George Starostin's Reviews



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<> (30.04.2004)

I'm 16 years, and I old Play guitar. Judas Priest is my Biggest influence ever the two guitar attack, SCREAMING frontman. pounding drums and bass lines. 'The sentinel' was my first favorite Judas Priest song and the first one I learned all the lyrics to. I've gotta give it up to the Priest for making some Kick ass music (especially Defenders of the Faith).


Felipe Teixeira <> (31.05.2006)

Oh, this one is pretty much forgettable. Rocka Rolla starts with two fun but silly rockers: “One for the Road” and “Rocka Rolla”. “Rocka Rolla” is one of the fastest numbers here!

Like in many heavy metal albums of the period the blues influence shows up every now and then and here it actually makes one of the few nice moments in the album: “Cheater”. I truly dislike Halford’s low register singing used in “Dying to Meet You” and in some other tracks. Not only they lack the “coolness” factor in Halford’s voice, but also they most likely will be accompanied by sleep-inducing melodies. “Never Satisfied” is quite nice, though. The main riff is not that different from some others found in the album but this one actually sounds heavy. This is weird, because Gull records hired the producer Rodger Bain (Sabbath’s first three records) and they say he fucked up the mixing of the album.

At least it is not really unlistenable (well, except for the Winter thing – which is ridiculous) but it is not fun or remarkable, either. It is just odd-sounding and underdeveloped (even if some of the songs are long, were they supposed to be epic?). Well, I just want to know where those FAST & HEAVY rockers are! I give Rocka Rolla a 5/10, too many moments of boredom here.

Tim Blake (27.09.2006)

I certainly do not agree with the review and user comment on this site in many respects, nor with the general critical consensus on this, Priest's most maligned and misunderstood album, their debut. Sure, it hardly sounds an iota like the later Priest, and they were definitely searching for a style, but I'm amazed at the quality and brilliance of what this turned up, and the amount of variety and song-writing excellence on display here. Sure, it's generic, but Priest always have been to a degree (though I would argue tooth and nail that Sabbath never were, grrr!!!). The truth is when it comes to performance and adequacy, on a good day you can't defeat Judas Priest.

Their debut is mostly standard barroom rock with a few 'epics' and such thrown in. The only real weak point, as stated in the review, is the trifecta of shite 'Winter/Deep Freeze/Cheater', 'Deep Freeze' and 'Winter', which are a bunch of pointless experimental sound collages with a few random riffs thrown in. Besides that this album is rock gold. 'One For The Road' is a stomping good time, 'Rocka Rolla' is farkin' classic man! 'Cheater' is a heavy, angry romp. 'Never Satisfied' and 'Dying To Meet You' both occupy a semi-epic space with their long running times but amazing riffs and huge vocals from Halford. My favourite song, by far, and strong contender for best Priest song ever, is the spacey, melancholy epic 'Run Of The Mill'. I find the lyrics of this song to be excellent too: 'What have you achieved, now that you are old? Did you achieve ambition, do as you were told? Or are you still doing the same this year? Should I give sorrow? Or turn 'round and sneer?'. That is an incredibly insightful look at the human condition of achievement right there!

Sure, people will turn 'round and sneer: 'this is Judas Priest!? WTF?'. Yarsh, it is, more melodic, more ambitious, more diverse. And as for Halford's performance being poor here...I disagree immensely! His vocals here are some of the best he ever did for god's sake! The vocals are also diverse and he is reserved when need be, and I like that low voice he uses. His wailings at the end of 'Run Of The Mill' are some of the most impressive vocals I've ever heard. Such power! Overall as an album I have to rate it down for the three shitty tracks and maybe the below-par 'Cavier And Meths', so I'd give it an 8 on a good day and 7 on a bad one. Sad Wings Of Destiny and Sin After Sin are both better albums but I find Rocka Rolla to be very nearly as good, and SEVERELY underrated. This is fine, fine music. My least favourite Priest in fact is mainly mid to late 80s, and OF COURSE, anything with Ripper Owens, that piece of crap. 90s and 00s Priest with Halford has done nothing but own so far.


Thomas Paar <> (08.09.2001)

One of the most important metal releases of the time, although it's quite underrated even today, but, sure enough, many of 80's metal bands point to this album when asked about their musical influences. Okay, the lyrics are in most of the cases very Rainbow/Rush oriented and the music is largely Purple and Sabbath influenced. The first gave them speed, the second gave them rumbling riffs. 'Victim Of Changes' is the best song on here because of the unbelievable Iommi-like riffage. Other standouts are solid rockers like 'Dream Deceiver', 'Tyrant', 'Genocide' and, yes, even 'The Ripper'. The rest is pretty consistent too, but it's just mediocre. Halford's vocals are extremely good, technically speaking, but his "I'm butchered like a pig" squeals are less to be desired, at least for me. And no, Kiss are NOT a metal band. And the album does sound dated, somewhat, but the production is fairly good for the time. Four stars.

tonik <> (12.02.2004)

Hello George!

I just wanted to tell a rumour I read in a review that Sad Wings of Destiny by Judas Priest you have reviewed is a reissued edition when the sides were flipped by mistake. So the album should begin with "Prelude", and "Victim Of Changes" should be after "Island Of Domination". Just try it, and you'll hear that the album sounds more comfortable this way.

Felipe Teixeira <> (31.05.2006)

Now we’re talking. They already gave up those slow rockers and keyboards and stuff, even if they are not really “there” yet. “Victim of Changes” is easily the best song here. It has those monster riffs, solos and cool changes: It suddenly goes into this amazingly written soft part and builds up again until some cool screams at the end. Speaking of it, “Changes” is also one of the best performances by Halford, like, ever. “The Ripper” comes next and it is also an inspired song. It is a fan favorite, mine too. Even Iron Maiden liked it a lot, I mean, listen to “Killers”! No offense to Maiden fans, it is just obvious that they were influenced by this Judas Priest song.

I also like “Dreamer Deceiver”, mainly because Halford is showing his great range here. Well, he did it in Rocka Rolla and I hated it, but in this album he seems to know that technical singing is not what we really want to hear from him – so he uses his lower register every now and then rather then relying on it. He would soon forget about it, so it can be a surprise to hear him using a greater range in the first two albums if you are already used with his later voice.

The fast rockers with tight riffs are exactly what I thought the first album was lacking, so I enjoy “Island of Domination” and those great “Tyrant” and “Deceiver” songs. “Epitaph” is a piano ballad. When I think of Judas Priest I don’t exactly think of a Queen-wannabe number so I don’t know what to make of it – Halford’s singing is good though. “Genocide” is average. It is too slow and simple, like if they were an AC/DC cover suddenly trying to do a gothic-oriented song, or something. The live version of that track (i.e. Unleashed in the East) is incredibly better. “Prelude” was supposed to be the intro of the album, so it doesn’t make sense in the middle of it and I won’t count it.

Sad Wings of Destiny was the first Priest great album, it has nice performances and it was highly influential in the development of heavy metal. It has some nice riffs and vocals, I like it a lot.

I am giving Sad Wings of Destiny an 8/10. I consider it one of their best records.


Ted <> (13.05.2001)

Sin After Sin is a great Priest disc, more so than Rocka Rolla & Sad Wings only if for the fact that it was the last release before they truly turned the corner and became a full-throttled out and out "metal" outfit (Stained Class & all that followed.) The songs rock, with one or two exceptions...the studio drummer (the great Simon Philips, later of Pete Townshend fame) I think absolutely makes the band, the best drummer to play with's a shame he wasn't made a permanent member. Just a stellar output by a band that was yet to unleash it's full power & aggression to the public...a "must-have", IMHO.

Jeff Melchior <> (20.05.2001)

Sad Wings of Destiny, Sin After Sin and Stained Class represent a rarity in the world of heavy metal: an aggressive, forceful yet deceptively intelligent approach to the heavy metal idiom. As far as I'm concerned, it's a triology in the world of metal that's rarely been matched - perhaps by Black Sabbath's early records, maybe Iron Maiden's and Metallica's as well. I'm tempted to mention Led Zeppelin, but they were not exactly heavy metal in its purest form. In fact, I may very well have had Judas Priest's early records in mind when I cussed George out for referring to Zeppelin as "heavy metal", for which I received a righteous - and perhaps deserved - drubbing of my own.

It's hard for me to decide which record is the best among this mighty trilogy, but seeing as Sin After Sin is the one I play the most, I assume it's the best by default. It was a fresh new approach to heavy metal that remains fresh today, and it still sounds fresh because it's metal without the cartoonish indulgences (many of which Priest introduced themselves) that would plague it throughout the '80s and '90s. It's metal with its eyes wide open, not afraid to reveal folkish influences or indulge in some oincredibly tender balladry. But when it comes time to kick ass, the Priest get down to business too, such as the hands-down metal classic 'Delivering the Goods', 'Raw Deal' and 'Sin After Sin'. Must admit I find 'Starbreaker' a little weak too, but 'Here Come The Tears' is a great ballad, if a bit overshadowed by 'Last Rose of Summer', which in a better world would have become a classic rock staple. This album gets a solid 9.5 from me.

Thomas Paar <> (08.09.2001)

This album is quite diverse if bared in mind that it is a metal release, but it's not so consistent in quality. The band presents their cartoonish monsters in a big way here, and by doing that they probably influenced artists like Iron Maiden and Ozzy Osbourne. Here we have some remarkably quality songs like 'Dissident Aggressor', 'Raw Deal' and the cover 'Diamonds And Rust'. 'Sinner' and 'Call The Priest' are also solid cuts, and the ballad 'Last Rose Of Summer' is dangerously approaching excellent. The rest is passable, with 'Starbreaker' being pretty much overlooked in their repertoire. Now, mostly the songs aren't too heavy or fast, but I wouldn't say it's a bad album by any means, and that is exactly what most Priest fans would say. I think this might very well be the best they ever got from an artistic standpoint, but from the pure bashathon position they made a lot better albums. It seems to me that it even deserves five stars, but on the MP3 scale, naturally.

Felipe Teixeira <> (31.05.2006)

This album does not have a straight focus. It jumps from a gentle ballad to a prog-influenced rocker to an over-the-top power ballad to straight heavy metal. Quite an album going on here, still not that heavy but cool! The studio session drummer, Simon Philips, adds a lot of density to an already diverse album: “Sinner” is a classic Priest song. The lyrics are your typical heavy metal subject, but I can't say the same for the music. Groovy riffs, paired with great guitar licks by KK make it a highlight here. “Diamonds and Rust” is a fan favorite. It is a well-done cover (I prefer that soft version, though - i.e. Rising In The East version). “Starbreaker” is the kind of rocker that 80's Priest would never do, methinks. Those lyrics are almost innocent. Most likely, they wouldn't create a ballad as soft as “Last Rose of Summer” - possibly the best they ever made – a must-listen not only because it is very unusual stuff to hear from them but also it is an excellent song.

The second half turns heavy with “Call for the Priest” and “Raw Deal”: two very complex songs. “Call for the Priest” is goddamn crazy: it is really fast and has plenty of riffs. “Raw Deal” is a slower rocker but pretty heavy. Its style predicts the one used in the next album. I think both are good, but I can’t get that excited over them for some reason. “Here Comes The Tears” is completely over-the-top and sounds like it was written at the very last moment – the “Rocka Rolla”-gone wrong moment of the album. It morphs into “Dissident Aggressor”, a real fuckin’ heavy metal tune (heavy, you know, like “Children of the Grave” or something) and one of the best Priest ever did.

If you are interested in the diversity aspect of Priest music this overlooked album is probably the best as it seems to have a little bit of everything. It is not that heavy as a whole but it definitely deserves attention. If you just want your Judas Priest with aggression, go for Stained Class. I am giving Sin After Sin a well-deserved 9/10. I also agree that it is Judas Priest at their most artistic moment.


Henrik Larsen <> (16.05.2001)

Funny observation: almost every single Judas Priest song has given name to a German speed-metal band. TYRANT, GENOCIDE, RIPPER, EXCITER, SINNER etc. The entire German speed/trash metal scene probably owes its existance to the song "Exciter"!

I'm surprised that you didn't mention "Beyond the Realms of Death", the other highlight of the album (in my humble opinion).

<> (01.06.2001)

I too am surprised,why didn't you mention "beyond the realms of death"? That track is probably the best song on the whole album.....also should have mentioned that "better by you ,better than me" is a SPOOKY TOOTH song.

Thomas Paar <> (08.09.2001)

Well, it's the real Priest, no doubt about it. No experiments, no ballads, no artistic value, but it's still impressive enough, from a kick-ass position. The good news include the production, which is pretty great here, if taken in prospective that it was a late seventies album. Besides that, there's a lot of great rockers here. The bad news is that Halford still sounds terrible with his overblown screaming, but okay, this is a very speedy release so their fans we're certainly ecstatic upon hearing this record, and they we're probably more than able to enjoy Halford's tricks. Unfortunately, I can't enjoy them. There's one song here that could be somewhat of a real highlight, and that is 'Beyond The Realms Of Death', which the band members themselves called their 'Stairway To Heaven'. Now, I don't know about that, but the song is quite entertaining and it has a very emotional guitar solo by Tipton. Probably the best song here would be 'Better By You Better Than Me', and a minor success is certainly 'Exciter'. Oh, yeah, 'Saints In Hell' is good too. Did I mention that Tipton's and Downing's guitars are finally in sync throughout the record ? Well, they are. Four stars.

Tom Shapira <> (25.04.2002)

I must argue with you about the value of the lyrics in this album: While songs like 'Invader' and 'Saints in hell' aren't a bard dream, there is some high lyrical work there- the rhyming on 'staind class' is excellent and the words really give you the feeling of someone whos watching the world crumbling before his eyes, exciter actually hides a very good massage on the why religion threaten us with "death and "hell" and then pretend they do it for our "salvation", also- why is Iron Maiden being praised for beind the first metal band to write about the indian/white man subject when 'Savage' was writen first?

P.S The song 'Better By You Better Than Me' is actually a Spooky Tooth cover.

Felipe Teixeira <> (31.05.2006)

70’s Priest period is very solid. Now, if there is an album by Priest that deserves such adjective is this one. They threw away all the diversity from the last albums and now concentrate on the heavy stuff. Well, I guess few people listened to Judas Priest to hear “Last Rose of Summer” or “Epitaph”, so it was probably the right move for them. Judas Priest fans want heavy fucking metal, and that’s what the band offers here – it is one heavy song after another, and one of their few albums with no filler.

“Exciter” is a classic Priest song, everyone completely rips things apart, this it the most impressive metallic tune here. The lyrics are cheesy, yet cool – Judas Priest at their best. It is also the faster song, as the album focuses on heaviness rather than speed. There are not great changes in mood during the album, except for “Better By You, Better Than Me” (a cool rocker – sounds like something from the “Killing Machine” album) and “Beyond The Realms of Death”, one of their greatest songs, a dark metal ballad that rules a lot (great soloing throughout). In fact, the whole album is very dark. Some lyrics here are probably the best ones they ever did. It is funny that they could write some good lyrics back then. The cheese only comes here with some sci-fi songs (while you’re at it, listen to the intro of “Invader”) and that obligatory heavy-metal-creature track (“Exciter”).

Halford screams his lungs out for most of the record, and this is probably the heaviest album from the period. Everyone goes for the aggression and the drummer Les Binks is a more than adequate replacement to Simon Philips. There are many riffs which are really heavy and well-written. Even if they all sound quite the same, other songs I like are “Stained Class” and “Saints in Hell”. You know, Saints in Hell’s riff reminds me of the one from “Cheater”, just less bluesy (and heavier). Maybe they reused it? Their sound would change a lot in the next album, as they would take a commercial turn and also start playing hard rock.

Stained Class, being a solid as fuck album, deserves a 9/10. If you just want heaviness, check this album.


Thomas Paar <> (08.09.2001)

Probably their best known record, which is kinda funny cause it's known under two names. Musically, everything is in place, and everything is the same. However, this album has a bit of a more polished sound than the group's previous offerings, but it still manages to be even more aggressive than before. The band includes some of their tongue-in-cheek humor, as shown in some songs, notably in 'Evil Fantasies'. Strong cuts include the massive title track and songs like 'Hell Bent For Leather', 'Delivering The Goods' and 'Burnin' Up'. The band displays some really tight guitar playing on most of the songs, but the overall sound isn't too bottom-heavy. As I said, the rockers are great, but the ballad simply sucks ass. I'll give it four and a half stars.

Felipe Teixeira <> (31.05.2006)

The lyrics are much less complex; the songs shorter, the riffs closer to hard rock and Halford discovered how he can sound like a rocker. This fun album, I can tell ya.

“Delivering the Goods”, “Hell Bent For Leather” (which is just a little over than 2 minutes) and “Green Manalishi” (which only appeared in the US version) are all GREAT metallic rockers. “Hell Bent for Leather” is one of the best songs in Judas Priest catalogue. “Killing Machine” is a dark metal song that actually sounds like something from the “Stained Class” album, with some heavy and cool riffage.

The rockers are all nice: “Rock Forever”, “Burnin’ Up” and “Running Wild”. “Running Wild” is so damn cool that those Maiden dudes borrowed its intro riff (listen to “Wicker Man”). The first time I heard “Before The Dawn”, I thought it sounded like an outtake from “Sad Wings of Destiny”. It is a dark ballad that is a fan favorite. I don’t really care that much for it, it doesn’t go anywhere. One I like is the poppy “Evening Star”, it has some very catchy guitar work. “Evil Fantasies” sounds like filler and I never really liked it, I think it is a weak ending to the album. Even so, those vocals by Halford are funny. “Take On The World” has this almost irritating chorus that reminds me of countless other dumb anthems that would come in the next decade. At least is much better than their own “United” or the ungodly “Heavy Duty/Defenders of The Faith”. Damn, people, you already had this live-anthem that was somewhat of a hit back then, why insist on creating worse ones?

Some complain that this album is dumb and not really heavy metal. I say shut up and enjoy this fun, unpretentious little album. The riffs are catchy and this is the most inspired performance by Halford in any Judas Priest studio album. This album started a new period in Judas Priest carrier, with a more commercial tone but they were still at their peak here, so check it out. I give Hell Bent for Leather an 8/10.


<> (10.06.2001)

Hailed by many as one of the greatest live metal albums of all time, overdubbed vocals notwithstanding! This is a must for all Priest fans who think the bands output started with's sort of a live "greatest hits" collection from the early period of the band. As for the cover of "Green Manalishi..." the studio version is found on the U.S.(and anything outside of the U.K., I would imagine) version of Killing Machine...which is for some reason titled Hell Bent For Leather. As for the claim of none of the songs being "speedy", ummm...just listen to the opening track, "Exciter"...surely an early speed-metal anthem, kick-ass double bass drums & those patented twin guitar harmony leads just scream bloody murder! A must have for the serious metaller, IMHO!

[Special author note: FYI, the phrase was 'not all speedy', not 'none of the songs being speedy'. I hate it when people do that to what I write.]

Mark Deaton <> (09.08.2001)

What album were you listening to? The songs sounds the same as the studio versions? The guitars are the highlights of the album. The songs are performed at a quicker tempo and the whole ablum conveys a big attitude. A great feature of the ablum is that all of the songs are great; you can put it on and rock through the entire album. Finally, 'Victim of Changes' is worth the price alone.

Ratko Hribar <> (29.10.2001)

The band was still quite young at this point, so this is indeed a extremely solid album, performed with lots of vitality (which was expected) and, even more important, precision (which wasn't so expected). Now, this album even enriches the featured songs and makes them even more compact, tight and raw. There's a long and fluent line of high energy tracks presented, and the most intriguing of those certainly are 'Ripper', 'Sinner', 'Tyrant', 'Green Manalishi' and, naturally, the smoking performance of 'Victim of Changes'. Actually, that Japanese crowd really sounds great, cause somehow, I don't think they would get such a remarkable response in Europe or the U.S. at that time. This release features 9 tracks (the one that I have), but the Japanese version has even 13 songs on it, and it includes 'Hell Bent For Leather', 'Delivering The Goods', 'Rock Forever' and 'Starbreaker'. Three stars.

Felipe Teixeira <> (31.05.2006)

First of all, be sure to find the remastered version; it has 4 bonus tracks, turning an already good album into a great album.

This is the first (and best) live Judas Priest album. It is considered one of the best live heavy metal albums, like, ever. Even if the songs are not that different from the studio versions, I like to hear highly energetic (although well-performed) live albums. Most live albums are boring and useless; this one may be useless but I wouldn’t consider it a bore.

The song that benefited the most from a live treatment is “Genocide”, definitely. It is way heavier, faster – and “menacing” than before. It just didn’t do the lyrics justice in Sad Wings of Destiny, this time it rules. “Victim of Changes” really comes alive, err, live. The rest is almost the same, just heavier. Surprisingly, here the songs are not that faster than the original versions.

The band’s take on the whole overdubs thing is that only some parts of the vocals were ruined and re-recorded. Who knows? Who cares? I just like to hear Halford screaming, even if it is not really live. The 2001 remaster version serves as a 70’s Judas Priest “greatest hits”, now that the album has “Rock Forever”, “Delivering the Goods”, “Hell Bent For Leather” and “Starbreaker”. It would be cool if it had some fan favorites like “Stained Class” and “Dissident Aggressor”, but that’s just me dreaming – I don’t even think they ever played the latter live, even in the Sin After Sin’s tour. They did play “Stained Class” live back then, but the song can be found in the awesome “Live Insurrection” album by Halford (solo), so I won’t complain. If you want a live album as energetic as this one, buy “Live Insurrection”. It is not really by Judas Priest, but the Judas Priest songs that are there are greatly performed. The remasted version gets a 9/10. The original album would be an 8/10.


Felipe Teixeira <> (31.05.2006)

Some people think this album is brilliant, some can't really understand what the fuss is all about. I lean towards the first group. All songs are delivered with comparatively simple (to what came before) but very metallic riffs with a production that sounds a bit dated. Maybe that is the reason why some are turned off by it, but I'd dare to say it is nice that way. And I really don't care because those riffs are cool.

“Rapid Fire” has great lyrics delivered with that inimitable “tough guy” voice by Halford. That riff is pure fucking thrash metal. “Metal God” is a fan favorite that still is in the setlist of the concerts. It has one of the most memorable riffs and solos here.

“Breaking the Law” was one of their first big hits and is a very well-known track - it is a ridiculously simple and catchy song. “Living After Midnight” was another huge and catchy hit. Those are the best “rock moments” of the album. Every now and them they can still be heard on the radio. “United” starts with this catchy and groovy melody, but the chorus is totally anticlimactic. And the ending of the song is VERY gay, really. But I can’t really hate it, that song is too dumb for that.

Another good track is “The Rage”. It is funny to hear that reggae influenced bass line in the intro. The vocal delivery and lyrics are also very good. “Grinder” is another track I like a lot, that riff is great. Its lyrics are dumb but, really, you can’t really take this album seriously. “Don’t Have To Be Old…” is an inoffensive poppy number. “Steeler” serves as the closing track as it extends itself to end the album. I mean, the album is strong enough. It is cool, simple, catchy and different from any album Priest released until then (and after). If not only for the great songs, you should check it because of that. If you don’t care that your heavy metal album has some radio-friendly songs, you will probably like it. Halford’s singing in this album rules as well. I give it a fucking fat 9/10. It falls into that “must-listen” category.


Felipe Teixeira <> (31.05.2006)

Okay, many consider this as one the lower points in Priest's discography. I'd say it is not comparable as a whole to Priest's greatest albums but it is quite enjoyable. However, a fair share of uninspired songs brings some of its charm down.

Three songs here are absolute killers. “Heading Out of The Highway”, the opening song, is classic Priest. “Desert Plains” is another great track. The drumming from Dave Holland is the highlight (“The engine roars between my thighs” – how can you not love it?). “Solar Angels” is also noteworthy, with its weird mood in the lyrics and melody.

The rest is just the rest: Hyper-commercial rockers with the same one or two simple riffs recycled over and over and corny chorus (“You say yes/I say no”, are you serious?). They all are very similar and they do have a cool riff here and there, but they are not really memorable, so none I would really recommend. At least most of those commercial songs in "British Steel" had some great riffs to back them up and help to hide their (obviously) radio-friendly nature. The exception is “Hot Rockin'”, which is cool. The chorus is just as undeveloped as the others – “I wanna go, I wanna go, I wanna go...Hot Rockin'!” but it is a much faster number, yay!

The ones with casual interest in Priest should check those four tracks and just forget about the others. It gets a 6/10.


Felipe Teixeira <> (31.05.2006)

Screaming for Vengeance is one of their better efforts overall, also accessible without losing its metallic edge. “The Hellion” is an intro to “Electric Eye” and they form Priest's ultimate concert opener. A loud, bombastic track with crazy fast riffs and solos. “Riding on the Wind” is even better in that last aspect. Its great drumming begins the track in strong fashion and we can enjoy more guitar wizardry from KK and Glenn. Oh, and there are nifty effects in those two, (tee-hee)! “Bloodstone” is another masterpiece of songwriting. The intro, the riff, vocals - it is a gem.

“(Take These) Chains” slows things down. “Pain and Pleasure” sounds like those tracks from Point of Entry I don't care much about and it has a quite stupid melody and lyrics. It is almost catchy, but sounds too dumb. The title track is great! Now, between us, I would be lying if I told you that the vocals are not a bit of an annoyance, but I _can_ live with that. Halford could do it back then so why shouldn't he, right? For some reason it is one of the few Judas Priest tracks in which all the screaming annoys me. “You've Got Another Thing Comin’” has insanely catchy hooks, short but tight solo, it is vintage sing-along metal. It sounds extremely spontaneous – no wonder it was a huge hit.

“Fever” builds an emotional intensity that culminates in a metallic chorus. It works because it does not rely on saccharine music to get its message through nor it is a dumb power ballad, like so many Priest tried to do (you know, like “Night Comes Down”). “Devil's Child” has a riffage that reminds me of AC/DC, but heavier. It is very fun, has some cool lyrics and singing.

This album is excellent and anyone with interest in heavy metal and hard rock music should listen to it – high levels of fun. I give “Screaming for Vengeance” a 9/10. It is a highlight in Priest discography.


tom shapira <> (03.06.2002)

The 'Sentinel' song isn't D&D ('upturned burned-out cars' and all...), seems to me like post-blade-runner sci-fi stuff.

The lyrics are very good- not poetic or anything, but really deliver the story right. the music fits perfectly- you can really imagine the all thing as an action movie trailer- starts dark and moody and then goes on to some seriues butt-kick action.

P.S i'm not the only one who hears bells at the forth verse??? please people- TELL ME I'M NOT CRAZY??? (i also hear voices calling 'six six six' in the Iron Maiden song 'Back in the villaige')

Buddy Clyde <> (17.03.2006)


I have a few comments to add to your review of 'Defenders of the Faith'. First of all, there are no keyboards used in 'The Sentinel' or 'Love Bites'. It's all guitar work in the sections of those songs you've chalked up to synths & keyboards (the slow mid-section of 'The Sentinel', and the pre-solo piece on 'Love Bites'). In fact there are no keyboards used on the album, and nobody is credited with playing keys. Priest added the guitar synths to their sound for 1986's 'Turbo', with the expected disappointing results.

As the previous comment noted, 'The Sentinel' has nothing to do with D&D-type fantasy. It's obviously about an apocalyptic future with lines such as "Along deserted avenues" and "Amidst the upturned, burned-out cars". That's a pretty glaring mistake, I'd say.

As far as comparing one of the tracks to a previous Judas Priest song, I have no idea how you form your basis of opinion. 'Hot Rockin' is hardly an "immortal "Judas Priest song, actually being a rather forgettable one by most fans. The most memorable songs from 'Point of Entry', by both fans and band alike would be 'Heading Out to the Highway' and 'Desert Plains'. 'Rock Hard Ride Free' is hardly an update of 'Hot Rockin'. Actually, the original title was 'Fight for Your Life', which has nothing to do with going to a concert (the concept of 'Hot Rockin'), being more about getting through the daily grind of life.

If you're claiming 'Some Heads are Gonna Roll' is your favorite song on the album, it would've been noteworthy to mention that Bob Halligan Jr., and not Judas Priest, penned the song. At that, it would've been noteworthy to mention it in the review whether you liked the song or not.

I agree that it certainly it was the beginning of the end for the band, and 'Heavy Duty' is an embarrassing attempt at forcing an anthem, but do a little more research and pay more attention if you're going to put reviews up on the internet. Otherwise, they come off as shallow, uninformed, and make it seem like you really don't understand what you're critiquing. It doesn't matter if you're a fan or not, just get the facts straight.

Felipe Teixeira <> (31.05.2006)

This is the last good 80’s album by Judas Priest. Funny thing, the album starts great and it suddenly ends with some real lame filler. If not for that, it could’ve been their most solid 80’s record (after British Steel that is). The first four are all nice but they are all variations of songs like “Electric Eye” or “Bloodstone”. They are not exactly as great as those songs, but they do a fine job. They are enjoyable sing-along metal, heavy and fast (except “Rock Hard Ride Free” which is more “anthemic”). “Freewheel Burning” has some great fast vocals by Halford.

The lyrics (like the songs) are not really supposed to be anything other than “kickass”. So the lyrics to “The Sentinel” may be “obviously about an apocalyptic future” (like a fellow commenter said above) but the not-so-obvious lyrics to “Jawbreaker” are, in Mr. Halford’s words, “all to do with a dick” – “An erect dick”. “Love Bites” is slower and darker. I love that chorus – it is quite, err, unique. Great song, Halford really shines here. “Eat Me Alive” is repetitive, but it is fun, has great solos and a nice “fake ending”. The lyrics are so obviously stupid that I can’t see how someone would take them seriously (well, the PMRC did). “Some Heads Are Gonna Roll” is slow and catchy, the only song here that received a fair amount of airplay.

The album is good until this point, even if the last two are not as great as the others. Every single one of those tracks appeared in their “Metalogy” box set. “Night Comes Down” was also in the box set, but the obligatory ballad is just an uninteresting song – it is too average. The album could’ve ended here, it wouldn’t be a great ending but no, we have this fucking lame anthem “Heavy Duty/Defenders of The Faith” as the last song and it is simply atrocious. I mean, it just screams filler; they must have spent literally 5 minutes to write that. They didn’t put much thought into “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’” but being lazy is something completely different.

Oh, it also disturbed me how the guitars suddenly go into this weird sound, how Halford’s vocals are too far in the mix and how the drums sound too electronic. Their albums were getting progressively worse in the production aspect. Nonetheless, this album is recommended; just forget about the last songs. Enjoy, they would go downhill from here (with the exception of Painkiller, which is their dumbest album but also may be one of their best as it is pure force).

I give Defenders of the Faith an 8/10; it is probably the Judas Priest album with the most “kickass” factor thrown it.

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