The 16th full-length studio album by the legendary British Epic Heavy Metal band.
“Nostradamus” is a band's first concept album, telling the story of the 16th century prophet, Michel de Nostredame (also known as Nostradamus). It was originally intended to be released in late 2006 before being pushed back to a 2007 release, and was finally released in June 2008 on Epic Records. It is the last to feature K.K. Downing, who retired three years later.
Musically, this album sees Halford and the band rocking a more mid-pace vibe (with keyboards) similar to their early or mid career. Also compares to Tipton's solo record. Still, the voice and razor sharp guitars are ever present.
On 2005's comeback album "Angel Of Retribution", Judas Priest fans got a modern day update of the band's genre-bending 1976 classic, "Sad Wings Of Destiny". The New Wave of British Heavy Metal legends return to the mines for 2008's "Nostradamus", though this time it's another band's treasure they're looting, specifically Iron Maiden's 1988 concept album, "Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son". Heavy Metal's obsession with seers, sorcery, and anything else that falls under the nebulous blanket of the "dark arts" is legendary, and Maiden's loosely knit tale of a visionary "chosen one" provided listeners with one of the last great albums of the pre-Grunge, Epic Metal era, due in part to some truly memorable songs that remain fan favorites even to this day. "Nostradamus", on the other hand, manages to live up to nearly every Spinal Tap cliché. At nearly two hours long, one expects a certain amount of filler, but the dated keyboard strings, soft piano, and Bluesy, minor-key guitar licks that populate every nook and cranny in between (and often throughout) each track sound like discarded incidental music from "The X-Files" or an RPG video game "cut scene". The songs themselves are hit or miss, with the emphasis falling on the latter, due mostly to an over-reliance on three-chord, midtempo filler, but as is the case with nearly every Priest offering, when they're on they're dead on.
Disc one closer "Persecution", after a lengthy organ/guitar intro, unleashes "Nostradamus"' finest six minutes, boasting one of the best choruses the band has produced since 1988's "Hard as Iron". The predictable but effectively apocalyptic "War" spawns one of the few great orchestral breakdowns on the record, while both "Death" and the nearly seven-minute title track feature stunning guitar work from Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing.
Great record, positive surprise from these creators of Metal! The band really progressed musically here and took their musical talents to another level!!
Sony Music UK, 2008 (88697315592). Made in Germany.
1.Dawn Of Creation 02:32
5.The Four Horsemen 01:35
7.Sands Of Time 02:37
8.Pestilence And Plague 05:09
12.Lost Love 04:28
4.Shadows In The Flame 01:10
7.New Beginnings 04:57
8.Calm Before The Storm 02:05
10.Future Of Mankind 08:30
Total playing time: 102:45