For Those About to Squawk: Judas Priest, Pestilence, Nightwish

Beware the “ides” of and all…

OK, so I didn’t want to like this but Judas Priest’s Firepower is, well… really good. It seems those missteps they made in the 00’s seem to have been corrected. And its sounds… HUGE (nod to Andy Sneap). So, Waldo, what about the music? Well, I mean, you don’t get more “Judas Priest” than this. This is classic Priest, given a 21st century update, so it’s rocking, it’s forceful and it’s well… Judas Priest. The band sounds just as good as ever (considering there’s no K.K. Downing anymore) and Rob Halford sounds just as good as he ever has. This is a lot of fun… Definitely odes to fire, dead things and lightning. Great “comeback…” By far their best since Painkiller. 8 Fucking Pecks.

The legendary Pestilence are back at it with Hadeon, and while not the Pestilence of yore, this is pretty good. So, like, what’s it about? Pestilence has had one foot into progressive jazz for quite some time, so there’s a lot of jazz and prog in here, but not enough to make the death metal listener wary.  \There’s definitely some weird stuff going on, off times and rhythms, some melodic passages, some death metal and well, even the Cynic robot voice makes an appearance. All in all, this is a solid record with good riffs. The one complaint this birdbrain would have is even though you can hear the bass; it’s lacking on the low end of the frequency spectrum. This is no Malleus Maleficarum or Consvming Impulse, but it’s a solid death metal record. So, like, peck this out! 7 Fucking Pecks.

One thing that’s always baffled me is “Euro metal.” It’s not tough, it doesn’t really rock. I guess Nightwish sells a bunch of records and has fans, enough fans to warrant a “best of” record. Although, according to them, it’s not a “best of.” It’s more of what’s “essential” to the bands catalog. I’d be remiss not to point out that this is their 7th (?!?!) compilation record… They have almost as many comp albums as they do official releases.  So, what is this? This is symphonic power metal and, as previously noted, is a mix of “essential” tracks spanning their 22 year career.  This is not for the faint of heart. Proceed with caution. This is way more Evanescence than Iron Maiden. Utter garbage and utterly pointless (I mean, on the 7th compilation release, who really cares?) Oh yeah, it’s called Decades. How lame is that? 1 Fucking Peck.

Until next time… Waldo out.