I highly doubt that long time Judas Priest fans have been legitimately disappointed through the decades. Even the lower tier albums like “Turbo” and “Demolition” are still very good, and only considered weaker by Priest standards. “Nostradamus” wasn’t a bad album by any means, but was just too ambitious as a 2 disc album.
Some of their universally acclaimed best efforts like “British Steel”, “Screaming for Vengeance”, and “Painkiller” are career defining standards of Heavy Metal as a whole. Their last effort, “Redeemer of Souls”, was a solid but standard Judas Priest affair. It met right in the middle of it all. Not amazing, but certainly great.
Now, in 2018, what have these long running torchbearers dropped on us? “Firepower”. Indeed so. Out of their now 18 studio albums, I would easily put this bad boy in the top 5-7. It’s literally everything that you could and would ever ask for from the Metal Gods.
There’s 2 categories for songs. The first set are classic Priest, and fit easily within their dozens of hits, specifically from the late 70’s to late 80’s.
“Firepower”, “Lightning Strike”, “Evil Never Dies”, “Necromancer”, “Flamethrower”, “No Surrender”
The 2nd set are also classic Priest, but fit more within the 90’s and 2000’s era. A little slower tempo, more serious, perhaps more dynamic.
“Never the Heroes”, “Children of the Sun”, “Rising From Ruins”, “Spectre”, “Traitors Gate”, “Lone Wolf”, “Sea of Red”
I stand by the fact that there is not 1 bad song on this album. You accumulate every era of Judas Priest, besides maybe their debut “Rocka Rolla”, and take the best elements of them all (yes, including the Ripper era), and you equate it to this album. Catchy, melodic, well written heavy metal and hard rock songs.
If “Firepower” is their last album, and it very well might be, then I’m more than ok that they end on this note. It can’t get too much better than this, especially for some guys that have been doing this for nearly 50 years.
A job very well done.