Released: 2013, Legacy Recordings
Reviewer: Robert Williams
British heavy metal legends Judas Priest return with a brand new DVD with EPITATH showcasing their new line-up with the addition of the insanely talented Richie Faulkner, who steps up to the plate in the absence of longtime guitarist and founding member, KK Downing who departed from the band's lineup in 2011.
Filmed and recorded in May of 2012 in front of a rabid, sold out audience jam packed into the famed Hammersmith Apollo venue in London, England on what was to be the band's "farewell" tour, the Priest perform a marathon career-spanning setlist including many songs rarely performed in concert. The stage show incorporates catwalks, chains, silk screened backdrops, fog and lights make this the kind of monster production metal fans have come to expect.
New axeman Richie Faulkner stays pretty faithful to KK's parts but does add his own little flair and licks here and there. I really miss KK though. I won't be the first to say it or the last. Anyone who remembers the "Ripper" era of Judas Priest might recall that though Tim Owens is a fantastic vocalist with a lot of stage presence to boot, there is something sacred about the Painkiller lineup of Judas Priest. While I find it hard to fully endorse anything but a Tipton/Downing guitar tandem, I will say that this is probably as close as you can come (or will) to seeing the real deal. Faulkner is a capable shredder and really enjoys himself on stage, much in the same way that KK once did and you can tell that his bandmates in JP are really enjoying his company.
While Judas Priest certainly has a mountain of pro-shot archived concert footage readily available to fans already, you could argue that EPITATH effectively accomplishes documenting the current incarnation of the band. EPITATH provides maximum bang for it's buck clocking in at just under two and a half hours and is sure to satiate fans appetite as we all await the next (and possibly final?) studio offering.