Atkins May Project - Valley of Shadows

Atkins May Project Valley of Shadows cover
Atkins May Project
Valley of Shadows
Gonzo Multimedia
Al Atkins – The “original” Judas Priest singer right? Because there was life before Rob and because he wrote a couple of verses and because this and that... and tit and tat. OK the man has been bitter for a long time and has been trying to live of the association for far too long and I am not too sure if that has been doing him any favors. Probably not. At best, he’s holding a bit better than the drunken fool that Paul DiAnno is these days, which is not  saying much. His voice, is a lower more guttural Dianno, without the highs, but semi decent and he seems to have worked on it a fair bit and he sounds manly at least and looks kind of bad-ass for a man of some years.
Teaming up with Paul May, a rather decent and tasteful guitarist who is predominantly a Christian musician, in “Valley of Shadows” their sophomore effort, the duo, have evolved their songwriting partnership a bit further. Without demanding accolades for what they’ve done the ten songs that they have created, are far from bad. Typical examples of British metal, with good riffs and some decent lead sections, the music recalls some of the better moments of Dio laden Sabbath and the darker and more sinister moments of wait for it... Judas Priest!
There are a number of good songs on the album, like the fiery opener, “Welcome to the Nightmare”,  the thumping “No Ordinary Man”, the brooding epic, “Enslaved to Love” or the double bass, hard hitting (albeit the drums are programmed, which steals a bit of their thunder – actually a lot) “Stronger is the Grace”. There’s a Celtic influenced instrumental in the Lizzy inspired “The Messiah”. Finally there’s the title track, which is quite a melodic affair clocking at 8 minutes, which is quite epic and good and there’s a reprise of the opener from the first album as an outro “The Shallowing (The Return)” which is also temperate and not bad either, closing the album.
Possibly the best thing, that Al Atkins has ever been involved with since his not so glorious few months in Priest then?! Not quite bad and certainly worth checking out, even beyond, the joke and the whole ex-JP, conundrum, if you like classic heavy metal.