HALFORD – IV – Made Of Metal

Halford - Made of MetalRemember when Rob Halford quit Judas Priest? He then started his own band Fight, who made the great, but very heavy and aggressive album War Of Words, clearly influenced by bands such as Pantera instead of his own Metal roots. Their second album sucked and failed to sell any larger numbers and the band split. Then he formed Two, a kind of industrial project and said stuff like ”Metal is dead”. A confusing statement from an artist who desperately wanted to be part of the new hard rock movement, now that Heavy Metal was in a coma. Of course, that project was a complete disaster and a flop and nothing more happened with that more than a half assed CD that no one bought.  In the year of 2000, he turned around completely and removed himself from all those ”Metal is dead” statements, went back to what he does best, which is Metal and released the fantastic and Judas Priest sounding solo effort Resurrection. After one live album and one more studio album, Crucible, it was reunion time with the Priest and his solo career was on hiatus.

Until now. After two albums with the reunited Judas Priest, he decided to release an album with Halford, but this time it seems more like an intermission than a full-scale solo career. And what better is, this album is really good and feels more like a natural follow up to Resurrection than the uneven Crucible was. Also, this time he mixed up his Metal with some unexpected stuff. How about a metal blues in the brilliant ”Til The Day I Die”. Or a melody that belongs more to Bon Jovi than Priest in ”Thunder And Lightning”. Of course, the song is still metal, but there is big contrast between the poppy melodies and the Metal dito. But it works very well. And in ”25 Years” he gives us a ballad, a Metal ballad, of course – and a great one. ”Fire And Ice” is more traditional, but still very catchy. However, stuff like ”Like There’s No Tomorrow” sounds so much like Priest, it feels like it was written for them, but never made an album. Which, if that’s the case, is stupid, because it is a killer track. The title track is a great song, but a little odd, the kind of song that will divide the fans in two camps, one that loves it and one that hates it.

Halford has made a very good album and if he can come up with music like this on his own, he shouldn’t have any worries when the day comes when Priest is no more. I will go as far as to say that this album is the best Halford has made on his own.

Jon Wilmenius (8/10)

Tracklist:

01. Undisputed
02. Fire and Ice
03. Made Of Metal
04. Speed Of Sound
05. Like There¹s No Tomorrow
06. Till The Day I Day
07. We Own The Night
08. Heartless
09. Hell Razor
10. Thunder and Lightning
11. Twenty-Five Years
12. Matador
13. I Know We Stand A Chance
14. The Mower

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