Judas Priest are icons in the rock and metal worlds, so it’s of little surprise to learn that news of this album got many very excited. Sadly, it is far from their best collection of material, though that’s not to say that it’s not good.
With a running time of just over an hour, and that’s just for the standard edition CD/download, the album is, truthfully, much longer than it needs to be, and therefore, it can be hard to be entirely positive about the tracks which feature upon it.
In beginning with the rather up-tempo ‘Dragonaut’, the album starts off well but it is not until a good way through the album, that hints of darker material finally make themselves heard. ‘Cold Blooded’ brings with it, for those old enough to remember, reminders of the bands’ ‘Painkiller’ release, while the production on the likes of ‘Swords Of Domocles’ also provide flashbacks to a number of their earlier collections.
It’s a shame that the better tracks on the album come as it draws to a close. For instance, ‘Crossfire’ is a real highlight – behind the vocals lies an impressively catchy blues style rhythm while ‘Battle Cry’, despite starting off sounding like nothing unique, as it progresses, gradually gets better and better.
‘Beginning Of The End’ rounds off the album in a way many may be slightly disappointed by – it is in truth, a ballad, reminiscent of much of their earlier, slightly softer material, but it also brings the band full circle combining their past with their present.
ROS is certainly not JP’s worst album, but it could be argued that it is also far from their best. With a career spanning much longer than many of their musical counterparts, they’ve got some life left in them yet.