Live Insurrection

Halford

Metal-Is Records, 2001

http://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Halford_(band)

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 04/23/2001

No matter how many bands he puts together or how many years it's been since he left the post he became famous for, Rob Halord will always be tied to his days with Judas Priest. It's inescapable, something that Halford learned a few years ago when he tried to distance himself from the metal scene - and was met with the commercial equivalent of a rotten vegetable barrage.

Live Insurrection, the latest release from his new band Halford, is further proof of this duplicity. Besides featuring music from the band's debut Resurrection, Halford and crew pull some nuggets out from the days of Judas Priest and Fight, much to the delight of the world-wide crowd.

But if one wanted to continue the illustration of Halford's eternal ties with Judas Priest, then Live Insurrection has something else in common with Halford's past. Judas Priest never was able to put out a live album that was superb throughout, and regrettably, this two-disc set falls into the same category.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Oh, it's not that the material on this set is awful - but this sometimes feels less like a band effort than a retrospective of what Halford has been up to for the last 20-odd years. Granted, it's tough for a band, even one led by a legend in the world of heavy metal - to tour behind only one album, much less to try and put a single-disc live album out from the material. But often, it feels like the rest of the band is forced out of the spotlight, and Halford alone is left to bask in its sweaty glory.

And it's not that the band disrespects the traditions of any of the past. Respectable versions of Judas Priest classics ("Stained Class," "Breaking The Law," "Metal Gods") are turned in by the group. Likewise, Halford sounds like he hasn't aged a day vocally, and is still able to shred like it was 1980.

But Live Insurrection does lack something that has been absent from any live effort Halford himself has been a part of - namely, an aspect of spontaneousness. Even on the new material ("Made In Hell," "Savior," "Silent Screams"), it sounds like Halford and the boys are going through the motions, albeit to the pleasure of the assembled throng. It could well be that the live Halford experience is something that just cannot translate to platters of aluminum and plastic - in which case, one would hope a DVD will be hitting the racks soon.

Even the three studio efforts - "Screaming In The Dark," "Heart Of A Lion" and "Prisoner Of Your Eyes" - aren't able to rekindle the spark that Resurrection not only ignited, but nearly burned to a crisp on the first effort. This just might be a case of overkill, though; had these tracks been saved for the next Halford studio release, they'd probably have fit better.

Two minor notes of contention. First, why were some "non-live" tracks, such as "Light Comes Out Of Day" and "Life In Black," included on this? (Kudos to the producers for admitting the studio trickery in the liner notes.) Second, will someone explain to me why disc two begins with track two? Track one is four seconds of crowd noise, and there's no multimedia section (at least that I can find).

Live Insurrection is a set that will make long-time fans of Halford the singer drool with delight - but it might leave more questions than answers for fans of Halford the group. Maybe it would have been better for Halford to have gotten one more studio album under their belts first.

Rating: C+

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© 2001 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Metal-Is Records, and is used for informational purposes only.