Demon Deceiver...Plus finally sees Al taking his place up on the pedestal of great heavy metal vocalists. His finely abused growl of a voice which, as Al says, has come about through “years of cigarettes and whiskey”, has never been better.
The album opens with the Simon Lees-penned instrumental title track, which features a voice-over by Al Atkins. “Money Talks”, written by Atkins, gives an instant spotlight to those trademark vocals, which have rarely sounded more powerful. “Blood, Demons And Whiskey” arrives from the pen of drummer Pete Emms and is complete with a Brian Tatler riff that leaves you able to smell, see, and taste, the three elements of the title.
The equally powerful “Drown”, written by US singer Johnny Lokke, takes us dramatically into the darkness of “Sentenced”, a highlight track, with Simon Lees on lead. The instantly recognisable “Victim Of Changes” follows, before Al’s “Bleeding” takes over. Only a track of huge strength could follow “Victim Of Changes” and this is exactly that.
A driving “God Help Me”, and the memorable “Cradle To The Grave” confirm that there is no rest for the wicked with some more solid metal. The album ends of course with Al’s “Dreamer Deceiver”, which contains more superb guitar work from Simon Lees. Excellent stuff.
The two bonus tracks are worth the admission alone with “Give Them Hell” hitting every metal target possible with a window shattering riff and great vocals. “A Void To Avoid” is given a new blast of dank air leaving us looking forward to the book and more from Al’s latest venture The Holy Rage.
Timing can be all or nothing in the music world and Al’s Priest departure is doubtless one of the biggest examples. However the timing of this re-release is for once right and places him firmly back up on the metal pedestal where he no doubt should have been all along.
More details about Al Atkins and his various projects can be found on his official website.