Friday, December 16, 2016

CD Review: Singer Al Atkins Returns "Reloaded" & The Electric Hellfire Club Delivery "Necessary Evils"

English singer Al Atkins recently released his new solo album titled "Reloaded." Atkins is best known as the original lead singer of Judas Priest before Rob Halford took over the vocal duties. Atkins new album was released on the Gonzo Multimedia label and features eleven re-recorded tracks from throughout Atkins 40 year career. The new album also features Judas Priest bassist Ian Hill who performed with Atkins in the early days of Judas Priest. 
 
The new album begins with the heavy metal groove of "Winter" from Atkins fourth solo album, "Victim Of Changes." The song originally appeared on Judas Priest debut album with Halford on lead vocals, but was written by Atkins along with Ian Hill and KK Downing. Next up is the exciting guitar-driven melody of "Mind Conception," which appeared on Judas Priest's 1971 demo. Atkins returns to his 1994 album "Heavy Thoughts" to bring out "A Void To Avoid" as he pushes the song close to the ten-minute mark with electrifying solos from Tsuyoshi Ikedo and Stu Marshall. You can hear Atkins influence on early Judas Priest albums with the chugging hard rock of "Never Satisfied" and "Victim Of Changes," which includes Ralf Scheepers on vocals along with Roy Ramirez and Paul May guitar solos. The hidden gem on this new release is the addition of "Mind Conception" from Judas Priest's original 1971 demo. The recording is a little rough, but is definitely a welcome addition to this release. To find out more about Al Atkins and his new album "Reloaded," please visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/ALATKINSOFFICIAL. 
 
The Electric Hellfire Club started out over 25 years ago by former My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult member, Thomas Thorn. The band has become a cult act as their underground popularity grew with each album and show. Their last studio album was released back in 2002 and Cleopatra Records has gathered sixteen of the best songs for The Electric Hellfire Club's first ever "best of" collection. The new release titled "Necessary Evils," features songs from each of the band's seven albums and all of the songs were picked by Thorn to be on this release. 
 
Beginning with "Incubus," you dive right into their dark industrial metal sound, highlighted by samples and grinding chords. Next, they introduce you to their psychedelic metal of "Black Bus" and the straight up aggressive attack of "Book Of Lies." They deliver the sample filled rhythm of "Mr. 44," then take you on a sonic journey with the eight-minute psychedelic metal of "Night Of The Buck Knives." The new compilation wraps up with the battle cry of "Unholy Roller" and the band's theme song "Age Of Fire" as they pay homage to Satan. To find out more about The Electric Hellfire Club and their latest release "Necessary Evils," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/ehc44.

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