Album Review – Priestess “Prior to the Fire” 2009

 Prior to the Fire arrives long-delayed by record execs who worried that it would not have the AC/DC radio snappiness of Hello Master. They were right about that, but that doesn’t mean this outing lacks zazz of its own; it’s just a different flavour. There’s no “Lay Down” or “Talk to Her” for the sing along, but Priestess immediately grab your attention by diving into Stained Class territory with psychedelic thrash opener “Lady Killer”. They then proceed to explore every excessive nugget of heavy prog bombast they can lay string or stick upon. Hello Master was slick jackets and fast cars, Prior to the Fire solidly plants the wizard on the side of your panel van. Mikey Heppner works the Perry Farrell angle on his vocals to further delve into the strangeness. 

There’s fun to be had here, and some primo musicianship, although it sometimes gets a bit long and draining. Your mark will be higher if you’ve always wanted Queens of the Stone Age to take a stab at 21126.5 out of 10

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