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Judas Priest: Rising In The East (DVD)

If you were a smart Metal head then you made sure that you caught one of the performances done by Judas Priest when they toured earlier this year. The band was supporting their newest epic entitled Angel Of Retribution and had partnered up with both Queensryche and Anthrax on various legs of this tour. Truly this was a high mark on music as both of these events (album and tour) were very anticipated since Priest had reunited with singer Rob Halford. The band gave us a teaser set when they were one of the main bands on the 2004 Ozzfest Stage. If you ask anyone who attended that festival you will probably find them agreeing that the reunited Judas Priest was perhaps the best part of the show. Filmed at the legendary Budokan theatre this DVD Film captures the entire 2 hour show and not one track seems to have been cut. In America, we did not have all of these songs and perhaps this was due to venue restrictions. With this film we now have the chance to enjoy the songs we did not get to see. Overall the quality of the video and sound are superb and done in such a manner that you feel as if you were front stage while the band performed. I enjoyed reliving this as I had attended a couple of the appearances and I truly felt that the whole show was a major highlight with little room for disappointment. The music of Judas Priest is something that I have enjoyed since I was about 16 and watching this DVD clearly helps to affirm their status as Legends or "Metal Gods". The band is the "Painkiller" lineup with Halford, Downing, Tipton, Hill and Travis. 1980's drummer Dave Holland had not returned and thankfully so when you consider his replacement is Scott Travis. He is a superb drummer who brings a new life to the radio "hits" that the band had as well as performing admirably on the classic tracks like "Exciter" and "Beyond The Realms Of Death". Everyone in the band performs in top-notch fashion and while Halford does not always hit the epic highs we knew him once capable of you will find it makes little difference as you watch. The song selection is great and touches upon albums such as "British Steel", "Screaming For Vengeance" and many more. The new CD gets a significant representation on the DVD as well with six tracks being from the album. On the record I felt that a couple of songs fell short but in the live sense they are heavier and more driving. It is my guess that you will find yourself playing air-guitar in your living room as you watch. It seems as though K.K. Downing and Glen Tipton have a way of bringing that out in people. On early reviews of the tour the band was listed as playing "Green Manalishi" and I was not happy to see this tune absent from the DVD. It was a long time favorite of mine but overall the set list is very comprehensive. Tracks I don't recall seeing at my shows are "The Ripper", and "Worth Fighting For".

I hold the same critiques about the DVD as I did with the show I saw. They really had nothing to do with the music but more in some of the time-wasting that is done during a Judas Priest show. Rob Halford's "rap" to the audience has always left me wanting and the lackluster guitar break that Glen does is pointless. He is such a killer guitarist during the songs and I expected a lot more from him in this capacity. His audience participation guitar thing is clearly to incite some reaction from the crowd and these screams were certainly not in short supply at this show. There are no bonus features included on this film and if you desire interview or reunion retro commentary you need to pick up the new album as it comes with a DVD featuring this content. This DVD is just the full concert with more or less 2 hours of classic and new Judas Priest music. Given that, did we really even need bonus stuff represented? Judas Priest has also given us some great products of late with Electric Eye DVD as well as the very affordable Metalogy boxed set. Not a bad amount of stuff in 2 years time and let us only hope that this continues. This is a perfect souvenir if you saw the show or just love Priest. A recommended DVD for all Metal fans from back in the day and a must have for those that don't realize where a lot of this music started from. Let's see how many other Heavy Metal bands will be doing after 30 years.

Song Listing
1. The Hellion
2. Electric Eye
3. Metal Gods
4. Riding On The Wind
5. The Ripper
6. A Touch Of Evil
7. Judas Rising
8. Revolution
9. Hot Rockin'
10. Breaking The Law
11. I'm A Rocker
12. Diamonds And Rust
13. Worth Fighting For
14. Deal With The Devil
15. Beyond The Realms Of Death
16. Turbo Lover
17. Hellrider
18. Victim Of Changes
19. Exciter
20. Painkiller
21. Hell Bent For Leather
22. Living After Midnight
23. You've Got Another Thing Coming

Added: December 8th 2005
Reviewer: Ken Pierce
Related Link: Judas Priest Website
Hits: 2437
Language: english

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Judas Priest: Rising In The East (DVD)
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-12-08 20:03:37
My Score:

Rising in the East is a great companion piece to Judas Priest's comeback album Angel of Retribution and the ensuing tour. If you had a chance to check out the band live in support of this album, then you won't want to pass on picking up this show from Toyko Japan's Budokan theater. Featuring over 20 Priest classics old and new, this for many will be the ultimate DVD. The production is superb, the sound killer, and the performance of the band is top notch.

Highlights...well, there are many. Any time Judas Priest plays "Beyond the Realms of Death", "Victim of Changes", "The Ripper", "Riding on the Wind", and "Metal Gods" in the same set is reason enough to celebrate. Glenn Tipton and KK Downing are really starting to look their age, but they still churn out plenty of metallic riffs and wild solos, that's for sure. While the returning Rob Halford certainly can't hit the high notes like he used to, he can still belt out the mid raged snarls and occasional screams just fine.

Which brings me to the one problem I have with this set, and it's the same issue I had with the show I saw on the tour. You would think since they band was filming this show that Halford would show a little more enthusiasm, or at least sing to the crowd for most of the show. So often he's just slowly lumbering around, facing the drums or the back of the stage, with his sunglasses and long leather jacket on. It's just such a drastic clash with the rest of the band who are running around the stage and having a good time, not to mention that in the old days Halford was all over the stage like the true metal god he aimed to be. With the Japanese crowd as rabid as they were, it would have been nice to the singer to actually sing to and play up to the crowd. Other than the infrequent mentioning of the next song, or reliance on the same babble that he has used for years, you get no true sense that he's as stoked as the rest of the band is.

Minor quibble aside, this is still a hot DVD with a fully loaded set list.

Judas Priest: Rising In The East (DVD)
Posted by Michael Popke, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-11-18 09:37:50
My Score:

The Judas Priest Angel of Retribution reunion tour came and went in Wisconsin with little fanfare. I'm not sure exactly why. But after watching Rising in the East recorded at Budokan in Tokyo in May 2005 I regret not being at the tour's Milwaukee stop. The band rips through a 23-song set here, including five selections from Angel of Retribution, which slot in well next to "A Touch of Evil," "Diamonds and Rust" and "Turbo Lover." Guitarists Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing still play like they did in the Eighties, and they actually look younger on Rising in the East than they do on 2003's Live in London DVD with Tim Owens at the vocal helm. And the live intro to "Metal Gods" still gives me chills. Drummer Scott Travis and bassist Ian Hill, meanwhile, don't get as much air time, but the shots we do see of them prove that they relish being the heartbeat of one of heay metal's original giants.

My major complaint about Rising in the East revolves around the man who made this tour and DVD possible, vocalist Rob Halford a man I respect both on and off the stage. Although his voice is no longer in primal-scream form, he can still belt out classics old and new with unexpected range. He just doesn't seem to be enjoying himself very much. Weighed down by a long leather coat emblazoned with metal studs from top to bottom, he moves slowly, stalking the stage and grimacing when he speaks to the audience which isn't often and seems forced. When he baits fans with lines he's used to introduce songs for years, you almost get the impression that he thinks what he's doing is silly now. It's telling that Halford seems most animated peforming songs from Angel of Retribution.

Strange close-up angles make up for a lack of audience shots, and the absence of bonus features indicate that Rhino Home Video execs assume fans will buy this two-hour DVD simply because it features the classic Priest lineup. They're probably right, but it still would have been nice to see Halford having as much fun as the rest of his bandmates, rather than acting like he's doing everyone else a favor.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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