Halford - Halford IV: Made of Metal (Metal God Entertainment)

Everybody thought that Rob Halford was about to retire after a few fiascos in his career in the last years... Is Made of Metal the resurrection of the old and good Metal God?

When I saw that Halford was about to release a new album I confess I was not so excited, mainly because his last album Winter Songs, released less than one year ago, was not the quite thing. As well as the last Judas Priest album... But things changed when I saw the cover art of his new album Made of Metal (officially Halford IV - Made of Metal). Maybe not a Hieronymus Bosch but metal enough to make me want to hear what was inside it.

Equipped with an excellent staff - Metal Mike Chlasciak (guitars), Roy Z (guitars), Mike Davis (bass) and Bobby Jarzombek (drums), pratically the same team which has accompanied him throughout his solo career, Halford has created one of the most enjoyable releases of 2010.

The first song Undisputed brings all the glorious voice and force of Metal God, with lyrics about wrestling - pure Judas Priest feeling, great solos, right velocity, perfect drumming, and I'm not  purely talking about technical point of view. I mean it is perfect heavy metal!

Made of Metal (the album) has some melodic features which are not present in the earlier Rob Halford career (being in Judas Priest, Fight or Halford itself). Songs like Fire and Ice, Like There's no Tomorrow, We own the Night and Thunder and Lightning present romantic lyrics and singalong choruses. It is good, but they are not the highlights of the album.

Now if you want some real metal, you must hear Made of Metal (the song that gives its name to the album), Hell Razor (the best song of the CD, I'm singing it in my mind right now, while grabbing an imaginary razor and cutting my own throat): By the way I elected  Hell Razor as the best song name of 2010.

Matador is magnificent and thrilling. The Mower is seriously incisive... the heaviest tune of the whole cd, and I wonder why it'd be if the album was entirely made with that kind of sound/production. It's so heavy and with furious harsh vocals that it sounds dislocated from the rest of the album. No wonder that this song (and the title song likewise) are the singles chosen to spread the word about this work.

But the CD has its silly moments too, like Speed of Sound (with lyrics that mean nothing to me), Heartless or I Know We Stand a Chance: a boring tune.

Maybe it is because the production of Roy Z that doesn't delight my ears (I was never a huge fan of the albums he had produced, such as Helloween's The Dark Ride or Bruce Dickinson's Chemical Wedding or Judas Priest's Angel of Retribution to cite few exemples). It sounds like it could be heavier... it lacks something, whilst it's not mediocre at all. In Halford IV - Made of Metal the songs have to stand by themselves and, apart from some minor slips, they are pretty good.

Now the big question: is it better than the last Judas Priest's album Nostradamus? Yes it is, and I hope this information alone helps you run after Made of Metal right now!

A characteristic of this album is that the songs are put in a order that makes the CD diverse, and its 62 minutes sound like 40. It won't become a classic of the history of metal. But it is plain metal and enjoyable while you're listening to it and I'm sure, if you're not a poseur, you'll feel the need to hear this album more and more. After all, the Metal God cannot be wrong and he is more alive than ever!

Halford's Metal of Metal is out now on Metal God Entertainment.