With bands like Kiss, Black Sabbath, and Iron Maiden reuniting for lucrative tours, a Judas Priest reunion with Rob Halford couldn't be far off, right? Correct. In 2004, much to the delight of mullet-haired headbangers everywhere, the classic Judas Priest lineup reunited for a spot on that year's Ozfest (and, to be honest, they were by far the best performers that year), and a year later, they issued their true follow-up to 1990's Painkiller, Angel of Retribution. In case you missed Halford and Co. on their worldwide trek rest easy, friends, as late 2005 saw the release of the expected live DVD of the proceedings, Rising in the East. Priest always had a massive following in the Land of the Rising Sun (especially with their 1979 set, Unleashed in the East), which they still retain to this day, as evidenced by this set recorded at the famed Budokan. The focus of Rising in the East is wisely on the classics -- "Electric Eye," "Metal Gods," "Victim of Changes," "Hell Bent for Leather," -- but there are several pleasant surprises here. Leading the list would be an entirely acoustic reading of the Joan Baez cover, "Diamonds and Rust," which showcases how impeccable Halford's voice remains, as well as such dusted-off nuggets as "The Ripper," "Beyond the Realms of Death," "Turbo Lover," "Exciter," and "Riding on the Wind." Also included, of course, are a smattering of new tracks off their latest -- "Judas Rising" and "Revolution," among others. Of all the aforementioned reunited metal bands, you can put your money on Judas Priest for being the strongest. Check out Rising in the East for the proof.
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato