The Bottom Line
- Epic songwriting
- Good guitar work from Downing and Tipton
- Halford's vocals
- It's tough to stay engaged for the entire 100 minutes of the CDs
- A few more rockers would have been nice
- Released June 17, 2008 on Epic Records.
- Nostradamus is a concept album focusing on the 16th century prophet.
- The CD was produced by band members Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing.
Guide Review - Judas Priest - Nostradamus
Nostradamus is an epic album, clocking it at 100 minutes and spread out over 2 CDs. It's definitely not the typical Priest album, and after the first listen I wasn't overly impressed. It seemed there was a lot of unnecessary interludes, and there were a lot of mid-tempo songs and only a few up tempo rockers. But after a few listens I began to absorb what Priest was trying to do, and began to appreciate it more and more.
The typical Judas Priest guitar attack is there, but it's fully unleashed only on a few songs. The rest of the time it's more subdued, with acoustic guitars and guitar synths taking front and center on many of the tracks. There are some very catchy songs on the CD. When taken in context with the epic album storyline, the orchestral elements and interludes fit in well. Judas Priest lyrics can be a bit cheesy, but Halford does a good job creating an interesting narrative about a very compelling historic figure.
Speaking of Halford, he uses his lower register quite a bit on Nostradamus. It makes sense, being that the majority of the songs are slow to mid-tempo. He does unveil his trademark high pitched vocals periodically, and they still sound great. This is going to be a polarizing album for Priest fans. It's length and different construction than their typical release may turn some off, but Nostradamus is one that really grows on you. Even though there is some filler and I wish they would have written a few more uptempo songs, Judas Priest took a huge risk in creating an album of this style and scope, and in the end they succeed.