Courtesy: Sony Legacy/Legacy Recordings
Judas Priest’s latest live release is a must have for any true hardcore fan of this legendary metal act. The closing show of what is said to be the band’s last live tour spans the band’s forty year career together. The good news is that while this show marked the end of the band’s last tour, fans still allegedly have another new album for which they will be waiting after the release of this recording. So much could be said of this latest live recording that fans will appreciate. Right off the bat, fans with surround sound home theater systems will appreciate it more than anyone else. And then of course, there is also the quality of the footage. Home viewers will especially enjoy the overhead shots of drummer Scott Travis and the multiple angle shots of the band’s multi-guitar attack from Richie Faulkner, Glenn Tipton and bassist Ian Hill. The talent of this group of old dogs is just as worthy of discussion as the audio and video quality of the recording. So is the set list for the band’s career defining show. When the trio come together for its classic multi-guitar stage stance, it will take fans of old school metal shows back even more, adding that much more to what is an incredible live show all the way around.
The very first thing that audiences catch from Epitaph is the audio quality of this recording. Those with surround sound home theater systems will love the full-on live concert effect that they will experience. Even those without home theater systems will still get quite the experience when they go into their television’s settings and set the audio to match the recording. Those with digital televisions should easily be able to simply hit a button on their remote to adjust the sound accordingly. Once the sound is set, one need only sit back and enjoy the show, or even get up and move with the performance whose footage was caught just as expertly as its audio.
The footage recorded for this performance was maintained just as expertly as its audio. Whether on DVD or Blu-ray, the footage is crystal clear. Even those watching it on DVD on a Blu-ray player and HDTV can still see just how clear the picture is. Combined with the audio quality, audiences get a recording that is easily one of the best live recordings of 2013 for these reasons alone. Staying on the footage though, audiences get more than just a crystal clear recording. They get a show whose cinematography makes seeing this iconic show at home just as enjoyable as seeing it live, if not more so. Sometimes the cameras get some rather impressive wide angle shots. At other times, the cameras are right up there with Faulkner, Tipton and Hill. In some songs, the camera angles switch back and forth with a ferocity that equals that of the music, fully highlighting the intensity of said songs. If that doesn’t impress audiences, it’s anyone’s guess what will.
The intensity of the songs culled for this set is something else that should definitely be noted that makes it so impressive. While the collective age of the band’s members is pretty high, these old dogs have shown that they have plenty of tricks up their sleeves. From front man Rob Halford’s still solid, soaring pipes to the musicianship of his band mates, the band proves here that a band doesn’t need to have lots of special effects and other goodies to make a show memorable. Though, there were laser lights and pyro peppered throughout the course of the show. That aside, the band’s members showed collectively with their musicianship why Judas Priest is still one of the most revered and respected bands in hard rock. Whether for guitarist Richie Faulkner’s solos, Halford’s incredible vocal talent and or drummer Scott Travis’ timekeeping, every member of this group of veteran rock band brought something to the table that ultimately make this show one of the best in the band’s catalogue of live releases. On a side note, audiences will especially appreciate how Halford commands the stage in a fashion similar to that of equally revered front man Freddie Mercury when he has the audience sing back to him. This brief moment is a direct mirror of Mercury. That is meant in the most complimentary fashion, too. It goes to show the command that Halford has over the audience and why he remains one of the greatest front men in not just hard rock but in the rock community as a whole. It is just one more aspect of so many that could be discussed that makes Epitaph one of the year’s best live recordings.
The quality of the footage from this recording and the talent of the band’s members do so much to make Epitaph a great show for any hardcore Priest fan. It’s just as impressive for anyone wanting an overview of the band’s music. That is thanks to the career-spanning set list. The band’s performance spans nearly two and a half hours and twenty three songs. Among some of the favorites included that fans will enjoy are: ‘Metal Gods’, ‘Judas Rising’, ‘Turbo Lover’, ‘The Sentinel’, and of course, ‘Breaking The Law.’ This is just part of what fans can expect out of this recording. Fans will all have their own favorite. And considering that there are eighteen other songs included here, fans have more than their share from which to choose a favorite or favorites. That extensive set list set alongside the show’s equally impressive recording quality and the band’s energy makes Epitaph a show that will prove to be one of the year’s best live releases. It’s one of those releases that will be just as enjoyable the first time around and the fiftieth. It will be available May 28th on Blu-ray and DVD.
While Priest fans wait to pick up their copy of this must have live release, they can keep up with the latest from the band online at http://www.facebook.com/OfficialJudasPriest and the band’s official website, http://www.JudasPriest.com. Fans can even check out a trailer for the upcoming release on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7W6NJs_HRw. Fans can also check out more material from the band on its own YouTube page at http://www.youtube.com/JudasPriest.
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