From the first crackling guitar strains of the set-opening "Machine Man," one can almost hear Beavis and Butthead shouting, "This rocks!" off in the distance—and it certainly does.

From the first crackling guitar strains of the set-opening "Machine Man," one can almost hear Beavis and Butthead shouting, "This rocks!" off in the distance—and it certainly does. Sure, the venerable metal band's first effort for Atlantic could easily have been made 10 or 20 years ago, but does anyone really want to hear Judas Priest dabble in scratch-beats or some other trendy stylistic element? Led by ever-agile guitar-king Glenn Tipton, the band kicks out such classic-sounding, white-knuckled gems as "Hell Is Home" and "Metal Messiah." JP may never fully recover from the defection of screamer Rob Halford, but aptly named replacement Ripper Owens provides a more-than-sufficient howl. Is there an audience for Demolition? Apparently so. There may not be room on radio for this set, but the band's sold-out arena world tour indicates that kids still just wanna bang their heads.—LF

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print