"KK’S Priest" released their debut album "Sermons Of The Sinner" on October 1, 2021.
Exactly a decade since guitarist K.K. Downing left his mother band "Judas Priest". For over ten years we have not received any new music from this all-too-talented guitarist, whose playing is deeply engraved in the history of metal. It was not perceived but the last full studio album he had a partner in was "Nostradamus" by "Judas Priest", which was released in 2008.
It's not a trivial matter, it's like forever in the music world, where musical trends and preferences change all the time.
This certainly should have an effect this new effort from Downing, but we must admit that in this case, it does not in any way detract from the result. For us, K.K. He is a magician in the form of "Dr. Strange" who managed to stop time. He did not age even in the day, not in appearance, not in the precise playing nor in the amazing creative ability.
Downing formed "KK'S Priest" in 2018 and recruited two old friends, drummer Les Binks and singer Tim "Ripper" Owens, both former members of "Judas Priest". This move has already indicated his intentions and the name of the band chosen - "KK’S Priest" only strengthened the hypothesis. He's not going to sound different from the mother band, quite the opposite! For him, time stopped somewhere in 2008 and Dr. Strange's "Time Stone" allows him to continue exactly from the same point with the same musical style, the same performance, and the same sound, as if 13 years had not passed.
It was not easy at first, even his former bandmates tried to slow him down, when he received a warning letter from the band's management about the use of the name "Priest". But Downing did not intend to give up. He explained that he has always been a "Priest", since 1968 he has been a part of the sound and development of the "Priests" style, from the blues, through hard rock and metal. He added that he does not intend to change and that it is inconceivable that new musicians who have recently joined the band will be able to play material he has written and created, but he will not be able to use the name "Priest" especially as it is a combination of his full name and the name in dispute. The convincing explanation of course caused the band's management to back down from its demands and it's good!
Then there will be those who will say that "KK'S Priest" sounds like a cover band of the real thing - "Judas Priest". We think otherwise. This album is excellent in its own right, it does not try to sound like an imitation and it cannot be considered an imitation because it is the source itself. There are three members of "Judas Priest" here (although the injury of drummer Les Binks forced a replacement recruitment until his recovery), led by someone who was a full partner in creating the band's sound across 16 albums, so Downing has all the legitimacy to continue doing exactly what he did for over four decades, And he does it best !!!
True, it's not a perfect album, but it's a good album that includes quite a few gems, including the excellent "Hellfire Thunderbolt" released in May 2021, and absolutely does not fall short of the materials the mother band has been producing in recent years, not in great guitar work of Downing Am and A.J. Mills (from the band "Hostile"), not in the beating bass of Tony Newton (Voodoo Six), not in the thunderous drumming of Sean Elg (who replaced Les Binks here) and certainly not in the amazing singing of Tim "Ripper" Owens who does not fall here from his idol Rob Halford.
Other interesting songs are the fast-paced theme song "Sermons of the Sinner" with Newton-Elg's crazy rhythm section, the slow and the melodic "Metal Through and Through", "Sacerdote y Diablo" with the "Black Sabbath" atmosphere, "Raise Your Fists" and "Brothers of the Road" which combines the classic "Priest" and "Maiden", "Hail for the Priest" which Owens' singing in the intro reminded us of Ronnie James Dio and of course the 9-minute epic ending "Return of the Sentinel".
Sermons of the Sinner
Sacerdote y Diablo
Raise Your Fists
Brothers of the Road
Metal Through and Through
Wild and Free
Hail for the Priest
Return of the Sentinel