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Judas Priest - Nostradamus

By Charlie Steffens aka Gnarly Charlie, Writer/Photographer
Tuesday, July 8, 2008 @ 11:38 PM


Epic

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From the past to the present to eternity.

Judas Priest has made yet another contribution to the betterment of heavy metal with the release of Nostradamus. The follow up to 2005’s Angel of Retribution, the two-disc offering is the band’s first whack at a concept record in an illustrious career spanning over three decades.

Initially, Nostradamus might be better listened to with low expectations, because you won’t hear much of the same slashing Tipton/Downing guitars or Pyrex-shattering Halford screams as in other Priest albums. It may not get you on the first or third try, but take it in like a story or maybe as a sort of heavy metal Iliad, and it will sweep you away. It’s just like an audio book…only completely different. It’s like a rock opera, where the listener creates the imagery and sees life in the eyes of the greatest foreteller of all time, Nostradamus.

“Prophecy,” is Nostradamus’ admission that he can foresee the future and that he is the voice of God. Rather grandiose of the guy, but do you think Rob Halford would want to portray a flute-playing philosopher who didn’t have power? “Death” is a slow-building, powerful display of metal with Halford singing like a demon before the compelling power of Priest slashes you like British steel.

As you take the journey you’ll encounter the toils and troubles of a rejected messiah in the 1500’s who was regarded as both mad and brilliant for his visions. The story isn’t all about the man’s pain and darkness—there is “New Beginnings,” where a rejoicing love stricken Nostradamus sings of living the dream of his life. Then, after the ethereal interlude “Calm Before the Storm,” all hell breaks loose again with the electrifying title track.

Some might bow down in reverence to the metal gods and regard this album as otherworldly, maybe the quintessential Judas Priest album, others may scoff for it being too stringy and symphonic and a bit too operatic. Nonetheless, Judas Priest wanted to do a concept album and they pulled it off with this one.

So…what about Halford in a Broadway production of Nostradamus?

DISC ONE

  • Dawn of Creation
  • Prophecy
  • Awakening
  • Revelations
  • The Four Horsemen
  • War
  • Sands of Time
  • Pestilence and Plague
  • Death
  • Peace
  • Conquest
  • Lost Love
  • Persecution
DISC TWO
  • Solitude
  • Exiled
  • Alone
  • Shadows in the Flame
  • Visions
  • Hope
  • New Beginnings
  • Calm Before The Storm
  • Nostradamus
  • Future of Mankind

* * * *

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