Judas Priest - _'98 Live Meltdown_
(BMG/RCA, 1998)
by: Paul Schwarz (9 out of 10)
Kicking off with the melodic brilliance of "The Hellion" and flowing effortlessly into the classic "Electric Eye", Judas Priest deliver an opening salvo which sets the precedent of quality and sheer hardrockin' brilliance which this live album rarely lets up on. Firstly and foremostly, the Priest's live sound has been reproduced with clarity and power. Couple with this the -superb- musical performances, which put some of the original recorded performances to shame, and you have the perfect conditions to deal out an incredible live collection. One final element is needed: a good set of songs. _'98 Live Meltdown_ features the set which the Priest have been touring the world with recently and it is, overall, excellent. The band's most essential songs are, of course, played: "Living After Midnight", "Breaking the Law", "Victim of Changes", etc., but, as is often the case with live records, the set list is the place where I start having doubts. Some classics, e.g. "Exiter", are left out, but, more prominently, the band's last two albums are overly focused on. Nine of these 24 songs are either from _Jugulator_ or _Painkiller_ and, as far as the _Jugulator_ material goes, I am baffled as to why the band didn't include "Jugulator" or play "Cathedral Spires". For me, this ranks among my favorite live documents -- it's up there with Slayer's _Decade of Aggression_, and beats out the Black Sabbath in solid, unwavering quality, if not in its uniqueness as a reunion record. Priest's songs are superb and their legacy undeniable. They are still more than worthy of every metaller's attention, respect and neck injuries.

(article published 16/1/1999)

4/12/2002 A Bromley Judas Priest: The Metal Crusade Continues
10/8/2008 A Lineker 5.5 Judas Priest - Nostradamus
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