Halford Made of Metal

Halford Made of Metal
After this many years in the business, a few mistakes tidily swept under the carpet and a return to form, expecting something new from heavy metal founder Rob Halford is like asking a leopard to, well, you get the idea. Therefore, it's not a matter of "What is the Metal God up to," so much as, "Is what the Metal God's doing here a benefit or detriment to his legacy?" Surprisingly, despite a few truly questionable moments ― namely Halford's increasingly goofball lyrics and subjects ― Made of Metal is an engaging experience. Penned entirely by the austere crooner, many tracks are inspiringly operatic, personal, somewhat epic, occasionally fun and just generally groove-laden. "Fire and Ice" alone is a wondrous blast of Euro-metal in the way few are capable of: grandiose and full of conviction while still maintaining some semblance of balls. However, when Halford slips, it's certainly noticeable. From eye-rolling contact sport tribute "Undisputed" to the title track and its alien premise mixed with NASCAR references (or so it sounds) and the lap-steel country twang of "Till The Day I Die," a sense of "What the fuck?" is inescapable. Overall, even with his stumbles, Made of Metal is still interesting, self-sufficient and beguiling enough to bolster the Metal God's catalogue. (Metal God)