[Eternal Betrayer] Sunday, June 22, 2008 4:15:46 PM
An interesting review of Nostradamus from Amazon.UK that I recently found and, I have to admit, so far, I'm tending to agree with.
A yawning epic, 19 Jun 2008
Having bought Judas Priest's albums as & when they have been released since 1980 I was looking forward to this release with both anticipation & trepidation . A concept album is something I do appreciate , if done well as in Queensryche's Operation : Mindcrime ; Nostradamus ,unfortunately , is something different . Of the 23 tracks , 9 are intros or segues , meaning that each track has a very similar beginning i.e Rob Halford singing softly over a rising single note ( synthesised or orchestral ) with a light arpeggio or strumming on either electric or acoustic guitar .
I am all for bands being adventurous & experimental but originality is also an important facet . Perhaps I was expecting this release to be leaning towards an Opeth or Porcupine Tree progression , what with the Nostradamus story being tackled . However , they seem to have gone in the other direction . The majority of the tracks are mid paced sludges that are almost indistinguishable from one another which , to my ears , sounded more like the current crop of European , female fronted , goth-rock bands . The ballad "Lost Love " is perhaps the worst JP song I have ever heard ( including the hiccup that was the Turbo album ). In fact ,if it were not for Rob Halford's distinctive vocals I would be hard pressed to identify the band as being Judas Priest .
It was only the title track , the penultimate song on the album , that actually sounded like a genuine Priest piece of heavy metal but by that stage one has had to endure 90 minutes of music that on each listening ( twice at the writing of this )I found myself suppressing yawns . Something I had never asscociated with a JP album .
The packaging of the super deluxe version is beautiful ( no exclusive poster in my copy though )& the artwork by Mark Wilkinson I found more impressive than the actual music within . It is obvious by the production values that a great deal of time & effort has gone into this recording but for me it is the actual songs that are important . Apart from "Visions" , which could very well be the single for this release , I could not recall a single melody or tune . Perhaps in a live setting the songs may mature , though apart from two or three tracks , I cannot see them working outside the context of the Nostradamus concept .
So if you are expecting classic Judas Priest riffs & melodies than this might not be for you . If you want 104 minutes of average modern Euro-metal with an interesting concept than dive right in . Unfortunately I can see "Nostradamus" sitting next to the above mentioned "Turbo" album in my JP collection with little or no rotation on my stereo in the coming years .