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Atkins May Project - Anthology (CD)

Genre: Pop/Rock
Release Date: 6th April 2015

Label: Gonzo
Catalogue Number: HST295CD
Price: £9.99
Available: In stock


Atkins May Project - Anthology

For the last four years the rock world has been buzzing with proof that good and evil can in fact work together in the form of former Judas Priest vocal legend and Holy Rage heavy metal frontman Al Atkins and Christian guitarist and music artist Paul May. Together these extreme opposites combine creating three excellent records available on Gonzo Multimedia.

There are enough doses of melody and metal madness to entice all fans of the genre, and while it is solid, honest, working-class heavy metal, it also has its roots in contemporary metal with some fine axe-work and killer choruses.

Al Atkins: More noted for forming UK’s Judas Priest and fronting them for four years, and laying down the foundations that would see them eventually selling 40 million albums worldwide. He also wrote songs for them that went gold like Dreamer Deceiver, Never Satisfied, Winter, Caviar and Meths, andPriest’s all time classic Victim of Changes. Al’s unique powerful vocal style sites influences by noted rock singers Roger Daltrey, Paul Rodgers and longtime friend Robert Plant. Al has done countless radio and TV interviews worldwide and recently was filmed for BBC TV British Heritage and Banger Films Canada for the metal evolution series on VH1. He has even written a book on his musical life about growing up in Birmingham, UK, alongside Robert Plant and Black Sabbath, called Dawn of the Metal Gods. Al has released 6 solo albums to date, toured the US twice, and has worked with Brian Tatler (Diamond Head), Dave Holland (Judas Priest), Dennis Stratton (Iron Maiden) and Bernie Torme (Ozzy/Gillan).

Paul May: Some people learn to play guitar, Paul was born (again) to play guitar! Paul has become respected for his passionate, soulful guitar work and noted for his explosive and exciting solos. As a world-class professional guitarist and songwriter, Paul has played and recorded sessions across the globe, touring and playing throughout the UK, Europe, USA and the Eastern block. Paul appears on around 50 albums to date, featured in both the secular and Christian arenas. Paul is also a record producer and has covered the entire spectrum of musical tastes in production. Paul has played, recorded with and produced alongside the bands and members of: Al Atkins (Judas Priest), Dave Holland (Judas Priest), Roy Wood (MoveELOWizard), Jon Brooks (The Charlatans), Smokin Roadie/Tempest, MC5V-RatsJanusA.N.DDave Rowley Band, Larry Norman and many others. Along with working with Al Atkins, Paul currently plays guitar with A.N.D and Temple Dogs.

Now there is an anthology of the work of this remarkable band……so far! Here’s looking forward to the next half decade.

REVIEW

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.

http://battlehelm.com/reviews/atkins-may-project-anthology/

This is quite a cool set. The group is Al Atkins (the original lead singer of Judas Priest) and Paul May (musician extraordinaire). They have released three albums together so far and all but one song (I’m ignoring the two unlisted tracks) here are taken from those discs. I’ve reviewed all three of them so the track reviews are copied from those or adapted for use here for the sake of consistency. I think this works well as a play from start to finish experience. Given that it’s a compilation, that says a lot. 

Track by Track Review
Act 1

 

  
Unlisted Track 1

Starting with the sound of a needle on a record, this comes in a bit like very old Judas Priest. It’s a short instrumental fanfare.

Here Comes the Rain
Basically a power ballad, this is quite proggy in a lot of ways. It’s also very classy. It does get quite heavy as it continues.
Enslaved To Love
The sounds that open this are quite mean and metallic. The cut is quite heavy, quite dark and yet very modern in texture.
The Shallowing
A killer metal jam opens this. Then it powers from there into an even more screaming arrangement. The vocals come in over this killer swirl of riffing.
Bitter Waters
Acoustic guitar starts this, and the vocals come in over the top of this sound. Then it powers out to a slow moving, and rather blues inspired hard rocking metal vibe. It drops back down the mellower territory for the next vocals. The cut alternates between mellower movements and harder rocking ones and is a killer number. The guitar solo section really shines.
World at War
There is a dramatic introduction that gives way to some pounding, powerful heavy metal. This is very much an epic metal styled piece, with the emphasis on the metal end of that equation. I love the vocal hooks and the guitar soloing. It’s a real stomper. The closing bit is dramatic and very potent.
Act 2
  
Dream Maker
This sounds so much like old school Judas Priest that it’s crazy. This is great. It’s got some more killer guitar soloing.
Valley of Shadows
This is a dramatic and powerful metal ballad. As cool as this tune is, though, it’s a bit overlong.
Harder They Fall
There’s a killer riff and metal groove driving this monster.
Theatre of Fools
There’s really no Priest in the mix here. Instead we get a great modern epic metal sound that’s incredibly cool. Without question this is the best track on the first album. It gets taken through several different sections and yet never crosses into Judas Priest like territory.
Whisper to the Wind
This starts with a dramatic and powerful ballad-like movement. That section holds it for a while with some great vocal work and tasty musical arrangements. It powers out into a rather progressive metal like movement for the more powered up section. This is just so cool. It’s also an epic length piece, landing at over twelve and a half minutes. It’s epic in scope, too, conveying a whole universe of sounds in one cohesive and coherent track. This is mellow through a lot of its time, but it also rocks out really well. It has some particularly meaty melodic metal guitar soloing. This one is worth the price of admission all by itself.
In the Air Tonight (bonus track)
I would have never thought of turning this Phil Collins tune into a metal track. Listening to this version, it seems so obvious, though. Don’t get me wrong, I prefer the stylistic atmosphere of the original. However, this is pretty amazing.
Unlisted Track 2
This is essentially a revisit of the first cut of the disc. It makes for a great bookend.

http://www.musicstreetjournal.com/index_cdreviews_display.cfm?id=104922

"...for anyone who has a collection bulging with NWOBHM stars of past and present, but who hasn't yet sampled Atkins May Project, Anthology really should be pretty high on your must hear scale."  www.seaoftranquility.org



Tracks:

The Deep

Here Comes The Rain 

Bitter Waters

A World At War

Dream Maker

Whisper To The Wind

Harder They Fall

The Shallowing

Enslaved To Love

Theatre Of Fools

Valley Of Shadows

In the Air Tonight

The Deep (The Reprise)

 



 Review: US Review


Atkins May Project – Anthology   
 

Gonzo Multimedia

Rating: B
Al Atkins has made a career of being the founding member and original vocalist for British Metal icons Judas Priest.  Al did more than warm up the spot for Rob Halford, though, as he helped write some classic early Priest including "Never Satisfied" and "Victim of Changes."  While he is no Metal God, Atkins is still into the music wholeheartedly, as he has proved over the past few years with his band the Atkins May Project.  The band has released three albums on Gonzo Multimedia and now, for the first time, the best of all of them are found on one collection, titled Anthology
Al snarls it out with the best of them while his counterpoint, Christian guitar player Paul May, if truth be told, steals the show.  May is a talented player, and it is with his six-stringed instrument that he adds the layers of light and darkness onto the music.  In the world today, guitar godz are a dime-a-dozen, but when they add the impact of feeling into their music, and not just wank around displaying their technical prowess, that’s what takes it to another level.  May takes it to another level. 
The best of the bunch are the songs "Serpents Kiss," " Valley of Shadows" and the powerful "Empire of Destruction."  The bonus track at the end of the album is pretty cool, though.  Atkins and May twist the Phil Collins classic "In the Air Tonight" and make it an ethereal Metal eerie mess.  Phil outdoes Al in the vocal department (sorry Al) but May, once again, adds the flair to the tune making it work, just get to the end of this song and you'll see what I mean!  It's not heavy and in your face, rather it is dark, foreboding and tricky.  Pretty cool stuff, Paul!  Al's got a good thing in Mr. May!
This is not a band that is necessarily doing anything original, yet, as this compilation proves, their efforts are based in honestly and come across genuine... which in this day and age is rare! 
Paul May sums up Anthology by stating, “It was quite a task to choose which songs would make it onto this compilation as there's such a diversity in the styles of tracks, but I hope this reflects the wider view of the rock and metal we love doing.” 
Atkins chimes in, “The reviews from the first three albums were great and said it all, so it was difficult to select the songs for the album, but I think you'll agree that we made the right choices, and Anthology, for me, ticks all the right boxes!”

Tracks: 
Here Comes The Rain 
Bitter Waters
A World At War
Dream Maker
Whisper To The Wind
Harder They Fall
The Shallowing
Enslaved To Love
Theatre Of Fools
Valley Of Shadows
In the Air Tonight (unreleased bonus track)

For more information: 

By Jeb Wright

 Review: Belgian Review


ATKINS MAY PROJECT - Anthology
/ Published on 02-05-2015 /
I confess I do not know what to make of this"Anthology" . Let us be clear. I'm quite a fan of theAtkins May Project and I feel enormous respect for the contribution of Al Atkins to the history of Heavy Metal (NDR  : remember, this young fellow of 67 years was the first singer of Judas Priest ) . However, I do not see what I could write more than what has already been said in the chronicles of the albums Valley Of Shadows " (2012) and Empire Of Destruction " that we have previously published. Especially the last two came out there a few months. As its name implies,"Anthology" is a 'best of'  , a compilation of songs off the three albums released between 2011 and 2014 by the duo of Al Atkins and English guitarist Paul May. Most titles presented here are already present on the two aforementioned albums. Only"Dream Maker" (a ballad over twelve minutes) and "Theatre Of Fools" (a title Heavy Rock rather excellent, it must be admitted) are extracted from the album "Serpents Kiss" (2011) that had not been subject to criticism ears Music In Belgium. The interest is rather limited. And it is not the pitiful recovery of "In The Air Tonight" by Phil Collins which is presented bonus that will change that. Things might have been different if, for example, Al Atkins had the good idea to offer us his own version of"Victims Of Changes" , this classic Priest he had composed in the early seventies. But this 'beast' assembly too recent titles (NDR  : just four years for the oldest) seems completely unnecessary. "Anthology" might be of interest to collectors of anything related directly or indirectly to the story Judas Priest, and like all titles that are presented are of excellent invoice (NDR  : if one appreciates the classic Heavy Rock and unadorned), compilation could also serve as an introduction to Atkins May Project for those who have not yet had the opportunity to taste it. Others may prefer to invest their money in a more consistent output. The album (78 ')  :
  1. Here Comes The Rain (9'04)
  2. Enslaved To Love (7'44)
  3. The shallowing (5'37)
  4. Bitter Waters (3'47)
  5. World At War (12'36)
  6. Dream Maker (4'31)
  7. Valley Of Shadows (5'13)
  8. Harder They Fall (5'59)
  9. Theatre Of Fools (8'37)
  10. Whisper To The Wind (8'24)
  11. In The Air Tonight (Phil Collins cover) (4'49)

The group  :
  • Al Atkins  : Vocals
  • Paul May  : Guitars

 Review: US Review


GONZO MULTIMEDIA

ATKINS MAY PROJECT/Anthology:  Really, it’s pretty impressive that the original vocalist for Judas Priest can still sound pissed off after all these years.  Elvis Costello might have to step up for some angry young man as a senior citizen lessons.  Taking a tour through Brit metal over the years, including a cover of Phil Collins  (Priest + Collins =‘s ???), you can hear this rattling the walls at a retro club in your suburb probably soon.  Proof there’s a lot of memory lanes out there for a lot of different kind of walks.
295

 Review: US Review


Atkins May Project: Anthology

If you've read the many positive reviews for the Atkins May Project but still not been quite convinced to take the plunge into the duo's trio of releases, Serpent's Kiss, Valley Of Shadows or Empire Of Destruction, then Anthology makes a for a good starting point. Al Atkins, as we probably all know by now, was there in the beginnings of Judas Priest and had a hand in some of the band's early, classic material, while Paul May is a guitarist of some renown; a position which bears out across all of the AMP output. As you'd expect, we're in the realms of traditional metal here, the likes of Saxon, Tygers of Pan Tang, or, in places, Judas Priest touched upon and yet across the three albums this pair have produced, they have also brought an element or two of their own to the table; a faint whiff of melancholy lurking under the powerful riffs and Atkins rasping spoken/sung vocals offering an unusual angle. The ability to resist simply slamming the foot to the floor on much of their output also offers up something a little different and while it's hard to suggest that there's much here that veers near pioneer status, it is also quite easy to tell AMP from the many sound-a-likes doing the rounds.
Frustratingly the track list on the back cover of the promo I received had a different running order than the CD itself. Although that certainly doesn't stop the blues infused stomp of "Bitter Waters" making a strong impression, or "Dream Maker" being incisive enough to burrow deep into the conscience through May's stinging guitar work as Atkins spits the lyrics out with real venom. Factor in the upbeat power-punch of "Harder They Fall" and atmospheric build into the all out metal assault of "The Shallowing" and all of this act's updated NWOBHM values meet with serious approval. Those looking for a "pure" vocalist may in truth struggle with Atkins attitude over acrobatics approach, however in May, the ex-Priester really has a foil worthy of any metalhead's attention.
For those who already have the three albums these tracks come from, it's up to you whether a metalised – and pretty decent, if unspectacular – cover of the Phil Collins standard "In The Air Tonight" (complete with the chukka-chukka-chukka-chukuk-kuk-kuk drum break) and a bonus DVD of videos and interviews (which duplicates much of the fare found on the extra disc that came with Empire Of Destruction) offers enough value to reinvest in a collection of songs you already own. However for anyone who has a collection bulging with NWOBHM stars of past and present, but who hasn't yet sampled Atkins May Project, Anthology really should be pretty high on your must hear scale.
Track Listing 
1. Here Comes The Rain 
2. Bitter Waters 
3. A World At War 
4. Dream Maker 
5. Whisper To The Wind 
6. Harder They Fall 
7. The Shallowing 
8. Enslaved To Love 
9. Theatre Of Fools 
10. Valley Of Shadows 
11. In the Air Tonight (unreleased bonus track)
Added: June 12th 2015
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:

 Review: Canadian Review


ATKINS/MAY PROJECT - ANTHOLOGY
It was good to receive this double-disc package of music featuring the early singer for Judas Priest, Al Atkins. He had originally left Judas Priest in 1973. Not having heard his output, an anthology of his albums was a welcome chance to hear the music and conduct a review.

If an Anthology is either handpicked to comprise of representative songs or the favourites of a band then the Atkins/May Project is indeed a hard rock band, albeit focused on slower and melodious songs. It is not as if Atkins/May has a plethora of releases in its history, but such is the title for the double-disc at hand.

Firstly, Atkins' voice is gritty a la a gruff Udo Dirkschneider or more accurately Faithful Breath's Heinz Mikus. However, since no one remembers the latter man one should say Atkins sounds like the Teutonic metal singers of the '80s. Whatever the case, the albums lives off the slower and grandiose songs that are often punctuated by heavy or faster tracks as interludes. The songs are book ended by instrumental so first track proper Here Comes The Rain is one of those quieter songs. Bitter Wars cruises along and comes with a solo, which is reminiscent of Priest's Touch Of Evil. May is an accomplished guitarist all around. He solos often, and in a melodious and accessible manner. He is advertised as being Christian. The Shallowing is where the album gets upbeat and heavier. The backing bass is full on. Atkins cruises on. The soloing continues. The next song is all guitars and is reminiscent of the '80s.

The guitars are more modern and fuzzy. It is more aggressive here. The drums are pounding now and the question you have been waiting for an answer to is that, yes, it is a little Judas Priestish. Indeed, Atkins is recording an album worth of Priest songs himself. Atkins loves to enunciate his words and to do so in long songs. Amidst the positives and the not-so is one negative, which is the very artificial sounding toms. The drum machine was not cooperating in a musical manner it seems. Nonetheless, along comes track ten and the thundering bass and the speed so it is mostly good again. Sadly, a cover version of Phil Collins’ In the Air Tonight takes up some space here. The Anthology features a DVD disc featuring several videos and an interview with the two men conducted by a Jonathan Downes. - Ali "The Metallian"

 Review: Portugese review translated



Sunday, July 5, 2015 
INFO: Gonzo Multimedia lança antologia de Atkins May Project 

Over the past four years the world metal was shaken by how good and evil can indeed work together with the project that joins the original lead singer of Judas Priest, the legendary Al Atkins with Christian extraordinary guitarist Paul May . This union resulted three excellent albums released by Gonzo Multimedia . Three albums where the melody and the crazy metal go hand in hand in creating a solid piece of heavy metal pure, building on its roots though perfectly updated. This new work, Anthology( 5.4 / 6 ), represents the best that the draft Atkins May Project made ​​in these three albums: the Serpents Kiss(2011) are present themes The shallowing , Dream Makerand Theatre Of Fools , Valley Of Shadows (2012) is represented with Bitter Waters , Enslaved To Love , Harder They Fall and Valley Of Shadows ; finally, ofEmpire Of Destruction (2014) were chosen themes The World At War , Here Comes The Rain andWhisper To The Wind . The alignment is complete with a version of In The Air Tonight (original Phil Collins ) and a short intro and another . As a bonus DVD comes with 7 videos and interviews with project mentors - Al Atkins and Paul May. 


Tracklist: 
1. The Deep 
2. Here Comes The Rain 
3. Bitter Waters 
4. A World At War 
5. Dream Maker 
6. Whisper To The Wind 
7. Harder They Fall 
8. The Shallowing 
9. Enslaved To Love 
10. Theatre Of Fools 
11. Valley Of Shadows 
12. In the Air Tonight 
13. The Deep (The Reprise)

 Review: Canadian Review


ATKINS/MAY PROJECT - ANTHOLOGY
It was good to receive this double-disc package of music featuring the early singer for Judas Priest, Al Atkins. He had originally left Judas Priest in 1973. Not having heard his output, an anthology of his albums was a welcome chance to hear the music and conduct a review.
If an Anthology is either handpicked to comprise of representative songs or the favourites of a band then the Atkins/May Project is indeed a hard rock band, albeit focused on slower and melodious songs. It is not as if Atkins/May has a plethora of releases in its history, but such is the title for the double-disc at hand.

Firstly, Atkins' voice is gritty a la a gruff Udo Dirkschneider or more accurately Faithful Breath's Heinz Mikus. However, since no one remembers the latter man one should say Atkins sounds like the Teutonic metal singers of the '80s. Whatever the case, the albums lives off the slower and grandiose songs that are often punctuated by heavy or faster tracks as interludes. The songs are book ended by instrumental so first track proper Here Comes The Rain is one of those quieter songs. Bitter Wars cruises along and comes with a solo, which is reminiscent of Priest's Touch Of Evil. May is an accomplished guitarist all around. He solos often, and in a melodious and accessible manner. He is advertised as being Christian. The Shallowing is where the album gets upbeat and heavier. The backing bass is full on. Atkins cruises on. The soloing continues. The next song is all guitars and is reminiscent of the '80s.

The guitars are more modern and fuzzy. It is more aggressive here. The drums are pounding now and the question you have been waiting for an answer to is that, yes, it is a little Judas Priestish. Indeed, Atkins is recording an album worth of Priest songs himself. Atkins loves to enunciate his words and to do so in long songs. Amidst the positives and the not-so is one negative, which is the very artificial sounding toms. The drum machine was not cooperating in a musical manner it seems. Nonetheless, along comes track ten and the thundering bass and the speed so it is mostly good again. Sadly, a cover version of Phil Collins’ In the Air Tonight takes up some space here. The Anthology features a DVD disc featuring several videos and an interview with the two men conducted by a Jonathan Downes. - Ali "The Metallian"


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