Review by Paul Monkhouse for MPM
Some people are born to rock, every cell in their bodies buzzing with barely restrained energy and very few typify British Heavy Metal as much as KK Downing.
Since his departure from Birmingham titans Judas Priest almost a decade ago, the blonde six stringer has been keeping himself busy, writing his biography and opening new venue KK’s Steel Mill but things had been a little quiet on the musical front.
With a tantalising and highly acclaimed all-star return to the stage just before the global pandemic hit, it looked like Downing was truly getting back in the saddle, the one-off show hinting at great things to come but then an enforced silence. Now this.
An opening salvo from the forthcoming ‘Sermons of the Sinner’ album, ‘Hellfire Thunderbolt’ is a massive return to the screaming metal maelstrom that KK made his very own during his forty years with Priest, a blazing fire that hits you with the power of a blast furnace.
With a new band around him, the guitarist is joined by his former bandmate Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens on vocals and for those seeking some traditional heavy duty rocking in the style of their former band will be more than satisfied.
True to form, it absolutely screams the same level of quality and intensity that we’ve known them for, Downing’s guitar meshing with the axework of AJ Mills in a razorwire assault whilst the rhythm section of Sean Elg and Tony Newton crush and Ripper soars with neck vein bulging force. If this doesn’t excite you, then you’re not metal.
‘Hellfire Thunderbolt’ from the forthcoming album by KK’s Priest, ‘Sermons of the Sinner’. Pre-order now: https://found.ee/KKsPriest