Judas Priest/Live In London

Live in LondonLive in London is a concert album by British heavy metal band Judas Priest. It is the second live album record at Brixton Academy on December 19th, 2001. Features the last performance of Tim “Ripper” Owens, before they reunited with Rob Halford; Also a 2CD set was recorded during the DVD filming.

Disc One:

Metal Gods—-It seems like a sacrilege to have someone else singing these classic Priest songs, but I must admit that the audience is immensely excited and that seems to carry over in the delivery from Tim. this being one of my favorite Priest songs, I was interested to see how Owens filled the bill…..I must admit that it sounds pretty awesome. The band, as always sounds pretty damn fantastic…even though this is not Halford, Owens can scream like a banshee…this is pretty great!

Heading Out To The Highway—-As the band begins the classic intro, the crowd in manic….Owens has a deeper voice at times and lacks certain vocal inflections of Halford, but all in all this is stellar. This gives a really overplayed song a bit of new life…this is fantastic. I hate to admit it, but I rather enjoy this version.

Grinder—-With some really nice crowd interaction, Ripper launches into a track that should really only belong to Halford. The band sounds as great as they ever did, but this is Rob’s song and should have remained as such. This loses much of the connotations with a different singer…LMAO!!!

Touch Of Evil—-This is NICE! The guitars are amazing on this song and the energy of the crowd propels the song as I’m sure there is surprise at the band pulling out some of this older stuff. I wonder if Owens knew that this was the last time he would perform with the band? This is nice…Owens adds some nice fresh vocal touches to the song…the result is fantastic!

Blood Stained—-A track from the rather excellent Demolition release, this is Owens in his element…singing music that was actually created for him by this iconic band. This is faster, heavier and more Metal than anything since Ram It Down and Painkiller. This plays really well live and the band responds in force to the crowd enthusiasm. Stellar!!!

Victim Of Changes—-Probably my favorite Priest track of all time, Owens manages to replicate and stamp this as his own all in one magnificent sweep. This is magnificent…delivering some notes that even Rob has not hit in some time!! Clocking in at over 10 minutes, the band has some nice spotlights that reminds you even though the voice is a bit different, this is the same old tried and true Priest that you grew up with. The way the voice echoes all over this huge arena is magnificent….WOW!

The Sentinel—-Another song that I really consider to be a ‘Halford track’, Owens again claims it as his own and adds just enough of a new twist to make it sound fresh and classic at the same time. This is remarkable…the band must have really rehearsed with Owens for this tour….the comfortability factor is extraordinary. Magnificent.

One On One—-From the Demolition release, this is a much heavier and driven Priest. The guitars, although heavier and faster are still full of classic Priest squeals and chord changes. Live, this song manages to be even heavier than the studio version. this is classic Heavy metal that is almost impossible to find anymore these days…this is right up there with some of the best of the material from this hallowed band.

Running Wild—-Another true Priest classic, Owens delivers a vocal that pushes the band to play as fast as possible and with energy that is fresh and exciting. this is brilliant…this is almost a carbon copy of the original, magnifies by three hundred %. I love this version…..still play it all the time!!!

Ripper—-Ahhhh…that wonderful Priest song is delivered with mastery and finesse….Owens delivers a vocal that…can I say it…almost better than Halford. this has new energy and vitality. This is brilliance, and the crowd sucks up the enthusiasm and returns it to the band 10 fold!

Diamonds and Rust—-Still performing this cover some 30 years after the first version, the band delivers it perfectly…note for note. Owens adds a nice flair to the song…allowing for a fresh and new sound that still manages to give me goosebumps. This is tremendous….I hope Joan is proud!

Feed On Me—-Also from Demolition, this is a stand out track. Ripper is in his element with a bit of a heavier delivery that is not always accessible with Priest classics. This however, seems to please him and finds him really delivering some screams that are almost super human. This is brutal…heavy and metallic…delivered with a new energy and the still classic Priest sound. Marvelous.

Green Manalishi [With The Two Prong Crown]—-Just classic….Owens moves the crowd to fill up the arena with enthusiastic sounds all while delivering a remarkable vocal….sceptics fade away…this dude had the pipes to be everything Halford was…but Halford without Priest was odd and Priest without Halford was odd.

Disc Two:

Beyond The Realms Of Death—-Another Priest classic that I’m not sure anyone but Halford should ever sing, somehow Owens manages to deliver a version that is both his and stays true to the sound of the band. This is fantastic…if you are a doubting thomas, give this a try. Exceptional.

Burn In Hell—-Heavy and delivered in classic Priest style, this is incredible in a live setting. The band sounds as comfortable with this new material as with the old. this is different for the band….the vocal being a bit deeper and driven by a nice underlying mania. i love this shit…this is awesome!

Hell Is Home—-Also from demolition, this is moody and dark and delivered in a comfortable priest style. the guitars are trademark…the voice still stands up so well…even this far into the show. Owens is a great showman and it transfer to recordings rather well. This is standout. When this song opens up it is classic Priest…would love to hear ROB sing THIS song!!!

Breaking The Law—-A played out and over song that even Owens cannot resurrect from the doldrums of constant classic radio rotation….onward….

Desert Plains—-For being such an aged song, Owens takes this and adds his twist that just makes it even more remarkable than the original. this is fantastic and I almost prefer this over the original version..perhaps it is the live setting…perhaps it is the rejuvenation of a new vocalists…none the less, this is stellar. One of my favorites from this release!!!

You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’—-This seems to fall a little bit flat for me….the energy is lacking and the song seems to be preformed by rote…missing some of the better parts of a Halford preformance….but what can you expect…try to step in those shoes!!!!

Turbo Lover—-One of the worst received Priest singles gets a nice updated sound thanks to technology and the vocals of Owens…this sounds thicker, heavier and delivered with a remarkable energy. I love this version…Owens has just enough echo on his vocal to give the track a nice evil sound that was missing from the origianl…this is monumental.

Painkiller—-This is nothing less than stellar…the delivery from the band is even faster than the recorded version of the song and Owens seems to thrive on that. he meets the guitars and drums with every brutal note for note. this is a standout track…if you want to hear what Owens can do…listen to this track…incredible….those notes he hits are outrageous!!!

Hellion/Electric Eye

United—-Another of my favorite Priest songs, Owens does not fo the song justice. Halford has a way of delivering this track that just sends shivers up my spine. this is fantastic though…I can’t complain to loudly…this is classic Priest by the way. This has so much energy and excitement…I love the crowd response and the electric current that runs through the song. When the crowd joins in on the chorus it is magnificent!!!

Living After Midnight—-Although this is one over played Priest singles that never gets old for me, this never really seems to go anywhere for me. the energy is lacking and you get the sense that Owens might just be worn out after this marathon performance. Too bad,,,,it would be interesting if this was at the onset of the show. This is ok, but nothing what I expected.

Hell Bent For Leather—-Ending the show on a real high point, this is magnificent. Owens having gargle and sloughed off the previous songs, delivers a stellar encore to a pretty magnificent show. Going on to do some really great stuff with other bands…be sure to check out his continuing magnificent career. This is great!

****1/2 out of 5


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