By Bob Nalbandian


The very long-awaiting new Judas Priest album, featuring the return of Rob Halford, is finally out and although I didn't find it all that it was cracked up to be, it is pretty much what I expected. Nothing overwhelmingly brilliant or groundbreaking to say the least, but Angel Of Retribution certainly assaults you with a powerful dose of pure British steel. The problem with this album is you get the sense that the band was rushed into the writing and recording process of this record, which is clearly apparent in that there are truly no standout tracks. There's no question that is album is far superior to the bands last effort Demolition but quite honestly I find Halford's solo albums to be far better overall, displaying more originality, intensity and far better songs. The production, courtesy of Roy Z, is flawless and the musicianship is solid, and remarkably Halford's vocals sound strong as hell after all these years. Quite honestly, after the first four or five songs, the album seems to get redundant. Comparatively speaking, the songs on Angel Of Retribution blow away most modern-day metal albums, but seeing how the band proclaimed this album to be in the vein of Screaming For Vengeance...needless to say, it falls way short. And, truthfully, I didn't expect to hear Screaming or even Hell Bent but considering Judas Priest are thee metal Gods, they are in a sense expected to uphold their status to remain worthy of that title. This album is definitely worth the price of purchase since this disc is actually a double-sided CD/DVD featuring recent live footage and interviews with the band from their reunion tour on the flipside. It is truly great to see Halford back in the band, but for now, I'll stick with Stained Class and Hell Bent For Leather.


Ohmwork is the third solo effort from legendary Black Sabbath bassist/songwriter Geezer Butler. Many journalists often misuse the term "legendary," but in the case of Geezer Butler, the term legendary is an understatement. Not only was Geezer the prime lyricist/songwriter in Black Sabbath since day one, he has probably influenced more metal bassists/musicians throughout the last 30 years than...pretty much anyone I can think of. And what makes Geezer a true legend in my book is the fact that he is so damn modest and under appreciated in the mainstream rock world. Yes, it's true he inspired and influenced millions of musicians through out the years but mention his name to a mainstream rock fan and he'll ask, "who?" Unlike so many other so-called "legendary" musicians who have to exploit themselves in any means possible in order to attain their credibility as a "legendary" artist...whether through tabloids, business ventures, sponsorships and endorsements, spurious publicity, sex videos or reality television...Geezer Butler adheres to none of that! [Unfortunately the same can't be said for a certain bandmate of his who couldn't write a lyric if his life...or wife...depended on it!]. On to the CD...Ohmwork is perhaps GZR's best effort yet. This CD rocks hard with killer guitar riffs and splendid leads courtesy of Geezer's long-time mate and guitarist Pedro Howse. Vocalist Clark Brown (who sang on the previous album Black Science) also shines on this disc, having the capability to fluctuate his vocals from melodic to extreme power-metal prowess without exerting the unbearable death metal growl. Chad Smith from The Red Hot Chilli Peppers is the featured drummer on Ohmwork (he also performed on Glenn Hughes and I believe Tony Iommi's latest solo albums) who, along with the Geez, provides the ultimate rhythm section. Quite honestly the CD tends to sound the same after the first few songs and I prefer the simplistic hard-grooving tunes like the opener "Misfit," "Prisoner" and the dark semi-ballad "I Believe" as these songs tend to be more memorable then the gloom/thrash-metal assemblage. Nothing overwhelmingly spectacular on this disc but it is indeed a solid metallurgy definitely worth checking out.

Shockwaves CD REVIEWS ISSUE 11 Page 3