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'98 Live Meltdown

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(59 Reviews)

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Many doubted that Judas Priest would find a vocalist to capably fill the shoes of legendary frontman Rob Halford. With Ripper Owens, the band found not only a Priest fanatic, but a talented screamer in his own right. Proving that his studio performance on Jugulator was no hoax, Owens displays performing talents on this vigorous double-live album. For concert album cynics, heed this: half of these 23 tunes have not been performed on the two previous Priest live discs, and Owens really belts out those screams with greater accuracy than Halford was able to summon in his last few years in the band. The metal legends unleash the long-lost pre-speed-metal classic ”Rapid Fire”; they play an inspired acoustic version of ”Diamonds & Rust” that’s closer to Joan Baez’s original than Priest’s 1977 cover; and they dig up two previously unperformed Jugulator songs. Most of what’s heard here rates from very good to excellent, though one wishes that ”Burn in Hell” wasn’t abbreviated and that ”Dreamer Deceiver” wasn’t excluded; and a few of the mixes could be cleaner. Still, this very live-sounding record (complete with essential raucous audience participation) captures the potent force of a Judas Priest concert performance. –Bryan Reesman

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  • This is a terrific live album with a great set list. However, for all of those who think that Ripper blows Halford out of the water, keep this in mind: all of the songs on this album are transposed to a lower key. For all those guitar players out there, I believe its dropped at least a whole step thus, increasing Ripper’s apparent range. Halford sang all of his stuff in standard tuning which just shows you how talented he really was(is). That being said, Ripper’s performance is still incredible and Glenn and KK are transposing their music to fit the range of their singer.

    Posted on November 25, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This double album it’s one of the most loudest of Judas Priest, all the tracks contains the magic of this metal heroes. Scott Travis it’s, for me, one of the best drummers in the world of heavy metal, K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton are an incredible, faster and louder heavy metal guitarists, Ian Hill it’s one of the most special bassers in heavy world, and Ripper Owens sounds very noize and loud, instead Owens, I like Rob Halford, but Ripper it’s a similar clon. The most agressive song of the album it’s “PAINKILLER”, it’s my favorite Judas song and all his classics: “Breaking the law”, “Hell bent for leather”, “Electric eye”, “Beyond the realms of death”, “Victims of change” and “The green manalishi”. Playing this cd in your home, it’s a concert inside your home.

    Posted on November 25, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This is a trully masterpiece of a heavy metal live album.Ripper Owens is a great frontman and an amazing singer! His performance in the songs written in the Halford era is simply awesome. In fact, in songs like “beyound the realms of death”, “metal gods” and “diamonds and rust” I dare to say that Owens had a better perormance than Halford. In the whole, Owens had a wonderful performance and he drives the cwowd crazy with his screams and powerful voice!The band performance is also awesome and the crowd is burning.The track list couldn’t be better, with classic songs and a few songs from the jugulator album. It is a must have for any metal fan all over the world.

    Posted on November 25, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Anyone that says “Live Meltdown” is awful just are not being honest with themselves: they either are bitter over Halford being replaced or refuse to admit Priest could find a replacement just a good…if not better, than Rob. Priest hasn’t sounded this tight on a live album…well, ever. The guitars are heavy as usual, Scott Travis is the best drummer Priest has ever had, and Ripper…well, what can you say about Ripper? I got goosebumps hearing some of his screams, that’s how much he sounded like Halford (check out the wail at the end of “The Ripper”). I’m as big a fan of Halford as they come, but Halford couldn’t hit most of these notes in his last days with Priest. Owens has all but resurrected Priest, and they sound as good as they ever have. If you call yourself a fan of Judas Priest, you should have this album. There is no denying it: the Priest is back.

    Posted on November 25, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • NOW…… this is an awesome release! Every song on this double cd gets a perfect 10 in my book! I saw the Priest during this tour with Ripper and man…talk about a set of pipes on that voice!!!!! I truly have to disagree with a couple of reviewers stating that “this is horrible” cause “it doesn’t have halford” and another saying that “it’s not essential because it doesn’t hold up to Beast in the East (actually Unleashed in the East) or Priest…Live. Sorry Charley, neither one of those release are as energetic as this one. I can say this too! I have been a fan for over 25 years. In fact, the Priest…Live cd…well, let’s not even go there! This IS the Judas Priest Live cd to own. Those wondering if they should take a chance…DO IT! You won’t be disappointed!!!!!!!

    Posted on November 25, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now