JUDAS PRIEST - Demolition
June 13, 2001, 19 years ago
On the heels of their former vocalists triumphant return to the metal community, the pressure is on Judas Priest to deliver a corker of an album. Perhaps that's why the British institution decided to avoid comparisons, by opting for what's sure to prove the most controversial platter since Turbo. Those objecting to Jugulator, the initial Ripper Owens fronted project, as heavy simply for the sake of being heavy, will find much to ponder within these 13 tracks; electronic elements, including Owen's voice, a decidedly commercial, Americanized (nu-) metal feel, complete with guitar synthesizers and a lack of the classical JP vibe. Judging by the tones employed on Demolition, Glenn Tipton apparently rediscovered a love for guitar synthesizers used on his solo record. Although tried on Turbo, then quickly discarded, the electronic sound has resurfaced. The opener, 'Machine Man', avoids all experimentation, kicking off in an upbeat fashion reminiscent of Painkiller, albeit devoid of high pitched screams. The whole album, Owens is rather reserved. 'One On One' follows, in a hail of whirling computer noises and technology. The plodding, acoustic begun 'Hell Is Home' seems directed at the straights and suits who despise metalheads, while the appropriately titled 'Blood Suckers' deals with the infamous backward masking trial Judas Priest had to suffer through. The 80 second intro is almost as interminable. 'Close To You' is a full blown ballad, with acoustic start and synthesizers. 'In Between' is a psychedelic piece of doomy piece, with Owens moaning like the 90?s Seattle contingent. 'Jeckyll & Hyde' is a complete throwaway, from brief, synthesized brass horn intro to the painfully slow in coming end. 'Feed On Me' could be countless, second tier 80?s metal bands, but not Judas Priest. Grittier guitars threaten to lift 'Subterfuge' into respectability, but the effects sidetrack an otherwise powerful idea. For the greater part of 'Lost And Found', the acoustic guitar is accompanied solely by tambourine. A good song, but hardly what the faithful expect to be one of the best tracks on the entire record! 'Cyberface' is a slow, staccato pounder that morphs in and out of Beatlesque territory. The closer, 'Metal Messiah' revs its motor, a sure fire in-concert sing-along. A foray into Middle Eastern rhythms is covered in those stop-start, modulated electro-effects. If, as with Jugulator, the tour consists of only three or four tracks from the new album and the remainder, just the hits, all will be forgiven.