Priest – Cyberhead

Time traveling to the 80s

Priest - Cyberhead

Album facts

Release Date: November 13th, 2020
Label: Blue Nine Records
Genre: , , ,
Discogs: Priest – Cyberhead
Partially sounds like: Erasure, Duran Duran, Depeche Mode

It feels like an etern­ity. The second album 'Cyberhead' by 'Priest' is finally released. The 2017 debut 'New Flesh' has reached pos­i­tion 2 of our best albums of 2017. But only very close to the big smash­er 'Spirit' by 'Depeche Mode'. The guys can be little bit proud about that fact. In gen­er­al it is said that the second album is always the hard­est. Whether this is also true for Priest is ques­tion­able, since the band mem­bers play in oth­er bands as well. Here one can­not really speak of a second album in prin­ciple. Nevertheless, the band will have to deal with some com­par­is­ons to the extremely suc­cess­ful pre­de­cessor here and there in this review.

Back to the future

What a beau­ti­ful begin­ning, the impress­ive organ sounds remind me of 'Time To Move On' from the 'Apoptygma Berzerk' clas­sic 'Welcome To Earth'. This gives you goose bumps from the first second. But after the intro the band hits a rather unex­pec­ted beat that always gets a power­ful push with a "PA PA PAOW". This simple sound keeps echo­ing in your mind even after the song.. With an angel­ic, almost reliev­ing mood, the chor­us lifts the track enorm­ously.  'Xpander' is truly one of the strongest tracks on the album. I would have chosen exactly the same song as the open­er, because 'Xpander' is var­ied, catchy and has all qual­it­ies for a Single.

I was blind now I see it's my destiny
that keeps haunt­ing my mind
Lyrics from 'Xpander' by Priest

'Dead Ringer' was the first extrac­tion of the new album 'Cyberhead' and known by the most of you. This is an unusu­ally quiet num­ber and a cour­ageous decision to release it as the first Single. But I liked the song from the begin­ning because it is gloomy, creepy and very profound.

Priest (Promo photo 2020)
Priest (Promo photo 2020)

The third song 'I Believe In You' builds a music­al bridge to the pre­vi­ous album 'New Flesh'. This bright sound­ing elec­tric piano strongly reminds of 'The Cross' or 'Obey' from the same titled EP of 2019. Located in the mid-tempo area, the num­ber is suit­able for dan­cing along without get­ting into a perspiration.

Echoes of the past

Like a per­fectly arranged elec­tro opera, the song 'Decay' flows its nat­ur­al course and draws the listen­er fur­ther and fur­ther into the music. The vocals gently caress the diver­si­fied syn­thes­izer sounds. 'Decay' feels like a lux­uri­ous inter­lude, which is meant to lead the listen­er only to the next track. But it would be unfair to reduce this great song to that. It is a full-fledged song full of emotions.

Finally a punchi­er beat that invites you to dance. 'Thieves' is not a hard-boiled club song, but I also can't sit still and listen to it. The baseline and metal­lic syn­thes­izer sounds are close to the atmo­sphere of the early Depeche Mode albums like 'Some Great Reward' or 'Construction Time Again'. Older listen­ers will recog­nize par­al­lels and famil­i­ar sounds. I love it.

They can steal what they see
But they can't steal the fire in me
Lyrics from 'Thieves' by Priest

Feel the warmth of synthesizers

An abso­lutely epic intro, full of pain and mel­an­choly imme­di­ately draws me under its spell. Spontaneously I have a lump in my throat and des­pite the cur­rent sun­shine and blue sky, it feels as if deep black clouds have come up over my head. Lyrically the best song on the album 'Cyberhead'. Every sung line hits me with full force. Brutally sad, but also bit­ter­sweet and beau­ti­ful. This bal­an­cing act is the true art in music­al cre­ation in my opin­ion. You don't write such an emo­tion­al bal­lad just like that, there's sub­stance and prob­ably a tra­gic break in life behind it. This is my favour­ite track on the album!

When the future fall­ing apart
I turn a dream­er into believer
Lyrics from 'Time Traveler' by Priest

Suitable for radio and equipped with a catchy melody, 'Priest' has released its second Single 'Beacon Of Light'. I def­in­itely think that this decision was a good one, because I also see clear Single qual­it­ies here. The track shines above all with its har­mon­ic dynam­ics and you will be sur­prised every few seconds with a new sound or effect. Also the very subtle use of the gui­tar in the chor­us adds a fine pinch of spice to the oth­er­wise purely elec­tron­ic Priest sound.

When timelines collide

With a slightly naive sound­ing vibe in the chor­us, the track instantly inflamed my heart. Thematically, a break-up is again the sub­ject of the lyr­ics, which are music­ally sung in light fare in the form of a pop melody. I have to admit at this point that I am not a fan of vocoders or gen­er­ally strongly elec­tron­ic­ally pro­cessed vocals, but with Priest it doesn't both­er me that much.

In the same mood, the fant­ast­ic track 'Star Maker' con­tin­ues with a smooth swing and Electropop sounds sim­il­ar to 'Erasure'. The track enchants like a fairy tale and raises the mood immensely. The break is espe­cially worth men­tion­ing here, because it sounds quite dif­fer­ent but doesn't seem like a for­eign body. It is more a typ­ic­al 'Kraftwerk' melody from the 70s. A crazy com­bin­a­tion that you def­in­itely have to hear.

Judgement day

'Cyberhead' is a con­tem­por­ary album that is full of memor­ies from the 80s. And maybe also a salute to the dec­ade that pro­duced many fant­ast­ic ana­logue syn­thes­izers. Awesome reused sounds and samples that provides a pleas­ant, nos­tal­gic feel­ing without being able to point to any­thing spe­cif­ic. 'Priest' has man­aged the per­fect bal­an­cing act: To cre­ate a fresh new album with the sound roots of the Synth Pop ori­gin. Go and grab your copy of 'Cyberhead' now!

By the way, this album also made it into our art­icle 'The best Synth Pop and genre-related albums 2020'. Read now.

Track By Track Rating

Priest - Cyberhead
Priest – Cyberhead
Dead Ringer
I Believe In You
Time Traveler
Beacon Of Light
Star Maker
Mother Base
Time Traveler
Beacon Of Light
(Nothing to report here)