Music » CD Reviews

Judas Priest

Angel of Retribution (Sony)


Judas Priest's 15th studio album begins on a high note: Returning frontman Rob Halford lets loose with a pained shriek that sounds like the Queen of the Damned getting a titty twister. Dogs will howl, women and children will cry, and metalheads will rejoice, for Priest is back. The band's first album with its original singer in 15 years is also its best in 20.

And really, how could it not be? Any metal album that boasts a song called "Demonizer" has at least a 93.65 percent chance of kicking ass. Like a heavy metal meteorologist, Halford screams of blood-red skies, lightning, and leanin' in the wind on such instant anthems as "Judas Rising" and "Hellrider," his arch falsetto remaining as vintage as the tunes it's bellowed over. Glen Tipton's and K.K. Downing's solos never seem to end, and you never really want them to: They wank off like a couple of kids in front of their first Playboy. Sure, the White Liony power ballad "Angel" is cheesy enough to turn the stomachs of the lactose-intolerant, but you can forgive Priest for getting a bit sentimental: Retribution really does recall the glory years.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.