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Rather than waste my time and yours vomiting over the dozen or so other approved and unapproved collections of Judas Priest material that have been released into the open arms of suckers through the past 30 years, I'll instead focus on the only one that matters: the special edition Metalogy boxed set from 2004, which features 4 discs and a bonus DVD swathed in mock leather and studs. Now, this thing isn't cheap, it'll probably put you out at least 40 bucks US if you can find it today, but trust me when I say that it's worth the cost for any diehard follower of the band's legacy. There are a few areas in which it could have used some improvement, honing it into a near perfect product, but hands down this is superior to garbage like the Metal Works '73-'93 collection or the Gull cash-in Hero, Hero which muddles with the first two albums, and a damn sight better than the rest.
And it's not the packaging or the sheer wealth of content here that's impressive. No, if Metalogy was a mere reprinting of 65 cuts from the albums with no tinkering, it'd be a heaping helping of useless shit. The audio remastering of every cut on the four audio discs is absolutely phenomenal. In fact, in almost all cases, these are the very versions of the songs I prefer to experience. The leads, the cutting vocals, the reverb levels sound incredibly across all the eras of the band's material, and even though you're not getting the lion's share of their catalog, you're at least getting all the hits that you'd expect at a Priest gig, and then some. In particular, I dug how the selections from Point of Entry and Turbo, two of the band's more divisive albums seem to have a harder edge to them here that makes them flush with the more aggressive material from Ram It Down, Painkiller and so forth. "Desert Plains", "Solar Angels", "Troubleshooter" and "Heading Out to the Highway" sound so fucking great, and the guitar tone on "Turbo Lover" and "Private Property" seems to be brought out a little richer than it was on the original release of the album. The leads take my breath away...and as someone who does not own any of the indivdidual remastered albums, the value skyrocketed.
That said, one of the downsides to Metalogy is that there's very little to no rare content included. Most of the previously unreleased to CD material are live tunes drawn from B-sides or promotional EPs, titles like "The Hellion/Electric Eye", "Grinder", "Breaking the Law", "Starbreaker", etc. Granted, the live songs replace their studio incarnations in the lineup (circumventing any possible redundancy), and sound every bit as great but I would have loved if there were an entire disc of remastered rarities. As it stands, the only track new to me was the "Heart of a Lion" demo, a leftover from the Turbo sessions, and it's not much to write home about, trumped by just about anything that made it onto that record. Also, I don't see much need in including the Tim 'Ripper' Owens fronted material here. It's tucked gently away on the last four tracks of the fourth audio CD, where it belongs chronologically, but considering how recent this stuff was at the time of the compilation's release I would have rather had four more remastered classics. After all, I dislike Jugulator and Demolition quite a bit and I can't imagine anyone caring about it...
They could have at least clipped these and fattened up the selection from Rocka Rolla, which consists of only "Never Satisfied". But of course they want to acknowledge that sad, sad period of their career...so we can compare and contrast it to how good they were leading up to it?! Otherwise, Metalogy is a beast due solely to the sound quality, and well worth spinning on your car or home stereo as a proxy to the original albums (though you'd be missing a lot of great songs). The DVD included here is a reprint of the old Priest VHS known simply as Judas Priest Live, from a Tennessee gig in 1982, redubbed Live Vengeance '82. Stock, cult footage, nothing special, but nice to have here instead of shelling out for the independent DVD release. At any rate, despite it's rather 'tough' looking exterior, it's packed in there pretty tightly, enough that it might be worth ripping in high quality and then leaving on your rack for display, but aside from that fact and the shocking dearth of rarities, it's the one comp in over 40 years of this band's career you'll want. Skip the bullshit like The Chosen Few (tracks selected by famous metal celebrities) and grab Metalogy while you can still find it.
Judas Priest is, without a doubt, one of the bands that introduced heavy metal to the world. For over thirty years, Priest has recorded, and released, some of the most mind-blowing songs and albums known in the metal industry. That being said, in 2004, to celebrate their thirty year anniversary as one of the most renown metal bands of all time, Judas Priest released "Metalogy", a must-have box set for any metal fan.
Judas Priest's "Metalogy" consists of four CD's loaded with the essentials from the kings of metal, a bonus DVD of a live concert and a nice booklet with a detailed history of the British band packed in a very appropriate leather studded box.
The first four Judas Priest albums are represented in disc one, with one track from the band's 1978 release, "Hell Bent For Leather", played live. The track selection from Priest's debut album, "Rocka Rolla", is fairly disappointing. Disc one begins with the only song from "Rocka Rolla" represented in the entire box set: "Never Satisfied". This track definitely belongs on "Metalogy". However, one more great song from "Rocka Rolla" could have, and should have, been selected: the title track, "Rocka Rolla".
The band's 1976 release, "Sad Wings Of Destiny", is represented on "Metalogy"'s first disc, as well, with the appearance of three wonderful songs: "Deceiver", "Tyrant" and a live version of "Victim Of Changes". However, "Genocide", "Island Of Domination" and "The Ripper", three great tracks from that same album, are nowhere to be found on "Metalogy".
No mistake was made when five songs from Priest's 1977 LP, "Sin After Sin", were selected to be on "Metalogy"'s first disc while two of those tracks, "Diamonds And Rust" and "Starbreaker", are previously unreleased live versions.
Another five songs from a single LP are represented on disc one, that album being the band's 1978 release, "Stained Class". Although "Stained Class" is a very good album, I, personally, think it's a little overrated. Therefore, selecting five tracks from this album, and leaving out many Judas Priest classics from the previous years is somewhat of a disappointment.
The final song on disc one is a previously unreleased live version of "The Green Manalishi (With The Two Pronged Crown)", a great track from the album "Hell Bent For Leather". Although many great songs are missing on "Metalogy"'s first disc, the fifteen tracks that do make an appearance on this disc definitely belong there.
Disc two consists of ninteen tracks from the albums "Hell Bent For Leather", "British Steel", "Point Of Entry" and "Screaming For Vengeance". Six songs from "Hell Bent For Leather" appear on disc two of "Metalogy", the only questionable one being "Evil Fantasies", which should have been replaced with one of Judas Priest's quicker tracks: "Running Wild", a song that is, sadly, nowhere to be found on "Metalogy".
Disc two's next six tracks, two that are previously unreleased live versions, first appeared in 1980 on Judas Priest's LP "British Steel". Once again, no mistake was made with the selection of these songs. All four studio recorded tracks from "British Steel" are Priest essentials and the two live ones, "Breaking The Law" and "Grinder", sound terrific. One of the band's best studio albums is very well represented on "Metalogy".
The tracks from Judas Priest's 1981 release, "Point Of Entry", are very well chosen on disc two of "Metalogy". "Heading Out To The Highway", "Troubleshooter", "Solar Angels", "Desert Plains" and an amazing live version of "Hot Rockin'" are the songs from that album that appear on the box set's second disc. Once again, an excellent song selection from another excellent Priest album. The title track from the band's 1982 release "Screaming For Vengeance" and a live version of "The Hellion/Electric Eye", which also appears on "Screaming For Vengeance", are the last two songs from disc two.
Disc three consists of seventeen tracks. The first four songs on this disc are from "Screaming For Vengeance". Other than that, tracks from only two albums, "Defenders Of The Faith" and "Turbo", appear on this disc. Judas Priest's 1984 LP, "Defenders Of The Faith", is a great album and the boys demonstrate their pride by selecting eight tracks from it, one of those, "Love Bites", being a live version. Also, four tracks from the band's 1986 release, "Turbo", make an appearance on this third disc. Finally, the last track on disc three is a great previously unreleased demo of the song "Heart Of A Lion", a Judas Priest song that first appeared, as a bonus track, on Halford's "Live Insurrection".
There's no better way to start the fourth, and final, CD of Judas Priest's first ever box set then with the title track of the band's 1988 release, "Ram It Down". After that comes three more mind blowing tracks from that album: "Heavy Metal", "Come And Get It" and "Blood Red Skies".
The next album represented on disc four is the amazing "Painkiller". Judas Priest's 1990 LP certainly gets its recognition with the presence of six tracks on "Metalogy"'s final disc, a aspect that any metal fan would approve of. Although "Leather Rebel", one of the nicest and fastest Priest songs ever, does not appear on "Metalogy", the track selection from "Painkiller" does not disappoint.
Sadly, only four songs from "The Ripper Years" appear on "Metalogy". Many fans were unimpressed when Tim "Ripper" Owens joined the band and even less impressed when Priest released "Jugulator" in 1997 followed by "Demolition" in 2001. Judas Priest certainly changed their style when "Ripper" joined the group and although it might have been a kick in the balls for Halford fans, "Ripper"'s two albums aren't that bad. Therefore, there are a few more tracks from "Ripper"'s two studio albums that could have been chosen. For example, "Dead Meat", "Abductors" and "Bloodsuckers" are all songs that would have fit in perfectly on "Metalogy"'s four disc.
Judas Priest's "Metalogy" aslo consists of a live concert on DVD. The show is recorded in December of 1982 at Mid South Coliseum in Memphis where the band played seventeen Judas
Priest classics in a little over nighty minutes. Having been recorded in the early eighties, the concert looks and sounds great for its time. The band has a great time playing in front of a crowd that stays energetic for the entire concert. A great example of this is at the beginning of the last song of the show, "Hell Bent For Leather", when Halford rides out on stage on his kick-ass Harley Davidson motorcycle.
Judas Priest's first ever box set is a definite must-have for any metal fan. Although "Metalogy" has some flaws, its four CD's are packed with some amazing tracks from the gods of heavy metal and a DVD of a great live performance all stored in a beautiful leather studded box. If you're ready to get your ass kicked by one of the best metal bands ever, you should definitely check out Judas Priest's "Metalogy".
Okay, there's no denying the power of Judas Priest, one of history's greatest metal acts. No other band (save arguably Sabbath, Maiden, and Metallica) can claim as rich and rewarding a catalogue over as long a period of time, and Judas Priest has a lot to do with metal's status today. Simply put, Priest melded Sabbath stomp with Purple's finesse along with something all their own and became the fathers of power, prog, speed, thrash, and so on (all while trying to be like Zeppelin and Queen).
However, they are also tirelessly mining their own back catalogue for our hard-earned dollar, and while this collection has some of the greatest songs ever written, it is very much flawed. If you plan on shelling out this much cash, just go out and buy Sad Wings, Sin After Sin, Hell Bent for Leather, Defenders of the Faith, and Unleashed in the East. Then after absorbing the brilliance within, grab Stained Class, British Steel, Screaming for Vengeance, and Painkiller. You'll feel better.
Rather than go track by track, I'll go album by album.
ONE friggin' track from Rocka Rolla?! I know Gull must be scalping them on this, but this was a solid, solid album and it deserves better. "Never Satisfied" is a bloody great track, but we could so have used "Rocka Rolla" and "Cheater" at the very least.
Sad Wings of Destiny
Wow, even worse. "Victim of Changes" and "Tyrant" are the best tracks on Sad Wings, and "Deceiver" is great too, but where's "The Ripper", "Genocide", "Dreamer Deceiver"... gah. Well, at least they went with the live version of "Victim" which is just spectacular.
Sin After Sin
A healthy five tracks from this incredible record, although I prefer the studio cut of "Diamonds and Rust". Still, thank Slayer that they bothered to include "Dissident Aggressor" which is one of the pre-eminent metal songs ever, and circa 1977 this incinerated all of the bloated old hard rock outside of perhaps Scorpions. Also surprised they included "Call For the Priest", but I'm very glad. No "Raw Deal" though.
Another five tracks, although this is a bit iffy. "Beyond the Realms of Death" for sure, same with "Exciter" and "Stained Class", but I'd substitute "Saints in Hell" and "Hero's End" for "Better By You, Better Than Me" and "Invader". At least they didn't include "Savage", the worst cut on the album. Also, the live version of "Exciter" from Priest in the East is infinitely superior, as the studio cut is just painfully tame after 25 years of screeching metal insanity.
Hell Bent for Leather
The last album with Les Binks(A.K.A drumming god) is a doozy. I'm surprised it gets seven tracks, but I'll survive. The essentials are mostly here, but why did we need "Take on the World". It's barely a song, and they didn't even include "Burnin' Up"! I mean, what the hell? I'll forgive it that for including "Delivering the Goods", "Killing Machine", "Evening Star", and "Hell Bent for Leather"(how could they not?), but you know. Just nitpicking.
A sorta blah album with the most blah drummer ever(man, Holland was crap), but it had it's good points, and the majority are here. I'm gleeful that they included "The Rage" and didn't include "You Don't Have to Be Old to Be Wise", easily the worst song they'd written by 1980. "Grinder" is good but bland, the two singles are quality tracks, and "Rapid Fire" is excellent proto-thrash. Oh, and "Metal Gods" is both hilarious and awesome.
Point of Entry
Bah. I don't like this one too much, and would rather have less focus on it. "Headin' Out to the Highway" and "Solar Angels" are acceptable, but "Hot Rockin'" is generic, "Troubleshooter" unremarkable, and "Desert Plains" simply too slack and dull to grab your attention. I think "Don't Go" was actually the first vid from this album, so I'm surprised it isn't here as it's not a bad song. Whatever, next.
Screaming for Vengeance
Definitely a good Cliff's Notes for the uneven Screaming album. "The Hellion/Electric Eye" should so be the studio version, but that's the only complaint. Essentially, you get the good songs without having to listen to "Pain and Pleasure", "Fever", and "Take These Chains". "Ridin' on the Wind" and "Screaming for Vengeance" are just fucking great songs, and the other two don't lag behind.
Defenders of the Faith
I knew Tipton loved Defenders, but whoa! Eight tracks?! Well, it IS a great album. "Love Bites" is a definite studio project, so why include the live cut which can't hope to live up (to a mediocre song, anyway)? "Eat My Alive" sucks (ooh, punny), and I'd rather have had the "Heavy Duty/ Defenders of the Faith" combo instead. Great that they included "Night Comes Down" though, as it's one of their best ballads (even if it's not really a ballad). The other songs are all classics, but just go buy the album instead eh?
Ugggh. "Turbo Lover" is a nice slinky slowburner, but the rest of this is awful. They could at least have included "Locked In" and "Rock You All Around the World", which are better than the rest of this tripe. Skip.
Ram it Down
Spiralling down, only "Ram it Down" and "Blood Red Skies" should be kept. THANK GOD they didn't include "Johnny B. Goode".
Wow. Lose "All Guns Blazing" and this is perfect. Really, the best songs from another uneven outing, particularly the menacing "Nightcrawler", thrashtastic title track, and classic Priest style of "Between the Hammer and the Anvil".
Surprise, two good tracks from the much maligned album. Still, "Death Row" should arguably be here.
How could you not put "Hell is Home"? It's the only track worth a shit on this POS!
The DVD RULES, but my anger that I have to shell out so much to buy it sours me to it. Why didn't they put this one on Electric Eye instead?
Stand-Outs: I couldn't be expected to choose really, but "Victim of Changes (live)", Dissident Aggressor, and "Killing Machine" are a few of my favs, so they'll do.
A spiked faux leather box, bearing the classic Priest logo and the Metalogy one witten with the same font. It looks good and feels good, leathery and heavy. The 216 spikes are not plastic, they are probably aluminum, but we can all pretend it’s steel The box measures approx. 19cm x 19cm x 4cm. One should make sure there is no flaw in the positioning of the spikes or a dent in the box because such cases have been reported. The box opens as a box of chocolates would; one lifts and removes the lid, which is separate from the base. On the back of the box lies a useful leaflet with a small introductory text and the complete track list of the box set. Do not throw this way! The whole thing comes shrink-wrapped. A silver sticker on the shrink-wrap alerts of the contents.
The characteristic beautiful scent of a newly opened release overcomes one once the box is opened. Talk about Pavlov’s Dogs! It sadly is one of the few beautiful things about the inside of this box. As promising as the outside was, the totally black inside is a total disappointment. The back of the lid is decorated with a nice live picture of the band from side to side. The base of the box contains a cheap and thin plastic (think thick disposable water cups) case. This case has a cavity (with the priest symbol molded in its base), which firmly holds the 5 discs. The packaging of the five disks in the worst thing about this box set. It constitutes of simplistically decorated, “none more black” carton cd pockets (like the ones giveaway cd’s come in) that are cheap, ugly and most of all, make no mistake, very harmful to the disks. Last but not least, the 64 page paperback (should have been hardcover) book loaded with beautiful rare and never before seen photos is included (no lyrics though). The history is pretty much well known, and although naturally a bit biased, is more objective than I would expect (Turbo is characterized Pop Metal and a couple of songs on Demolition are contained in the same sentence with the words “Nu-Metal” and “Industrial”). Again, I was miffed to see that:
-The intro piece is signed but Priest members minus Scott Travis, who has been a member of the band for close to15 years. The first reunion pictures where without him, now this. Priest probably want to concentrate on the old “nucleus” lineup, but they should not forget that they are and should act as a unit and a band at all times. Respect to the best drummer they ever had is due.
-They don’t even name Atkins or other initial members.
-“Without Judas Priest Heavy Metal would be extinct”. They are my 2nd all time favorite band, but this is an overstatement, to put it mildly.
You all now the track list. It is what it is, some interesting live cuts and a demo song scattered between studio tracks we all have, that have been polished up once again (yet another remaster is of minimal significance in my opinion, although some changes for the better are noticeable). The only thing I’m miffed about is that Priest should have included more rarities, such as:
-Mother Son (live) [never released]
-Freewheel burning with complete intro guitar prelude [never released]
-Turbo (High Octane Mix)
-3 S/A/W session demos
-What’s My Name (Jap and Aus bonus track from Demolition, the only Owens credit)
Once bitten, twice shy. After buying Electric Eye DVD, I was expecting to burry this release because of the DVD. I was expecting a poor (read none at all) remaster of audio and video, with a grainy VHS-like video and a 5.1 remaster that is basically a misleading title for stereo mix through five speakers. Thankfully I was wrong. The audio is true 5.1, with vocals and drums coming out of the center speaker, guitars separated between the two front speakers, ambience coming from surrounds and bass out of the subwoofer. The video is also pristine, minus some minor lighting/shadow problems, comparable with the BBC sessions problems on the Electric Eye DVD. Lovely! Stereo and 5.1 sound options, nice menu, discography menu, no subtitles, and no bonus stuff, which would have been a nice extra but are not terribly missed.
Buy it, you will love it with all its flaws, after all, IT’S PRIEST! Store the disks separately, in proper jewel cases, if you don’t want to find out that they are damaged one day…