HALFORD - Crucible
September 17, 2002, 17 years ago
First of all, my lasting impression of this album is the happy happenstance that Halford didn't make another safe, only vaguely satisfying power metal album like Resurrection, an obvious return to the straight and narrow, instant, fun but not everlasting. Crucible has more in common with Fight than 'Freewheel Burning', containing combative dirty drums, huge lowball riffs, an increased level of violence, really a pretty forceful totality. Having said that, I also believe there are more than a few tracks that go buy with nary a foisted fisting fist ('Hearts Of Darkness', 'Heretic', 'Golgotha', 'One Will'), these and others sounding a bit too doomy, nu and laconic. But there are also better tracks than the brunt of Resurrection's Herbert headbangs, 'Wrath Of Gods' kicking often and hard, while 'Sun', 'Crystal' and the title track contain fresh textures, making fortuitous use of the album's dreamy production scapes. So yeah, very pleased at the courage and creativity (and most of the choruses) but the somewhat dismayed by the smothering weight of some of these smoke-choked riffs, Crucible oddly going the way of Ozzy's heaviest tracks.