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After the good but nonetheless quite mediocre "Ram It Down", Priest decided to go ahead and make THE ultimate metal album. I can't say they really succeeded with this as there are tons of better albums IMO, and you also had the death and black metal scenes around that time that churned out heavier releases than this one, but the bottomline is that the album is still heavy as fuck. It seems that Priest were deciding to eminate the fan success with "Defenders of the Faith", and put a slightly commercial twist to it. This album definitely re-shaped power metal even though this album has more elements of old school power metal to it
On this album they'd also found a new drummer in the form of ex-Racer X drummer Scott Travis, which is a vast improvement over the boring Dave Holland. The production is another significant element to this release, and it's fucking br00tal. The drums have a thick and heavy yet vibrant sound to them. The guitars have a killer tone to them and Rob is at the front of the mic, as good as always. Ian Hill's bass is still pretty much non-existent, but he never was a great bass player to begin with
And so the album opens with the title track, which is the definitive centrepiece of this album along with "Night Crawler". Scott bashes his drums apart during the intro, and believe me, the intro is a fucking killer. Rob screams his lungs out and Glenn and KK deliver ass kicking solos
The next two songs "Hell Patrol" and "All Guns Blazing" are pretty similar in structure. The main difference between them is that the latter is a bit less "poppy" than the former. Both are fast cookers with great vocal lines, melodies and guitar solos
Then we have another duology with "Leather Rebel" and "Metal Meltdown". Both songs begin with shredding guitar intros, the main difference between is that "Metal Meltdown" is a very doomy song whereas "Leather Rebel" is a bit more "happy" in mood
And then comes the album's second centrepiece in the form of "Night Crawler". The intro is the perfect mood setter, and the rest of the song is even better. It features probably some of the best guitar riffs written in the history of mankind. The only thing I can't stand is the god awful spoken/rapped part
"Between the Hammer and the Anvil" has an opening riff that I'm not too fond of, but the song evens out after a while and becomes another smasher. It also features some cool sound effects
"A Touch of Evil" is a very atmospheric power ballad that features some extraordinary keyboard work from mr. Don Airey. Rob once again gives us some memorable vocal lines
And finally we come to the last song "One Shot at Glory" which is preceded by a little instrumental interlude called "Battle Hymn". It's the perfect album closer IMO. It's very anthemic and it kicks some pretty mighty ass. It also contains some melodies reminiscent of Maiden's classic song "The Prisoner"
Buy this album...now!