Amid a Las Vegas-like setting, complete with slot machines, card tables, and sin, two of heavy metal’s finest bands rocked the house. Judas Priest with Steel Panther? Yes. Judas Priest delivered the goods. Guitarist Richie Faulkner, who replaced longtime member K.K. Downing a few years ago, proved his mettle with a stunning display of musicianship. It’s certain that many in the audience who had never seen Faulkner play, were amazed. Complementing the style of veteran guitarist Glen Tipton, Faulkner has given the Priest new vitality, adding his own flair and nuances to the older hits while blowing minds on the Redeemer of Souls songs. Singer Rob Halford sounded exceptional, belting out songs from a set list spanning the band’s long and successful career.

For metal-loving Southern Californians, The Battle of San Bernardino was this Summer’s hottest event. On a lucky Friday the 13th (August), seven heavy bands, Warbringer, Overkill, Sabaton, Testament, Anthrax, Megadeth, and headliner Iron Maiden performed at a venue well-known for its big outdoor festivals. Testament and Anthrax played extraordinary sets, Megadeth shined, but it was the headliner, Iron Maiden, that blew minds. A killer set highlighting the ‘Seventh Son of a Seventh Son’ album, it was classic Maiden, playing in top form.

Our first port of call on the Saturday is hard rockers Heaven’s Basement who are making a bit of name for themselves with their frill-free hard rock and, by the looks of the swelling numbers as they smash through the likes of “Fire Fire” from their ‘Filthy Empire’ album, they’re a band who will soon by muscling their way up bills like this one.

I’ve been looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of Maiden England ’88 for some time now. The concert was previously released in VHS format (and later CD) back in 1989, but never available on DVD until now. While I have heard most of Maiden’s past live albums, Maiden England ’88 has always been spoke of in reverential tones by those who have seen it, so I was curious to see what it was actually like.

Legendary British band Satan have released a brand new track off their forthcoming new album Life Sentence. The song, “Siege Mentality,” is now streaming below. Life Sentence, Satan’s first full-length since 1987’s Suspended Sentence, will be available in North America on May 21st via Listenable Records. The album will mark the 30th anniversary of the band’s highly-acclaimed 1983 debut Court In The Act. Life Sentence will also feature the same line-up that appeared on that now-classic piece of metal history.