RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Atkins May Project – Valley of Shadows
Gonzo Records


Rating: B

Al Atkins and Paul May have teamed up for their second release titled Valley of Shadows. The band is an interesting mix as Atkins, best known for being a founding member of Judas Priest, is a rock and roll wild man while Paul May is a Christian shredder. This mix of good and evil is the theme on the collaboration.

Atkins’ voice won’t swoon anyone to sleep. He sounds a bit like he has been gargling with gasoline. At times, it is a bit rough, most of the time; however, it fits the music, which varies between heavy metal and brutal heavy metal. The two men are enjoying this collaboration and Paul May is to be commended for literally playing his religious ass off.

The opening song, “Welcome to the Nightmare” sets the stage for the Metal onslaught. Atkins and May are not following trends, or trying to be the flavor of the month, instead, they are playing music they love to their hearts content. Other strong tunes to check out are “Stronger is the Grace,” “Not Ready to Die Today” and “Bitter Waters.”

As much I have respect for Al Atkins to still be rocking and pushing forward after all he has been though, I would be lying if I didn’t say that Paul May is really the shining star on this album. His guitar playing is a shred fest of notes that mix perfectly with his unique melodies. May is a true.

This one is for anyone who loves Metal. May makes difficult guitar work sound easy, which is the true sign of a virtuoso.

By Jeb Wright