Former Judas Priest vocalist Rob Halford finally re-embraced his roots, formed a band simply called Halford, and recorded 2000's Resurrection, a tremendous album of pure heavy metal. His three early-'90s Fight releases were metallic, unlike 1998's disastrous Two album Voyeurs, which was executive produced by Trent Reznor. Add to the musical shift Halford's new makeup-heavy image and public admission of his homosexuality and longtime fans were surprised, to say the least. Halford brought out the leather and motorcycle and recruited guitarists Patrick Lachman and Mike Chlasciak, bassist Ray Riendeau, and drummer Bobby Jarzombek to start over. The presence of this new band and producer Roy Z obviously inspired Halford because Resurrection is a triumphant return to form. It's the real thing, none of that rap-metal, alternative-metal hybrid stuff. Halford stretches his voice out by utilizing everything from piercing falsetto wails to sinister, throaty rumbles. Some songs have autobiographical lyrics, particularly the stunning one-two opening punch of "Resurrection" and "Made in Hell." The former features Halford admitting to past mistakes while the latter is a history lesson on the creation and rise of heavy metal. "Locked and Loaded" is a bit slower and the guitars settle into a groove, but the song's power isn't jeopardized. "Night Fall" sounds like a great lost Judas Priest song, and that's meant as a compliment. The seven-minute "Silent Screams" starts slowly and builds into a fiery rocker complete with Halford's multi-tracked vocals. Heavy metal fans will quake with joy after hearing Halford's duet with Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson on "The One You Love to Hate," a brutal three-minute blowout. "Slow Down" is another example of Halford displaying a variety of vocal styles within the same song. "Drive" and "Saviour" include traces of speed metal, the style Judas Priest embraced on 1990's Painkiller, Halford's last with the band.
by Bret Adams
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