Sunday, December 25, 2005

DVD - Judas Priest - Rising In The East

Filmed in Japan earlier this year, Rising In the East's concert is very much like the concert I saw them perform this fall, including Rob Halford's audience participation sing-along.

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Judas Priest continue on, rejuvenated with the reunion with long-time singer Halford and they continue to prove why they are a legendary band. The quality of the songs are such that they have stood the test of time and at the same time, they don't sound like any other band out there. That's important to remember, especially in today's scene when so many bands sound alike.

The only tracks that I didn't care for were Revolution, the lead single from their reunion album, this year's Angel of Retribution, Hot Rockin' Deal With the Devil and I'm A Rocker. Apart from that, the band sounded fine on my stereo TV. Halford doesn't sing as well as he used to, but he's close enough to his old self that I believe he's years away from having to retire. Glenn Tipton demonstrates his dominance of the lead guitar while KK Downing, bassist Ian Hill and drummer Scott Travis make their sweat-drenched contributions heard and felt, much to the delight of the Budokan audience in Japan.

The DVD, produced by Rhino, doesn't contain any extras and you pretty much get the feeling that this wasn't meant to be a big budget affair. It could have been longer with interviews, rehearsals for the new album, etc., but the absence of such material suggests to me that the production companies involved don't see the band as a entity that has a growing audience. When they played my city, they had about 8,000 fans, which was far less than what System Of A Down had. I haven't really given SOAD a good listen, prefering my metal to be more straight-ahead like what the famous, classic metal bands have given us in the late 70s and 80s. Times are changing and while SOAD appear to be on the upswing, Priest seem to be comfortable as the every steady, classic metal act that they are, even if the concert going crowd seems to be shifting their tastes to more modern bands. Rising In The East is a must-have for Priest fans and is the only second to the 1982 concert DVD that shipped with the Metalogy boxed set. That was Judas Priest pretty much at their peak.

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