Judas Priest: Epitaph

Metal gods sign off their touring days in style

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Documenting Priest’s final world tour, this DVD was recorded at London’s Hammersmith Apollo in May 2012. Even as they contemplate retirement, this is clearly a band reborn, which must at least in part be down to the recent recruitment of guitarist Richie Faulkner.

Although loaded with staples, the setlist exudes a valedictory air, including at least one track from each of the band’s studio albums, Ripper Owens era excluded. Perhaps ironically, the reintroduction of vintage nuggets such as Starbreaker and Never Satisfied – the latter probably not aired since before Faulkner was even born – has fuelled the strong sense of Priest reignited.

Faulkner – who bears more than a passing resemblance to his predecessor KK Downing – remains respectably close to KK’s signature solos while finding space to toss in little flourishes of his own. Befitting a grand send-off, the stage show is suitably gargantuan, replete with lasers, dry ice and spectacular pyrotechnics, to say nothing of frontman Rob Halford’s comedy robot walk, faster-than-Freddy-Mercury costume changes and Harley-riding escapades. If this really is the end for the original metal gods, it could hardly have been better.