Various Artists A Tribute To Judas Priest - Delivering The Goods
Released: 2000, Century Media
A few years ago Century Media released the Legends of Metal Judas Priest tribute. The North American version was one CD long while the rest of the world got the 2 CD set. Kinda like the deal with the live Iced Earth thing huh? Well they have finally released the remaining songs that us deprived North Americans didn't get on our single CD version of this glorious tribute. I'm not big on tribute CD's to begin with but this one along with the Century Media Dio Tribute are two of the best. The main reason why I like them is because the bands assembled on here happen to be great and not no-name bands or bands playing death metal versions of classic metal. I do like some death metal but I don't find death metal versions of non death metal songs very amusing.
Here's a short blurb with a rating on each of this CD's 13 tracks, I know this is kinda long but since it's from various bands I figured why not look at how well each band covered each Priest classic!
Gamma Ray (featuring Ralf Scheepers) - Exciter | Rating: 4/5
I love Ralph's vocals, he does a great job of doing Halford both in his band Primal Fear and when covering Priest. This was recorded before Ralph left Gamma Ray and it sticks very close to the original...well done.
Blind Guardian - Beyond The Realms of Death | Rating: 4.5/5
Blind Guardian deliver a near perfect rendition of this song, a ballad no less! Hansi is an excellent vocalist but when the really high note sections of this song arise he does not reach them. He doesn't strain his voice instead turns into that piercing scream that he does which suits the song just fine. The other thing to note here is that the solo's are played note for note. They've done their Priest homework on this one!
Devin Townsend - Sinner | Rating: 5/5
Devin manages to put his own stamp on this song, especially on the vocals which are much more venomous and aggressive than Halford yet it works.
Stratovarius - Bloodstone | Rating: 5/5
This is one of my favorite Priest songs, especially with the cool guitar intro which Timo nails down perfectly both in terms of how it's played and the guitar tone! The vocals on this one are not done in a fashion to emulate Halford, but are done in the Stratovarius vein....godly!
Angra - Painkiller | Rating: 3.5/5
This song is also one of my favorite Priest songs. The huge drum intro at the beginning is done pretty well but when the guitars cut in, the mix sounds weird. It's not as heavy or as full and thick sounding. They do a respectable job of the cover but not quite as good as I had expected. The solos in this song are not played note for note but the general theme is kept and these guys can shred! It's not hard to hear the accent on the vocals here, kinda cool.
U.D.O. - Metal Gods | Rating: 2.5/5
Great song recorded by a legend himself - Udo! I honestly don't think Udo's vocals are suited to covering this kind of singing so I'll leave it at that 'cause I don't want to disrespect one of metal's godfathers.
Forbidden - Dissident Aggressor | Rating: 3/5
Slayer is the band that did THE cover of this song on South of Heaven. That cannot be topped. Forbidden have also covered "Victim of Changes" on their live EP which I like a bit better than this cover. That said, they still present us with a decent cover here but I'd much rather listen to Forbidden's Forbidden Evil or Twisted Into Form any day.
Iron Savior - Desert Plains | Rating: 4/5
While I love Piet's vocals, why didn't they get Kai Hansen to sing this one? I bet he would of nailed it big time. The mix on this is cool and I like how you can hear the bass and kick drum very plainly.
Rage - Jawbreaker | Rating: 4/5
Another killer Priest song (as if they have very many bad ones to begin with haha). The sound on this one is excellent. The vocals are not as high pitched as Halford but they do a great job.
Virgin Steele - Screaming For Vengeance | Rating: 2/5
This is my least favorite of all the covers on here. However this is NO REFLECTION on what I think of Virgin Steele as a band!! The problem here is that the vocals are not done right. When the high notes are supposed to come in David sings them in a falsetto voice which sounds fake and does not suit the song at all. The verses are done OK but not with the force of the original. After the guitar solo section the band add their own little interlude. Yes, it's creative to add your own touch but come on, this is Priest and as such it's BLASPHEMY to mess with perfection! Virgin Steele should stick to their own material which is a thousand times better than their take on Priest.
Gamma Ray - Victim of Changes | Rating: 5/5
Another cover provided by Gamma Ray, this time sung by Kai Hansen who I happen to think does a better job on doing the Halford thing (that's my personal opinion anyway). It seems that they play this song slightly slower, maybe it's my mind playing tricks on me, or maybe it's my love of Gamma Ray's power/speed songs like "Anywhere in the Galaxy" but they could of sped this up slightly. Kai vocals on the interlude part of this song are GODLIKE! Halford would be more than proud. He totally reaches the high note on the line "Victim of changes" with power and without sounding thin.
Radakka - Night Crawler | Rating: 4/5
The vocals are the best part of this band, even the backing vocals on the chorus with the spoken part "Night Crawler" sounds very cool. The vocals do not go up as high as Halford, however they are very well done. I should make it a point to check this band out further because out of all the bands on this tribute I know the least about these guys.
Saxon - You're Got Another Thing Comin' | Rating: 3/5
Not my favorite Priest song but probably their most recognized thanks to the large amount of airplay the song and video got back in the day. This is THE song that started it all off for me. My intro to METAL was in 82-83 and it's thanks to Priest and to this song. Saxon begin this song with an interesting drum intro...hmmmm were they thinking this was Painkiller for a second there? When the line in the song "Another big smash..." comes in it's supposed to be followed by the symbol crash...where is it? They left it out? I know, only a freak like me would notice that. However, this is one of those songs that I want to hear done spot on. They end the song by slipping in some double kicks - pretty cool but not necessary.