Judas Priest To Re-Issue Another Classic Album Next Year

Courtesy: Sony Music

Courtesy: Sony Music

Judas Priest will re-issue another of its classic albums next year.

The veteran hard rock band announced this week it will re-issue its 1986 album Turbo on Feb. 3, 2017 via Sony Music.  The band’s 10th full-length studio recording, it was a major change of pace for the band stylistically and lyrically.

The album will be re-issued on a 3-CD set that includes the original album along with two bonus discs featuring live performances of songs included in Turbo and other classic Judas Priest songs.  The live performances are all previously unreleased recordings.  The track listing for the 3-disc set is noted below.

 

Track listing:

DISC ONE – TURBO: REMASTERED                    
Turbo Lover
Locked In
Private Property
Parental Guidance
Rock You All Around The World
Out In The Cold
Wild Nights, Hot & Crazy Days
Hot For Love
Reckless

DISC TWO – LIVE AT THE KEMPER ARENA, KANSAS CITY 
Out In the Cold
Locked In
Heading Out To The Highway
Metal Gods
Breaking The Law
Love Bites
Some Heads Are Gonna Roll
The Sentinel
Private Property
Desert Plains
Rock You All Around The World

DISC THREE- LIVE AT THE KEMPER ARENA, KANSAS CITY 
The Hellion
Electric Eye
Turbo Lover
Freewheel Burning
Victim Of Changes
The Green Manalishi (With The Two -Pronged Crown)
Living After Midnight
You’ve Got Another Thing Coming
Hell Bent For Leather

 

Along with its triple-disc re-issue, Turbo album will also be re-issued on a single-disc 150-gram vinyl pressing. The album can be pre-ordered online now via Judas Priest’s webstore.

More information on the band’s upcoming re-issue of Turbo is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://judaspriest.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OfficialJudasPriest

Twitter: http://twitter.com/judaspriest

 

 

 

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Santana Shines Again In Phil’s Picks’ 2016 Top 10 New Live DVDs/BDs List

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

The weather outside is definitely looking frightful this time of year.  That means rather than going outside to get out and about, people are going to be looking more for ways to have fun while they stay indoors and stay warm.  That is just one of so many reasons that record labels churn out so many live recordings each year.  The problem with all of those recordings is that while some are truly standout offerings, others are otherwise forgettable space fillers used to fulfill contractual obligations for the given acts.  Presented today are some of the best of this year’s new live recordings.

Whereas Phil’s Picks already presented the year’s top new live CD recordings, this time Phil’s Picks is presenting the year’s top new live DVDs and Blu-rays.  A lot of thought and consideration went into this list.  The concerts’ set lists, the bands’ performances, the cinematography and audio mix all went into consideration for this list as did the recordings’ companion booklets or lack thereof.  So it goes without saying that it wasn’t an easy list to assemble.  But this critic tried.
As always, the list presented here includes not just this critic’s list of the year’s top new live DVDs and BDs but five honorable mention titles for a total of 15 recordings.  Without any further ado, here for you, is Phil’s Picks 2016 Top 10 New Live DVDs/BDs.
PHIL’S PICKS 2016 TOP 10 NEW LIVE DVDs/BDs
 
1. SantanaSantana IV Live at the House of Blues Las Vegas
2. KISSKISS Rocks Vegas
 
3. Joe BonamassaLive at the Greek Theatre
4. Judas PriestBattle Cry
5. Motley CrueThe End Live in Los Angeles
6. The Rolling StonesHavana Moon
7. Deep PurpleLive at the NEC
8. Melody GardotLive in Paris
9. Gregory PorterLive in Berlin
10. ScorpionsLive in Munich
11. Alan JacksonLive at Red Rocks
12. Michael Schenker’s Temple of RockRock on a MissionLive in Madrid
13. SaxonFeel Your Power
14. Imagine DragonsSmoke + Mirrors Live
15. Fall Out BoyThe Boys of Zummer TourLive in Chicago
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Santana Shows The Way In The Phil’s Picks 2016 Top 10 New Live CDs List

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Experiencing a live performance of one’s favorite act(s) is a very special event.  That is because it serves to help fans and their favorite acts connect in a way that taking in said acts’ studio releases just can’t.  What’s more attending live concerts isn’t always easy or inexpensive.  Between the cost of tickets, food, souvenirs, gas, and lodging, attending concerts can cost almost as much as a used car sometimes, depending on the act.  In other cases, one’s favorite acts might never even come near one’s town.  So what is a person to do to experience one’s favorite acts?  The answer is simple: the live recording.  That brings us to the topic of today’s “Best Of” list.

Today, Phil’s Picks presents its list of the year’s Top 10 New Live CDs.  Everyone should understand this is distinguished from the year’s top new live DVDs and BDs.  That’s because some recordings come only on CD while others are only presented on the latter format.  Others are also presented in both formats both separate of one another and collectively.  The recordings included in this list include both standalone CDs and CDs included in complete DVD/BD/CD sets.  One of the standalone live CDs included in this list is ZZ Top’s new live recording Greatest Hits Live.  The Outlaws’ Legacy Live is another of those standalone CD recordings.  Joe Bonamassa also has a new live recording in the form of Live at the Greek Theatre that is available on separate CD, DVD, and BD platforms.  It’s on this list, too.  Suffice it to say, there’s a healthy mix of new live titles here both in terms of genre and platform.  So, enough rambling.  Presented here for you is Phil’s Picks 2016 Top 10 New Live CDs.

It should be noted here again that the list includes the Phil’s Picks Top 10 new Live CDs as well as five additional honorable mention titles for a total of 15 recordings.

 

PHIL’S PICKS 2016 TOP 10 NEW LIVE CDs

 

  1. Santana IV Live at the House of Blues Las Vegas
  1. ZZ TopGreatest Hits Live
  1. Judas PriestBattle Cry
  1. KISSKISS Rocks Vegas
  1. Joe Bonamassa Live at the Greek Theatre
  1. The OutlawsLegacy Live

  2. The Rolling StonesHavana Moon

  3. Motley Crue – The End: Live in Los Angeles

  4. SaxonFeel Your Power

  5. Imagine DragonsSmoke + Mirrors Live

  6. Iggy Pop Post Pop Depression

  7. Ayreon – The Theater Equation
  8. Pete Townshend’s Deep EndFace The Face

  9. Wacken 201526 Years Louder Than Hell

  10. LeprousLive at Rockefeller Center

 

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Metal Purists Will Appreciate UDR Music’s Wacken 2015 Recording

Courtesy: UDR Music

Courtesy: UDR Music

The Wacken Open Air Festival is one of the most renowned hard rock concert festivals if the music industry.  The festival started 26 years ago in the city after which it is named.  Late this summer UDR Music celebrated the festivals 25th anniversary – marked in 2015 – with the release of the festival’s 25th anniversary recording.  Considering that the recording presents the show lineup from the festival’s 25th anniversary, its title is a little bit misleading.  That aside, it is still an enjoyable experience for any purist member of the metal nation worldwide.  That is due in no small part to the lineup presented in the recording.  This will be discussed shortly.  The bands’ performances are just as important to note in the recording’s presentation as is the recording’s presented lineup.  That will be discussed later.  The platforms on which the recording has been made available rounds out the most important of the recording’s elements.  Each element is clearly important in its own right to the recording’s presentation.  All things considered, Live at Wacken 2015 26 Years Louder Than Hell is one of this year’s top new overall live recordings.

Live at Wacken 2015 – ­26 Years Louder Than Hell is one of 2016’s top new overall live recordings.  It is hardly the first live recording that the festival’s organizers have ever released.  Even with that in mind, it is still an enjoyable recording for the festival’s fans and for the purist metal legions around the world.  That is due in no small part to the recording’s featured performer list.  A total of 107 bands performed on Wacken 2015 between the Bullhead City Circus, Party Stage and double main stage.  It goes without saying that considering that mass of metal, there’s no way that UDR or the fesitval’s organizers could have possibly featured every one of those bands.  Regardless, the featured performer list included in this recording is still impressive in its own right.  That list includes the likes of Judas Priest, Danko Jones, Uli Jon Roth, In Flames, Annihilator and so many others.  Simply put, the perfomer list featured in this recording pulls from a number of metal’s sub genres and from so many eras of metal’s history.  It goes to show the respect that the festival’s organizers and fans have for metal, its history and culture.  Sure, it would have been nice to have Dream Theater included in the featured performer list, or maybe Hellyeah, or even Prong (yes, even Prong performed at Wacken 2015).  But the performer list included in this recording is still impressive in its own right in the end.  Considering this, it should be clear why it is such an important piece of the recording’s presentation.  It is just one of the important elements to note.  The featured acts’ stage presence in their performances is just as important to note here as the acts themselves.

The acts that are featured in UDR Music’s new Wacken Open Air Festival recording are important in their own right to the recording’s overall presentation.  That is because while hardly every one of the bands that performed at the festival, they represent a wide swatch of the metal community and its history.  That means the recording will reach just as wide of an audience.  While the recording’s featured performer list is clearly an important piece of the recording’s presentation, it is hardly the recording’s only important element.  The bands’ stage presence in their performances plays an important part in the recording’s presentation, too.  Rob Halford and company prove the importance of the bands’ performances right from the recording’s outset.  They take the stage and own it with ease.  Halford is at the top of his game both in terms of his vocal talent and his very presence.  Glenn Tipton is just as enjoyable to take in as he works his way through the band’s performance of ‘Painkiller.  On another note, the members of Running Wild are just as impressive as they work through the high-octane ‘Under The Jolly Roger.’  Skindred’s performance of ‘Proceed With Caution’ will have home audiences on their feet just as easily as it did the audience in attendance of the festival.  That is because of the fire and energy exuded by the band throughout its performance.  It is just one more example of the importance of the bands’ performance to the festival recording’s presentation.  One could just as easily cite the performances from My Dying Bride, In Flames, and Death Angel as proof of that importance, too.  All things considered, it is safe to say that every single performance featured in this recording will keep home audiences just as entertained and engaged as the audiences that got to enjoy the festival in person.  Even with all of this in mind, the bands’ performances still are not the last element to note in examining this recording.  The platforms on which the recording has been made available are just as important to note as the previously discussed elements.

The bands that were featured in Live at Wacken 2015 26 Years Louder Than Hell and their performances are both key elements in examining the festival’s recording.  The featured performer list presents the past, present and future of metal while also presenting a solid cross-section proving what has made the festival so respected for now 26 years.  The featured bands’ performances are so important to note because they will keep home audiences just as entertained and engaged as the audiences who had the honor of experiencing the festival in person.  While both elements are clearly important both alone and collectively to the recording’s presentation, they are not its only important elements.  The platforms on which the recording has been made available are just as important to note as the previously noted elements.  Audiences will be happy to know that the recording has been made available on separate 2 DVD/2 CD and 2 BD/2 CD combo pack.  The DVD set averages approximately $22 and the BD set $23.  Considering that, the various platforms and their prices are relatively affordable for audiences.  The only downside to the sets is that their set lists don’t exactly match.  Not every song featured in the recording’s DVD and BD presentation is included in the recording’s CD platform.  To that end, it is the recording’s only major negative, which is actually a good thing.  That means that the recording’s varied platforms and other discussed elements more than make up for that one negative, as unavoidable as it is to note.  All things considered, Live at Wacken 2015 26 Years Louder Than Hell proves in the bigger picture to be one of 2016’s top new live recordings as well as one of the year’s top new live DVD/BDs and CDs.  It is available now in stores and online.

Live at Wacken 2015 26 Years Louder Than Hell is one of 2016’s top new live recordings.  That is the case even considering that it does have at least one unavoidable negative.  The recording’s featured performer list and the featured acts’ performances partner with the varied platforms on which the recording has been made available to make the recording an enjoyable experience for any purist member of the metal nation worldwide.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on this and other titles from UDR Music is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.udr-music.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/UDRMusic

Twitter: http://twitter.com/udrmusic

 

 

 

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Conquest’s ‘Under The Influence’ Is Not Just Another Covers Album

Courtesy:  Dark Star Records

Courtesy: Dark Star Records

Early this past April St. Louis, Missouri-based metal outfit Conquest released its latest album Under The Influence.  The forty-three-minute covers album presents eleven songs from some of the band members’ favorite bands.  The songs themselves are, collectively, their own important part of the record’s presentation.  That will be discussed shortly.  They are not the album’s only key element.  The band’s take on the featured songs is just as important to note in this record’s presentation as the songs themselves.  That will be discussed later.  The album’s overall sequencing rounds out the record’s most important elements.  Each element is important in its own right to the album’s whole.  Altogether all three elements Under The Influence a covers album that any rock fan should hear at least once.  This applies regardless of audiences’ familiarity with Conquest’s body of work.

Covers albums are a dime a dozen nowadays in the music industry.  Nine times out of ten, they are space fillers used between new albums to tide over fans and fulfill contractual obligations for record labels.  Even worse, said albums are commonly thrown together rather haphazardly, much like all of the “hits” albums that are out there.  The end result in both cases are albums (if one even wants to call them albums—note the sarcasm) that are anything but memorable or even worth having in one’s personal music collection.  Enter Under The Influence, the new covers collection from St. Louis, Missouri’s hard rock outfit Conquest.  Unlike all of the covers (and “hits”—technically singles) collections out there on the market today this eleven-song compilation record is one that every rock fan should head at least once.  This applies regardless of audiences’ familiarity with Conquest and its body of work.  The record’s featured covers are in themselves just one of the elements that make this record worth hearing.  That is the case because the songs don’t just come from one of rock’s many sub-genres or another.  Rather it crosses those genres from beginning to end.  It also spans rock’s rich modern history with its presented songs.  It all kicks off with a pair of Judas Priest covers in the form of ‘Metal Gods’ and ‘The Ripper.’  That pair of songs is followed by a cover of Iron Maiden’s beloved ‘Wraith Child.’ The band gets even heavier from there with its own take on Metallica’s ‘For Whom The Bell Tolls.’  Things change even more dramatically in the band’s next offering, a cover of Motorhead’s ‘Ace of Spades.’  This one comes at just the right moment, too, as it is essentially the album’s midway point.  It isn’t even the album’s most interesting of the record’s inclusions either.  The album’s second half features covers of songs from Bon Jovi, Anthrax, Pantera, Black Sabbath, Motley Crue, and even UFO.  To say that that is a broad swath of bands (and songs) would be an understatement.  Simply put, the eleven songs (and bands) that are featured in this covers collection is extremely wide.  The songs are just as diverse in their stylistic approaches as the bands are within their own rock sub-genres.  Keeping that in mind, it becomes clear as to why the songs featured in this record are so important to its presentation.  They don’t subject listeners to just one style of rock.  Rather, they cover so many different styles from so many ages of rock’s rich history.  They make up just one of the record’s most important elements.  The band’s take on each of the featured songs is just as important to note here as the songs themselves.

The songs (and bands) that are featured in Conquest’s new covers collection are collectively their own important part of the record’s presentation.  That is because they lift liberally from rock’s rich modern history.  The songs present a wide range of bands and rock styles from beginning to end.  That is just one part of what makes this record a rare covers collection that is actually worth hearing.  The band’s actual performance of the record’s featured songs is just as important as the songs themselves.  The band’s take on Metallica’s ‘For Whom The Bell Tolls’ is one of the band’s best performances in this record.  If one were to hear this take on the classic heavy metal tune without knowing it was Conquest, one would actually think that it was Metallica.  The band performed the song verbatim both lyrically and stylistically.  And front man Derrick Brumley may not sound just like James Hetfield circa 1984.  But listeners will be surprised at the similarity in the sound of the singers’ vocals.  The band’s take on ‘Ace of Spades’ is just as impressive.  One could argue in fact, that Conquest’s take on the classic rock anthem is just as good as Motorhead’s original recording.  It doesn’t bear the grittier, garage rock sound presented in Motorhead’s original composition.  But even with that taken into consideration it still pays honor stylistically to the original right down to the song’s familiar up-tempo bass line (handled here by bassist Rob Boyer).  One of the song’s biggest surprises is Brumley’s vocal delivery.  It’s not certain as to whether or not Brumley set out to emulate Lemmy Kilmister in this cover.  But interestingly enough listeners will note that there is a certain element of that gritty sound made so familiar by the late rock legend in Brumley’s own vocal delivery here.  It is a nice touch to the, and especially so if Brumley did not set out to try to sound like Kilmister.  The band’s take on UFO’s ‘Lights Out In London’ is another example of the importance of the band’s performances in this record.  It could actually be argued here that Conquest’s cover is even better than the original.  That is thanks to the bombastic guitar solos, Bruley’s powerhouse vocal delivery, and Tim Fleetwood’s equally solid work behind the kit.  Of course Boyer’s work on the bass here shouldn’t be ignored either.  The whole of the band’s work here makes the band’s take on the song a song that will have make every rocker out there proud.  It is just one more example of what makes the band’s performance of each of the record’s featured songs is just as important as the songs themselves.  They are hardly the record’s only key examples of that importance.  Audiences will take just as much notice of the band’s take on ‘Dead Or Alive’ ‘Wraithchild’ and ‘Cowboys From Hell.’  The prior pair of covers is much more bombastic here in the case of the original songs.  ‘Cowboys From Hell’ on the other hand is a relatively close take on the original.  All three will hold listeners’ ears and have them talking afterward just as much as the other noted covers and those covers not noted here.  All in all, the band’s take on each of the songs featured proves just as pivotal to the record’s presentation as the songs themselves.  They are not the record’s only important elements, though.  The album’s sequencing is just as important to its presentation as the songs and their performances.

The songs that are featured in Conquest’s new covers collection and the band’s take on each song are equally important to the album’s presentation.  The songs are so important to note because of the broad range of influences presented throughout the record’s forty-three minute run time.  The band’s performance of the songs is just as important to note as the songs themselves because of the similarities and differences between the originals and the band’s updated take on each song.  Those similarities and differences are certain to create their own share of interest and discussion among audiences.  As important as each element proves to the record’s whole they are not its only key elements.  The record’s sequencing is just as important to its presentation as those noted elements.  Audiences that pay close attention to the record’s sequencing will note that for the most part the record maintains a relatively solid energy level from beginning to end.  Though, the energy does pick up just enough at given points, so as to maintain listeners’ engagement.  It picks up first just past the record’s halfway point in the form of Motorhead’s ‘Ace of Spades’ before puling back just a little bit as the record transitions into its second half.  As the album nears its end the band picks things up once more in the covers of ‘Red Hot’ and ‘Cowboys From Hell’ before finishing off with the slightly slower (slightly at best) but no less heavy ‘Children of the Grave.’  Simply put, the band has balanced the record’s energy and even its varied musical styles from beginning to end thanks to its expert sequencing.  This ensures listeners’ maintained engagement, and in turn, entertainment.  Keeping this in mind, the record’s sequencing shows in the end why it is just as important to its presentation as its songs and performances thereof.  Each element is important in its own way to the whole of the record.  All things considered, Under The Influence shows in the end to be a rarity of a covers album.  It doesn’t come across as just some contractually obligated space filler.  Rather it proves to be a collection of classic rock songs that Conquest’s fans will enjoy just as much as those of the bands featured throughout the record.  It is a record that succeeds at presenting a solid introduction to rock’s rich modern history all while entertaining rock fans of all ages.  It is a covers collection that is actually worth hearing at least once regardless of audiences’ familiarity with Conquest or its body of work.

Conquest’s latest studio recording Under The Influence is a record that every rock fan should hear at least once.  This applies regardless of listeners’ familiarity with the band or its body of work.  That is because it isn’t just a random, contractually obligated space filler record.  Its eleven songs present a solid introduction to rocks rich modern history.  That is thanks to the broad array of bands and songs that is presented here.  The band’s performance of each song is just as important to the record’s presentation as the songs themselves.  That is because they present new and familiar takes on the classic songs; takes that will keep listeners engaged and generate their own share of discussion among audiences.  The album’s sequencing rounds out its presentation.  Over the course of its forty-three minutes, the records sequencing expertly balances the record’s energy from beginning to end.  This ensures just as much listeners’ engagement.  Each element plays its own important part in the record’s presentation.  Altogether they make Under The Influence a record that very rock fan should hear at least once regardless of one’s familiarity with Conquest or its body of work.  It is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered online direct via Dark Star Records’ online store.  More information on this and other titles from Conquest is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://conquestmetal.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/conuestrocks

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Conquest Offering Free Song Download

Courtesy: Dark Star Records

Courtesy: Dark Star Records

Independent metal act Conquest is making some of its music available to the masses.

The St. Louis, Missouri-based band, which is signed to Dark Star Records, has made available for free download its cover of Black Sabbath’s ‘Children of the Grave.’  It is available here.  But it is only available for a limited time.  It will be available only until next Monday, June 20th.  The band’s cover of the classic tune is included in the band’s album Under The Influence.  Front man Derrick Brumley explained recently where his love for both the song and for Black Sabbbath comes from noting, “These guys started it all. When I was 7 or 8 my brother’s girlfriend brought over their first album and I was completely blown away! She ended up leaving it at our house and it became mine. “Children ..” is the one song that has stuck with me over the years.”

Under The Influence is the tenth full-length studio recording from Conquest and its third for Dark Star Records.  It was released April 8th.  The album is a collection of covers of music from bands that influenced the band’s own members including: Judas Priest, Metallica, Motorhead, Pantera, and (believe it or not) Bon Jovi among many others.  It can be ordered online now direct via Dark Star Records’ online store.  More information on Conquest, it’s new album, free download, live dates, and more is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://conquestmetal.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/conquestrocks

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Battle Cry Is A Loud, Proud Live Statement From Judas Priest

Courtesy:  Epic Records

Courtesy: Epic Records

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary a battle cry is a word, phrase, or sound that is shouted by soldiers in a battle.  It is also called a phrase or saying that is used to make people support an idea, a cause, etc.  Keeping this in mind it makes sense that Judas Priest would call its new live recording Battle Cry.  That is because this new recording–due out this Friday, March 25th on CD, DVD, and Blu-ray–will have home viewers chanting the band’s name as if it was a battle cry just as much as audiences that were in attendance at the taping of the concert featured in the new recording.  There is a lot to say to the positive about this new recording, especially on DVD and Blu-ray beginning with the show’s set list.  The main concert’s set list runs seventeen songs deep and roughly ninety minutes in time.  There are also three bonus songs included in the recording bringing the set list to a total of twenty songs and the feature’s total run time (trt in TV terms) to nearly two hours.  It is just one part of what makes this recording a success.  The band’s stage presence is another part of the experience that makes it so memorable.  In comparison to the band’s previous live recording Epitaph (2013) the band’s stage presence in this recording is noticeably more lively to say the very least.  It is a welcome change of pace.  Last but hardly least of note in this recording is its production values.  Between the sound, the camera work and the final product produced in post, the concert proves to be an experience that translates quite well on screen in those aspects.  Each element is important in its own way to the whole of the recording.  Collectively, they make this latest live recording from Judas Priest one of 2016’s top new live recordings.

Judas Priest’s new live recording Battle Cry is one of 2016’s top new live recordings.  That is because the band’s roughly ninety-minute performance will leave audiences chanting the band’s name like warriors chanting a battle cry.  One reason that it will impress audiences so much is its set list.  The set list runs seventeen songs deep and roughly an hour and a half.  It pulls songs from the band’s nearly five-decades-long career.  It includes the likes of ‘Breaking The Law,’ ‘Hell Bent For Leather,’ ‘Painkiller,’ ‘Redeemer of Souls,’ and a number of others from across the band’s expansive catalogue.  The concert’s DVD and Blu-ray platform features three extra performances as bonus features in the form of ‘Screaming For Vengeance,’ ‘The Rage,’ and ‘Desert Plains,’  That brings the set list to a total of twenty songs and the recording’s total run time to nearly two hours.  To be more exact, it comes to a total of roughly an hour and forty minutes.  In other words, audiences get a complete concert in this recording’s set list.  They get that concert without having to leave the comfort of their homes and without having to spend the exorbitant prices of admission, gas, concessions, and any other costs that go into attending a live show in person.  To that extent, the concert’s expansive set list is plenty of reason in itself for audiences and fans alike to add Battle Cry to their home music collections and DVD/BD libraries.  OF course it is hardly the recording’s only positive.  There is also the matter of the band’s stage presence here.

The set list that is featured in Judas Priest’s new live recording is in itself an important part of the recording’s whole.  That is because it doesn’t just focus on the band’s most recent album Redeemer of Souls.  Instead the band attempts to cover as much of its expansive body of work as possible over the course of its ninety minute run time.  The set list is just one important part of the recording that should be noted.  The band’s stage presence throughout this recording is just as important to note as the concert’s set list.  The band’s stage presence throughout this concert, originally recorded August 1st, 2015 at the annual Wacken Open Air Festival, translates quite well to home viewers.  Compared to the band’s stage presence in its last live recording, 2013’s Epitaph it is far more energetic here.  This applies not just to front man Rob Halford but to his band mates, too.  For those that have not yet seen Epitaph, the set list in that recording was impressive.  But the band’s stage presence just didn’t seem entirely there in that performance.  Halford and company didn’t really move around the stage much or even interact with the audience that much.  That left the band’s performance of its set list to shoulder the load so to speak.  The energy was there in the songs.  It just wasn’t entirely there in terms of the band members’ overall performance.  Flash forward to the 2015 Wacken Open Air Festival and audiences see a completely different band.  Halford and company come across as being rejuvenated here.  Halford at one point even pulls a Freddie Mercury impersonation of sorts as he gets the audiences of thousands to respond to his call as part of the setup to one of the show’s songs.  The way that he strutted across the stage and got the audience to respond conjures those thoughts.  Whether or not Halford was in fact trying to emulate the late great front man is anyone’s guess.  Regardless, that interaction between Halford and the audience is a nice touch to the show in its simplicity.  Ian Hill, Richie Faulkner, and Glenn Tipton all do their own part to add to the band’s stage presence as does drummer Scott Travis.  All four men exhibit their own energy in their performances throughout the concert.  Again by comparison the difference is clearly visible.  And together with Halford’s energy, the band members’ collective power throughout the show makes the concert that much more enjoyable for audiences and fans alike.  Of course one cannot deny the role that the work of those in the show’s production crew and those involved in the concert’s post production played in the translation of that stage presence to home viewers.  Their collective work rounds out the recording’s most important elements.

The set list featured in Judas Priest’s new live recording and the band’s performance of said set list both play their own important part in the recording’s presentation.  Collectively, they make the recording a joy for audiences and fans alike.  The songs cover a respectable swath of the band’s extensive catalogue.  The band’s performance of that set list obviously captured audiences in attendance at the concert’s taping and kept them completely engaged from start to finish.  It will have the same impact on home viewers, too.  Speaking of those home viewers, a big reason that the concert in whole will keep home viewers just as engaged is the work of those that captured the concert and those that handled it in post-production.  The camera crew and those behind the boards did an exceptional job of capturing the band’s energy as it worked its way through its set.  The camera crew captured the whole thing from quite a few angles to say the very least.  There are various shots throughout the show from the vantage point of the audience.  There are just as many shots from the stage, too.  Audiences get to get up close and personal so to speak with Scott Travis more than once.  And needless to say the effect of those shots is in itself powerful as he drives the band through each song.  Audiences also get plenty of different angles of Halford and company as well as shots of the immense crowd in attendance.  The whole of the footage results in an experience that will keep home viewers completely engaged in the show from beginning to end.  Those behind the concert’s audio mix are to be commended just as much as those behind the cameras.  That is because just as indoor concerts pose their own challenges, so do outdoor shows.  And being that this festival is as massive as it is, the challenges had to have been great to say the very least.  Sound has the capability to spread out in all directions both from the stage and from the audience.  Luckily, those behind the boards balanced everything with the utmost expertise throughout the show thus making the experience all the more enjoyable.  The end result of the production crew’s work in whole is a concert experience that audiences and fans alike will want to take in time and again.  For all of their efforts, those that handled the concert’s post-production are to be commended in their own right, too.  That is because their efforts paid off just as much as those of the crew that captured the concert in its original taping.  Those that edited the original concert in preparation for its release assembled the original footage in a way that assured a solid translation from live to screen.  They also balanced the concert’s audio levels with the same expertise, giving the concert a sound that demands it be heard on a surround sound home theater system.  That is not to say that it can’t be enjoyed on a TV by itself.  But it can be said that a home theater system offers the best experience in terms of the concert’s sound.  Again that is thanks to the work of those the handled the concert’s post-production.  Their efforts and those of the concert’s original production crew come together in the end to make the overall experience one that is just as good as being there in person if not better since it’s in the comfort of audiences’ own homes.  And together with the show’s set list and the band’s performance of said set list, the recording in whole proves to be an easy, early candidate for any critic’s list of 2016’s top new live recordings.

Judas Priest’s new live recording Battle Cry is undeniably one of this year’s early picks for the year’s best new live recordings list.  The reasons for this are plenty, too.  The roughly ninety-minute set list features a number of the band’s biggest hits from its nearly five decades-long career.  The band’s stage presence throughout that time is just as important as it shows a band that still has plenty left in its collective, proverbial tank.  That is clear in the band’s performance of each song.  The concert’s production values both in regards to the original taping and the concert’s post-production are just as much to applaud as the band’s stage presence and the show’s set list.  The concert’s production values round out its most important elements.  That is because without the expert work put into bringing the concert home the concert wouldn’t even be worth watching.  Thankfully though, that isn’t the case.  Thanks to its top notch production values, the band’s performance and its set list make this recording a concert that audiences and fans alike will want to experience and should experience.  All things considered, Battle Cry is a recording that will leave audiences and fans alike proudly chanting the band’s name along with those that were in attendance at the show’s original recording.  They will agree as they chant the Judas Priest battle cry that this recording is one of 2016’s best live recordings.  It will be available in stores and online this Friday, March 25th via Epic Records.  More information on Battle Cry is available online now along with all of Judas Priest’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.judaspriest.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OfficialJudasPriest

Twitter: http://twitter.com/judaspriest

 

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