Review 2127 : Judas Priest – Invincible Shield – English

Judas Priest’s legend is not over.

Founded in 1970 (or 1969 under the name Freight), the band is one of Heavy Metal’s pioneers. Today, with Ian Hill (bass), Rob Halford (vocals), Glenn Tipton (guitar), Scott Travis (drums, Thin Lizzy, Racer X) and Richie Faulkner (guitar, Elegant Weapons), Judas Priest unveil Invincible Shield, their twentieth album.

What do you think a Judas Priest album is? Frantic riffs, inspired solos, unifying choruses that you’ll want to sing along on from the front row of an overexcited show, and inimitable vocal parts that only sir Halford knows the secret. Invincible Shield of course has all these characteristics, but it also has a luxury that many bands don’t have: a permanently catchy touch. Whether it’s the relatively modern intro to opening track Panic Attack, the melodious solo on The Serpent and the King or the solid rhythm of the eponymous composition, the whole album couldn’t have been made by any other band! The band doesn’t allow itself any filler: even the heady Hard Rock touch on Devil in Disguise is unique, as are the soaring lead parts of Gates of Hell, proving their effectiveness on all fronts before returning with a more complex worked touch on Crown of Horns, contrasting with a simple driving Power Ballad rhythm. As God is my Witness takes off again at full speed, giving us the urge to follow the band with its frenzied guitars, then it’s with Trial by Fire that the band captivates us next, skilfully placing its hypnotic leads just as on Escape From Reality where the sound becomes extremely heavy while including the combo’s piercing touches. Sons of Thunder once again makes us want to play an instrument to reproduce these incredibly motivating jerky riffs, before Giants in the Sky offers a groovy side with more jerky influences, but also a break with an… intriguing clear sound. The end of the album is marked by the reassuring Fight of Your Life, but also by the lively sound of Vicious Circle with its uncompromising riffs, and the striking melancholy of The Lodger, the last of the fourteen tracks, which will surprise many with its dark and sometimes majestic tones.

All Heavy Metal fans will agree that Judas Priest have been thrilling us since the very beginning. Despite trials and changes, the band has never lost its position as scene leader, and can proudly hang Invincible Shield alongside its previous successes.


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