Atkins May Project – “Anthology”

Atkins May Project – “Anthology” CD / DVD (Gonzo Multimedia)

Original Judas Priest founder / vocalist Alan Atkins may have long qualified for his pensioner bus pass, but physically and more importantly vocally, he sings as good as a man half his age! Quitting Priest in 1973 in order to support his family, Rob Halford would go onto to sing many of the songs penned by Atkins including the classic ‘Victim Of Changes’. Atkins could never leave the music business however, releasing a number of solo albums through the 90s with a young, virtuoso multi instrumentalist called Paul May playing guitar. 20 years on and that relationship has grown into The Atkins May Project, which to date have released 3 studio albums. “Anthology” is a compilation of cuts from those releases, along with a bonus DVD packed with 7 official videos and interviews with Alan Atkins and Paul May. Rooted in the style of the British heavy rock that came out’ve the Midlands, the sound is very much like early Priest but with a modern take answering the question of how Priest probably would’ve sounded with Atkins still singing! Vocally, Atkins may not be a screamer that Halford is, but his gravelly full blooded rock vocals take right from an era when men sounded like men, looked like men, and smelt like men. Easy to see why early Priest were managed by Tony Iommi as a band worthy to share the spoils along with Sabbath! With Atkins still having such a commanding presence, I’m really pleased that Paul May measures up in every aspect of the instrumental department from his full blooded pumping bass to his hard hitting drum work that occasionally rolls into double bass mode on the heavier tracks like ‘A World At War’. Excelling in his guitar work, May provides virtuosity in his wailing solos and as well as the more staple twin chugging guitars more famed of KK Downing and Glenn Tipton on fast rockers like ‘Harder They Fall’ – except May piles in even more lead breaks as if to show one man can do better! With one of the best production sounds I’ve heard in a while truly bringing the material to life, the confidence of Atkins and May even allows them to cover Phil Collins’s ‘In The Air Tonight’, given a new brooding metal take without losing the massive drum sound it comes with! Little wonder then that over the last four years, the rock world has been buzzing about these two, whose roots in British Steel still resonate true to this day as they did over 4 decades ago.

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