JUDAS PRIEST — Nostradamus

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JUDAS PRIEST - Nostradamus cover
3.20 | 72 ratings | 5 reviews
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Album · 2008

Filed under Heavy Metal


Disc 1

1. Dawn Of Creation (2:31)
2. Prophecy (5:26)
3. Awakening (0:52)
4. Revelations (7:05)
5. The Four Horsemen (1:35)
6. War (5:04)
7. Sands Of Time (2:36)
8. Pestilence And Plague (5:08)
9. Death (7:33)
10. Peace (2:21)
11. Conquest (4:42)
12. Lost Love (4:28)
13. Persecution (6:34)

Total Time 55:55

Disc 2

1. Solitude (1:22)
2. Exiled (6:32)
3. Alone (7:50)
4. Shadows In The Flame (1:10)
5. Visions (5:24)
6. Hope (2:09)
7. New Beginnings (4:56)
8. Calm Before The Storm (2:05)
9. Nostradamus (6:43)
10. Future Of Mankind (8:29)

Total Time 46:46

Total Time (both) 102:46


- Rob Halford / vocals
- K. K. Downing / guitars, synthesized guitars
- Glenn Tipton / guitars, synthesized guitars
- Ian Hill / bass
- Scott Travis / drums

- Don Airey / keyboards
- Pete Whitfield / strings

About this release

Released by Epic, June 16th, 2008.

Thanks to Pekka, metalbaswee, Raff, Lynx33, adg211288, Unitron for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

For their sixteenth album Judas Priest decided to once again do something a little different to their norm. 2008's Nostradamus is a double disc concept album, based on the life of the supposed French seer, who lived in the 16th Century. This is the last Judas Priest album with guitarist K. K. Downing before his retirement from the band in 2011.

This isn't a great swansong for K. K. in my opinion. The impression I get when listening to Nostradamus is that it's drawn out to a grand total of twenty-three tracks just for the sake of presenting a complete concept, which results in an album that features more filler than killer tracks. The band are well playing as always and the use of some symphonic elements adds something new to the Judas Priest sound, but with such hit and miss song-writing Nostradamus is ultimately a pretty middle of the road Judas Priest album. I think with a bit of editing down to a single disc they could easily have come up with a 4 star record but as it is it's quite a step back from the previous, return to form album, Angel of Retribution. I guess it's telling that I even prefer their Jugulator album to this one. They've done weaker records in my opinion, but this for me remains one of the most disappointing.
"Ahhiiiieeeee am NOSTRADAMUS!!!" What a way to start an album off with a bang! This album seems to have had a lackluster reception from the fans, and I've never understood why. Perhaps the reason I adore this and can't understand why so many of their fans don't is because I did not grow up listening to Judas Priest, but instead had only heard their hits, and worked my way backwards through their catalog after this album came out. Or perhaps one of the reasons this is the album that "got me into" Judas Priest is the fact that I was coming at it with the perspective of a Progressive Metal fan. But whatever the reasons, I simply adore this album because it is truly a Metal Opera. Not just in the sense that the entire album tells a story, but as I listen to the music I can tell that the writing was influenced by classical music in a lot of ways. The style of singing is pure metal, but the melodies are very similar to something you'd hear from an opera. This album tells the story of Nostradamus and his visions quite well, and the dramatic dark harmonies of the band compliment the subject material quite nicely. I would encourage new listeners to go into the album with no preconceptions of it being the next classic Judas Priest album, but rather take it for what it is - they had an idea to go in a somewhat new direction, and went for it.
Nostradamus, the ambitious double disc concept album by Judas Priest was released in 2008 and saw the band in new territory.

The vast majority of music on Nostradamus is new for Priest, mixing long keyboard buildups and atmospheric moments full of story exposition with their usual heavy metal sound. Rob Halford even brakes out some Italian vocals at one point.

Nostradamus is certainly impressive for all its ambition and atmosphere, although it is something of a grower as when you get right down to it, the ratio of stand up rockers in the overall album is relatively low. It may take a good few listens for the full effect of the record to click with you (even just to absorb all of the music as there is so much of it) and if you are impatient you could easily just dismiss this record as boring and samey.

Standout tracks include ‘Pestilence & Plague,’ ‘Prophecy,’ ‘Conquest,’ and ‘Persecution,’ all of which represent the most metal moments on the record.

Overall, Nostradamus is not an easy listen and is not for everyone; it lasts almost and hour and three quarters, is full of choirs and keyboards and new vocal styles from Rob himself. If you are patient however, there is a very good record to be found.
After 15 albums of solid Priest, you may think you are pretty sure you know what you're getting into with the group. Sure, you've got your pop rock years of Turbo and your more basic hard rock esque stuff on Sad Wings, but it's still always been Priest. That being said, Nostradamus is pretty unexpected, being a double album leaning just a bit more towards prog and symphonic tendencies than we've known these guys to do.

Sure, you've got your standard Heavy Metal riffs a la Downing and Tipton all over the place, and Halford's vocals are unmistakable. But you may be shocked when the short intro is a more orchestral synthesized piece. The band has taken their ambition up to eleven in working on a concept album about, well, Nostradamus. There are short tracks that bridge between longer songs and add more concept into the two disc tale. That being said, your patience probably won't match the band's effort.

For one thing, for having plenty of Judas Priest tracks about such a mystical or legendary figure as Nostradamus, the "epic" feel doesn't show up as much as it could. Many of the tracks have a distinct midtempo feel to them and lack energy. That can be justified, as these guys have been rocking since 1974, giving these guys 34 years of metal by the release of this album. That being said, it's still not terribly satisfying hearing a rather slow and standard singing of "I am Nostradamus" in "Prophecy" when you've heard Halford tearing his vocals apart singing about the Painkiller before.

Another thing is, a lot of the metal elements have been toned down. There is a lot of symphonic influence, especially for a Heavy Metal band. This does not help, as for a band as raw and emotional as they've been in the past, they've relied a lot on their metal guitars and drums to bring them their acclaim, rather than synthesized strings and trumpets. They aren't even that particularly good, most of them are simple melodic lines and chords that don't really emulate the scope of an orchestra or even the concept at all. There are plenty of symphonic metal bands that bring out a grandiose feel that one can't help but feel is missing here. Tracks like "War" are such a disappointment when it sounds like a great place for some growling guitars along with the keyboards, but the synthesized strings overtake the guitar and it sounds like a very half-assed piece from a musical.

Anyone can point to the excuse of the band not feeling like making blasting and energetic music in the past, but there seems to be no excuse when you get to the penultimate title track "Nostradamus", which is filled with everything that makes Priest Great. It's almost as if they made an entire double album of slow to midpaced tracks to build up to this one song. Everything's catchy and rather heavy, and their cheers for the title character sound impassioned. And Scott Travis' kit seems like it started working again after over an hour of simple rock beats.

It should come to no surprise that any band should fall to becoming your average standard metal band after so many years of putting out quality work. Judas Priest have long put in the effort over the years to emblazon their names in metal history for years to come. If they feel they must put out rather tired sounding records, they have earned the respect from the metal community to do it. As long as they play their fist pounding stuff live, and tracks like the title track on this one, it shouldn't matterl. Overall, Judas Priest fans will of course get this album, but it's really not necessary for most metal fans. Even for fans, I would recommend some heavy sampling, as it's not your Priest you've come to know.
Time Signature
The future of mandkind...

Genre: heavy metal

It's 2008, and Priest are back with their most progressive effort to date. The Priest sound is still there - and alive and kicking - but bolstered with a progressive-symphonic feel that, while atypical for Priest, is slightly reminiscent of old tracks like "Run of the Mill" and "Dreamer Deciever".

As it happens, 'Nostradamus' is in part, ignoring the symphonic elements, musically similar to many of Judas Priest's pre-'Turbo' releases, but on he production side it is more reminiscent of 'Turbo' and 'Ram it Down', making heavy use of synthesized guitars. I think this combination of classical Priest with a new symphonic and conceptual feel works very well.

One downside is perhaps the many athmospheric fillers which tend to get a bit annoying. Fortunately, Halford sings on many of them, which makes them interesting to listen to after all. And maybe there's too much reverb on he bass and snare drums, but that seems to fit the epic feel quite well.

In all, another fine metal album by th gods of metal, recommended to any fan of good old traditional metal.

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