Ya me ha dado por buscar algunas y, bueno, lo que me esperaba, perlas como esta:
The new Judas Priest album, Nostradamus, has just arrived in the office – and as expected it’s an absolute monster.
There are two CDs – dubbed ‘Act 1’ and ‘Act 2’ – and if nothing else you’ve got to admire Rob Halford and co for coming up with such a massive, challenging offering in these days of disposable ephemera.
If we had to take a reference point from Priest’s past it would be Beyond The Realms Of Death – the brooding and threatening track from the band’s 1978 album, Stained Class.
Much of Nostradamus has that sort of flavour.
There’s plenty of twin riffing from the guitars of KK Downing and Glenn Tipton, natch, but there’s loads of light and shade as well – perhaps more than you might expect.
A lot of the epic tracks are preceded by gentle, reflective acoustic workouts (kind of like what Black Sabbath used to do with things like Orchid and Embryo), with Halford adopting a deep-toned singing style. Elsewhere Rob proves his trademark silver-throated scream is remarkably intact.
Towards the end of ‘Act 1’ there’s a song called Lost Love which edges dangerously into twee, Greg Lake-style territory. But then, after some mysterious church chorals and demonic whispering, the next track – Persecution – explodes into your ears like the mutant offspring of Breaking The Law.
Nostradamus might be pompous and overblown, grandiose and ridiculous – it might even be spectacularly humourless and self-important – and it’s sure to divide the rock and metal community.
But y’know what? While it’s early days – there’s so much to take in – we’re tempted to give it a cautious thumbs-up.
(Sony/Epic) Total Time : 105:10 aprox.
Again, like the last time (worldwide 3rd), Metal invader, is proud to present you with a review of JUDAS PRIEST latest opus, almost before anyone else, and trust me - we're not basing this on predictions baby!!! ((Just like we did with the latest Whitesnake and Dio (worldwide 1st’s).)
Priest decided to create their first concept album, based on the life and works of the famous French, Doctor/Seer Michel de Nostredame, better known with the Latinized version of his name as Nostradamus.
“Nostradamus”, is both predictably and unpredictably, what people would expect it to be.
For many that would be a recipe for disaster, but Priest manage to pull off the task, with their dignity intact, and without going to much into Spinal Tap territory, although comparisons are not completely out of the picture...
There are all those trademarks that characterize the sound of priest, along with many, beautiful intros and melodies. There are orchestrations and musical orations that would otherwise sound a bit out of place, but the band has managed to embody them to their sound seamlessly.
The nature of the project - makes it a bit - hard to fathom, as never before have Priest attempted something similar, to such an extent. I mean, previously there have been songs that would describe the story of a character, but would do so - within the context of one song. Now, the same thing happens for the entirety of an album that takes a look into the life and prophesies of Nostradamus.
Still, something that worked so perfectly well, in "Beyond the realms of Death" for instance - here is worn a little thin at times, but the band manages to avoid this being a horrible snooze-fest, quite gracefully . On the other hand - the sheer duration of the album - which is a little shy off 2 hours - makes it a bit long winded and while it’s not tiresome – you’ll need to be able to give it the time it deserves - to reap the aural rewards.
Then one has also got to consider - that there are a lot more prominent keyboards, pianos, acoustic guitars and the like - in many places - that give the material a quite different "accent" - even though the sound remains unmistaken ably - the trademark "Priest" sound.
The easiest way for me to describe the new album, is to call it the natural successor to "Angel of Retribution" from a songwriting point of view, with overall lengthier songs, a more serious tone, daring use of orchestrations that the band hasn't used previously - resulting in a very interesting album with lots of light and shade, drama, melody and emotion, in a way that reflects the life of the man himself, a man who tried to stay alive - in the midst of plague and minor personal tragedies and managed to become a legend for his "prophecies"...
As it happens - most of the song titles are also quite reflective and indicative of the songs mood and pace, and there's a great spectrum of feelings, and moods that are being displayed here, in an almost cinematic/theatrical fashion.
From the beginning and for nearly the next 2 hours the listener is engrossed, in a mesmerizing trip, through the fascinating (?) life of Nostradamus. A matter that quite a few people have taken an interest in, in fact Nikolo Kotzev, the mastermind behind Brazen Abbot, must have been the first to produce a complete opera out of it, in the truest sense of the word, as there are multiple roles, sung by multiple singers on his version. In “Nostradamus”, the Priest album, there's definitely variety, but mostly through Rob's delivery, who still impresses, with its expressional range, although slightly mars things in places, with some rather "over-sung" passages, where he attempts to really go for an operatic-quasi classical, voice, that just sounds a bit eerie .... Then again I suppose - it might add a bit more to the "atmosphere“ of the album, and some choirs.
The way the album is structured, is a bit interesting, it's more like one huge song, with sort of clearly distinguishable parts rather than 23 different pieces of music. I mean - I could not really sit down and listen to a single song - and not help feeling incomplete by the experience. The songs are meant to be taken as a whole series and the interludes/intros, even though sounding like a daft idea on paper, help bring the whole thing to life, in quite an original way. I 'll be even a bit of a "blasphemer" saying that the title track is probably, one of the songs that didn’t quite impress me, in not the notion that it's bad - it's pretty good actually, but it’s just typical, it's one of the most typical songs on offer here - embellished with a few new ideas. Other songs are just far more adventurous!
What really is great about Nostradamus, is the sort of extravagance, but at the same time, the fact that the band manages to avoid, self-parody or tiring the listener. There's a lot of bombast, there are typical parts, instantly recognizable as priest and then there's the operatic/theatric element, all fused quite well together and fashioned into something rather new and quite exciting. It's very important - to listen to the album with a fresh pair of ears...it will be far more endearing, so I will try not to spoil things for you too much....
The album begins with an interesting introduction in an impeccable priest fashion, yet like you've never heard before. “Prophecy” is really great. Generally the atmosphere is mysterious and pompous, and there are a lot of menacing parts, along with more reserved heavier moments, in the sort of darker and more epic moments of the album, The Four Horsemen - "War" being a good example. Sands Of Time - "Pestilence And Plague" that follows is an impressive song (?)with an almost operatic quality. Rob just shines here.... it's rather long winded including the intro, but overall very impressive - very interesting indeed! (Some people might need to take a cold shower during this one - ehm, prepare your selves for a bit of surprise, and no - not a nasty one - not the ripper, or if you like jack the knife....) The album gets even heavier and more atmospheric - atmospheric not in the silly Goth-metal cliched way, we're talking about really gothic arrangements here, really massive, metallic, and dark almost sinister stuff in places that resonates the bands great passion and show some depth and a real “theatrical” quality.
There's more agony, pain and grandeur in the following few passages and songs such as “Death” for instance or “Persecution”. But light comes out of black, and there are more transitional moments and a bit of balance comes in... "Lost Love" is a quite emotional song... and one of my favorites here. The music follows the man's story and it takes unexpected twists and turns, meta(l)morphosing, through more atmospheric and still more operatic-yet-metallic moments. Shadows In The Flame - "Visions" is another great, interesting moment, and Hope - "New Beginnings" sort of evens things out but at the same time builds up at the same time, for Calm Before The Storm - "Nostradamus" already - a known quantity from the freely available download single, (a smart move I may add) which is a bizarre little tune, starting up in a mellow way, then Rob, does a monologue , before double bass drums - herald a rather muted scream - showing that time and tours have taken their toll on good old Rob, who still manages though to Deliver the "Goods", somehow. From then on - and not withstanding the occasional orchestration or prominent keyboard part or solo, (a rather new element for priests music, to feature keyboards/piano so prominently) it's typical Priest fare, much in the fashion of "Painkiller" and maybe "Hellrider" with the scales tipping towards the latter. But you already know that, didn’t you? Even the awkward chanting of "Nostradamus" does little to mar the song...but hey, as the only promo single, it's has gathered mixed reviews. I m rather favorably inclined towards it, but let me just say, that in the context of the album - it makes FAR MORE sense.
You see - there are no - singles here. The whole album is THE SINGLE. It's more of a love it or hate it situation, and even though it might take a few listens to set in - Nostradamus is pretty good, actually. Not the train wreck many UNBELIEVERS have been waiting or hoping for....The album closes, in a rather bizarre way. Totally Priest and totally Nostradamus...very interesting. Well you wouldn't expect me to spoil the end of a movie ....so I won't, you'll have to wait for it, but with the release date fast approaching, it won't be long now.
Make no mistake - it took the band a considerable amount of time to piece Nostradamus - together, I guess, so there are not really any duds here, and although not an "immediate" easy, head banging album, as the songs are not meant to be taken as separate "stand alone" pieces ..the overall impression is a largely positive one.
Also one thing I need to address is the sound quality. Even if it's still a digital production, the mix on Nostradamus is far better than the one on "Angel" and that's music to my ears. Also, while a lot of people have harshly Judge Wilkinson’s cover artwork, I found it rather fitting, if not a bit, eccentric, but it's not bad. Let's just pray KK won't have to beat a 10 foot Nostradamus off stage ala Janick Gers during the live shows (haha)... I can't wait to see what the 48 page hard bound book will look like.
Personally I was pondering buying the big one - the triple vinyl thing with the CD and book, but felt rather hesitant. You see I was thinking, big time train wreck, spinal tap alert, wink wink nudge nudge.... we're #$#$#$#$#ed ! Having heard the album, (again I extend a most sincere courtesy to ... a friend who wishes to remain anonymous... right ...?) man, what was I thinking ?
It's Priest, the guys helped intent and shape the genre for chrissakes !
It's not easy to judge “Nostradamus” - as it doesn't follow the format of a normal "album" – not being a collection of different, unrelated songs, but it makes for an interesting and quite intense listening experience. Bottom line - it might tire your tits to oblivion, if you're looking for some simple head banging tune or two, but you will absolutely love it, if that sort of operatic-symphonic-bombastic thing is your cup of tea and can appreciate a more adventurous side of Priest. Chances are the latter will happen. I loved the album - I dare not compare it directly with another Priest album - as the songs on it never manage to cause the same amount of excitement - in the course of a single song’s duration - as with the bands previous mega hits, but taken as a whole - Nostradamus is just massive and impressive. Massively impressive!
Reviewer: Metal Invader
Era de esperar....