Halford is a band fronted by former [now current] lead vocalist of Heavy Metal band Judas Priest. Following the street metal and industrial sounds of former bands Fight and 2wo, Halford delivered 2 studio release and a double live release of a masterful and ppummeling band that stood up to any PriestCD ever released. Formed in 1999, this was the final release before Rob returned to the Priest fold.

Park Manor—-The song begins in typical heavy metal fanfare…emerging from the darkness with an incredible building sund. The guitars are masterful and powerful…as the song segues into….

Crucible—-The bass intro to this song is masterful and admirable. Once the band kicks in, you are welcomes by the familiar vocals of Rob…the lyrical content is heavy and dark. The chorus is a grand affair that displays Halford’s vocals at their finest. Nor forced and not screaming but instead as natural as an everyday conversation that is welcome and pleasant. This is magnificent. When Halford does let loose, it just reminds you of the power of his voice. This is magnificent!!!!

One Will—-The song kicks off from the onset…the sound has a slight blues tinge to it that pervades throughout. The sing -a-long chorus fits into the large stadium feel of heavy metal. The chorus remains a large anthem style feel that you cannot eject from your brain. The song includes nice guitar solos that you just do not find in the modern bands that are so popular today. The sound is very 80’s,  but incredibly magnificent none the less.

Betrayal—-Halford delivers a vocal that will make your throat and vocal chords hurt for days…the tone of the vocal is more brutal than anything that he has ever recorded. The metal is brutal and right in line with the solo release from this group. Halford has an incredible voice that has really stood the tale of time. This is exquisite and classic heavy metal.

Handing Out Bullets—-From the onset, the double style vocals are the saving grace of this song…the sound is incredible and the delivery of the song is huge. The guitars will grind your face in the dirt and the vocal will make you weep. This is a g**-d**n good band that plays into Halford’s hands with incredible ease. This is incredible!!!!

Hearts Of Darkness—-At once, the music smacks you in the face…the vocal is almost relaxed, but even in that incarnation is very powerful. The bluesy style sound is magnificent. The double tracked vocals give the song an incredible sound and hearkens back to the early days of the NWOHM movement. This is fantastic!

Crystal—-The song begins in an almost ballad feel….the guitars grow almost silent as the vocal is allowed to enter and set the tone of the song. The lyrical content is a tad bit darker than the usual Halford spiel. The remarkable thing is that Rob makes the psychotic and neurotic elements work to a masterful degree. WOW!!!!

Heretic—-Hitting you in the face like the blast of a machine gun, the vocal has a slight brutal edge to it that you have not heard in some time. The music lets loose in short and then extended blasts that make you shake you head and wonder how they do that. The percussion elements of the song are very important. The vocal is mundane and a tad bit unremarkable, but considering it as Rob’s down period, you let the music beat you to a pulp instead.

Golgotha—-A song named after the place where Jesus was crucified, it is no wonder that the song is a deep bass driven sludge of heaviness, The biblical references are apparent, but the overall feel of the song is full of huge anthem like chorus’s and magnificent deep sounds…this is incredible and magnificent…a Nordic sounding song transported to the city of the Holy Land. Incredible!!!

Wrath Of God—-Brutal from the very onset of the song, the chorus of the song will take you over. The delivery is better than anything that you have heard from true heavy metal in a decade. The tone of the song just beats you to a pulp and makes you gasp for breath on more than one occasion. This is incredible heavy metal and it will leave you limp and sweaty.

Weaving Sorrow—-This is the best anthem based song that I have heard since the mid 80’s delivery of Priest and Maiden….this is overpowering and will make the hair stand up on the back of you neck. The vocal histrionics of Halford are is an amazing display of power on this track….without a doubt, the finest heavy metal vocalist of our time.

Sun—-The song begins with an odd intro….but as you listen to newer Priest recordings, it fit right in. The song builds and builds, in an epic manor. The guitar delivery is layered and heavy. the vocal is pure and true Halford, not overly done but instant in recognizably. Fantastic!

Trail Of Tears—-A huge sounding heavy metal styled ballad that just grows and grows as the song progresses. This is real and formulated Heavy Metal. The band relies on a guaranteed style that is almost expected. This song is huge….the instruments are on top of overlays that just add to the atmosphere of darkness. The bass guitar is more prominent that ever and the result is a rare genuine feeling of darkness and despair…the tone makes you weighted from the atmosphere, and you carry it for days to come.

She—-In true ballad style, it is hard to hear Halford singing about ‘she’ when we are all glaringly aware of said lead singers sexuality. The song looses some credibilityand real feeling because of this. I would prefer it to be an ‘asesuanl’ metaphor…but that is just me…don’t pretend Rob! You wasted too many years doing that!!!

Fugitive—-This song has a nice straight forward rock feel to it that is instantly accessible. The vocal reaches the point that you know something is possible. The tease is worth the wait as Halford eventually lets loose a yelp that is admirable and welcome. The tone of the song is mystical and magic and it transport to CD really well.

**** out of 5


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