Illustrator: Phill Paulson

Fifty Years. It’s extremely rare for bands to survive for this long, but Judas Priest proves to be powerful and unrelenting even nearing half a century as a band. As some of the original pioneers of metal music, they come back with their 18th album, which still has plenty of firepower.

There aren’t many albums like “Firepower” today. Even most other long-lasting metal bands like Metallica or Megadeth cannot capture the magic of their older music. Judas Priest actually does. From the chugging guitar riffs, face-melting guitar solos, and crowd-chanting choruses, “Firepower” offers it all. Each member’s musicianship is top-notch and Rob Halford’s vocals have withstood the test of time marvelously.

“Firepower,” as Halford stated, describes the “fire and power of heavy metal music,” and that is certainly no exaggeration. The lyrics explore the mythical (on songs like “Spectre”) and the violent (such as on war ballads like “Never the Heroes” or “Traitors Gate”). Sometimes the sound might feel repetitive, but you will leave this album with plenty of choruses stuck in your head (“Lightning Strike” and “Never The Heroes” especially).

“Firepower” isn’t just a solid heavy metal album, it is also a testament to Judas Priest’s amazing longevity. It is a statement that Judas Priest has yet to burn out even with almost 50 years under their belt. “Firepower” is old-school, but also modern, making for a great listen for metalheads old and young.