KK’S PRIEST – The Sinner Rides Again
October 3, 2023, 2 months ago
The legend of the Sinner continues. 46 years since “Sinner” opened Judas Priest’s 1977’s Sin After Sin, his deathly gallop returns on The Sinner Rides Again from KK’s Priest – K.K. Downing’s second album of heavy metal thunder with Tim “Ripper” Owens shrieking at his side. 2021’s Sermons Of The Sinner was a letdown with some cool moments and it seems K.K. got the message as The Sinner Rides Again is leaner and meaner. This is their Painkiller with a modern, punchy production effort and it works.
I feel like K.K. gets a kick out of these self-referential titles as “Sons Of The Sentinel” revs the motor up right out of the gates with thick, speedy riffs, snappy bass, fast drumming and Owens’ signature vocals with a mid-tempo, mean chorus. Anyone who enjoys the lead, duo guitar playing Downing and Tipton made famous with the other Priest will love Downing’s abilities on full display with A.J. Mills.
The guys let loose and don’t hold back on this record; it’s exactly what fans are craving for. With Owens, he still belts out strong vocals, but is more measured this time around, not overusing his high shrieks. His mid-range is on point with grit and attitude, giving the songs just what the need.
There are some heavier moments with mid-tempo crushers like “Hymn 66” (the main riff is catchy and hits that sweet spot) and the title track (surprisingly not an up-tempo cut) while “One More Shot At Glory” does the anthemic, fist-pumping measures much better than on the previous album with a unexpected, but needed tempo shift in the lead break. “Strike Of The Viper” is a 2.5 minute monster that reminds of Iced Earth in the riff department and “Reap The Whirlwind” is the driving speedster done with force and memorability.
“Keeper Of The Graves” has an ominous acoustic intro and outro and has much potential, but unfortunately doesn’t really go anywhere; misses that epic component that could have taken it to a higher level and “Pledge Your Souls” is a bit generic. “Washes Away Your Sins” ends this 40-minute ride on a better note, utilizing a fade out to end the album. Nice touch there.
Downing turns 72 on October 27 and he clearly still has the fire to create true heavy metal magic. There is still however another level he can reach – but for now The Sinner Rides Again has enough blood and gasoline to leave a blazing mark on the gravel.