Top positive review
4 people found this helpful
Only buy for the video if you have an old CD
on March 15, 2017
I'd probably give this a 4.5 if I could. Of course this is one of the greatest metal albums of all time and, for the music, easily 5 stars. But about anyone reading this knows that already. Now what this review should really look at is if the 30th Anniversary version is worth purchasing. The remaster here is mediocre at best. That's probably due to the source material. This ain't Pink Floyd here, it's metal, which means loud, distorted guitars and Rob Halford at his screaming best. It's meant to be cranked as loud as possible, to ear bleeding level, while the half drunk listener tries to scream along while playing air guitar. Comparing this to my CD I purchased in the '90's, there's a slight bit more stereo separation when listening to Electric Eye, but the main difference is they turned up the volume some, which makes it hard to compare the remaster quality. Definitely not a stark difference in the sound quality. If you aren't interested in the US Festival DVD I really don't see a compelling reason to buy this CD if you already have it.
The packaging here is pretty sad unfortunately, especially compared to the Defenders of the Faith 30th Anniversary. CD and DVD are just in a typical single disc wide jewel case that has the swinging plastic insert with the 2 discs crammed into it. The discs are really hard to get out and the packaging is really fragile. The booklet has some writing by Eddie Trunk talking (of course) about how great the album. If you're reading the booklet, you already know that. Some different pictures than my previous CD. Oddly they changed the booklet to something that was completely different than the old CD, which had a design based on the original album. No lyrics like the original LP and CD, but you probably already know all the words. If not, you can easily look it up online. The booklet and packaging are not a good reason to buy this CD.
The big difference here from the old CD is the DVD from the US Festival. Other bands, such as Triumph, have also released DVDs from this festival, and it's all the same type of video. Not a lot of camera angles and none of the fast moving camera switching of more modern concerts, which is actually a good thing. 4:3 video, not 16:9, but that's what it was recorded in. Audio is only LPCM stereo (no DD5.1) and sounds pretty good. The band is in prime form and appears to be having a great time, but I've never seen a Priest video where they're going thru the motions They are consummate performers, always giving their best. Concert is a bit short due to festival constraints.
So, if you don't own this album, this CD gives you a lot of bang for the buck and should be the one you get. If you already have it, only buy it for the DVD. It's worth it for the price to see the DVD, but this edition could have been much more. Guess they're holding back something for the 2022 40th Anniversary, but they probably won't even sell CDs by then.