A Touch Of Evil-Live
Released: 2009, Sony
The Priest is back! Well, they never really went anywhere but for some reason the band, as well as some fans perhaps, want to forget the Ripper era. So to tide the fans over until the next studio platter, who knows when, the band have churned out their fifth or sixth live album, depends how you count. Frankly, I expected better from Priest and I’m not sure how much input they had into this release as it stinks to high heaven of the dreaded contractual obligation syndrome.
It is their shortest live album thus far with a mere 11 tracks clocking in at an hour. The package is adequate, the cover art is a bit weak, the title also a bit lame however they do have a nice touch which is over a dozen photos of the roadcrew, which shows a bit of appreciation to the under-appreciated, behind-the-scenes people.
The other sore point I have with the marketing of this album is the fact the band was saying that none of these songs have ever been on a Priest live album before. Well, that is a load of garbage! Over half of these songs are available in live versions on various other Priest albums and DVDs. In fact, for the true die-hards, many of these songs are the audio from the RISING IN THE EAST, some songs are performed on LIVE IN LONDON and the band seems to have forgotten a little Double Live album they did called ’98 LIVE MELTDOWN. I’m not sure if it was a deliberate attempt to ignore the Ripper era but it seems that this whole release could have been delivered in a better fashion.
Speaking of delivering the goods, how is that actual music? Actually, it is really quite kick-ass! The sound is crystal clear and heavy as hell. It has been said that Halford can’t sing like he used to, which may be true, (he doesn’t hit all the high notes) however, he still is one of the best vocalists out there. It was enjoyable to listen to him mix up the vocals, low and high and add a little variance in his delivery of familiar songs. The songs chug along, Travis keeping things moving and the song selection is a nice mix of catalogue from across their career. The Japanese version comes with two extra tracks from ANGEL OF RETRIBUTION which could have easily fit on this album. Ultimately, A TOUCH OF EVIL-LIVE is just an average live album. Admittedly, the band set their bar pretty high with three classic, double live platters (70’s, 80’s and 90’s) and this time they fell just a little short.