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[JayDee  Jepsen] Thursday, June 12, 2008 5:59:13 PM 
Good review of Nostradamus by: Iann Robinson

Judas Priest has announced their return to music by throwing their hat into a very small ring of which only a few bands can claim to reside. I’m talking about concept albums, a time honored tradition in music that is attempted by few and pulled off by even less. With their new album “Nostradamus” Judas Priest have now entered their name into the same pantheon as Pink Floyd, Genesis, Brian Wilson and others who have stepped up their musical game to create something more than the standard songs-in-a-row record. Even for a band with the legacy of Judas Priest “Nostradamus” is a massive undertaking, a two-disc album that works to connect each song into something that paints the picture of the uncommon life of the infamous psychic. Priest are not happy to play it safe by simply attacking Nostradmus’s predictions, they have written an album about the actual life and times of the man himself. The best part is that this thing fucking rocks.

Nostradamus opens with “Dawn Of Creation” a two-minute instrumental overture, giving the album the feel of an Opera or Theatrical Production. The first minute is a melancholy classical piece but it slowly dissolves into a creepy theme track, almost as if Chopin were to write theme music alongside John Carpenter. “Dawn Of Creation” bleeds right into the second track “Prophecy” which is a full blast Judas Priest rocker. The riff for “Prophecy” mixed with Halford’s bellow could place this song on the classics list alongside “Breaking The Law” and “Painkiller”. I defy anyone to finish listening to “Prophecy” and not walk away singing the chorus “I am Nostradamus” to themselves. This may be a classic Priest tune but it only serves as one step in the evolution of this album. What comes next is “Awakenings” an acoustic musical bit that features Halford’s vocals pushing their range and also serves as the first of several vignettes that connect the album. Priest rides the fine line between rock album and apocalyptic concept album with the precision that only a band with their lengthy career can execute. At no point do they lose track of what makes this a concept album but they do it without sacrificing riffs and songwriting. KK Downing and Glen Tipton give us exactly what we want as fans, headbanging, and fist pumping anthemic metal tunes. The interesting part is how they take these huge riffs and mix them into the overall epic feel of the record as a whole.

Take a musical vignette like “The Four Horsemen” which by and large sounds like the theme to a sci-fi fantasy film complete with strings and a haunting choir. Priest pull out all the stops in this tiny interlude to make you feel the fantasy elements but then the drums for the next track titled “War” blow in and holy fuck does the epic idea ramp up a few notches. When Halford sings out “Gods Of War” in the song’s chorus it is so epic you can feel yourself reaching for some kind of weapon to do battle. Even when Priest enters into the murky waters of keyboards they manage to pull it off without becoming Goth or overly melodramatic. Sure there is melodrama in Nostradamus, it’s a concept album about a psychic but Priest stop it just short of melodrama, which keeps the album from ending up silly. Experience helps Priest keep Nostradamus from collapsing under its own weight or getting too over the top.

The songs here feel more like scenes each playing their part to move the story arc along. Songs like “Prophecy” and “War” really push this whole beat along while final tracks like “Nostradamus” and the eight-minute epic “Future Of Mankind” ties the whole thing up in a perfect way. The only time trouble enters the fray is during the middle, which tends to get a little lengthy for my tastes. It doesn’t kill the record at all it just weighs it down a bit. In total “Nostradamus” is 23 tracks that could easily have been 18 without losing a beat. I don’t begrudge Priest this because I have yet to hear one concept album that wasn’t just a few tracks long. I’m a big fan of leave-them-wanting-more but that may be impossible when dealing with an epic like Nostradamus.

So much of metal has become one-dimensional these days. The technical death metal and metalcore aspects that have long dominated the genre have nearly stripped it away of anything that can even charitably be considered creativity. That may be why something like “Nostradamus” excites me, the idea that even with its flaws this record is head and shoulders above most of what I hear on a day-to-day basis. Priest give us not only the great songs they always have but also dynamics, emotional ups and downs and of course Halford’s incredible voice. Perhaps it’s too much to ask for younger bands to write something like this but maybe hearing something that pushes metal in a different direction will inspire them away from the mundane.

4 Out Of 5 Jokers
[Deep Freeze] Thursday, June 12, 2008 4:01:45 PM 
Dee, that is an incredibly kind thing for you to say. I am very happy that I can be of such great help!!

I have listened to Priest for over thirty years. I have been disappointed in some of their music and I have been awed by some, but I have never been disappointed in their effort. I remember VERY well when Painkiller was released. I thought that it was a "return", of sorts, to their "roots. I felt Turbo was a bit too much of a departure from what it is they do, but it was a tremendous effort, in so much as it was right for the times.

Nostradamus is a focused effort at a conceptual venture. It is not meant to be like any of their other works. That is the whole point. I find it pleasing that Judas Priest do not take the "easy" way and just churn out album after album of relatively similar work. I do not believe that this album "re-invents" the Band, rather, it shows dimension. It shows ability and diversity. If they wanted to put out another Painkiller, I am confident that they could but ,what would be the point? They are at a stage in their career where putting out albums is not so much about money-making as it is about showing their vast range. About taking chances.  About effort.  Judas Priest has earned the right to be more creative and take greater risks. Longevity is only one aspect. They have consistently shown that they are light-years ahead of other bands. They remain relevant in a musical world that has long ago departed from musicianship and complexity.
  [Show/Hide Quoted Message] (Quoting Message by Healer from Thursday, June 12, 2008 3:19:35 PM)
[Healer] Thursday, June 12, 2008 3:19:35 PM 
Freeze, you always know how to say what I'm thinking and feeling  but can never put it into words.  I have never approached a New Priest release with the thought of hearing the same thing.  I love how diversed every album has been and because of that they have broadened my taste of other metal music. There is no other band out there there has been around as long as Priest that have the diversity in their music like they do. These guys are pure geniouses through and through. I have listened to the whole album on "The Leak" a few times all the way through from start to finish and I just keep loving it more and more and don't want to stop.  I can't wait to get my cd's and be able to listen to it in the car too. 
  [Show/Hide Quoted Message] (Quoting Message by Deep Freeze from Thursday, June 12, 2008 2:22:08 PM)
[Deep Freeze] Thursday, June 12, 2008 2:22:08 PM 
I have always considered Judas Priest among the elite in musicianship. It is one of the things that drew me to them initially. The complexities of their arrangements, the great melodies, the intricate guitar work and the back and forth between Glenn and KK. All very innovative and far ahead of their time! It is rather difficult for a "Metal" band to get proper credit for musicianship. The genre does not lend itself well to musical criticism. Most often, the only people that are willing to "give them props" are musicians themselves since they understand what is really going on in the song.
  [Show/Hide Quoted Message] (Quoting Message by Demonizer13 from Thursday, June 12, 2008 2:17:18 PM)
[Demonizer13] Thursday, June 12, 2008 2:17:18 PM 
Very true!
They showed me that they are much better musicians than people ever gave them credit for though. Don't get me wrong, they have always been great to me, but this is a whole new level of musicianship.

  [Show/Hide Quoted Message] (Quoting Message by Deep Freeze from Thursday, June 12, 2008 2:14:41 PM)
[Deep Freeze] Thursday, June 12, 2008 2:14:41 PM 
I enjoyed it as well. I was NOT "expecting" anything in particular. I gave it an honest listen based on its own merits, nothing more. It is terribly unfair to use comparisons. The album stands on its own. If there are those that do not care for it, that's fine. Not everyone liked The White Album, know?
  [Show/Hide Quoted Message] (Quoting Message by Demonizer13 from Thursday, June 12, 2008 2:12:23 PM)
[Demonizer13] Thursday, June 12, 2008 2:12:23 PM 
Hell, I didn't even read most of the posts.
I just thought I would share my thoughts on the new album.
I enjoyed every not of it!

  [Show/Hide Quoted Message] (Quoting Message by Deep Freeze from Thursday, June 12, 2008 1:58:27 PM)
[Deep Freeze] Thursday, June 12, 2008 1:58:27 PM 
I agree, HFG!! I am certain he will give a quality review!

Steve, well said! I could not agree more. The album is what it is and comparisions are a useless waste of energy. MANY bands have done concept albums, this is nothing new. Creative license is just part of being an artist. Not everyone will "get it", nor should they. Apparently, there are a few here that clearly do not.

The previous comments were not about honest, thoughtful consideration of the new album. They were were meant to create discord, plain and simple. I am thankful that so many of our members are intelligent enough to see through such nonsense. It is truly a testament to us as a group.
  [Show/Hide Quoted Message] (Quoting Message by Demonizer13 from Thursday, June 12, 2008 1:22:02 PM)
[High Flyin' Guy] Thursday, June 12, 2008 1:43:24 PM 
I'm just waiting for a review by JD "THE KING" DIAMOND!!!!  
[Demonizer13] Thursday, June 12, 2008 1:22:02 PM 
I have clearly been on the wrong thread!
Okay, my take on the Epic "Nostradamus" is this:

Brilliant! Amazing, diverse, musical genious! MASTERPIECE!
I have no idea why people are trying to compare it to Painkiller and others...this is nothing like anything that has come before it! WASP has something similar, Iced Earth just had a concept album, but this is different. The complexity of the music shows that Judas Priest are not just Heavy Metal musicians, they are Artists in music!

I new this CD was not going to be like anything they had ever done before, so I listened with an open mind. This could very well be a broadway musical soomeday, and I don't mean that in a durogatory manner.  I could actually see this being done as a movie! Like Phantom of the Opera and Sweeny Todd.

This is still heavy. It is a Heavy Metal Opera/Opus!
It's an emotianal rollercoaster!

If you listeded to the leak expecting Screaming for Vengeance, Painkiller, or even Angel, you would be disappointed to an extent. As the conceptual album it is, it is truely amazing! Musically, lyrically, and in it's presentation!
[Head banger] Thursday, June 12, 2008 12:18:12 PM 
thats very well said.  not every album should be painkiller either.  if we wanted the same damn thing every time, we could just get one cd.  change is good.  I think it hurts the overall fan base, maiden with all the discs sounding interchangable sells more, but its not what I want, that I know
  [Show/Hide Quoted Message] (Quoting Message by Druzul from Thursday, June 12, 2008 11:45:11 AM)
[Head banger] Thursday, June 12, 2008 12:16:52 PM 
well, I wont sell the house.  I can tell you for sure that buying a dollar store is not the way to go.

I would buy realestate, but I think my market is still over valued
its coming down though, little by litle, another few K, I might buy a revenue property.
  [Show/Hide Quoted Message] (Quoting Message by Deep Freeze from Thursday, June 12, 2008 11:53:11 AM)
[sergiodefenders] Thursday, June 12, 2008 11:57:29 AM 
Absolutly rigth!!.
  [Show/Hide Quoted Message] (Quoting Message by Druzul from Thursday, June 12, 2008 11:45:11 AM)
[Deep Freeze] Thursday, June 12, 2008 11:53:11 AM 
Believe it or not, your soundest of investments is still real estate. I am not a big fan of bonds in a bad market. Of course, long term investments (IRA's, etc) are still viable. You're young. Ride it out.
  [Show/Hide Quoted Message] (Quoting Message by Head banger from Thursday, June 12, 2008 11:48:45 AM)
[Head banger] Thursday, June 12, 2008 11:48:45 AM 
good to read you again
your right

so, should I buy bonds that pay an anual payment interest payment, and reinvest that yearly, or compounding bonds, if the rate and term are the same?
  [Show/Hide Quoted Message] (Quoting Message by Deep Freeze from Thursday, June 12, 2008 11:41:00 AM)
[Druzul] Thursday, June 12, 2008 11:45:11 AM 
Being a Judas Priest fan for 27 plus years, I don't think people understand them, they do there own thing they follow none. That's sets them apart from the rest (ie Iron maiden and metallica). They have and always will go where none dare to go!! So if you hated Turbo or Point of Entry then don't tell Painkiller rules cause not every album is going be as great as the last . I think Stained Class or Sin after Sin are better than Painkiller. But that's my opinion.But the newbies need to look at the whole picture. Not every album is going to be Painkiller.
[Deep Freeze] Thursday, June 12, 2008 11:41:00 AM 
I think it is more than obvious that Mr. Ward is still craving attention. If you recall, he made inflammatory remarks many weeks ago and was called out on it then as well. This is not a person that anyone should consider a valid source of musical knowledge. We are not talking the R&D man at Sony here, people! This is a person that is simply looking for a reaction, and it appears there are many that are more than willing to oblige.

Look, if the guy does not like the album, fine. He has every right to his opinion! I can accept that there are probably many more just like him in this world. However, you will note that most of them do not come here to the official site and bash on the Band. Clearly, we have an attention seeker on our hands. Worse yet, we are lending him credence by responding!

I know there are many of you that have been members of this site long enough to have seen this schtick more than once. I can remember some that were actually intelligent and presented an argument worthy of debate. I fear that is not the case with young Mr. Ward. Further discussion or counter-argument with this individual is the mental equivalent of debate with an Australian bushman regarding the intricasies of compound interest and bond investment. It is simply a waste of your time!
[Return_of_Darth_Painkiller_0870] Thursday, June 12, 2008 11:25:01 AM 
Sorry if it came across as bashing, Druzul.  However, as I previously stated, there already are threads regarding Nostradamus.  Instead of creating yet another thread about the same topic (Nostradamus), wouldn't it have been easier to post the link into an existing thread?  Again, I apologize for coming off harshly to you earlier.  

You did a cool thing by posting the link and I shouldn't have bashed you.  My ire was directed more at the negative people who were bashing the CD and saying they now hate JP (but yet, they somehow think of themselves as fans????).

  [Show/Hide Quoted Message] (Quoting Message by Druzul from Thursday, June 12, 2008 11:15:04 AM)
[Head banger] Thursday, June 12, 2008 11:22:27 AM 
Druzul, I dont think your being atached for puting up a link, although, it probably would have worked beter to post it in an existing thread

also, just to clarify, my coments regarding people not being true fans were not directed at darth, they were directed at those who would abandon this band and "hate" them for one CD they dont like.
[Druzul] Thursday, June 12, 2008 11:15:04 AM 
All I did was put up a link to Eddie Trunk review of the cd. Now I'm being bashed for trying to inform people.
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