Unless you've been living in a cave you're entire life, Judas Priest are one of those bands that warrant the "This band requires no introduction…" Judas Priest have 18 full-length studio albums (the first was 44 years ago), and are largely responsible for ushering metal to the forefront of popular music in the '80s, alongside other metal gods like Iron Maiden. They've been selling out arenas for decades, have released two full-lengths since their "farewell" tour, and could likely survive nuclear war.
As anyone could have anticipated, Judas Priest are not breaking any new ground with Firepower, and haven't done so since the advent of grunge and nu metal led to a mid-'90s identity crisis featuring Tim "Ripper" Owens.
This all might sound pejorative; it's not. Judas Priest are metal gods that helped shape an entire genre, and their longevity and persistence should be celebrated. But don't expect a group of grandpas in their late 60s to release Earth-shattering metal. The effort is commendable, but the music — especially when compared to metal classics like British Steel, Painkiller and Screaming for Vengeance — is easily forgettable.
Firepower is exactly what you would expect of Priest almost 50 years into their career. It's well-produced, expertly executed and understandably quotidian. The album is good enough to warrant yet another global tour that we can all attend in the hopes that they won't play anything released post 1991. (Epic)