Al Atkins - Demon Deceiver... Plus (Angel Air)

Judas Priest’s original vocalist re-issues an album from 2007. And it is much better than it has any right to be!

Al Atkins was the original voice out front of Metal Gods Judas Priest.  The fact that he left the band in 1973 before their first album even came out is neither here nor there it seems, because here we are in 2010 (some thirty-seven years later!) and there’s still that tag “founder member and vocalist of Judas Priest” on the cover of the album.  He’s even got a biography out about his days in the Priesthood and beyond, hell, no stone goes unturned it seems.Which is kind of sad, because he probably doesn't need to do that: the man has a pretty good voice himself.

But what about this album you ask? Is it any good?  Well, yeah actually it ain’t too bad at all. 

This release is nothing like Judas Priest, but it is definitely a good, solid heavy metal album with just a hint of Iron Maiden and a fair splash of NWOBHM, plus some straight-forward rock and roll. This isn’t just some nostalgic trip by a guy who’s passed his prime, this is good, solid, heavy, working-class rock.

I’ll admit, I was expecting some washed-out never-was struggling to hold it together while a bunch of disinterested studio hacks played for pay in the background; but with guitarist Simon Lees (Budgie) doing some great work, and Atkins's voice being surprisingly strong, they’ve come up with a damn fine slab of rock.

This is not a life changing album by any means, but it is but a good dose of reality and definitely worth your dime. And hell, how can you really go wrong with song titles like Blood, Demons and Whiskey?  Forget the Priest links, Al Atkins deserves a listen on his own merits.  Let's hope he and his record company both start to realise that.

Al Atkins's Demon Deceiver ... Plus is out now on Angel Air Records.