The Sinner Rides Again
Review by Vladimir on October 3, 2023.
When I discovered Judas Priest when I was still a kid in elementary school, it has ever since remained one of my all-time favorite bands, not just in heavy metal, but in general. Even back then, I knew that a lot of people gave a hard time to the Tim Ripper Owens era of the band, but I think that I had a soft spot for it, especially since I found "Jugulator" to be a very good album actually. Although people still criticize that era of the band, I think we can all agree that Tim Ripper Owens is by no means a bad vocalist or that he did not meet the band’s standards. However, I was actually surprised to learn a few years ago that KK Downing formed his own band 8 years after his departure from Judas Priest in 2011. The band in question is none other than KK’s Priest, which has been going big ever since the release of their debut album Sermons Of The Sinner in 2021, but when I heard the new songs 'One More Shot At Glory' and 'Reap The Whirlwind', I got even more excited. Without further ado, let’s have a look at the band’s second full-length album The Sinner Rides Again, released on September 29th, 2023 via Napalm Records.
From the get-go, the music is an instant heavy metal thunder with downpicking guitars, heavy roaring bass, drums that occasionally switch from double-bass to mid-tempo drumming, and the majestic Tim Ripper Owens on vocals. Song after song, the guitar work absolutely dominates with powerful heavy metal riffs, but once the melodies and solos come to play, that’s when the real fun begins. Besides the guitars, the vocal performance by Tim is just out of this world, be it his main vocals during the verses or backing vocals in the choruses. The song that still remains an instant classic is the fourth track 'One More Shot At Glory', which stands strong some months after the release of the music video and just like the first time, it’s nothing but an epic heavy metal breakdown. The melodic guitar work in that song is by far one of the best moments on this album, including the heavy banging double-bass drums that just shake the earth. Even the song’s intro is like a hammer hitting the anvil, especially when the bass guitar strikes the main melodic riff. I can probably listen to this song a thousand times on repeat and I still won’t get bored, because it’s like a battle hymn that just empowers the mind of a Judas Priest fan. Besides all the heaviness and the power in every song, there’s also a ton of epic moments to be heard on this album, most common cases being the epic backing vocals throughout a couple of songs which makes these songs shine even brighter with steel and strength. The best example of these epic vocals would have to be during the acoustic outro of the seventh track 'Keeper Of The Graves', which created such an outstanding and mesmerizing closure to this song.
The songwriting on this album can only be described with two simple words, and that is “Heavy Metal”. This album has some nostalgia factor to it as well, because there were moments that would take me all the way back to the days when I first heard Judas Priest’s 'Angel Of Retribution'. After each song I was left speechless and paralyzed from the witnessed experience, and I am not complaining, because this was in fact what I was expecting from this album. Each and every song is incredibly heavy and catchy as well, but some of the heaviest works on this album would have to be 'Reap The Whirlwind', 'One More Shot At Glory', 'Hymn 66', 'Keeper Of The Graves'. The acoustic sections are also mesmerizing as the heavy guitar riffs that are obviously the main attraction on this album, especially the acoustics on the final track 'Wash Away Your Sins' which are wonderfully backed up with Tim’s vocals.
What can I say that already hasn’t been said? The Sinner Rides Again is an absolute blast of an album, which stands high and triumphant from one song to another. KK’s Priest took on a very difficult task to make this one worth the while, but in the end, it was definitely worth it. The band had one more shot at glory, and they absolutely did it! Some Judas Priest fans might still be uninterested to give this band a go, but for those that have listened to this album and fell in love with it just as much as I did, I absolutely salute you ladies and gentlemen. If you haven’t checked it out yet, please do, otherwise you’re missing one hell of a show.
Rating: 9 out of 101.41k