Halford - Crucible

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Sanctuary Records
Catalog Number: 06076-85233-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 00:00:00

What happened? We get a terrific "debut" from Halford with Resurrection, a terrific double live album with Live Insurrection, and a dud of a return studio album from the "Metal God" - and Crucible is its name. Their label, Sanctuary Records, insists that this new album is a masterpiece but this "masterpiece" should have remained a spark in its father's eye because what is on offer is less than enthusiastic.

I feel like sitting here and remembering the glorious solo career of Rob Halford with Resurrection and commenting about how absolutely horrified I was (and still am) with Crucible. Almost every positive facet of Resurrection has been torn asunder and the band, or somebody has crucified what could have been a classic metal album. As it stands, Crucible offers us a rollercoaster variety of heavy metal that combines Judas Priest like melodies with a very modern metal sound. It's an album that really does go from one extreme to the other from the fairly good to the downright terrible and it left me feeling sick inside, like being kicked between the legs.

At times the music is blindingly fast whilst at other times it slows down significantly - although both showcase the relatively weak-ish vocals of Halford. The vocals sound produced to the extreme, and when they're not you just have to hear "Crystal," "Heretic" or "Golgotha" to hear how terrifyingly bad Rob's vocals are - the latter has its ups and downs but it definitely improves near the end. When Halford (the band) are switched on and everything is in sync - the music and Rob's vocals - then you're in for a rip-roaring time, but at times Halford (the band) is searching for something that just isn't there and Crucible is seriously lacking in quality music and more importantly quality songs. At times Rob appears empty, vocally, except when he's soaring on the choruses of almost all of the songs (I did say almost).

This is an album you'll either love or hate, and my very, VERY strong recommendation is to give the album a listen before purchasing it. After a few listens I've become desensitised to a few of the songs, like the speed metal tracks "Betrayal," "Handing Out Bullets," "Wrath Of God," and "Crucible" - mainly because they are overloaded with multi-layered Halford trademark screams. The first three tracks belie what's on offer and whilst it starts off relatively healthy by the middle of the album I soon found it difficult to digest. "Trail Of Tears" and "Heart Of Darkness" shows a lower key Halford in mid-tempo songs that are ridden with dirty guitars and interfering modern references that are so annoying and not traditional Halford that I'm having to reassess and re-educate myself about what I'm listening to and whether I'm enjoying it. And in that respect, due credit should be given to Halford for trying to find new avenues of metal. But for me, that just isn't enough - you have to have good songs. And Crucible is not "Delivering The Goods".

Is the album as poor as I've made it out to be? Possibly not. But Halford's new album is a very average album that has some good (but not great) songs and some real stinkers. Unfortunately, the latter outweighs the former. For my mind, if you buy Crucible then you should be crucified. Buy something else.

Similar To: Judas Priest

[This review originally appeared November 2002 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Park Manor (1:11) / Crucible (4:26) / One Will (3:32) / Betrayal (3:04) / Handing Out Bullets (3:16) / Hearts Of Darkness (3:48) / Crystal (4:37) / Heretic (3:49) / Golgotha (4:20) / Wrath Of God (3:11) / Weaving Sorrow (3:28) / Sun (3:48) / Trail Of Tears (5:56) / She (4:01) / Fugitive (4:01)

Rob Halford - vocals
Ed Roth - keyboards
Bobby Jarzombek - drums
Ray Riendeau - bass
Mike Chlasciak - guitar
Patrick Lachman ? guitar

Judas Priest - Rocka Rolla (1974/2000)
Judas Priest - Sad Wings Of Destiny (1976)
Judas Priest - Sin After Sin (1977)
Judas Priest - Stained Class (1978)
Judas Priest - Best Of Judas Priest (1978/2001)
Judas Priest - Killing Machine (1978)
Judas Priest - Unleashed In The East (Live In Japan) (1979/2001)
Judas Priest - Hell Bent For Leather (1979)
Judas Priest - Hero, Hero (1979)
Judas Priest - British Steel (1980)
Judas Priest - Point Of Entry (1981)
Judas Priest - Screaming For Vengeance (1982)
Judas Priest - Defenders Of The Faith (1984)
Judas Priest - Turbo (1986/2002 (w/bonus trks))
Judas Priest - Priest ... Live! (1987)
Judas Priest - Ram It Down (1988)
Judas Priest - Painkiller (1990)
Judas Priest - Metal Works ('73-'93) (1993)
Fight - War Of Words (1994)
Fight - Mutations (1994)
Fight - Small Deadly Space (1995)
Judas Priest - Best Of Judas Priest: Living After Midnight (1998)
Judas Priest - British Steel/Point Of Entry/Screaming For Vengeance (box set) (1998)
Judas Priest - Priest In The East (1998)
Judas Priest - Tyrant: The Original Masters (1998)
Halford - Resurrection (2000)
Halford - Live Insurrection (2001)
Halford - Crucible (2002)
Judas Priest - Judas Priest Collectors' Box (2002)
Judas Priest - Angel Of Retribution (2005)
Halford - Metal God Essentials, Vol 1 (2007)
Judas Priest - Nostradamus (2008)
Fight - Into The Pit (box set) (2008)
Halford - Live At Rock In Rio III (2008)
Judas Priest - A Touch Of Evil: Live (2009)

Genre: Traditional Metal

Origin UK

Added: December 19th 2004
Reviewer: Gary Carson
Artist website: www.robhalford.com
Hits: 610
Language: english


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