Metal-Is Records, 2000 › wiki › Halford_(band)

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


It's probably a good thing that I didn't closely follow Rob Halford's solo career since he left Judas Priest in the mid-'90s.

It's not that I was harboring some ill will against Halford for his decision; I just didn't find myself instantly drawn to projects like Fight and Two. Besides, Halford got enough people's undies in a twist when he moved towards industrial and declared metal dead.

Had I followed Halford through all of those trends, I probably would have been tainted by doubt when I heard he was back, rocking at full throttle. I probably wouldn't have given his "comeback" album, Resurrection, a fair shake.

At times like this, it pays to be ignorant, as Halford proves once and for all he is a heavy metal god when it comes to singing, and his vocal powers haven't diminished in the least.

An intensely personal disc, Halford pours the story of his life into these 12 tracks, daring anyone to come in and accept everything - both the man and his music - on Halford's terms. Me? I have no problem with that, especially when everything sounds so my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 good!

You know that Halford has been through a self-discovery process, just from this line in the title track (which opens the album): "I rid the demons from my heart / And found the truth was with me from the start." Ka-pow. Take this track, the mini-"career retrospective" "Made In Hell" and even a track like "Silent Screams," and you'll quickly understand this is a new man who is intensely dedicated to his craft.

And the voice? Simply put, Halford has never sounded better. Sure, he doesn't use the falsetto screams a lot over the course of Resurrection, but in a sense, the music doesn't call for that kind of screeching. It's always good to hear Halford hit the top of his vocal range, but in many ways, taking on more of a vocal sneer conveys more emotion along the way on this disc.

Halford even joins up with another vocal legend from the New Wave of British Heavy Metal - namely, Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson on "The One You Love To Hate". At times, it's hard to tell which man is singing on this track - and I mean this as the ultimate compliment for both Dickinson and Halford, since they mesh so well together.

Interestingly enough, it's the one song that Halford had no writing credit on - "Twist" - that I found to be the most intriguing. I don't know why; maybe it's because it has a sound similar to older Priest material. Maybe it's just the way that Halford delivers the goods on this one. In any case, it smokes.

Special mention should be given to Halford's backing band; it takes a lot of skill to crank out solid metal without being compared to Halford's old band often, and they do this well. Also, producer Roy Z. (formerly of Dickinson's solo band) captures the essence of Halford perfectly, and is a natural pairing. (He also had a hand in much of the songwriting.)

Resurrection is aptly named, but it's hardly an idle dream. For Halford, it is a return to form that many people have been secretly praying for. I don't think this is a sign he'll be returning to Priest any time soon (contrary to rumors I hear almost every day); if anything, he's now ready to give his former bandmates a real run for their money.

Halford wasn't dead; he was merely resting. Resurrection is ample proof of that, and is a rare "must-own" album of this age of metal.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2000 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.