Monday, May 2, 2016

Only For The Week: Part 13

All of the songs on this segment is gathered in a Spotify playlist, you can find it here

The Classic: Led Zeppelin - Stairway To Heaven

Let us be honest here, who does not know about this legendary song? Even if it is a whooping 45 years in age, it still holds up just as good today as it did back then. The starting acoustic guitar is a piece that more or less every guitar player has played, and Robert Plant has delivers some great, fragile vocals to accompany it. The song keeps on evolving throughout its 8 minutes of run time, and that Jimmy Page solo is so iconic and magnificent, showing the full range of the band. And yes, Bonzo Bonham and John Baldwin makes their mark as well with their instrumental parts, making "Stairway To Heaven" one of the most versatile songs ever to be created.

The Newcomer: Haken - The Architect

Here we have what I believe could be a real contender for the best song of 2016, a close to 16 minute journey of epic proportions. The whole album "Affinity" is great and the bands best work to date, but it is "The Architect" that takes it to a whole different level. It almost feels like 16 minutes is not enough to make this song justice, this could have the length of over half an hour, and I would still love it as much. A true progressive masterpiece.

Check out my review of the album this song is from, "Affinity"

The Personal Favourite: Sybreed - Challenger

Sometimes, bands just calls it quits way too early, and I really hope that the Swiss band Sybreed will come back sooner or later. But just before they broke up in 2013, they released the album "God Is An Automaton", a fairly uneven album, but it has its shining stars, like this song. "Challenger" (who was already presented to us in the 2011 EP with the same name) is an amazing industrial/cyber metal song with real toughness to it, and an infectious chorus. Everything works on this song, from the futuristic sound, to the mixed vocal styles. I really hope that these guys will return sometime in the future

Stay Metal!
Robert "Sharkruisher" Andersson

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Haken - Affinity (2016)

Haken has gone their way up on the progressive metal ladder step by step, gaining more and more recognition for every release. Their latest album, the 2013 release "The Mountain", was impressive, and the following EP "Restoration" contained three previously released songs that were reworked, and improved (especially the 19 minute long "Crystallised"). Now the time has come for the Brits to present their 4th record.

At a first glance, "Affinity" looks kind of retro, with the cover resembling a 80's cassette tape or something similar, and it is also reflected onto the music. In the song "1985" for example, we got some Duran Duran drums together with musicality that could easily be compared to fellow prog rockers Yes. It is certainly retro, but the band manages to not lose their own characteristic sound in all of these influences, and while it sounds like it could have been created in the 80's, it still has enough modern flare to it so it does not feel outdated.

So while the album itself is taken a look backwards through the musical landscape, the band sets its sight onto the future, evolving their sound to new heights. It is unmistakeably Haken that we are listening to, but they are using several interesting new techniques just about everywhere to make "Affinity" that more special. We got more playful, almost Rush type, guitar patterns, more interactions with the keyboards, and we even get to hear some harsh vocals. It truly is impressive that the band still wants to evolve their sound, not settling themselves for too long.

All of this is displayed at its best in the almost 16 minute mastodon called "The Architect", and spoiler warning, this is a hell of a song. The band sharpens every sense that they got, and delivers a musical masterpiece that may start off slow, but develops in an incredible pace. The beginning is a classic Dream Theater number, with a cool keyboard sling and some great technical drum work. When Ross then enters the stage with his vocals, the song shifts shape into a scarier setting, making the song more menacing. That in its turn evolves into a chorus that is extremely epic, but at the same time really catchy, mostly thanks to the fairly simple, but effective riffing. Another round of verse, bridge, and chorus goes on, and leads to a humongous solo part that has so many faces that I am having a hard time counting them all, and I freaking love it. Every time you listen to this song, you find a new part that catches your attention, and makes your hair rise. But the thing that makes this one of the best progressive metal songs of this century is the ending. You think it ends on a third run of the chorus, which frankly would have been fine, but the band then brings out its ace of spades, a super epic guitar sling that is topped off with some amazing singing, making this the most epic finish I have ever heard in a song. It blew my mind when I first heard it, and it still does after around 10+ listens, I simply cannot get enough of it.

While the rest of the songs on "Affinity" are not even close to the greatness of "The Architect", they still make this album an amazing progressive experience. They fit together nicely, making the album fluent and natural. "Earthrise" sounds like Dream Theater would have guest appeared in the Devin Townsend record "Terria", shining with its earthly tones and beautiful melodies. "The Endless Knot" is the heavy song of the record, where  the drums are going wild, yet they are not losing control for one second, making it a very exciting song. "Bound By Gravity" ends the album in a mellow way, bringing out tons of fragile emotions to the table in a beautiful way.

I thought that "The Mountain" was good, but "Affinity" is even better. Haken takes a little bit from the past, a little bit from the present, and a little bit from the future, and ties it all together in a 1 hour package of progressive excellence. "The Architect" alone makes "Affinity" an astounding record, maybe even one of the best in its genre for the last half a decade, but while that song stands as the king of the album, it is the whole song army that makes "Affinity"such a fine record, and it also lifts Haken as one of the best progressive metal acts out there right now, rightfully so. A proggy time machine of excellence.

Songs worthy of recognition: The Architect, 1985, Earthrise, The Endless Knot, Bound By Gravity

Rating: 9,5/10 Red Giants

Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Foreshadowing - Seven Heads, Ten Horns (2016)

This is a band that I have totally missed out on, and if the new record "Seven Heads, Ten Horns" would have had such high praise from other people, I probably would have missed this one completely. Gothic metal in general is one of my blinder spots among the metal sub-genres, but I have discovered several bands in this genre lately, like Moonspell, Tiamat, Sirenia, and Paradise Lost. All of them has showed me that this genre is more than black emo darkness, that there can also be sort of a tragic beauty to this music, which is really fascinating.

The Foreshadowing originates from Italy and was formed in 1999 by guitarists Andrea Chiodetti and Alessandro Pace, and  keyboardist Francesco Sosto, but it was not until 2006 the band became complete, with the addition of the vocalist Marco Benevento, bassist Davide Pesola, and drummer Jonah Padella. Italy has its fair share of great metal bands, like Lacuna Coil, (Luca Turilli's) Rhapsody (of Fire), and Fleshgod Apocalypse, so of course, I hoped that The Foreshadowing would be able to hold the same standard.

"Seven Heads, Ten Horns" is the band's 4th full length album, and the initial expression I get from it is that it is massive, not that it is long or anything like that, but it is the grand sound that makes this album almost larger than life, and maybe even larger than death. The band does a great job in mixing the light and the dark in their music, a yin and yang formation that creates a harmony like no other. Comparing to other bands out there, I would say that Katatonia and Paradise Lost (without the harsh vocals) are the best description of the sound of this album.

What impress me the most with the band's execution is Marco and his vocals. Italy has a bad reputation of pronunciation problems and lack luster singers, but Marco nails everything that is thrown at him. His emotions are truly showing through, giving that extra edge that this album crave for. I would also like to compliment the band's newest acquisition, the drummer Giuseppe Orlando. His drum work is excellent, very progressive and exciting, and even if it does not take the center stage, my ears constantly soar away to those beats and rolls. A+ to whoever recruited him.

The song quality is high and even too, but it works as an disadvantage to the band, making it hard to separate the songs from each other. The only song that truly stands out is the final song "Nimrod", and it only stands out because it is a lot longer than the other songs (14 minutes, over 7 minutes longer than the second longest song). This is of course not a problem when you listen to the album in its entirety, but I am a guy who likes individual quality as well, so I would have loved to see one or two songs to really stand out and deliver. Still, this is only a matter of personal taste, so if you are more of the full album listener, congratulations.

There is no doubt that this album deserves all the praise that it has gotten, it is a dark, but beautiful album that has a lot of cool elements to it. The Foreshadowing really knows how to set the mood and create an experience that is truly magical. This is a well thought out album that captures its listener into a trance that is hard to break away from. A spectacular release that should not be missed.

Songs worthy of recognition: Lost Soldiers, Two Horizons, Martyrdom, Nimrod

Rating: 8/10 Ishtars

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Judas Priest - Painkiller (1990)

The year was 1990, and even if we were heading into a decade were almost all of the famous 80's metal bands dropped a lot of balls, the veterans in Judas Priest were already feeling the pressure. A lot of younger, hotter band had caught up and passed them, while the Brits had stalled with the double sandwich "Turbo" and "Ram It Down". But suddenly, out of seemingly nowhere, the Priest rose again with a album that was harder, faster, stronger, and fiercer than anything the band has ever presented us with before. A album that once again showed the greatness of the band. A album called "Painkiller".

This is what I instantly think of when Judas Priest is mentioned, a band that wields the double guitars like they were on fire, and a Metal God that screams his lungs out. The band performs at such a high level that it is safe to wonder if they are Germany engineered machines. But what about the new drummer Scott Travis? He does an impressive job as well, and he wastes no time in showing it, kicking off the album with a slamming drum solo in the title track. About a super hero saving the world from complete destruction, "Painkiller" is probably the best opener you could ever think of with its killer riffs and solos, its loud drum work, and most importantly, a Rob Halford that pulls off the most evil, insane, and the most metal vocals man has ever heard. It is an insane song that gets your blood boiling and fist pumping, a kick off like none other.

So with such an awesome start, you would think that the album would be starting to slip after that, but somehow, it does not. The band spits out killer song after killer song with the frequency of a machine gun, and the ammo seems to be never ending. Let us analyze this in chronological order, "Hell Patrol" follows up the title track in straight forward fashion, a simple, but effective tune with awesome riffing. Then Halford raises his pitch again in "All Guns Blazing", a extremely powerful song that blasts the drums far into the stratosphere. "Leather Rebel" comes shortly after, the absolute catchiest song in the album (and that is saying a lot), and it also acts as a anthem to the band members and their leather style.

While the standard is still extremely high even after that, the three following songs ("Metal Meltdown", "Night Crawler", and "Between The Hammer & The Anvil") does act as sort of a breather for the listener. While being stellar songs and possible highlights if they had been in any other Priest album, it is easy to forget about them when the album is over because its brethren are even bigger, badder, and stronger, especially the song that follows this trio.

"A Touch of Evil" is a different song in this album. Instead of dazzling us with speed or killer riffs, Halford lures us in to a dark dungeon with his menacing vocals, and he is accompanied with synthesizers that are from Satan himself. I could almost describe the song as a ballad, but it is more of a psychological horror show, including a terrific chorus, and a solo that gives you the biggest of chills. I am on the edge of my seat all of the 5 minutes and 44 seconds, and I love every second of it. You simply cannot resist "A Touch of Evil".

That itself would have been a great closer to "Painkiller", but "One Shot At Glory" gets that job (together with the small intro "Battle Hymn"), and it does it with the honor. It is another speedy, riff filled monster, but this one has a chorus that gets you pumped up and makes your vocal chords move on their own, making sure that you end the album on the most positive of notes. And to top it all off, we also have a long and versatile solo that could go on forever. What... an... ending!

Judas Priest has released a lot of great albums over the years, but "Painkiller" outclasses them all. This album delivers a power that would make the Juggernaut jealous, and while the album has a clear sound that goes through all of its run time, it still presents a great versatility. However, what makes "Painkiller" so mindblowingly awesome (besides that kick ass album cover) is one simple thing, it packs 10 killer songs, having no dips or fillers in sight. It is pure awesomeness from start to finish. It's faster than a bullet, it's full of anger, it louder than an atom bomb, and it answer to our pleas. It is the "Painkiller".

Songs worthy of recognition: A Touch of Evil, Painkiller, Hell Patrol, All Guns Blazing, Leather Rebel, One Shot At Glory

Rating: 10/10 Battle Hymns

Monday, April 25, 2016

Only For The Week: Part 12

All of the songs on this segment is gathered in a Spotify playlist, you can find it here

The Classic: Slayer - Raining Blood

All of those who know the bare existence of thrash metal knows about this song. It was not only the song that gave Slayer their breakthrough, and is the main highlight on the all time classic "Reign In Blood", but this is the song that took metal to the next level, inspiring all of the extreme sub genres for years to come. The stormy and mystic intro sets a good mood to the song, then King and Hannemann enters with some standard riffing, only to go full on bat shit crazy with one of the most evil guitar parts you'll ever hear. Araya takes over from there, with his highlight of course being him screaming the title. Finally, a insane solo taken from the 7th circle of hell, and you got yourself a killer tune.

The Newcomer: Dynazty - The Human Paradox

Yeah, it is classified as glam metal, but this is no Poison or Whitesnake or whatever, Dynazty takes those over grown hairdos and gives it a nice, glistening coat of metal to it. "The Human Paradox" is modern, powerful, and is boasted up with some kick ass performances from the guitarists Rob Love Magnusson and Mike Lavér, and the singer Nils Molin. So do not judge this book by its cover, go all in and find out just how good these guys really are.

The Personal Favourite: Almah - Living And Drifting

Edu Falaschi might mostly be known for his time in Angra, but he has created some great stuff in his new project Almah, a power metal band that also blends in some more modern metal into its music. "Living And Drifting" is fairly straight forward, a cool main riff, a epic and catchy chorus, and a killer solo to complete the puzzle. This song is almost childishly simple, but still so god damn good. Make also sure to check out the rest of the album "Motion", a fantastic effort from an underrated band.

Stay Metal!
Robert "Sharkruisher" Andersson

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Surgical Meth Machine - S/T (2016)

My relationship with Al Jourgensen is... kind of a odd one. His work in Ministry is extremely uneven, ranging from amazing, head banging industrial metal, to pure nonsense, and the last two albums the band did after their comeback ("Relapse" and "From Beer To Eternity") made it obvious that Al should probably just go into rehab and calm down. Did he do that? Obviously not, since he is presenting us with a new project that produces methamphetamine with surgical precision. I am not saying that I am surprised over this, but it feels like a disappointment that he disbands Ministry to create Ministry 2.0.

This self titled album is Al Jourgensen to the bone, it is fast, heavy, industrial, and absolute bonkers. It is 35 minutes of complete insanity, and 5 minutes of the exact opposite in the ending track "I'm Invisible". At first, it is really hard to take it all in because you are busy trying to comprehend it all, understanding what is really going on, and unfortunately, once you do get the hang of it all, it still makes very little sense. To me, it seems like Al was more focused on being high than creating actual music.

Throughout this album, Al is complaining about whiners on Facebook, the problems of being rich, and how he is allergic to tap water. It does give me a good laugh or two when hearing these lyrics, but that is really all. I remember Ministry as a force by nature that points out all the corruption and wrongs of this world, Surgical Meth Machine just whines and cries here and there. And it does not get any better on "Unlistenable", a song that has the perfect title, because it literally is unlistenable, having no structure at all and focuses more on calling bands like Iron Maiden, Lamb of God and Ministry (!?) pussies.

Not surprisingly, it is the songs that are closest to the glory days of Ministry that works the best on "Surgical Meth Machine". "Tragic Alert" has a crazy beat to it, and a simple sing along part that should make everyone scream execution in no time, and the following song "I Want More" contains a speed that is insane, and the riff work here are not to bad either. But these two (and the calm "I'm Invisible") are the only good songs in this album, the rest are pure gibberish.

To put this simply, Surgical Meth Machine deliver what it is promised, because when you are listening to this band's self titled debut album, it literally feels like you are on drugs. I am glad that this album is only 40 minutes long, because it is hard enough to last through it as it is. Most of the album is just cut outs from various speeches, movies, or Al Jourgensen speaking. The actual music part is a hit and miss, but mostly miss. If you like Ministry, you might want to give this a try, but beware, this is more of 10's Ministry than it is 00's Ministry.

Songs worthy of recognition: Tragic Alert, I Want More

Rating: 4/10 Smash And Grabs

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Judas Priest - Ram It Down (1988)

If the "Twin Turbos" project would have come to fruition, "Ram It Down" would have been the heavier side of it, being the pure polar opposite of its predecessor "Turbo". This album sees the band going back to the sound before the weird, glam metal experiment, but does not reach all the way. It is fairly obvious to see that "Turbo" and "Ram It Down" are like two brothers that may have different interests, but they are clearly related to each other.

The music here is heavy, but it is not at the same level at all like "Screaming For Vengeance" or "Defenders of The Faith", And even if Downing and Tipton spits out riff after riff, it just does not feel the same, like they are playing it safe. Thankfully, Halford shows up with another stellar performance, screaming with all his might to give this album a stronger punch to it. Sadly, this was the last album that Dave Holland appeared in, and because of health issues, he did not even complete his work on this record, forcing the band to use a drum machine in some parts, something that drags the overall sound down a little.

The album does start off strong with Rob Halford kick (or rather scream) starting the title track, which is a classic speed metal song from the band. No surprises here, just clean heavy metal. Speaking of heavy metal, that is the name of the following song. While the song itself is more controlled and feels like a brother to "You've Got Another Thing Comin'", it does start of with some furious shredding that makes me think "Did Eddie Van Halen make a guest appearance right there?". It is a good 1-2-punch to get your rock engine running, that's for sure.

After that, the music does lose some momentum, but we do still have a couple of cool songs to go before we reach the end of the album. "Blood Red Skies" is a nice power ballad where Halford displays tons of emotion, "Hard As Iron" is pure shredding goodness (even with that semi-awkward chorus), and "I'm A Rocker" is a nice little anthem that fits the band well. However, I do not understand why the band included a cover of the Chuck Berry song "Johnny B. Goode" (besides the fact that it was part of the soundtrack to the 1988 movie "Johnny Be Good"). It is a silly cover that feels really misplaced in this album. And after a love and romance heavy album such as "Turbo", they keep coming back to that subject with the songs "Love Zone" and "Love You To Death", making me think that if the "Twin Turbos" project would have been a reality, the two albums would not have been all to different from each other.

I am seriously confused over "Ram It Down". I am both loving the album, but also loathing it. It is a good, diverse album indeed, but maybe it is too diverse for its own good. I really do not know, and to be honest, I do not care. In the end though, it is the upsides that weigh over in its favour, and makes the album an overall decent experience. Some bits here and there are awesome and shows that "Turbo" was a one time thing, and those bits who did not show it still have some grain of brilliance that makes you endure it all. "Ram It Down" is far from the best Judas Priest record to come out, and it certainly will not blow you away, but it has its fair share of good moments that one should acknowledge.

Songs worthy of recognition: Blood Red Skies, Ram It Down, Hard As Iron

Rating: 7/10 Rockers

Monday, April 18, 2016

Only For The Week: Part 11

Because of lack of things to say to make this starting blurb really interesting, this might be the last time I will even write something before presenting the songs. It may change some time later in this series, or maybe I will just write some small stuff over the previous week, I really do not know yet, we just have to wait and see.

With that said, it has been a crazy week for music. Axl Rose joining AC/DC, Record Store Day, and another super group saw the light of day. Let us hope that this coming week becomes a little calmer. Anyway, enjoy!

All of the songs on this segment is gathered in a Spotify playlist, you can find it here

The Classic: Gary Moore - Out In The Fields

There are few musicians that have had such a long and glorious career as the Northern Irishman Gary Moore. With over 4 decades of music behind him, he left the Earth life 2011 and left a big hole in the metal world behind him. His legacy is massive and impressive, but it is the song "Out In The Fields" that not only serves as the highlight, but also the perfect statement to what the man could do with his guitar. That solo is one of the coolest and most iconic ones that I can remember, despite it being so short in the studio version. However, it is still that hair rising chorus that makes this song so incredible. Rest in peace Gary, we truly miss you.

The Newcomer: Otep - No Color

She might be most famous for her über angry songs, but "No Color" is a different song from Otep Shamaya and her band, and it works just as well. A mysterious song with a cool groove and a smooth chorus that sneaks into your little brain with ease. While it still ends on a weird note, it is still a nice highlight to an overall diverse album, an album that you all should give a try.

Check out my review of the album this song is from, "Generation Doom"

sorry, no video for this song :(

The Personal Favourite: Ronald Jenkees - Guitar Sound

Can you create a great guitar instrumental without using a guitar? Ronald Jenkees tried, and he succeeded big time. "Guitar Sound" is one of the most emotional and versatile instrumentals I have ever heard, capturing the listener with these intriguing melodies and passages that are both technical and beautiful. It is like Ronald is just making it all up as he goes along, yet still, it all feels so smooth. And just when all is starting to settle down, Ronald brings out a really fast and technical part that may take away some of the typical guitar sounds, but is instead showing an illusion of pure shredding. An awesome twist to one of the coolest instrumentals out there

Stay Metal!
Robert "Sharkruisher" Andersson

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Otep - Generation Doom (2016)

A minute into "Generation Doom", and Otep Shamaya is already screaming "I don't give a fuck" straight into my ears, which frankly does not surprise me one bit. You see, her self named band Otep is all about anarchy, anger, and a "don't give a fuck" attitude, and it is a style that is highly debated in the metal community, is she the voice of the revolution or just some crazy bitch screaming her lungs out? Personally, I think Otep is a interesting, and rather unique band that, when they hit the right notes, can make some great aggressive metal, just a shame it rarely lasts throughout an album.

The only thing that surprises me with this record is that it exists at all, because Otep straight up retired after the release of "Hydra" in 2013, claiming that she was frustrated and no longer felt inspired to make anymore music (mostly thanks to labels trying to interfere too much). Now she has made a Rolling Stones, and returned with a huge knuckle sandwich in "Generation Doom".

Usually, Otep albums are extremely uneven, containing several different songs and styles (including dark whispers that barely classifies as music), but "Generation Doom" is a lot more cohesive than what I expected it to be. The album holds well together with its aggressive half industrial, half nu-metal sound, and Otep delivers a passionate performance. You can really feel that her blood is on the boiling point. And the music is not too shabby either, being either heavy, groovy, or just madness personified, it often works out really well.

My personal favourite is probably "No Color", a mystical song with a really cool chorus that sticks to your mind and is easy to enjoy. It might have a worthless ending (like several other songs in this album), but I am impressed that the band could create a great song without screaming. Even "In Cold Blood" is a slower song that shows Otep's versatility, a soft song that feels just right for the band. Otherwise it is the faster and heavier songs that steals the show, like the cybernetic "Feeding Frenzy", the well armored "Lords of War", and the Lacuna Coil sounding "Down".

And in the middle of all this aggression and anger we have a song called "Royals", and you guessed it, it is a cover of the song with the same name by Randy Marsh Lorde. The screaming in the chorus might be a little forced, but the band really succeeded in making this song their own, and it sounds really good, making this luxurious song into a anarchistic rally.

Unfortunately, there are a couple songs that drags the album down a notch. "Lie" is boring as hell, "God Is A Gun" has a really weird flow to it, and then we have "Equal Rights, Equal Lefts", a more hip hop spoken word song that may be a big part of Otep's personality, but this song just breaks down the flow of the album in the wrong way. Also, there is a line in this song I cannot comprehend. "He called me a dyke/I called him an ambulance". What the hell is that supposed to mean? Are those really insults? "Oh, so I am a vehicle that helps sick people getting to the hospital? That's... something?". She can write some great lyrics from time to time, but this is just dumb.

I think the hate for Otep will still be there, but it is a hate that I think fuels Otep to come back with twice the strength, at least that is what she has done with "Generation Doom". This album is the most even one, and it might also be the strongest album she has presented us with. She is still far from perfect, and the music will continue to be controversial, but this is a strong comeback, and an even stronger statement that they are here to stay, and continue to be pissed off.

Songs worthy of recognition: No Color, Feeding Frenzy, Lords of War

Rating: 7,5/10 Lies

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Judas Priest - Turbo (1986)

What the hell? That is the initial reaction both I and, I assume, a lot of other fans of the band got when listening to "Turbo" for the first time. After releasing two amazing albums in "Screaming For Vengeance" and "Defenders of The Faith", they return with... this. I know that the Priest is known for its sound diversity and that they can further develop their sound, but this is just flat out weird.

So what is it that makes "Turbo" such a stand out? For starters, this was the first Judas Priest album to include guitar synthezisers, which directly is a sign of how the music scene was like in the mid-80's. But it is not only that, the songs in here are more straight forward, more chorus driven, almost poppy, one reason for that could be that the band initially wanted to make a double album (named "Twin Turbos"), but that was scrapped and the more accessible songs ended up in this album, while the others were either reworked for the upcoming album "Ram It Down", or was released as bonus material in any of the remastered albums, almost 20 years later.

However, the main reason to why this album sounds weird is in the lyrical department. Judas Priest is mostly known for three things, Fantasy, Sci-fi, and overall dark themes, but "Turbo" was almost exclusively about love and romance. Just... why? That alone makes me wanna brand this album as straight out pop, not that metal band can't sing about it, but because they should leave that shit to boy bands and *insert young girl in her 20's that everyone will forget when she turns 40*.

Fortunately, the band fits in some humour in it all to lighten things up (another thing that is not typical of the band, but I'll let that one slide). "Parental Guidance" is one of the songs that do this, because it was solely created as a counter reaction for "Eat Me Alive" being one of the "Filthy Fifteen" that the PMRC published. The song itself is not one of the stronger ones in this record, but it is still a nice addition. I also get some shits and giggles out of the opener "Turbo Lover", not only because of its ridiculous and catchy chorus, but because of the subject matter. I mean, I suppose the song is about cars, but if it was about a real human being, would you really want a Turbo Lover then? Do not know about you guys, but I want a lover who is sensual, hot, and want to go on all night with me, not someone who is done in two red seconds.

Enough of my sexual fantasies, the band is doing their business as usual, but the sound just does not seem right. It does not sound like a Judas Priest album, it is more like a KISS album, except one song that sounds like Rush. It is more or less classic 80's rock that is played in "Turbo", no shredding, barely any Metal God screams, not much heaviness at all. The only thing that tells me that this is a Judas Priest record is the aggressive attitude, and it is just that that makes this 80's glam rock experiment go from a bland album to an okay album. After all, the songs are still there, rocking out pretty good. I just know that bands like Twisted Sister, Mötley Crüe, and Ratt would kill for songs like "Reckless", "Locked In", and "Hot For Love"

Ultimately, "Turbo" is best described as a fun record... in small doses. This record is fun, catchy, but I seriously cannot believe that the band labeled here is Judas Priest. It is a little funny that Judas Priest out glams almost all of the glam bands out there, but was there even a reason to why they had to do this record? They did not need to be more accessible to the public since they were already famous around that time, nor were they in some identity crisis. In the end though, it is a okay album that just feels way out of place. The odd one out of the Judas Priest discography.

Songs worthy of recognition: Turbo Lover, Locked In, Hot For Love

Rating: 6/10 Wild Nights