Sea Of Tranquility

The Web Source for Progressive Rock, Progressive Metal & Jazz-Fusion
  Search   in       
Main Menu

Atkins, Al and Daniels, Neil: Dawn of the Metal Gods (book)

Original Judas Priest vocalist Al Atkins tells his tale with the help of highly regarded UK rock journalist Neil Daniels (author of Defenders of the Faith and the Bon Jovi Encyclopaedia amongst others). Atkins departed Priest in May 1973 with some of his material later reworked by the band on Rocka Rolla and Sad Wings of Destiny including the classic 'Victim of Changes'. More recently Atkins has enjoyed a return to music with the release of several solo albums and touring with his band the Holy Rage.

At this point I'll hold my hand up and admit that, like Atkins, I have lived all of my life in the West Midlands and I have a keen interest in the musical evolution of an area that spawned not just Priest but also Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Magnum, ELO and many others. With this in mind I find Atkins' account of the years 1969 - 73 fascinating and many of the venues mentioned are familiar to me. But even the casual reader will be impressed by Atkins' recollections and the inclusion of early photos and memorabilia. With Daniels' assistance the narrative springs to life and you get a real sense of what it must have been like during Priest's formative years. A list of gigs at the end tells us that Priest played alongside Black Sabbath on May 26th 1971 at the Masonic Hall in Walsall; and if anyone was at that gig then it is surely one to tell your grandparents about!

A thoroughly engaging account of an era when Metal was in its infancy, Dawn of the Metal Gods is available now via Iron Pages.

Added: February 10th 2010
Reviewer: Dean Pedley
Related Link: Neil Daniels Website
Hits: 1517
Language: english

[ Printer Friendly Page Printer Friendly Page ]
[ Send to a Friend Send to a Friend ]


[ Back to the Reviews Index | Post Comment ]

» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Atkins, Al and Daniels, Neil: Dawn of the Metal Gods (book)
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-02-10 10:39:13
My Score:

My Life In Judas Priest and Heavy Metal should really be called 'My Life in Heavy Metal...and oh yeah, for a brief time, Judas Priest'. Al Atkins was the original singer of the legendary band, but left well before the group became the true Metal Gods. This book is his story, and though he goes into detail about his life before and after he was in Priest, much of the book focuses on his view of the heavy metal music business and what his old band has been into since his departure. At roughly 200 pages, Dawn of the Metal Gods sees Atkins talking about his old band almost as much as he talks about himself. I know that he needs to sell copies of this book, and that Priest are a household name and Al Atkins is not, but it would have been nice to read more about the years since the early 1970's when he left the band. Instead, chapters are quickly rushed through, with more print used for song lyrics and photos (which are great by the way) than actual storytelling.

Atkins certainly isn't a great writer, and despite the help from author Neil Daniels, there's a sort of rough & raw flavor to this book that will either turn off some readers or come across as somewhat charming. In the end, much of Atkins' life is rather sad, though his determination to continue playing the music he loves to this day, despite not making millions of dollars like his former band, is inspiring.

If nothing else, Dawn of the Metal Gods will incite you to go out and find copies of his solo albums to see just how he stacks up.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
For information regarding where to send CD promos and advertising, please see our FAQ page.
If you have questions or comments, please Contact Us.
Please see our Policies Page for Site Usage, Privacy, and Copyright Policies.

All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all other content Sea of Tranquility

SoT is Hosted by