Halford (Rob Halford) Biography
ROB HALFORD - Vocals
PATRICK LACHMAN - Guitars
MIKE CHLASCIAK - Guitars
RAY RIENDEAU - Bass
BOBBY JARZOMBEK - Drums
Conceived in various American studios during the past 12 months, CRUCIBLE is the long-awaited studio follow-up to Halford's critically acclaimed 2000 debut album, 'Resurrection.' The driving force behind Halford (the band) is, of course, Birmingham-born vocalist Rob Halford - a true, living legend in the realms of hard rock and heavy metal. For more than two decades, Halford strode some of the planet's biggest stages with genre giants Judas Priest, before announcing to the world on Independence Day 1992, that he was going to try something new. Appropriately, after issuing albums with Fight and Two, the vocalist then chose the Millennium year to return to his first true love - unadulterated, blitzkrieg heavy metal - with Halford and the 'Resurrection' album.
Critics and fans alike were quick to acclaim 'Resurrection' as a true masterpiece. The UK's Classic Rock magazine called it: "Perhaps the greatest album Judas Priest never made," and they were far from alone in their praise. Following the album's release, Halford spent the next six months circulating the globe. Some 93 shows were played across North & South America, Europe and Japan - each one leaving the audience gasping in the wake of white-hot originals like 'Locked And Loaded,' 'Night Fall' and numerous choice nuggets from Rob's celebrated Priest/Fight repertoire. The tour concluded at the third Rock In Rio Festival in Brazil; where Halford thrilled an estimated audience of 200,000 fans - with many more watching via the internet. The band's first world trek also generated last year's double CD set: 'Live Insurrection;' which, amongst many memorable highlights, included a one-time only "live version" of 'The One You Love To Hate' from London's LA2 that featured Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson.
Now comes CRUCIBLE, an album that retains all the numerous strengths of its predecessor; yet it takes the band's sound to a stunning new plateau. Cloaked in Rob's trademark banshee wails and boasting exemplary duelling guitars from Patrick Lachman and Mike Chlasciak; such rip-roaring anthems as 'Betrayal' - earmarked to be the album's first video in June - 'Wrath Of God,' 'Handing Out Bullets' and the anthemic 'One Will' are all destined to be heralded as classic Halford masterpieces.
"I think I've penetrated even closer to the heart of the metal community with this new album," says Rob proudly. "It shows all the wonderful things that metal really means to me, and we've offered many different ways of presenting it to the listener. But we've also tried to advance the sound, so that it fits comprehensively into today's musical world. With 'Resurrection,' I set myself up as having made a great metallic comeback. It was important to me that we didn't let anybody down with the follow-up, but it would have disappointed everybody more if we'd just made 'Resurrection II.'
"Of course, it would have been easy to have just stuck with the formula again," he continues. "To have done that would have been numbing for everybody. I wanted to prove that I am still Rob Halford - The Metal God, and all those other things - but also show that I can still pull something unexpected out of the hat. I've consistently tried to shake things up throughout my career, and I've managed it again."
Completing the Halford line-up, bassist Ray Riendeau and percussionist Bobby Jarzombek (who Rob describes as "the best heavy metal drummer I know") make a truly formidable rhythmic partnership, and guitarists Lachman and Chlasciak have really surpassed themselves on CRUCIBLE. This time, as the singer is only too pleased to point out, the instrumentalists also became more involved in the writing process.
After Rock In Rio, Rob hooked up with Lachman & Chlasciak in Room 303 of the Park Manor Hotel (hence the title of the album's feedback-strewn, instrumental scene-setter), and over the course of the next three months they proceeded to infuriate the Park Manor's residents with "all manner of ungodly sounds" as the record slowly took shape. "We worked 12 hours a day, seven days a week," recalls Rob, "and I think we've managed to surpass 'Resurrection'."
CRUCIBLE was once again overseen by Roy Z, the hotshot young producer who has also collaborated with Dickinson, Downset, Roadsaw and Helloween. Roy also helped to write several of the songs, including 'Crucible,' 'Trail Of Tears' and 'Crystal.' Explains Rob: "I felt that even though Roy did such a great job with 'Resurrection,' he still had a lot more to give. So it made good sense to use him again, and Roy really went over the top this time; it's no exaggeration to say that he's now become the unofficial sixth member of this band."
Lyrically, Halford states that many of the songs on CRUCIBLE address things that are happening in the world at the moment; instead of writing from personal experience as he mainly did on 'Resurrection.' When asked to describe the album to some one who might not be completely aware of the Halford/Priest legacy, he chuckles. "To me, it could even be called metal with a dictionary," the singer finally guffaws. "I'm always looking for new things to say."
As Rob has already intimated, in terms of sheer musical diversity, CRUCIBLE offers more than a few surprises. While the track 'Crucible,' for instance, is a powerful, thoroughly convincing hard rock tune, it also incorporates a slight Gothic feel. 'Hearts Of Darkness' is built around an Eastern-flavoured melody, though the tune's underlying crunch is indisputable. And 'Sun,' with its blissful, mid-paced feel and layered guitars, is perhaps the biggest departure for Halford - especially when it comes to Rob's vocal performance.
"Yeah, 'Sun' is definitely an unusual track, and so is 'Crystal' - musically, they're both quite edgy," he states. "The really strange thing is that I can't remember where the idea for 'Sun' came from; at first it was just a little riff, but we built the song around the song's melody. And that's the great thing about this album; it's well-balanced and complete. Although there are lots and lots of metal riffs; we also take the listener on a deep, interesting journey. It's a metal banquet, really."
As he and the rest of the Halford unit prepare to hit the road once again, Rob looks back with great affection upon the 'Resurrection' tour. So consistent were the performances of Halford (the band), and equally receptive the audiences right across the globe; that he is somewhat reluctant to select highlights.
"The wonderful thing was that the audiences seemed as keen to see me as I was to see them," he smiles. "It was great. The shows in my homeland - the UK - were crammed to the rafters. I hope to come back and play a longer British tour this time around. But to me, every show was important - whether it was in Europe, Japan or North or South America - the metal maniacs were going crazy every single night, and that entire tour was an affirmation of everything I'm about."
Halford's world trek begins in front of 15,000 punters with a headline spot at the Sweden Rock Festival on June 7, and they are scheduled to continue well into 2003.
CRUCIBLE will be released through Metal-Is/Sanctuary Records on June 24th in Europe and June 25th throughout the rest of the world.
In 11th July,2003,Rob Halford announced he will rejoin Judas Priest after a 12 years.The news was confirmed from Judas Priest and they plan to do some new works,The new Judas Priest album will come in spring 2004 and they will have a tour in the same summer,celebrating their 30th anniversary.
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