Studio Album by released in 2008
Nostradamus's tracklist:
Dawn of Creation
The Four Horsemen
Sands of Time
Pestilence and Plague
Lost Love
Shadows in the Flame
New Beginnings
Calm Before the Storm
Future of Mankind

Nostradamus review

Heavy Metal Legend

A well-known name in music industry means a lot if not everything. It doesn’t mean of course that popular bands can do anything they want but they definitely enjoy many privileges. In particular legendary band Judas Priest is a very bright example. As it is well-known, Judas Priest have made a huge impact on metal music. Many albums of this band are added to the history of the genre and their songs inspired thousands of young metal heads to start playing guitars. Perhaps it was too long ago, perhaps some things look a little bit funny today but still Judas Priest is that kind of a band that could release anything and it would be eagerly accepted by their fans. Admittedly, only if the band’s line-up would feature vocalist Rob Halford. It is no coincidence that his return to Judas Priest after 12 years of absence inspired their fans so much that their recent album Angel Of Retribution became one the most anticipated metal records of 2005. And Judas Priest didn’t let their fans down, the album turned out to be a really worthy attempt. Unfortunately this can’t be said about their newest record called Nostradamus.

Judas Priest move towards symphonic metal

It must be mentioned at once that Nostradamus is at the least uncharacteristic Judas Priest’s album. The band never produced anything of this kind before. They are not trying to revive their classic sound, which would look appropriate by the way, quite on the contrary, Nostradamus sounds in a completely different vain. Sadly, but this very vain corresponds to the most trite and boring standards of metal music industry. First of all, Nostradamus is a concept album, which, as you have guessed already, is dedicated to one French prophet of 16th century. There is nothing wrong with the idea of concept album of course; this is actually a traditional album form for metal music. The problem lies in the subject matter. It is no secret that some metal bands are obsessed with everything connected with sorcery, mysticism and things alike but unfortunately Nostradamus as the main hero of a serious metal album doesn’t look really convincing. Secondly, Judas Priest for some weird reason decided to depart from their heavy metal sound in favor of symphonic metal. In reality it gave them nothing but extremely exaggerated heavy metal pathos. And now multiply this by weak lyrics and 100 minutes of playtime and imagine how ridiculous such an opus may look like.

Ups and downs of Nostradamus

But these things are nothing but trifles. Image is not really important when you have a first-class material. But this is actually where the third and the basic problem of this album lies. In the beginning a listener may still have some glimmers of hope. Two minute epic intro smoothly turns into the first song Prophesy, which is probably not exactly what you really wanted to hear but it still makes you think that everything will change for the better on the following tracks. Unfortunately, it never happens. For the most part the album consists of two types of compositions – short ones with Halford’s low voice narrations against the background of epic keyboards and long ones with a full-band playing in a slow tempo. However, it is still possible to find some good things in the album’s first part. In particular, such songs as Pestilence And Plague and Persecution sound pretty attractive, both of them are quite fast and energetic. Unfortunately, the rest of the material rarely reaches the heights of these racks, even though they are definitely not Judas Priest’s best songs. Of course, here and there you come across some intriguing moments, nice melodies and other trifles but you have to show simply angelic patience to find them. Actually, Nostradamus as an album sounds really cohesive, solid and sometimes reminds about glory days of Judas Priest. But still this record should be recommended only to the most devoted and die-hard fans of classic heavy metal.

Max Rodrigues (27.06.2008)
Rate review4.08
Total votes - 165

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