Judas Priest, Best of Judas Priest

Jon Wiederhorn

By Jon Wiederhorn

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Operatic vocalist Rob Halford's reunion with Judas Priest in 2003, and the band's subsequent Ozzfest performance, were both greeted in the metal community with an enthusiasm usually reserved for paleontologists digging up the bones of a previously unknown species. And rightfully so. In the '70s and '80s, Priest were the Tyrannosaurus Rex of the metal kingdom, and released at least eight of the most timeless albums of their genre before Halford left the band in 1991. On this 1998 compilation, the band sounds as visceral and relevant as it did in its heyday, largely because Priest were able to capture a sense of anticipation, urgency and dramatic flair that most of their peers lacked. They also had an instinct for survival, and successfully dabbled with elements of the prevailing sounds of the day, including prog-rock, new wave and thrash, without compromising their majestically crunchy core sound.