Madeline Priest and Dave Kazyk have rebranded themselves. You may know them, alongside Chandler Strang, as the x priest x who brought forth the scintillating Samurai. Now they’re just Priest and, both literally and figuratively, seem to have very much lost their X factor.
The individual components of the self-titled debut sit well alone but when they have been brought together, there is something almost unnatural about the way they sound. The production from Dave Kazyk seems to be confused and following multiple directions, though his efforts on When The Strings Are Gone and Lying On Your Grave are where he excels, i.e. a darker, almost melancholic vibe with a modern twist on the drum sounds and patterns.
The vocals from Madeline Priest hold the illusion throughout the first few songs but rapidly become tedious and strained towards the middle. There’s small respite during songs such as Staring At The Wall, but it’s not enough to save the entire album. The charisma from Samurai seems to have been replaced with something altogether more artificial.
Regardless of the process they had undergone to create this record, it feels like a prolonged overcompensation for the fact that there is very little chemistry and cohesion on Priest. As much as we respect their efforts to bring forth the nostalgic and light electronic 80s sound, there’s an inherent disconnect that’s hard to overcome. Call in a Hail Mary then, because by the end of it all this is one Priest we wouldn’t even let ourselves be fiddled by.
Priest by Priest can be ordered here.