Rob Halford is in fact a metal god, one of the few musicians that can wear such a moniker like a crown. The voice of heavy metal if there ever was one, Halford's work with JUDAS PRIEST needs no introduction, but some many not have experienced the awfully scorching heavy metal albums from his FIGHT and (especially) HALFORD projects (we'll not mention TWO). With a CD of, for the most part, his bands' most popular tracks and including a bonus DVD, "Metal God Essentials Vol. 1" is perfect for you.Re-mastered for maximum impact, the album contains pretty much all the classic tracks from HALFORD and FIGHT, with the notable exception of "The One You Love to Hate", Rob's monster duet with IRON MAIDEN's Bruce Dickinson. That one puzzles me, as it was such a defining song (not to mention a great tone) for the Metal God. Be that as it may, the "Resurrection" tracks are among the best, the title track a classic heavy metal scorcher, "Made in Hell" the ode to Birmingham's finest, the basic and catchy "Slow Down" and the monster groove of "Locked and Loaded". The "Crucible" material includes epic tracks like "Golgotha" and "Crystal", the former especially noteworthy, as well as "Sun" and "Trail of Tears". "Screaming in the Dark", the one track from "Live Insurrection" is typical HALFORD, and effectively so. The keyboard/strings treatment of "Silent Screams" from the "1999 Demo" works exceedingly well, giving the song a larger-than-life feel. The three FIGHT tracks are straight forward and powerful, "Into the Pit" the gem, "Nailed to the Gun" a no-nonsense metal rocker, and "War of Words" a mid-tempo stomper. The two new tracks, "Forgotten Generation" and "Drop" are strong as well and are set to appear on the next HALFORD release, "IV". The CD portion of the collection closes with an interesting, if rather odd, industrialized Attie Bauw re-mix of "Forgotten Generation" called "Hypocrisy U.S Mix" that is fine as a kind of bonus track, but leaves me without a strong opinion one way or the other. The bonus DVD includes a variety of brief interviews and commentaries, recording session snippets (e.g., in studio for "The One You Love to Hate" with Bruce Dickinson), live clips, rehearsals, and off-stage footage. Videos for "Made in Hell", "Betrayal", "In the Morning", "Forgotten Generation", the live "Silent Screams" and a performance of the JUDAS PRIEST number "Never Satisfied" are here too. In short, "Metal God Essentials Vol. 1" is an excellent introduction to the HALFORD and FIGHT catalogues.
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