The Metal Gods are back and before I get started let me get this right out in the open. I am a huge Priest fan. That being said I will attempt to put my prejudice aside for the sake of this review and be as objective as possible.

Nostradamus is a two disc concept record about the historical prophet/clairvoyant Nostradamus. I don’t know what your feelings are, but I don’t think many concept albums have worked in the past. There have been a few that I think are good, Pink Floyd’s The Wall and Queensryche’s Operation Mindcrime (the first one), but there have been many other failures as well (just look at Kiss’s Music From The Elder). Usually when a band announces they are planning to release a concept album, let alone a two disc set, let the listener beware… there is a good chance there will be a lot of filler on the record.

Not the case here with Nostradamus. This album is an undertaking of mammoth proportions. The band is in top form as they begin this record and they maintain that enthusiasm throughout. Lots of great dual guitar leads and riffs that we have come to expect from the dynamic duo that is K K Downing and Glenn Tipton. Additionally, Rob Halford has never sounded as good as he does here. He is unbelievable from start finish and the emotion this man conveys with his voice is incredible.

One thing to note is that many Priest fans from the early days will notice a different approach to the writing and recording of this record. Unlike earlier releases like Hell Bent For Leather or British Steele that were straight up rockers, Nostradamus includes everything from strings and cellos to choral vocals and dare I say it… keyboards. Creating an aural landscape that is quite stunning. The first time I listened to this disc it was in pieces, a few songs at a time, in different settings. The second time however, I set aside a block of time cranked it up and sat back with a good dark beer and HOLY SHIT… this is a great record, hands down, start to finish. It is the reason they have earned the moniker “The Gods of Metal”. After a record like this, I believe they truly are. Enjoy this CD, I know I did.

Track Listing (CD 1):

01. Dawn of Creation
02. Prophecy
03. Awakening
04. Revelations
05. The Four Horsemen
06. War
07. Sands of Time
08. Pestilence and Plague
09. Death
10. Peace
11. Conquest
12. Lost Love
13. Persecution

Run Time: 56:02

Track Listing (CD 2):

01. Solitude
02. Exiled
03. Alone
04. Shadows in the Flame
05. Visions
06. Hope
07. New Beginnings
08. Calm Before the Storm
09. Nostradamus
10. Future of Mankind

Run Time: 46:44
Release Date: June 17, 2008