KK’s Priest – Sermons of the Sinner (Album Review)

Ever since KK Downing announced the formation of KK’s Priest, the anticipation of the album has been massive, fans of Judas Priest have been.  The release of 4 tracks prior to the album was a tantalizing glimpse of what could be expected.

Joined by a former member of Judas Priest, vocalist Tim “Ripper” Owens (Iced Earth, Three Tremors), guitarist AJ Mills (Hostile UK), bassist Tony Newton (Voodoo Six), and drummer Sean Elg (DeathRiders and Cage), the lineup provides a range of talent which is more than fitting to accompany KK Downing. The result is an album that is reminiscent of Judas Priest, which is unsurprising given Downing’s tenure of some 40 years with the band, but it also has a fresh perspective that is refreshing and fantastic in its own right.

“Hellfire Thunderbolt” is one of the earlier released tracks, and it delivers!   Ripper’s vocals are menacing, the guitar work is absolutely face-melting and the rhythm section of Mills and Newton has a phenomenal urgency.  In comparison, “Sermons of the Sinner” has Ripper shifting his range up a notch, showing why he was previously chosen to join Judas Priest, the solo work is again exceptional, reminding you that KK Downing is a master of his craft.  AJ Mills also shows his prowess in this track.  I really loved the clever drop to a drum fill straight from the solo, it shows the thought that has been put into writing this album.

Every track has something that grabs you in a different way, and those solos, I can’t get enough of them, it is a master class in heavy metal.  “Sacerdote y Diablo” is the next track and Ripper lets loose on the vocals – as a fan of Ripper, it is awesome to hear him give his range the full business, Sean Elg shows why he is in this lineup with his precise and energetic drumming.

“Raise your Fists” is a full-on metal anthem!  The riff is compelling, the lyrics and vocals draw you in and it’s one that’s going to slay live…  again I have to mention the drum fills, perfectly timed with the momentum of the song.

The lyrics on the album have been criticized for being cheesy or cliche by some, but that’s what heavy metal is about,  it works so well and the next track “Brothers of the Road” is a great example of this.  It only took me halfway through this song to be singing along to the chorus.

The album continues in the same vein, with “Metal Through and Through” and “Wild and Free”, both rousing tracks, showcasing the talent of each member of the band.  Downing and AJ Mills, throughout the album, feed off each other to deliver incredible guitar work – it is second to none.

What I wasn’t expecting was the magnificence of the last 2 tracks, “Hail for the Priest” and “Return of the Sentinel”…. just WOW.  Ripper’s vocals are sensational, the power and range of his voice are spine-tingling.  He unleashes screams that prove why he was part of Judas Priest and why he is the only vocalist that would do this album the justice it deserves.  The final parts of “Return of the Sentinel” are stunning!

This album is a reminder of the pedigree of KK Downing, and indeed the entire band.  It’s a stirring example of heavy metal at its best, and the album leaves you with no doubt that metal is well and truly alive!

A must-have for fans of Judas Priest, Tim “Ripper” Owens, and iconic heavy metal.

KK’s Priest: Facebook

Release Year: 2021
Category: Album
Country: UK

Reviewed by ForsakenMisery