by "jeffb47" Northern CA Reviewed on August 6th, 2001
After all is said and done its really down to whether Ripper Owens can fill some of the biggest shoes in rock. When you read the track listing on the back of this double CD this band certainly isn't short of a few classic tunes, plus there are plenty more where they came from. But in my opinion this CD is a travisty. The vocals are dull and lifeless, infact the best vocal performance is from the crowd. The patter used between songs is woeful and just plain annoying. I mean compare this to 'Halford's Live Insurrection' and 'Meltdown' will be collecting necessary dust. I don't mean to be disrespectful but Halford's shoes are just not being filled successfully. And before you say it I know Ripper is not Rob Halford and that he is his own man. Then I ask the question why not wait until this line up had a couple of decent new songs before releasing what essentially is a best of. At least then the ear would be drawn away from the missing ingredient that made Priest such an essential heavy metal legend allowing us to judge this new line up on its own merits. A big thumbs up for the 'Diamonds and Rust' inclusion which is performed with an ounce of taste and respect. Unfortunately little else is. I for one will not be buying new 'Judas Priest' product purely on past reputation and the power of the brand name alone.
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