Firepower is the 18th full-length studio release for the British heavy metal band Judas Priest, led by Rob Halford, and it was produced by Tom Allom and Andy Sneap. Throughout their long career, they have consistently produced albums that effectively reflected the shade of the metal scene at the time of their release and Firepower holds on to that. It’s easily the heaviest thing they’ve done since Painkiller and I think the guitar work is absolutely blazing in all senses of the word.
The riffing is fast, tight, melodic and original and the production is very clear. Every instrument can be clearly heard, or at least felt and the Rob´s vocals are a center point, rising above the writhing guitar. On this album Rob proves to the world that he isn't called the Metal God for nothing.
The guitar solos from Tipton and Faulkner are very well composed and really have a striking 80's era feeling. Firepower may also be the last album that founding guitarist Glenn Tipton plays on, having retired last month from touring due to Parkinson's disease and his solos here with guitar colleague Richie Faulkner are definitely Priest-worthy.
The intensity and the speed throughout the whole album is just fantastic and that is why I love it so much. I am impressed by all the 14 songs and the 58 minutes that the album plays and I think that no one will be able to not resist to headbang when listening to this.
The opening track Firepower thunders with double-timed drums, a classic dual-guitar riff, and Halford's scream, and though not the vocal siren he used to be, even in this age the man has got an amazing power in his voice that none of his thousand imitators have. The whole album is amazing and worth checking out from the start to the end but if I have to highlights some songs it would be the fast and furious opening track "Firepower", the heavy "Evil Never Dies", the mighty and epic "Risings From The Ruin", the energizing and melodic ''Traitors Gate'', the Black Sabbath evoking "Lone Wolf" and the beautiful and closing ballad "Sea of Red".
So with all things considered, I think "Firepower" is another amazing album from one of the architects of metal that pays homage to the past, but still remains modern at the same time.
I must say that this is probably my favorite Judas Priest album along with "Painkiller" beause it's a magnificent mixture of everything that made the band so noteworthy up to this point, while also keeping it fresh and interesting.
Firepower reestablishes Judas Priest as a heavyweight in the metal world and for long time fans of the band this album will resonate with tremendous force for quite some time. Firepower is Judas Priest at their most powerful and this album is an early, but very strong candidate for my pick for album of the year!