Al Atkins - Reloaded

by Kevin Wierzbicki

Metal fans who are up on their trivia will recognize Atkins as the singer who left Judas Priest when they were struggling to find a record deal, thus opening the vocalist position that would be filled by metal god in waiting Rob Halford. Atkins worked straight jobs for a while after he quit Priest but he never gave up music completely, and here he presents re-recorded versions of some of the songs he's written or co-written over the past 40 years or so. Things specifically for Judas Priest completists to take note of are takes on "Winter" and "Never Satisfied," songs that originally appeared on Priest's Rocka Rolla album along with a version of the Atkins co-write and Priest favorite "Victim of Change." Priest bassist Ian Hill also contributes to Reloaded, and the set closes with something vintage; an excerpt of "Mind Conception," a muddy guitar freak-out that is a demo from Judas Priest's very early days. Atkins is a good metal growler and his considerable repertoire can stand nicely on its own without the Priest tie-in, but clearly this collection is an attempt to endear him to Judas Priest fans who've never heard of him.

Al Atkins - Reloaded

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