Judas Priest

Rock Star could have been Judas Priest’s meal ticket. The band was offered a generous, undisclosed sum for rights to Ripper Owens’ story as its replacement for Rob Halford. If Owens’ Halford-esque screams didn’t seem genuine on Priest’s last effort, wait ’til you hear Demolition, easily the band’s worst to date. Owens’ vocal gymnastics are feigned and stale, which is a state they’ll likely remain in as long as he’s an active member of this band. Drummer Scott Travis, who belongs in Racer X, puts in a fine performance, and bassist Ian Hill holds the crumbling foundation together somehow. Were it not for a great love of K.K. Downing’s and Glen Tipton’s dual-guitar wizardry, I would have demolished, pun intended, this album on arrival. Ripper was and remains a tribute-band frontman, at least as long as Rob Halford walks the earth. Kiss and make up, boys. We need our metal gods.