Review: “Nostradamus,” Judas Priest


It sounds like a perfect concept for a heavy metal band: the story of 16th century seer Nostradamus, who supposedly predicted events hundreds of years in the future.  Judas Priest, the seminal British heavy metal rockers, chose this as the concept for their 16th album.  And the result is Nostradamus, a bloated 2-CD affair that would probably been better suited for the likes of Spinal Tap.  With more than 100 minutes of music here, you get a heavy metal opera that could have been at least half as long.  The real songs are spaced out by frequent one- to two-minute Wagnerian string interludes that are as silly as they are unnecessary.  When you get to the meat of the album, you find only fair-to-middling metal: “Pestilence and Plague,” the ominous “War” and the title track are highlights.  Vocalist Rob Halford only occasionally gets to bring out his trademark metal falsetto, and there simply isn’t enough guitar work from the Glenn Tipton/K.K. Downing duo.  What JP fans want to know is: does it rock?  Sure, in places – but you have to wade though a ton of operatic drivel to get to the rockers.  Nostradamus may have been all-seeing but he probably didn’t foresee this holocaust. 

MP3: “Pestilence and Plague”

Judas Priest official website

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