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Next review: » Halford - CRUCIBLE
Released: 2002, Metal-Is
First, let's start with the problems:
CRUCIBLE uses a fair amount of "chug-a chug-a" style riffs. These “modern” riffs have no character. Just bland, downtuned "tough guy" riffs.
The production sucks. It's all sort of bass heavy. Basically, it sounds clouded. Where's the fucking treble for balance? Metal needs a certain amount of treble to give it that "spark."
What's with the little "korn effect" before the solo in "Heretic"?!! Why was it included? It seems forced and just ruins the vibe. I'm sorry, I guess I'm just "old fashioned" in that I like my metal songs to stay completely metal throughout.
Now onto the positives:
I like CRUCIBLE!! It wasn't RESURRECTION part II and I guess that's what I was looking for. I still don't feel it's nearly as good as RESURRECTION (which I felt was the metal album of 2000), but it is a good record!! Some songs are, in fact, GREAT!! Standouts include the “Screaming Heavy Metal” style tracks Rob excels at: "Crucible", "One Will", "Betrayal", "Handing out Bullets", and "Wrath of God."
Finally, "She" (bonus track) is one of Rob’s best ballads to be sure. It’s somewhat reminiscent of "Last Rose of Summer" in its very simplicity.
CRUCIBLE is perhaps, the most dramatic flip flop I have ever had on an album...definitely a grower. My recommendation is to buy it and play the fuck out of it.
Released: 2002, Metal-Is
Metal legend Rob Halford returns with an album that is creating some divisions amongst die-hard Halford/Judas Priest fans. RESURRECTION (2000) marked Rob’s true return to real HEAVY METAL. If CRUCIBLE would have been the offering, I'm not so sure that fans would of been as enthused.
CRUCIBLE sounds a bit like a cross between Rob's previous band, Fight, and Bruce Dickinson’s solo album THE CHEMICAL WEDDING. The guitars are deep and down tuned adding to the muddiness of the production. When I first popped this in the first thing I did was turn down the bass on my booming speakers - not a good sign. Most all the riffs also have a modern feel to them and do not reek of classic heavy metal. Some of you won’t mind this, but for me Rob Halford’s voice best fits with classic and powerful sounding heavy metal. Rob Halford could be better standing up for this style of metal since he pioneered it! This is my main complaint with this album and the musical direction shift that has occurred. I wasn’t necessarily hoping for RESURRECTION part 2, but I was hoping for a style of music that is better suited to Rob’s voice.
Putting aside these issues I have with the style and sound, I would say that overall the material on here is more consistent than what is on RESURRECTION. The really great songs on RESURRECTION are of course better than anything on here, but there are some filler songs on RESURRECTION that we don’t have with CRUCIBLE. The best thing about the new album is of course Rob’s voice. He is still a fucking amazing vocalist and he hasn’t lost it at all! Another highlight of the CD is the killer insane ripping solos! Thank Satan they didn’t cut that out!! Some of the killer tracks on here include: “One Will”, “Betrayal” (in which Rob wails like there is no tomorrow!), “Golgotha” (listen for the line that begins with “Grand Canyon…” – can you name the Priest song that mentions that? Also, the word “Salvation” in here is sung a lot like “Jawbreaker” – yes I am very glad there are at least SOME Priest-isms on here!! Ha!) and the bonus track “She” with great vocal melody lines. I only got this CD last week, and since then it’s been spinning in my CD changer constantly. I like it now more than I did on first listen, so I’m glad I’ve given it a week to sink in before writing this review.
If you are looking for classic Priest-styled heavy metal, this is not the album to pick up. If you can accept that this is not a continuation from RESURRECTION, and you loved the album THE CHEMICAL WEDDING….you’re gonna love Halford’s new sound. I like it quite a bit, but perhaps I’m a little more forgiving than some because I do consider Mr. Rob Halford a METAL GOD!
Official Site: http://www.robhalford.com