Some memories of 68 when the wizard shook the world / Metal came from foundries where the midland sound unfurled / The bullring was a lonely place of concrete towers and steel / The coal mines and the industries were all I had to feel I drove around in search of what would make this all come true / From jazz and electricity and good ol southern blues. ~ Made In Hell
When I sing I want to feel it burning inside of me. I want to sweat and I want to get the veins popping.
The buzz on the new (Rob) Halford record has been astounding. Aptly titled, Resurrection, Halford has returned to the basic roots of classic metal with full passion. After parting ways with Judas Priest in 1991 Halford immersed himself in the heaviness of Fight and later collaborated with Nine Inch Nail maestro Trent Reznor on the multi-directional Two project. Says Halford, I was in Europe on the ill-fated Two tour, saying to myself, This aint me, man. Im not connecting. I enjoyed working with Trent and I enjoyed the writing and recording but when it came to doing it live, it just wasnt me. When I sing I want to feel it burning inside of me. I want to sweat and I want to get the veins popping. I wasnt getting those moments on that tour.
Halford returned to LA and started rethinking things. He hooked up with producer Bob Marlette (Alice Cooper, Union) and started writing in the true metal fashion. "I wrote Silent Screams (fifth track on the new disc) and it was a real defining moment for me. It came together very quickly and in the long run I think it will become one of those key songs of my career.
The track was purposely leaked to the internet and word got out that Halford was his old self again. Roy Z called me up and said, You got to let me produce your album. I know what Ive got to do for you to get you where youre going. Im a huge fan of Priest Im a huge fan of your voice Just let me be there.
Zs confidence won Halford over and he invited the Bruce Dickinson producer to join him in Phoenix as they began constructing a metal masterpiece. Guitarists Patrick Lachman and Mike Chlasciak along with Two bassist Ray Riendeau and Riot drummer Bobby Jarzombek were pulled together in an effort to give the band a twin-guitar sound with a thunderous bottom end. The result is staggering. When the right people are there playing it just happens, Says Halford. It was a moment when chemistry goes beyond the music. There was no evidence of a struggle, just very direct and uncomplicated, and with out pressure. Very pure.
Resurrection plays like the best of early 80s Priest. Halfords trademark high-pitched scream reestablishes his rightful place as the king of the genre. Aside from producers, his Iron Maiden connection spill over into The One You Love To Hate, a three-minute duet with Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson. Recalls Halford, In the middle of recording Bruce was in LA taking some classes in commercial aviation [Dickinson is the pilot on the Maiden jet for the bands Brave New World tour]. He came by the studio and the idea came up to do a duet. We had this song that Roy was working on and I think he was going to put it on one of Bruces records but never did. It was the perfect vehicle, a cool tune with a lot of tradition. Its a very well made piece of work. There we were, both standing in the studio yelling into the mike.
Of the 12 compositions, Made In Hell stands out as pictorial reflection of Halfords life. He comments, Z said to me, Do a song thats like a biography. I thought, How do you cram a life into a three minute song? He said, Just go for the key moments. So I thought of my early musical influences like Tony Iommi and the Wizard (Black Sabbath) which is where the first line came from. I would walk to school as a kid and Id walk by these big steel mills, with big vats of steel pouring out. You could breathe it, you could smell it you could taste it in your mouth. My fist introduction to metal. How appropriate, eh?