Style: heavy metal, British
Label: Metal God Entertainment
Members: Rob Halford ~ vocals
Metal Mike Chlasciak, Pat Lachman, Roy Z., Russ Parrish, Brian Tilse ~ guitars
Ray Riendeau, Mike Davis, Jay Jay ~ bass
Bobby Jarzombek, Scott Travis ~ drums
I remember the first time I heard Halford's Resurrection, the first release by the solo band of Judas Priest vocalist Rob Halford, with its heart-stopping opening title track. Rob Halford's distinctive falsetto comes out of the emptiness of space with a long cry of "resurrection" followed by some in your face slashing guitars leading into what was a metal feast. I was an immediate fan. That first album was full of great riffs & addictive hooks & I felt far better than what he'd been doing with Judas Priest previously & would later try to do with Nostradamus. It was like he'd put the heavy back into the metal. It was full of riffs to learn from & one of the best melodic heavy metal albums I'd heard in awhile & my favorite headbanging sing-along/air guitar album for a long time to come. Some called its follow-up, The Crucible, an equally strong release but it never hit me in the same way. Perhaps it was because it was in the same mold & because of that I'd felt I'd heard it before & now wanted to move to the next step which Rob Halford deliberately chose not to. Metal God Essentials, Vol. 1 ... the only volume so far ... is a compilation that brings together some of the highlights of Halford's first three albums: Resurrection ("Resurrection", "Made In Hell", "Slow Down", "Locked & Loaded"), The Crucible ("Golgotha", "Crystal", "Sun", "Trail Of Tears")& the live album Live Insurrection ("Screaming In The Dark") ... though the audience sound is wiped clean from the obviously remastered track which kills the effect ... plus a seven minute demo of Resurrection's "Silent Screams". Metal God Essentials really comes too early in the history of Halford to be a true greatest hits compilation, while most fans would already have the three albums Halford released & potentially the remastered versions which some of these tracks are taken from. As most greatest hits collections are this is a blatant marketing ploy bridging time & keeping an artist in the spotlight in between studio albums. For those who want a single release of the first half of Halford's output this is hard to beat. Though, it's also hard not to want to just pick up Resurrection as there's a lot of songs that could be in this collection. Metal God Essentials does create a few incentives to get this compilation. It includes new Halford tracks "Forgotten Generation", "Drop Out", a remix "Hypocrisy" plus some versions come with a DVD of videos ("Made In Hell", "Betrayal", "In The Morning", "Silent Screams", "Never Satisfied", "Forgotten Generation") & behind the scenes footage of the albums Resurrection & Live Insurrection. This compilation also has another bonus in that it includes three tracks ("Into The Pit", "Nailed to The Gun" & "War Of Worlds") from Fight, the band Rob Halford was in before Halford. Fight released three albums but the weight given to Halford on this compilation shows the critical/fan reception the stripped down thrash inspired Fight has gotten in the long run ... countering the accolades given the group in the linear notes by Rob Halford himself. It's odd that these three songs are also demo tracks, though again one can be assumed that fans probably already had the original Fight albums & would be uninspired to get Metal God Essentials. In between these two bands Rob Halford would join guitarist John Lowery for the one off industrial metal project Two, produced by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails who also heavily promoted the duo. Two's Voyeurs, with its heavy electronic foundation, is an interesting experiment ... but obviously Rob Halford doesn't consider Two essential as it is mysteriously missing from Metal God Essentials, making this compilation primarily for those who want to discover Halford versus the post-Judas Priest career of Rob Halford.