Judas Priest - Epitaph DVD and Blu-Ray

by Kevin Wierzbicki

Filmed about a year ago at London's Hammersmith Odeon on the final day of Judas Priest's Epitaph World Tour, this show will no doubt go down in history as one of the top metal concerts ever to be held in a venue that's notorious for being the place where legendary metal shows happen.

The set list for the show, a generous 23-songs long, contains lots of Priest favorites like "Turbo Lover," "Heading Out to the Highway" and "Breaking the Law" but the band delves deep into their catalog here, and in honor of this year being their 40th anniversary, play at least one song from each of their 14 studio albums (not counting the albums where the band was fronted by Ripper Owens.)

That means the set contains goodies like "Victim of Changes" from Sad Wings of Destiny, ballad "Beyond the Realms of Death" from Stained Class and "Never Satisfied" from debut release Rocka Rolla, with singer Rob Halford pointing out what critics have historically said about the album, "They say the early stuff is the best if you want to re-investigate it."

Halford is in exceptional form and still able to hit the high notes when required and original guitarist Glenn Tipton and second axe man Richie Faulkner trade scorching leads throughout.

The band's two noted cover songs, Joan Baez's "Diamonds and Rust" and Peter Green's "The Green Manalishi (With the Two Pronged Crown)" are included in the set as are expected numbers like "Hellion" and "Electric Eye."

Another Priest tradition is honored during "Hell Bent for Leather" as Halford rides on stage on a motorcycle and sings the entire song straddling the crotch rocket. Drummer Scott Travis takes his solo at the beginning of "Painkiller" and the show closes big with encores "You've Got Another Thing Coming" and "Living After Midnight."

Superior musicianship and showmanship is on full display, the light show and pyrotechnics are meted out in just the right amount and the roaring crowd loves every minute of the high-energy show. For their part, fans will quickly put Epitaph in the "must have" category.

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Judas Priest - Epitaph DVD and Blu-Ray

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