Judas Priest “Firepower”

My relationship with Judas Priest starts in 1997 when I first bought Jugulator. I loved the record. I thought it was actually perfect. It’s what they were selling at Best Buy, so before we dig into why I chose that record over Painkiller initially is perhaps that it just wasn’t available where I was shopping at the time. 
     I was eleven back then so I didn’t really know about Halford or Tipton or anybody really, I just knew this record had power. As the years passed and I learned about the act’s legacy and started to trace back their catalogue, I never understood the early part of their discography. I remember ordering the entire back catalogue on eBay and was so disappointed when half a dozen vinyls showed up at the front door. I’d kill to have those records with me today.
     I didn’t understand how a band as powerful as what I heard could be so frail on records like Screaming For Vengeance and Stained Class. There was certainly the classic Painkiller that was on the borderline between both worlds, but the variability is something that always stuck with me, and it was my first exposure to the wide range of production. I also never valued the passing of time in accordance with a band’s delivery, and it is something that I first understood with my relationship with the Priest catalogue.
     It’s been twenty years, and I’ve certainly come a long way in appreciation of the band’s history and now realize that claiming Jugulator to be my favorite Priest record is sort of sacrilege to all things metal and purists of the band. Firepower is here to carry the band’s torch in what is their eighteenth release and sustain their legacy. Halford is in top form, and the band is ripping solos alongside steady double bass like it’s Painkiller all over again. There’s no denying the importance of this band and although there’s not much in the new record that reinvents the wheel, it’s such a luxury to see such strong sustainment from a historical outfit. Judas Priest is truly inspiring and reaffirms that there is no limit to our dreams, regardless of how ridiculous they might be.

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