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Judas Priest - Battle Cry


by Kevin Wierzbicki

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If you have any notion that Judas Priest, now more than 40-years into their career, are losing a step, it will be dispelled very early on in this live concert film. It is likely not a coincidence that the band turns in an absolutely scorching version of "Metal Gods" a mere three songs into the show, slyly making a statement that would be borne out time and time again over the next 90-minutes or so. Filmed at the 2015 Wacken Open Air festival in Germany before a veritable sea of metal-loving humanity during the band's tour for Redeemer of Souls, the show opens with that album's "Battle Cry" and "Dragonaut" and also includes takes on the album's title cut and "Halls of Valhalla." The guys are careful not to overdo it with the new stuff because the rest of the show touches on not only the big hits but also favorites from throughout the band's career, like "Beyond the Realms of Death" from Stained Class and Defenders of the Faith's "Jawbreaker." Priest don't need theatrics to power their stage show; here singer Rob Halford struts the stage, occasionally genuflecting to let out a particularly-lengthy shriek as ax men Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner put on a non-stop guitar clinic, making their red-hot riffing look second nature. There is one stage prop of course; fans would be disappointed if Halford, fully decked-out in leather, didn't ride his Harley to center stage to perform the classic "Hell Bent for Leather." The song usually marks the part of the show where the band is getting ready for the knock-out punch and it's no different here as "The Hellion," "Electric Eye" and "You've Got Another Thing Coming" come in rapid succession. When the band leaves the stage after the latter, drummer Scott Travis remains to further rev up the already salivating crowd, repeatedly shouting "What do you want?" while the crowd emphatically responds "Painkiller"! The band returns and obliges and then wraps up the show with "Living After Midnight." Bonus footage from a 2015 show in Poland includes "Screaming for Vengeance," "The Rage" and "Desert Plains." Battle Cry is also available as a CD with a slightly abbreviated track list and without the bonus cuts.

Pre-order your copy here.

Judas Priest - Battle Cry
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