Judas Priest Demolition

After a nearly four-year wait, album number two with new singer Ripper Owens finds the venerable classic British metal band Judas Priest spreading themselves a little thin. While the album kicks on in fine fashion with the already classic opener "Machine Man" and continues through the second and third album tracks ("One and One" and "Hell Is Home"), overall the record quickly loses direction and becomes a misguided, mid-paced effort that finds the band somewhat disappointingly stuck in a rut. While Owens seems to have found his own home within Priest - his singing is much less Halford-like this time around - the songs on Demolition seem underdeveloped. At a time when a strong record could have really done a lot for the future of the band, Demoltion seems like the last nail in the coffin for this version of the band. Don't blame Owens, though, he may be the strongest point about this clunker. (Atlantic)