In Sofia 2CD/DVD set. I put Live In Sofia at #8 but it’s a solid live package, AFM Records doing what UDR is doing and, for $14 on sale, it was a no brainer. The Celebrator album is really great because it collects all those hard to find Japanese bonus tracks remixed, some previously unreleased songs and a few songs from various tribute albums. I could have done with out the remix treatment and had the originals but I’m sure that was done to get thru legal label red tape. Its a great compilation of 25 songs on two discs with a great full color booklet. I put the Judas Priest Screaming For Vengeance 30th Anniversary Edition in at #6 more for the DVD from the US Festival ’83 than anything else, same with Quiet Riot at #10…..now that makes three bands that have released live DVDs of their US Festival performances (Triumph did it a few years ago). KISS released Destroyer Resurrected and it made #7, basically it was a 36 year celebration release restoring all the original artwork and having producer Bob Ezrin remix the album. It’s a nice novelty to have especially for the original guitar solo on ‘Sweet Pain’ as a bonus track but I will admit that my KISS fanaticism pushed this higher. Last to mention is The Very Beast of Dio Vol. 2 covering the best of the Dio band’s work from the ’90s up until Ronnie’s death, the track here to have is ‘Electra’ the first completed song from what would have been from the Magica II album that the band was working on when Ronnie James Dio passed away.

3 Releases I Missed In 2011

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  1. Royal Hunt – Future Coming From The Past DVD
  2. Benedictum – Dominion
  3. Skeletonwitch – Forever Abomination

Just a quick note on a couple releases I missed out on in 2011…..the Royal Hunt DVD is a formal worldwide release of the Japan only video release of Live 1996 and, even though it’s all over Youtube, it’s a welcome addition to my collection. Benedictum keeps churning out great albums and their third, Dominion, is awesome as is Forever Abomination from Skeltonwitch, a band I finally got around to checking out in 2012.

It’s been a long time since I posted anything here at Heavy Metal Addiction…..a real long time! Sorry to all my loyal readers but I just haven’t had the time or the inspiration to write about anything Hard Rock or Heavy Metal but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been buying my fair share of music! Seeing that we are at the end of the year, I figured it was about time I posted something and why not be a full update of everything I’ve bought since August? Enjoy and please leave some comments…..

(WARNING — This is going to be a long post!)

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August update

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Rainbow – Difficult To Cure (1981/1999 remaster) – $8
Fozzy – Sin & Bones (2012) - $13
Loudness – Eye To Dawn (2012) – $13
In This Moment – Blood (2012) – $10
Jackyl – Best In Show (2012 Best Buy Deluxe Edition) – $10
MSG – The Michael Schenker Story Live (1997/2001 re-release) – $0
Loverboy – Rock N Roll Revival (2012) – $0
Baroness – Red Album (2007) – $0
House Of Lords – Sahara (1990) – $0
Marshall Law – Power Games (1992) – $0
Headcat – Walk The Walk…Talk The Talk (2011) – $0
Exciter – Unveiling The Wicked (1986) – $0
Enuff Z’nuff – Welcome To Blue Island (2003) – $0
Zyklon – Aeon (2003) – $0
Ozzy Osbourne – Black Rain (Tour Edition) (2007) - $0
707 – The Bridge (2004) – $0
707 – Anthology (2009) – $0
Starz – Brightest Starz (2000) – $0
Petra – Still Means War (2002) – $0
Rob Zombie – The Sinister Urge (2001) – $0
Sentenced – The Cold White Light (2002) – $0
Frameshift – An Absence Of Empathy (2005) – $0
KISS – Destroyer Resurrected (2012) – $13
Bruce Springsteen – Born To Run (1975) – $0
Helix – Breaking Loose (1979) – $26.50 used
Mass – Voices In The Night (1989) – $9 used
Tokyo Blade – Camp 334 E.P. (2012) – $3 (iTunes download)

Where to begin? Obviously August was a good month! One thing that happens evey August is that my birthday rolls around and I get a lot of gift cards to Newbury Comics, my favorite record store, so that will account for all the CDs with zeros for amounts. Let’s analyze these purchases…..

I bought the new albums by Fozzy, Loudness, In This Moment, and KISS on the day of release and on sale…..I had to have the new Destroyer Resurrected the moment the doors to Newbury Comics opened because my KISS collection isn’t complete without the latest new album! The Bruce Springsteen disc was a gift from my best friend’s son who loves Springsteen and is trying to turn me on to his music. I like myself some Bruce, mostly the stuff I hear on classic rock radio, but this is the album I would pick to start getting into The Boss if I were buying it myself. The Helix and Mass CDs were auctions I won on ebay from the same seller, both are original pressings and the Helix album is especially rare and it’s been on my radar for a long time. The last album listed is a digital only E.P. by NWOBHM legends Tokyo Blade that I got from iTunes. I have NEVER bought anything from iTunes because I believe in physical media but there are no plans to release this on any other format so I had to bite the bullet and spend the $3. On to the freebies…..

Birthday = gift cards. I decided to head up to a different Newbury Comics, this time Norwood, MA, to see if there were any bargains to be had. Now this is the BIG Newbury Comics so they have excellent selection when I make the 45 minute trip a few times a year and right off the bat I found a used copy of Baroness – Red Album (2007) for what would have been $10 ($14 for the regular priced one that was there. Among the other highlights from this shopping trip, the Michael Schenker Group live double disc rerelease that would have been $14, the new Loverboy album that would have been $13 on sale ($20 regular price!), and a tour edition copy of Ozzy’s Black Rain used that has all the bonus material for all the different versions of the original album for a mere $6 used price. Of course I padded the collection with used CDs that ranged in price from $2 to $8 but they were all free for me.

September update

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Lynyrd Skynyrd – Last of a Dyin’ Breed (2012 Deluxe Edition) – $10
Judas Priest – Screaming For Vengeance 30th Anniversary Edition (2012) – $14
The Darkness – Hot Cakes (2012) – $16
Cloudscape – New Era (2012) – $15
ZZ Top – La Futura (2012) – $0
Steve Harris – British Lion (2012) – $13
Bullet – Full Pull (2012) – $13
Dokken – Broken Bones (2012) – $0

As September hits we have back to school for the kids, house preperations for winter, the beginning of football season and fantasy football and starting to think of the holidays…..that means money is at a premium and CDs have to wait. I was able to pick up some new releases in my two trips to the record store in September and I caught a great sale at the end of the month – Buy 2 get 1 Free on all regular and sale priced CDs.

On my 1st trip of the month, I had to have the deluxe edition of the new Lynyrd Skynyrd CD to get the 4 bonus tracks and was lucky to grab the last sale priced copy they had for $10 which saved me $7. Take a listen to the Skynyrd records with Johnny Van Zant on vocals, they are all excellent and rival the classic 70s era of Skynyrd with his late brother Ronnie fronting the band. Of course the legend of Skynyrd back in the day overshadows everything newer but the quality is definitely there. The other major purchase was the 30th Anniversary Edition of the classic Screaming For Vengeance from Metal legends Judas Priest. I love all the bonuses on these special anniversary releases and it makes it worth it to re-buy the album, this time around the big deal was the included DVD of Priest’s performance at the US Festival in 1983 but the live tracks and the bonus studio track ‘Prisoner Of Your Eyes’ add to the value. You can’t beat $14 for a CD/DVD combo and I still saved $3 buying it on sale.

The 2nd trip of the month was towards the end but that’s where I caught the special sale and picked up a bunch of new releases I was waiting on. My strategy is to always group the CDs by price from high to low so when I get to the register I get some of the higher priced CDs free. I had been waiting on Hot Cakes from The Darkness and missed the sale price so I had to pay the full $16 regular price and the new Cloudscape was the same deal at $15 regular price but I put them together with the new ZZ Top to get that one free and saved $14 right off the bat! The $14 was the sale price for ZZ Top but regular price was $17 so I really saved $17 in the long run. My second grouping was the new Steve Harris solo album ($13 sale/$17 regular) + the new Bullet ($13 sale/$17 regular) with the new Dokken ($12 sale/$18 regular) for free and saved more money. You have to love those Frontiers Records albums that are $17+ regular price, I would have choked if I had to pay that much for the new Dokken! At least I got it on a double sale!

October update

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KISS – Monster (2012) – $12
KISS – Monster (2012) – $15 (Wal-Mart exclusive limted edition zine-pak)
Arch Enemy – Stigmata (1998) – $4 used
Allen-Lande – The Revenge (2007) – $8 used
Dream Evil – Evilized (2003) – $8 used
Rob Rock – Garden Of Chaos (2007) – $8 used
Motorhead – March Or Die (1992) – $4 used
Cloudscape – Crimson Skies (2006) – $4 used
Kotipelto – Serenity (2007) – $4 used
Dragonforce – The Power Within (2012) – $13
Motorhead – The World Is Ours Vol.2 (2 CD/DVD/Blu) (2012) - $18
Ten – Heresy And Creed (2012) – $12
Sister Sin – Now And Forever (2012) – $12
Night Ranger – 24 Strings & A Drummer (CD/DVD) (2012) - $10
The Sword – Apocryphon (2012 Deluxe Edition) – $12
Praying Mantis – Time Tells No Lies (1980/2011 remaster) – $13.50 (Ebay)

September was a slow CD buying month but October’s prospects improved and there were a few new releases that were must haves. Starting the month of right was the new KISS album…..Monster. I was out front banging on the door fo the record store so I could get this album as soon as the store opened, got it on sale for $12 and saved $4 off the regular price. Of course, KISS is my favorite band and they can’t do anything simple so I ran over to Wal-Mart right after to buy the limited edition zinepak exclusive to Wal-Mart.

My second CD hunt was at the Newbury Comics in Warwick, RI (about 20 mins from home) when the family and I were out for the day and they allowed me to go and search. Actually, they dropped me off and went to the Target down the road! Nothing is better when you walk into a record store and you start to find a lot of cheap CDs that you’ve been looking for…..obviously, I hit the store after someone dumped part of their collection because I’d never seen these CDs at this location before. Right away I found a copy of the latest Dragonforce record, The Power Within (2012), still on sale for $13 while the other two copies with it were regular price at $19. Then I started through the Metal section in alphabetical order and I found the Allen-Lande, Cloudscape and Dream Evil all used and immeadiately crossed them off my want list. I only had $60 in disposable CD income so I had to make wise purchases and I already had $33 worth of discs in my hand so I had to ignore some more higher priced used gems but I did make my way over to a sale table towards the front of the store. Score! Arch Enemy for $4 used, Motorhead for $4 used and Kotipelto for $4 used and Rob Rock for $8 used…..the Motorhead – March Or Die was a missing album in my collection and both the Kotipelto and Rob Rock CDs replaced very plain promotional CDs I received from the record label years earlier. I spent $53 on this trip so i was pretty psyched to come under budget just a little.

The last trip of the month also included an Ebay auction I actually won while I was in the record store! New releases everywhere during the last week of the month: the new Motorhead, Ten, Sister Sin, Night Ranger and The Sword were all high priority buys and the Ebay auction was the Praying Mantis reissue from Rock Candy Records. I saved $35 off the regular prices of the new releases by buying them on sale the day of release with the biggest savings coming from the Motorhead – The World Is Ours Vol.2 release at $12 off. I also saved $6 on the Ten CD and $8 on the Night Ranger (both imports from Frontiers Records), $3 on the new Sister Sin and another $6 on the limited edition of the new CD from The Sword.

November update

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Mob Rules – Cannibal Nation (2012) – $14
Aerosmith – Music From Another Dimension (Deluxe Edition) (2012) – $20
Kamelot – Silverthorn (Deluxe Edition) (2012) – $0
Geoff Tate – Kings & Thieves (2012) – $13
Twisted Sister – A Twisted Xmas Live In Las Vegas (2012) – $0
Butcher Babies – Butcher Babies E.P. (2012) – $5 (from Butcher Babies merchandise website)

Another slow month with the holidays looming…..I only made one trip to the record store but I made it count when they had a “Buy 2 get 1 Free” sale on all CDs. Of course they ring the CDs from highest to lowest so I paid for the limited edition version of the new Aerosmith record and the new One Direction limited edition new album (I have a daughter that loves that boy band!) for $20 each and I got the new Kamelot – Silverthorn limited edition for free. I forget what the regular price on the One Direction CD was but that wouldn’t count here but the regular on the Aerosmith was a crazy $29 and the new Kamelot was on sale for $18 but the regular price would have been $22. My second bundle at this sale was the new Mob Rules album for $14 and the new Geoff Tate solo album for $13, both on sale, and I got the new Twisted Sister live Xmas album from Las Vegas for free. The Twisted Sister CD was on sale for $12 with a regular price of $16 and both the Mob Rules and Geoff tate albums had a regular price of $18. The last purchase I made was the debut E.P. from the Butcher Babies for $5. I had been hearing a lot about the band on various podcasts and I finally decided to pick up the E.P. towards the end of the month.

December update

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King Kobra – Ready To Strike (1985) – $8
King Kobra – Thrill Of A Lifetime (1986) – $8
U.D.O. – Live In Sofia (2CD/DVD) (2012) – $14
Bloodbound – In The Name Of Metal (2012) – $14
Municipal Waste – Massive Aggressive (2009) - $10 used
Ring Of Fire – The Oracle (2001) - $10 used
Tankard – Beast Of Bourbon (2004) – $0 used
Avian – Ashes And Madness (2009) - $10 used
Overkill – Feel The Fire (1985) – $9 used
Doro – Classic Diamonds (2004) – $0 used
Iced Earth – The Crucible Of Man (Something Wicked Pt.2) (2008) – $8 used
Municipal Waste – Hazardous Mutations (2005) – $8 used
Tristania – Midwinter Tears (CD/DVD) (2005) – $0 used
Grave Digger – 25 To Live (2CD) (2005) – $7 used
Grave Digger – Rheingold (2003) – $7 used
Gwar – Live From Mt. Fuji (2005) – $0 used
Scorpions – Taken By Force (1977) – $6 used
Overlorde – Return Of The Snow Giant (2004) – $6 used
Tristania – Ashes (2005) – $0 used
Straight Line Stitch – When Skies Wash Ashore (2008) – $6 used
Fates Warning – Inside Out (1994) – $4 used
Tristania – World Of Glass (2001) – $0 used

With the Christmas holiday looming, there was no extra money for CD shopping during December but that’s OK because the end of the year is always the slowest time for new releases. I knew there was a shopping spree coming at the end of the year because of all the gift cards I get to Newbury Comics for holiday gifts. This year was no exception, I netted $135 in gift cards so I held out as long as I could after Christmas (3 days!) and I was able to catch a year end used CD sale, Buy 2 Used CDs and Get 1 Free! The strategy for gift cards and a great sale was to get as much music as possible and to get some of those used CDs that I’d been passing over in my travels and, seeing that everything was basically free and nothing coming out of pocket, I spent a long time combing every rack in the Warwick, RI Newbury Comics. I put up all the prices above, including the sale freebies, so you could get an idea of what I would have spent.

I couldn’t pass on the King Kobra CDs because both were recent reissues in album style cardboard sleeves and brand new sealed at awesome cheap prices…..turns out they should have been $17.99 instead of $7.99 but that’s OK with me! I also couldn’t pass up the latest U.D.O. 2CD/DVD live release, Live In Sofia (2012), or the latest release from Bloodbound…..both were still on sale and they weren’t at my normal closer location. Both of these were $18 regular price so I saved $4 on each theoretically. So those are the new CDs, on to the used!

I put everything up by price because that’s how the store separates them and denotes the free ones. I like the fact that they give you a free CD closest to the price of the ones you buy so the Tankard CD should have been $10 used but it was free because the Municipal Waste and Ring Of Fire CDs were the same price. Obviously, I picked up a lot of back catalog from Municipal Waste, Grave Digger and Tristania with the biggest bargains being the two Municipal Waste and two Grave Digger CDs because you never see these albums used and, if you do, they are $12+ used because of the demand for Municipal Waste and Grave Digger is usually imports. Of the $0 CDs, the Tankard shuld have been $10, Tristania and Doro were $8 each, Gwar and another Tristania were $6 each and the last Tristania was $4 used. The final total on this hunt was $135 all paid with gift cards so I paid nothing out of pocket and I saved an additional $42 on the free used CDs!

Final 2012 Totals

Total (year) = $1804

Average Price (per item) = $7.71

Total CDs (year) = 227

Total DVDs (year) = 5

Total Blu-Rays (year) = 1

Total iTunes Downloads (year) = 1

Just a quick analysis…..

Compared to 2011, I bought 85 more items (227 this year and 142 last year) and I spent $659 more than I did the previous year. My DVD total is low because a lot of bands/labels are packaging DVDs or Blu-Rays with live CDs now and I count those as CD packages. Also, 2012 was the first time I bought a Blu-Ray and paid for an iTunes download. I’m not sure what 2013 will hold for CD hunting but I’m hoping that I find more gems, fill a lot of holes in my collection, acquire more and spend less.

Let the hunt continue!

From K.K. Downing’s official website:

Dear Friends,

It is with much regret that I will not be with you this summer. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your concerns about my health. Please rest assured that I am O.K.

There has been an ongoing breakdown in working relationship between myself, elements of the band, and the band’s management for some time.

Therefore I have decided to step down rather than to tour with negative sentiments as I feel that this would be a deception to you, our cherished fans.

However I would urge you to please support the Priest as I have no doubt that it will be a show not to be missed.

All my love and respect,

signature

From Bravewords.com:

British metal gods JUDAS PRIEST have announced that original guitarist K.K. Downing has formally retired from the band and will therefore not be joining them on their forthcoming Epitaph Tour. The band respect his decision and naturally all wish him well. Having thought long and hard about how to proceed, singer Rob Halford, guitarist Glenn Tipton, bassist Ian Hill and drummer Scott Travis unanimously agreed that they should go ahead with the tour and not let fans around the world down.

Fate also stepped in and delivered the perfect replacement – 31 year-old British guitar player Richie Faulkner (DIRTY DEEDS, VOODOO SIX, LAUREN HARRIS) – he has blended into the band perfectly and is a great talent who is going to set the stage on fire, according to a press release.

The Epitaph Tour will include songs from every Judas Priest studio album and also tracks that they have never before performed on stage plus all the old favourites. With a new album due to be released next year, the ‘metal gods’ are preparing to tour the planet once more. Heavy Metal at it’s best complete with lasers, lights, bikes and hellfire! It’s a show not too be missed!

Judas Priest Epitaph tour dates:

June
7 – Eindhaar – Tilburg, Holland
9 – Sweden Rock – Solvesborg, Sweden
11 – Sauna Festival – Tampere, Finland
14 – Spektrum – Oslo, Norway
15 – Edward Greig Plass – Bergen, Norway
17 – Copenhell Festival – Copenhagen, Denmark
19 – Hellfest – Nantes, France
20 – Le Zenith – Paris, France
22 – Gods of Metal Festival – Milan, Italy
23 – Sonisphere Festival – Switzerland
25 – Graspop Festival – Dessel, Belgium
27 – Zenith – Munich, Germany
28 – O2 Arena – Prague, Czech Republic
29 – Stadthalle – Vienna, Austria

July
1 – Belgrade Arena – Belgrade, Serbia
3 – Romexpo – Bucharest, Romania
5 – Water Park, P Faliro – Athens, Greece
8 – Akademik Stadium – Sofia, Bulgaria
10 – Kazlicesme Festival Site – Istanbul, Turkey

July
6 – Kautatzogleio Stadium – Thessaloniki, Greece
15 – Newport Centre – Newport, UK
16 – O2 Apollo – Manchester, UK
17 – The Dome – Doncaster, UK
19 – SECC – Glasgow, Scotland
20 – Metro Arena – Newcastle, UK
21 – Civic Hall – Wolverhampton, UK
23 – High Voltage Festival – London, UK
24 – BIC – Bournemouth, UK

July
27 – Atlantico Pavillion – Lisbon, Portugal
29 – Coliseum – La Coruna, Spain
30 – La Cubierta – Madrid, Spain
31 – Bec – Bilbao, Spain

August
2 – Badalona – Barcelona, Spain
5 – Wacken Open Air – Wacken, Germany
7 – Colmar Wine Festival – Colmar, France
9 – O2 World – Berlin, Germany
10 – Metal Hammer Festival/Spodek – Katowice, Poland
11 – Sziget Festival – Budapest, Hungary

September
10 – Portuguesa Stadium – Sao Paulo, Brazil
11 – Citibank Hall – Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
13 – Chevrolet Hall – Belo Horizonte, Brazil
15 – Nilson Nelson – Brasilia, Brazil
30 – Mexico City Sports Palace – Mexico City, Mexico

October
1 – Telmex Theater – Quadalajara, Mexico
3 – Banamex Theater – Monterrey, Mexico

Not every album released is a new studio album…..but it sure seems like they are! Every year there are a ton of live albums, greatest hits packages, reissues, remasters, box sets, special edition and limited edition releases that flood the marketplace. Sometimes there are multiple versions of these releases depending on which part of the world they are released in!

The one important criteria I have each year for the best and worst albums lists is that the albums have to be new studio albums…..or at least promoted as new studio albums. The problem is that some of these live records and greatest hits packages are quality releases and there’s nothing like getting a really good reissue of some long out of print album you’ve been searching years for. That’s why this year I’m creating this new list to recognize some of the quality non-studio, non-original releases that have found their way into my collection. There were a lot of different releases that I picked up that weren’t studio albums so I’m only going to list my ten favorites. So here are my Best Miscellaneous Releases of 2010…..

Black Sabbath – The Eternal Idol Deluxe Edition (1987/2010): Black Sabbath is one of my favorite bands and the Tony Martin era of the band is one of the most underrated eras of any band. It’s no secret that I prefer the Dio era and the Martin era to the Ozzy era (I like the Ozzy era too!) so I’ve been collecting these Sabbath deluxe editions all along. The original release of THE ETERNAL IDOL was in 1987 and was the last album under Sabbath’s Warner Bros. contract but did you know that Tony Martin wasn’t the original vocalist that recorded the album? Sabbath fans know that Ray Gillen, who replaced Glenn Hughes on THE SEVENTH STAR tour and would go on to front Badlands, did the original sessions. When Gillen left Black Sabbath, Tony Martin was brought in to re-cut the vocals and properly join the band. The original album is remastered and it sounds great but the gems here are the two B-Side singles ‘Black Moon’ and ‘Some Kind Of Woman’. Disc Two is the collectible for fans who don’t trade bootlegs: the Ray Gillen sessions! These sessions have been widely available in traders’ circles but I could never acquire a copy…..now I don’t have to!

Dio – At Donington, UK: Live 1983 & 1987 (2010): As a huge Dio fan, Ronnie’s death in May really affected me, the thought of my heavy metal heroes passing away was unbelievable because the music and the bands have meant so much to me for the last 28 years. With no new music coming from the Dio camp, unless there’s some unreleased material, it’s good to see that Ronnie’s wife and manager, Wendy Dio, is releasing archival material like this live set. Both shows have been cleaned up and sound great, you can hear the awesome power in Ronnie’s voice and both lineups are extremely tight. Both the 1983 and the 1987 sets are awesome but I keep reaching for the second disc for the DREAM EVIL setlist with tracks like ‘Dream Evil’, ‘Naked In The Rain’ and ‘All The Fools Sailed Away’ among the other Dio anthems and the Black Sabbath and Rainbow classics. Disc 1, the HOLY DIVER set, is no slouch either and might be most fans’ favorite of the two but I like the deeper tracks on Disc 2. A great live CD set that truly honors one of the greatest singers in Metal history.

Judas Priest – British Steel (30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) (2010): Judas Priest have been my second favorite band since 1982 and BRITISH STEEL (1980) has been a big reason why. This 30th anniversary set was hard to come by because I wanted the three disc version rather than the two disc and it was definitely worth the search. The remastered album is already in my collection because it’s the same as the 2001 remaster but the reason to buy this is the live CD and DVD recorded in Florida on the 30th Anniversary tour. I saw the show in Mansfield 10 days before this show so the performance is like a tour souvenir for me. There are a lot of deluxe edition and limited edition reissues of older albums flooding the marketplace now and it’s good to see that some of them have the quality bonus material that this package does. My only complaint is that the label put out two versions: this one and a 2 disc without the live CD, it makes things confusing for the fans and harder to find what you want.

Keel – The Right To Rock (25th Anniversary Edition) (2010): Has it really been 25 years since THE RIGHT TO ROCK came out? 1985 doesn’t seem that far away! The Keel reunion and new album was one of the reasons why THE RIGHT TO ROCK got a proper reissue on Frontiers Records. I’m putting this album in this list because I’ve had this album on both vinyl and cassette but a CD version is very hard to find. There may have been a Japanese CD edition back in 1985 but I have no information and the Metal Mayhem reissue from 2000 seemed a little basic, a little “bare bones”, even though it was officially endorsed by Ron Keel himself. The remastering sounds great and it’s cool to get a couple of bonus tracks but I would have like a little more in the way of extras. The selling point for me was getting a definitive official CD reissue to add to my collection.

Jorn – Dio (2010): This album wasn’t without some controversy with it’s release coming quickly after Ronnie James Dio’s passing but this album was already made and ready for release when Dio passed so it was just a matter of bad timing. I’m not a fan of cover songs but I can do a tribute or covers album…..odd, isn’t it? The selling point here was the original song and video ‘Song For Ronnie James’ that was to be Jorn’s special tribute to the man who influenced him as a singer. Then the balance of the album would be Jorn and band covering different Dio songs. What made this one of the better non-studio releases was the tracklisting, Jorn went through the Dio catalogue and picked out a lot of songs that don’t normally make it into Dio’s “greatest hits”. Songs like ‘Invisible’, ‘Sunset Superman’, ‘Push’, and ‘Shame On The Night’ were all good to hear as part of the tribute instead of the usual fare like ‘The Last In Line’ and ‘Holy Diver’.

MainEEaxe – Shout It Out (1984/2010 reissue) & Going for Gold (1985/2010 reissue): One of the things I like to collect is bands and albums from the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) and these two MainEEaxe albums have been on my radar for a long time. These two reissues are great because they have all the criteria needed: bonus tracks, extensive liner notes and credits and pictures. A lot of care on the part of Cherry Red Records/Lemon Recordings went into these packages because everything is here including album and single artworks. What makes these reissues worth it is that all the bonus tracks are songs from MainEEaxe’s hard to find singles and E.P.s…..if you do the research, every song the band recorded is on these two reissues in proper order and the singles and E.P.s are noted in the credits. When you’re talking hard to find records from the mid-80s, it’s good to get everything together on CD, I wish every reissue could be done so well.

Savage Grace – The Dominatress/Master Of Disguise reissue (2010) & After The Fall From Grace/Ride Into the Night reissue (2010): As if the two MainEEaxe reissues weren’t enough, Limb Music takes reissuing to another level with these two sets from Savage Grace. I have had the album cover for MASTER OF DISGUISE in my mind for years from when I was a record store junkie as a kid, and I just recently got around to buying it on vinyl, but I wanted proper CD versions of all the band’s albums to preserve my pristine LPs. You can tell Limb went above and beyond with these reissues by adding in all the songs from Savage Grace’s hard to find demos and the RIDE INTO THE NIGHT E.P. (1987). That alone is the selling point aside from a proper CD pressing but then there are lyrics to all the songs, pictures, extensive liner notes and band history. One of the things I was looking for on these reissues was to see if the original album artwork would be retained because it’s a bit X-rated for our time 25 years later and it is. Image this album artwork on store shelves today!

Triumph – Greatest Hits Remixed (2010): Normally a greatest hits collection wouldn’t get my juices flowing but Triumph always puts out great releases when they have full control. Back in 1989, a greatest hits package titled CLASSICS was released by MCA Records but, by then, Triumph was basically over as far as the classic lineup went and CLASSICS was a quick cash in as the band’s contract ended. There hasn’t been a Triumph compilation since but, now that the band has the rights to their music catalogue, they have created their own. This is a two disc set including a DVD of 14 music videos and the Canadian Hall Of Fame induction ceremony, that’s the selling point because it’s a great package for the price. The music CD sounds great and you can tell that the band took good care in remixing the songs for the best sound. The only problem I have is that some of the songs, when compared to the originals, sound different. I’m not one for redoing the original to the point where you can pick out obvious differences and I picked up on this when I sat down and compared these remixes to the originals…..yes, I did compare the two! Aside from that small complaint, it’s great to get so much music for so little money. I paid $12 for two discs (14 songs & 14 videos), similar packages released this year were much more expensive and didn’t have that much content.

My favorite time of year is here again…..Halloween!

It’s a tradition here at Heavy Metal Addiction to have a Halloween Top 10 and this year is no exception. This all started with the 2007 Heavy Metal Halloween Top 10, then I skipped 2008 but the overwhelming emails came to do a new one so last year I did the 2009 Heavy Metal Halloween Top 10. I have been through my collection again and I tried not to repeat the same songs again except for a couple that will always be in the Top 10. I always search out a new pumpkin picture to post at the top and, since we lost Ronnie James Dio to stomach cancer earier in the year, I thought this pumpkin I found on Facebook was a fitting tribute.

So here it is, in no particular order (except the #1 spot), the 2010 Heavy Metal Halloween Top 10…..

  1. Black Sabbath – ‘Black Sabbath’
  2. Alice Cooper – ‘I Love The Dead’
  3. King Diamond – ‘Trick or Treat’
  4. Type O Negative – ‘Black No. 1′
  5. Iron Maiden – ‘The Number Of The Beast’
  6. Judas Priest – ‘A Touch Of Evil’
  7. Ozzy Osbourne – ‘Diary Of A Madman’
  8. Dio – ‘Master Of The Moon’
  9. Alice Cooper – ‘Go To Hell’
  10. Black Sabbath – ‘After All (The Dead)’

Bonus Track: Moonspell – ‘At Tragic Heights’

It’s been a long month but I am on the verge of vacation so I’m hoping to post a little more but I have been listening to music…..and buying! A lot of cool new releases came out and I found a lot of cool bargains over the last month so this is going to be a long update that’s going to be posted in two parts…..

Ebay
(free shipping this time around)

Airbourne – No Guts, No Glory (Special Edition) (2010) – $9: When Airbourne came out in 2007, I became a big fan. Yeah, I know they sound like AC/DC, or Rose Tattoo, or The Angels/Angel City or…..well, you get the idea. I liked the music, your basic barroom boogie Rock ‘n’ Roll with a ton of energy. I ended up getting an email straight from Roadrunner Records offering a fan-pack that included a limited edition double disc set that included a live DVD in addition to the regular album, the album also included 5 new songs as bonus tracks and a limited edition t-shirt…..all for $40! I don’t like Airbourne that much! Could care less about the shirt or the DVD but the bonus tracks were the key. The regular U.S. pressing was $9.99 without the extra songs the first week of release but I passed. I found this seller on Ebay and I picked up this CD at a great price along with the next couple…..

Danger Angel – s/t (2010) – $7: I don’t know much about Danger Angel except that they are on Perris Records, so that means the music must be in the Hard Rock style, and Jeff Scott Soto added lead vocals to one of the songs. I actually received a digital promo of the album months ago and I have never listened to it…..not sure why because even the cover looks cool like an old school ’80s record. The band is from Greece, they’ve supported Winger and Jeff Scott Soto on tour and they’re a new band. Hopefully this is a promising debut…..

Sinbreed – When Worlds Collide (2010) – $4: Here’s another great deal that I got from the same seller on an album that I received a digital promo of but never really listened to. I’m a big Power Metal fan and Sinbreed is a pure Power Metal group from Germany so I’m hoping that it’s a solid record. The band has a U.S. distribution deal with Nightmare Records and I received a digital promo but with all the new releases out now, I pushed it aside. I’ve read a lot of good reviews on this record so I’m looking forward to it.

Online

Judas Priest – British Steel (30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) (2010) – $30: Back in mid-May, I went to the record store to pick up this album and, of course, I bought the 2 disc version not the 3 disc pressing…..I wrote about it in the “Buyer Be Aware” edition of CD Scavenger Hunt. I wanted the 3 disc set with the remastered album, the live DVD and the live CD of the live DVD. The version I ended up snagging for $14 on sale was just the remastered record and the live DVD and I returned it the next day for a refund. Turns out the 3 CD Deluxe set was released in Europe at the same time as the 2 disc set but the the U.S. release for the 3 disc was slated for early June. I ordered directly through JudasPriest.com so I wouldn’t have a hassle, it was $30 but I received the album within 48 hours from Sony Direct in a perfect package. Sometimes buying straight from the band is the way to go.

Best Buy

Lamb Of God – Hourglass (3 CD box set) (2010) – $7: Best price on this 3 disc set was at Best Buy, they had it advertised for $16.99 in their new ad for the Tuesday release so I definitely made the trip. The reason I got the set for $7 instead of $17 was because I had a $10 off coupon from the Best Buy Rewards program that I was going to use to reserve my copy of Madden 2011. I went for the instant $10 savings on the box set and, even though I’m new to Lamb Of God, it’s some very brutal music that I’m really getting into. I’ve actually seen Lamb Of God live but I never really got into their albums but I’ve made it a point lately to listen to more extreme Metal and the band fit the bill. Saved $10.

Newbury Comics

Visions Of Atlantis – Cast Away (2004) – $6 used: For the last couple of months I have been watching a few used CDs that have regular priced counterparts right with them. I’ve been meaning to buy them all up because they are solid bargains but I always find something else to pick up. This Visions Of Atlantis CD has been on my radar for at least two months, maybe longer. It’s regular priced comrade is $16 so I figured maybe someone would snag this album if they saw the $10 savings. These two discs were filed in the “V” section in the regular stock CDs so I took the used CD and placed it in the Heavy Metal section under the “V” there. Not every Newbury Comics has a specific Metal section but there are some Metal dudes that work there and they are cool enough to make a dedicated place for Metal, this is one of the reasons why I keep going to the same store! I figured that since Visions Of Atlantis were a Symphonic Metal band then they should have a presence in the Metal section…..and keeping the two differently priced CDs seperate so i could wait and decide when to buy the used one. Saved $10.

Bang Camaro – II (2008) – $4: Here’s another bargain CD that I’ve been watching for a while! Bang Camaro is a Boston band so I naturally have an interest because I live in Rhode Island about an hour away. Bang Camaro got a lot of press when they debuted in 2007 because they feature 8 to 12 singers on each album and sometimes on each song! The band lineup is a revolving door but the spirit of the project remains strong. I had the opportunity to buy the debut at a cheap price but I passed and now I can’t find it locally. Bang Camaro came to my attention when I heard their song ‘Revolution’ while playing Madden 2010 on my Playstation 3…..it’s a good tune so I figured I would finally give them a chance. There were three brand new copies of this CD: one for $8, another for $6 and the copy I bought for $4. Saved $4.

Stephen Pearcy – Social Intercourse (2002) – $5 used: I never really got around to buying any of Stephen Pearcy’s solo work until just over a month ago. I have all the records from Arcade and Vertex, and I’m a huge Ratt fan, so I finally decided to pick this stuff up. I didn’t expect to find anything new under Ratt but old habits are diehard and I checked their section…..there’s this CD! It’s been a while but I’ve seen this album go for around $15 in the record stores at regular price, while the online prices change rapidly, so I estimate I saved $10.

Nevermore – The Obsidian Conspiracy (2010) – $12: I bought this album the day of release on sale for $12 because i thought the cover was really cool. I have been into Nevermore since 1999′s DREAMING NEON BLACK and that was only because I found out through the power of the Internet that the members of Nevermore were also members of Sanctuary…..I had a cassette copy of REFUGE DENIED when it came out in 1987! I’ve missed out on the last couple Nevermore albums since 2000′s DEAD HEART IN A DEAD WORLD so I figured that this new album would be a good way to reconnect. Regular price was $17 so I saved $5.

Kingdom Of Sorrow – s/t (2008) – $10: I work with a guy that is huge into Kingdom Of Sorrow and he constantly asks me if I have heard any of the music or if I have picked up a CD. Up until a couple of weeks ago I really didn’t pay attention to the recommendation but then the band’s new album came out and I decided to buy that one on sale (I’ll get to that next!). When I was going to grab the new CD, I noticed that the debut had a $9.99 sale sticker too. Maybe it was a mistake? The other two copies of the debut didn’t have sale stickers so I snagged this one quick. I like to start at the beginning if I can with new bands so this was a good purchase. Saved $5.

Kingdom Of Sorrow – Behind The Blackest Tears (2010) – $10: Like I mentioned above, when this album was released there was a great sale price. Add the sale price to the constant recommendation from a co-worker with my going to Ozzfest this summer and you have the recipe for a CD purchase. Truthfully, I’ve been meaning to check out KOS because I’ve read good things but my co-worker’s insistence made me not purchase the debut until this new record came out. Now I won’t be staring into space when I see the band on Ozzfest…..saved $5.

Savage Grace – The Dominatress/Master Of Disguise reissue (2010) & After The Fall From Grace/Ride Into the Night reissue (2010) - $24 ($12 each): Now this was a complete surprise! Every week I get the Newbury Comics e-newsletter telling me what the new releases are and how much they are going to be but somehow I missed the reissues for the Savage Grace albums. Before I went out to the store, I jumped online quick and I found a quick announcement regarding the reissues. I double checked my newsletters (I save them for a while) and there they were on sale for $12

each! When I got to the store they had 2 copies of each reissue so I was able to get both and let someone else enjoy some classic Heavy Metal. Each reissue is a single disc housed in a nice slipcase with 4 bonus tracks and 3 bonus tracks respectively. There are full color booklets with extensive liner notes and pictures along with the preserved and uncensored  original album artwork. You can tell that Limb Music took special time and care to get these reissues just right. Most of these albums are available on Ebay in cassette or LP form but the CDs are usually bootlegs. I believe AFTER THE FALL FROM GRACE has an official CD release but THE DOMINATRESS and MASTER OF DISGUISE are usually a 2-on-1 CD from Greece that is a definite bootleg. It’s nice to have an official re-release finally…..and a superb job as well. Regular price was $16 each so I saved $8 ($4 each).

Total = $128

Total (year) = $813

Average price (per item) = $10.04

Total CDs (year) = 74

Total DVDs (year) = 2

Total Box Sets (year) = 4

Total LPs (year) = 1

Judas Priest – British Steel (30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition – 3 Disc set) (2010)

Disc 1 – British Steel (remastered) -

  1. Rapid Fire
  2. Metal Gods
  3. Breaking The Law
  4. Grinder
  5. United
  6. You Don’t Have To Be Old To Be Wise
  7. Living After Midnight
  8. The Rage
  9. Steeler
  10. Red, White & Blue (studio bonus track)
  11. Grinder (live bonus track)

Disc 2 –  The British Steel 2009 Tour (Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Arena, Hollywood, Florida, August 17, 2009) CD

  1. Rapid Fire
  2. Metal Gods
  3. Breaking The Law
  4. Grinder
  5. United
  6. You Don’t Have To Be Old To Be Wise
  7. Living After Midnight
  8. The Rage
  9. Steeler
  10. The Ripper
  11. Hell Patrol
  12. Victim Of Changes
  13. Freewheel Burning
  14. Diamonds And Rust
  15. You’ve Got Another Thing Coming

Disc 3 –  The British Steel 2009 Tour (Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Arena, Hollywood, Florida, August 17, 2009) DVD

  1. Rapid Fire
  2. Metal Gods
  3. Breaking The Law
  4. Grinder
  5. United
  6. You Don’t Have To Be Old To Be Wise
  7. Living After Midnight
  8. The Rage
  9. Steeler
  10. The Ripper
  11. Prophecy
  12. Hell Patrol
  13. Victim Of Changes
  14. Freewheel Burning
  15. Diamonds And Rust
  16. You’ve Got Another Thing Coming

DVD Extra – The Making of British Steel Interview

Total Time (Disc 1) = 44:43
Total Time (Disc 2) = 1:15:48
Region 0, NTSC, Running Time (Disc 3 concert) = 1:28:21

What can you say about Judas Priest’s BRITISH STEEL that hasn’t already been said? It is truly a landmark Heavy Metal album that bridged the classic heavy Rock of the 1970s and moved it into the slick and powerful 1980s with it’s pure metallic sound and commercial accessibility to FM airwaves. Look at all the classic songs that still get played on Classic Rock and current Rock radio: ‘Metal Gods’, ‘Breaking The Law’, ‘Living After Midnight’, ‘United’. I’m lucky here in Rhode Island because the local Rock station (94 WHJY) has one of the longest running Heavy Metal programs on Saturday nights called  “The Metal Zone” and I’ve heard plenty of deeper tracks from BRITISH STEEL played over the years like ‘Steeler’ and ‘Grinder’. I grew up with this album, I think I got it in 1983 officially but I had a dubbed cassette, and it’s been one of my favorite albums by Judas Priest and of the ’80s.

Now BRITISH STEEL is 30 years old…..that’s hard to believe! That’s most of my life (I’m 38)! In order to celebrate such a milestone, Judas Priest toured last summer and played the entire album in order, then added a handful of Priest classics and rarities. I caught the show in Mansfield, MA on July 7th and it was a magnificent show, now it’s great to have a commorative document to enjoy it again.

Disc 1 – British Steel (remastered)
There really isn’t much new to say about the remastered album because it’s exactly the same remastered version that the band and label released back in 2001. The two bonus tracks are also the same: ‘Red, White & Blue’ is a studio track from the TURBO sessions in 1985 and the live version of ‘Grinder’ comes from the Long Beach Arena (Long Beach, California) on the 1984 DEFENDERS OF THE FAITH tour. If you already have a copy of the proper album then you might not really notice the remastering, I didn’t in 2001, and the bonus tracks seem out of place. I have always wondered why we got bonus tracks from 1984/85 instead of rarities from 1980. I’m a little disappointed that the label used the 2001 remaster, I was hoping for something more.

Disc 2 – Live in Hollywood, Florida – 7/17/09 CD
Here’s where the entire 30th Anniversary package gets interesting because the whole point of celebrating 30 years of BRITISH STEEL was the band’s tour. This live CD is the exact companion to the Disc 3 DVD except for the omission of ‘Prophecy’ from the NOSTRADAMUS (2008) album. I’m going to assume that the song was left off for time constraints on the CD format and, seeing that NOSTRADAMUS wasn’t the commercial and critical success the band hoped it would be, ‘Prophecy’ seems like the logical choice to cut. It’s a long song too and that is one of the reasons behind the 13 minute time difference between the CD and DVD. It’s all about getting bang for your buck and the audio CD of the show is a true bonus, the official U.S. release was a 2 disc set that included the remastered album and the DVD. The live album sounds good and it’s a solid performance by the band so I’m glad I held out and picked up the Deluxe Edition. I don’t hve 90 mins to sit around the TV and watch the DVD all the time so putting the live album in the iPod and enjoying a classic Priest tour is a major plus for me.

Disc 3 – Live in Hollywood, Florida – 7/17/09 DVD
Exactly the same as the CD version except that ‘Prophecy’ is included. I probably should have reviewed the DVD first but it’s technically listed as Disc 3 in the package so that’s how it will be for the review. Judas Priest toured on the basis of the 30th anniversary of British Steel in the Summer of 2009 and it was basically a basic show of the band just playing. Aside from the backdrop banners, the lights and lasers and the trademark Harley Davidson, there were no real production gimmicks. Basically the band came, on and played BRITISH STEEL note for note, took a quick break and came out with the second part of the set. The DVD is basically the same show I saw in Mansfield and it’s a cool piece of nostalgia for me because I had such a great time at the show. A few things of note from watching the DVD and remembering from the Mansfield show I saw: Halford was a little more animated on stage than he was on the previous two tours, he still has an awesome voice, Glenn & KK are a superb guitar duo, Ian needs to move around a little and Scott Travis is a monster drummer and it’s crazy to think he’s been in Priest 20 years now! All the guys looked like they were having a blast and they really poured everything into the performance. In addition to the concert there is a bonus section that is an interview about the making of BRITISH STEEL. It’s good to watch once but if you have the CLASSIC ALBUMS DVD for BRIISH STEEL then you don’t really need the interview.

Packaging
Diehards may not be happy with the 2010 version of the BRITISH STEEL album cover with the blood added and the hand missing but it doesn’t really bother me. The digipak folds out revealing the discs, the factory pictures on the left & right panels were used as backdrops during the BRITISH STEEL part of the concert and the booklet is housed inside the right panel. The booklet has the original album cover, plenty of pictures from the concert, liner notes from the show & tour and a 2 page essay from British writer Dave Shack.

Bottom Line:
Judas Priest is my second favorite band (KISS is first!) so buying this was a complete no-brainer. Add the fact that I saw the show in Mansifield, MA ten days prior to the recording and this turns out to be a cool tour souvenir for me. Diehards, collectors and completists are going to pick this package up but the casual fan might not because of the $30 price tag. The 2 disc version was retailing between $15-20 for the album and live DVD but I wanted that extra audio CD of the live show and the deluxe packaging. I like sets like this, for me it’s worth the money. If you don’t have BRITISH STEEL yet and you’ve never caught the band on tour then this is a cool package to have. My only minor complaints lies with the remastered album and the bonus section of the DVD. I understand the point of not remastering the proper album again but why not include some new bonus material? Also, if there is already a DVD out there on the making of BRITISH STEEL, why include a new interview on the same subject? Diehard fans like myself appreciate the effort but would rather have had more footage from the tour, backstage footage, etc.

You didn’t misread the title, this is going to be the “Buyer Be Aware” edition, not “buyer beware”. What I am going to update you all on is my pure, single-minded boneheadedness when it came to CD shopping this past Tuesday at the local record store. I was not thinking when I bought my two CDs, I was enamored by the sale price and the single copies of each, and I bought the wrong versions. I need to be more AWARE when I am making purchases!

Judas Priest – British Steel (30th Anniversary Edition) (2010) – $14: My main reason for going to the record store was to pick up the new BRITISH STEEL reissue at a good sale price. When I got to the store, there was only one copy left so I snatched it up right away. What I picked up was the two disc version…..the remastered CD and the live DVD with bonus interview. I knew that initital press releases stated that this release was a three CD set that included the remaster album, the DVD and an audio CD of the DVD performance. That’s the version I wanted but I figured that plans changed at the label and they released the album without the live CD. I even asked at the people at the counter and I was told that was the only version released, so I bought it. Then I went home and double checked everything. A friend of mine in Germany has the 3 disc version so I did more research and it turns out that the super deluxe set with the live disc comes out May 25th!

Avantasia – The Wicked Symphony (2010) – $10: One my favorite albums, and my 2008 Album of the Year, is Avanatasia’s THE SCARECROW. Actually, I love all the Avantasia albums so when I read that Avantasia was releasing two new records this year, I was buying them as soon as they came out. I held off on buying this CD on previous trips to the record store because the second record, and part two of the concept, ANGEL OF BABYLON hadn’t been released in the U.S. yet. Not really wanting half of the new metal opera, I waited. I went online and found the super deluxe edition box set of both CDs but it was way too pricey so when I went back to the store for the Priest reissue, I grabbed the lone copy of THE WICKED SYMPHONY. One copy and $6 off regular price? A no-brainer of a purchase and I figured that I could get ANGEL OF BABYLON at the same sale price in mid-June when it’s released in the U.S. Of course, then I went home and found an email alert from Ebay with a newly listed deluxe box set at an extremely cheap price ($20). I pulled the trigger with BUY IT NOW (I will list that purchase in the next update when I have it in my hands).

So now I have the wrong versions of two CDs, actually just one wrong version because I won’t need the Avantasia CD if I have the deluxe box set. My plan? Lucky for me I am completely anal when it comes to CD shopping and I keep all my receipts until the end of the year (I do this with everything!) so I am taking back both discs and returning them. They are intact, I never unwrapped them, so I have a credit coming my way of $24 + tax. The only way I don’t return the Avantasia CD is if the box set on it’s way is a Baltic/Russian pressing. Even though Baltic/Russian pressings are legit for that region and well made, they can be bought cheaper and sold higher for maximum profits by sellers in a black market sort of way. Ebay is full of Russian pressings and not many sellers let you know. I’m not sure if it’s a black market type of thing but most collectors frown upon these pressings even though they are licensed for that part of the world. I have asked the seller if it’s a Russian pressing and I haven’t received an answer yet but I couldn’t pass up the $20 BUY IT NOW because someone else surely would have grabbed it.

Another update is coming…..

From Bravewords.com:

Columbia/Legacy a division of Sony Music Entertainment, have announced the release of Legacy Edition of JUDAS PRIEST’s seminal album, British Steel, on May 10th in the UK and May 11th in North America.

British Steel: Legacy Edition features the 2001 remaster of the original 36-minute, nine-song album (plus two bonus tracks). Also included is a DVD which combines a live 16-song concert filmed in August 2009 at the Seminole Hard Rock Arena in Hollywood, Florida (the album sequence plus seven more cuts), with a 30-minute Making Of British Steel interview that includes all four original band members.

British Steel was the sixth studio album by Judas Priest. Released on April 14th, 1980 and produced by Tom Allom, British Steel was recorded at Tittenhurst Park in England – a mansion owned at the time by former BEATLE Ringo Starr, and previously owned by John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

British Steel has long been considered one of metals all-time classics. It was with this release that Priest truly broke through to the masses, with a pair of tracks that have become fixtures on rock radio – the enduring anthems ‘Breaking The Law’ and ‘Living After Midnight’. But like all classic albums, there is not a single weak track detected on British Steel, as evidenced by such standouts as the perennial concert highlight, ‘Metal Gods’, as well as ‘Rapid Fire’, ‘Grinder’, ‘United’ and ‘The Rage’, amongst others.

In 2009 Judas Priest performed the British Steel album in its entirety for the first time ever as part of their 30th anniversary USA tour. A filmed recording of the show on the August 17th, 2009 at The Seminole Hard Rock Arena, Hollywood, Florida – will be included in both the limited edition deluxe and deluxe releases. The show was captured in front of a vibrant American audience and in full 5.1 surround and stereo sound. Known for their high-energy and spectacular stage shows the band played the entire British Steel album in sequence as well as a number of other well-know tracks from their catalog.

The live concert was mixed in stereo and 5.1 by the original British Steel producer Tom Allom.

British Steel: Legacy Edition tracklisting:

Disc 1 – Remastered album
‘Rapid Fire’
‘Metal Gods’
‘Breaking The Law’
‘Grinder’
‘United’
‘You Don’t Have To Be Old To Be Wise’
‘Living After Midnight’
‘The Rage’
‘Steeler’
Bonus tracks:
‘Red, White & Blue’
‘Grinder’ (Live)

Disc 2 – DVD The British Steel 2009 Tour (Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Arena, Hollywood, Florida, August 17, 2009)
‘Rapid Fire’
‘Metal Gods’
‘Breaking The Law’
‘Grinder’
‘United’
‘You Don’t Have To Be Old To Be Wise’
‘Living After Midnight’
‘The Rage’
‘Steeler’
‘The Ripper’
‘Prophecy’
‘Hell Patrol’
‘Victim Of Changes’
‘Freewheel Burning’
‘Diamonds And Rust’
‘You’ve Got Another Thing Coming’

halfordIII - wintersongs

Halford III – Winter Songs (2009, Metal God Records)

  1. Get Into The Spirit
  2. We Three Kings
  3. Oh Come O Come Emanuel
  4. Winter Song
  5. What Child Is This?
  6. Christmas For Everyone
  7. I Don’t Care
  8. Light Of The World
  9. Oh Holy Night
  10. Come All Ye Faithful

Band Lineup:
Rob Halford – Vocals
Roy Z. – Guitars
‘Metal’ Mike Chlasciak – Guitars
Mike Davis – Bass
Bobby Jarzombek – Drums
Ed Roth – Keyboards

Producer: Roy Z.

Country: USA/U.K.

Total Time = 41:24

Halford
Halford MySpace page

Aside from my Heavy Metal collecting, I have this obsession with Christmas music. As soon as Halloween passes every year I wait impatiently for the two lite rock radio stations in my area to switch over to their holiday format of ’round the clock Christmas music. I know it’s sickening to drive around singing ‘Here Comes Santa Claus’ two months before the big day but I do it! The other thing I like to do is collect holiday albums from Rock and Metal bands. It started with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra but I’ve added many holiday albums from other bands, the latest being the third studio effort from Halford – WINTER SONGS.

Most Metal fans see the name Rob Halford and immeadiately think of Judas Priest…..somehow I can’t see the Priest doing renditions of Christmas songs! The other thing you think of when you talk Rob Halford is his soaring vocals that have carried him through almost four decades of Metal mayhem…..again, soaring Metal vocals and Christmas songs seem polar opposites. I’m sure many fans out there have been asking themselves what Rob and his band are thinking. The Halford band has been one of the best new Metal bands over the last 9 years and the two studio albums the band released (RESURRECTION in 2000 & CRUCIBLE in 2002) are extremely good. So it’s natural to wonder why Rob Halford would take time off from his current tenure in Judas Priest and take his solo band on a journey of holiday originals and covers. The answer is simple: because he wants to! I’ve read many interviews over the years with Rob and he has always said that he would like to try and do different styles of music so why not do a holiday themed album?

The opening song ‘Get Into the Spirit’ sounds exactly like a regular Halford song: plenty of guitar, pounding drums and those trademark Rob Halford vocals. If you put this on either RESURRECTION or CRUCIBLE it would fit in with no problem. The traditional ‘We Three Kings’ has turned metallic and works really well with some really cool guitars solos added in for good measure, Halford’s voice fits the song well. Same with ‘Oh Come O Come Emanuel’, the metallic version Halford puts on it really fits the song and Rob starts to stretch that voice out a bit. The best song on the album for me is ‘Winter Song’, a song written and originally performed by Sara Bareilles. Halford is backed by a piano, acoustic guitar and some subtle percussion…..and that’s it! There really isn’t much to the song at first but it builds up with some orchestration and it’s really just a love song. The Metal God doing a love song? Well…..yeah and it’s goo too! I immeadiately noticed how versatile and good Rob’s singing voice is, he can basically sing whatever he wants and do it well. I’m so used to hearing him sing ‘Victim Of Changes’ or ‘Painkiller’ but he really nails this track down with plenty of emotion and melody. It may not be Metal but it is one of my favorite performances of halford’s entire career and I have been a long time fan.

The next 6 songs are half original material and half holiday classics. ‘What Child Is This?’ stays close to the original and has a very Trans-Siberian Orchestra sound to it…..I wonder if TSO producer Paul O’Neill will consider Rob for a new TSO holiday album? I really enjoy the guitar in this song as well. ‘Christmas For Everyone’ is a rocked up original that has this Pop feel to it, like a ’60s Beach Boys feel. Sounds weird doesn’t it? It’s definitely something different. Same thing with ‘I Don’t Care’, it’s different and sounds like something from years past, almost a kinship with the Judas Priest cover of ‘Johnny B. Goode’ from RAM IT DOWN in 1988. The track has that early Rock ‘n’ Roll sound to it but with Metal guitars. The last original is ‘Light Of The World’ and this is another great performance from Rob and the band. It’s a ballad with orchestration and acoustic guitars mixed with subdued electric, a very Progressive Rock sounding song in the same style as a Lana Lane, Rocket Scientists, or Ayreon. I could see ‘Light Of The World’ fitting in somewhere on Judas Priest’s last studio record NOSTRADAMUS because of that Progressive sound. The last two songs are traditional holiday songs, ‘Oh Holy Night’ and ‘Come All Ye Faithful’. Both songs are performed pretty much like the originals just with a more metallic base…..Rob’s vocals really soar throughout both songs and, if you look at the whole album, the vocals are superb on all the traditional holiday covers as well.

Bottom Line:
This is definitely something different from the Metal God but it’s also a solid effort. Halford’s voice is as versatile as it is powerful and he really puts in a masterful performance on the entire album, it makes me appreciate his singing even more. The Halford band is tight as ever and they are able to go from pure Metal to quieter, more subtle tones for some of the quieter songs. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the album because I wasn’t sure just how it would turn out, the Halford band and holiday music isn’t something you normally put together. I like all the songs on the album with maybe two originals (‘Christmas For Everyone’ & ‘I Don’t Care’) falling short of the high standard. They work well within the contaxt of the album but they are the weakest songs when compared to some of the majestic performances surrounding them. If Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Billy Idol and Twisted Sister can pull it off then a band as talented as halford can too. This is definitely a winner as far as holiday albums go and as for Halford albums go. It may not be the Metal of RESURRECTION but there is plenty here to please Metalheads and Christmas music fans alike.

Favorite Songs:
‘Winter Song’, ‘Light Of The World’, ‘Get Into The Spirit’, ‘We Three Kings’, ‘Oh Holy Night’

Judas Priest - A Touch Of Evil Live (2009)

Judas Priest – A Touch Of Evil Live (2009, Sony/Epic)

  1. Judas Rising
  2. Hellrider
  3. Between The Hammer And The Anvil
  4. Riding On The Wind
  5. Death
  6. Beyond The Realms Of Death
  7. Dissident Aggressor
  8. A Touch Of Evil
  9. Eat Me Alive
  10. Prophecy
  11. Painkiller

Band Lineup:
Rob Halford – Vocals
Glenn Tipton – Guitars
KK Downing – Guitars
Ian Hill – Bass
Scott Travis – Drums

Producers: Tom Allom & Judas Priest

Total Time = 59:58

Judas Priest
Judas Priest MySpace page

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.

Bottom Line:
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.

Favorite Songs:
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.