It is not always beneficial to duplicate good things. Ideally, you have more of the same, and in the worst case, the copy is nothing more than that, a copy. Well, in this case of KK’s Priest both aspects certainly apply. On the one hand KK Downing is or was an essential part of Judas Priest and classics like ‘Painkiller’ carry his signature.
When Downing announced to release an album with KK’S Priest the reactions were mixed and if you listen to ‘Sermons oft he Sinner’ the assumptions are true. KK’S Priest and Judas Priest have more in common than the word ‘Priest’ in the band name. Also musically the overlap is big, which is more than logical. Titles like ‘Return of the Sentinel’ are also indicating the roots of the album and its sound.
‘Sermons of the Sinner’ without a doubt has a few good songs. Among them are ‘Hellfire Thunderbolt’ and the anthemic ‘Metal Through and Through’. The blistering ‘Wild and Free’ isn’t a bad song either and unveils the essence of heavy metal. However, you get the impression that you are listening to a Priest cover band in some other parts. In addition, the album also has with ‘Raise Your Fist’ and ‘Brothers of the Road’ weaker spots that reduce a positive overall impression. The fact that Downing has brought with Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens a singer with Priest background on board shows that certain parallels are quite wanted, but it was already clear in the late 90s and early 2000s that Owens could not replace the Metal God at any time and also with KK’s Priest light and shadow alternate.
All in all, ‘Sermons of the Sinner’ is an ambivalent album. Downing certainly doesn’t have any bad metal tracks lined out on this release and yet at no time does the album reach the performance of Judas Priest, past and present. As I mentioned, if you double things, you don’t automatically get more. This is the case here. With combined forces a lot more could be achieved and so KK’s Priest remains as an attempt to bring the bandleader’s past into the present and future, which is at least partly successful. Still, the original remains a lot better. ‘Sermons of the Sinner’ is too much brain-driven and could have handled more heart and soul.
- Hellfire Thunderbolt
- Sermons of the Sinner
- Sacerdote y Diablo
- Raise Your Fists
- Brothers of the Road
- Metal Through and Through
- Wild an Free
- Hail for the Priest
- Return of the Sentinel
Label: Explorer1 Music Group
Genre: Heavy Metal
Release Date EU: October 1st, 2021
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