KK’s Priest is more Priest than Judas Priest. KK Downing and Tim “Ripper” Owens prove that they are still at the top of their game with the band’s second album.
British metal legend KK Downing was not only Judas Priest’s guitarist. He was also one of the band’s songwriters for some four decades. That is evident on this new KK’s Priest album, the follow-up to the band’s 2021 debut album “Sermons of the Sinner”. The new album has some fantastic songs that unsurprisingly sound like a modern version of the classic Judas Priest sound. Of course, in KK’s Priest, we also find American vocalist Tim “Ripper” Owens who fronted Judas Priest from 1996 until 2003. Ripper’s vocals are better than ever. Paired with KK’s guitar, we get heavy metal magic. KK and Ripper are backed up by AJ Mills (guitar), Tony Newton (bass) and Sean Elg (drums).
To me, chunks of this fab album remind me of Judas Priest’s “Painkiller” era but there are also more mellow parts such as the closing track “Wash Away Your Sins” that kicks off calmly before it explodes into some heavy riffing. Overall this album is proper heavy metal with great melodies, excellent guitars, thundering drums and excellent vocals. There are some terrific gems on the album, including “Sons of the Sentinel”, “Strike of the Viper”, “One More Shot at Glory”, “The Sinner Rides Again” and “Pledge Your Souls”. My favourite track is the fantastic “Hymn 66” with its twists and turns. Priest fans should love this. Having two versions of your favourite band is not a bad thing, not when the “spin-off” is this good. Is Judas Priest up to the challenge? Will their next album be this good? Time will tell.
KK’s Priest’s new album “The Sinner Rides Again” is out now via Napalm Records.