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Harder Than Ever - 100%

Dark_Tale, December 20th, 2011

Obviously, there is no need to introduce the band, but it is worth to bring nearer this diamond among other Judas Priest albums. In my opinion, this release shows the greatness and quintessence of all Priest's stuff. Being such a good album, it is also one of their most underrated work at the same time. Maybe underrated isn’t the right word, but for sure it’s some of their less well-known vinyl. Originally planned to be released with Turbo as a twin album, it was finally published two years later as Ram It Down. It’s quite interesting that all the songs from Ram it Down were recorded during the Turbo sessions. Between those albums is a deep gulf as they are completely different. Fortunately, they were separated and released singly . The next thing is that after releasing Turbo, the band moved to a more commercial sound. They needed an album that would help them go back to the top and repair their image. The gods came to fight for domination and the hearts of their fans. They have dominated mine.

This disc contains a few of my all time favorite Judas Priest songs such as I’m a Rocker, Hard as Iron, Monsters Of Rock, and Come and Get It. Each of them are powerful and fast, especially Hard as Iron (which probably is the best song here, by the way), although here we can find slower ballads such as Blood Red Skies. The reason that I was so bewitched by this is the second song, Heavy Metal. The intro solo belongs to my favorites as well as I believe it is the best solo in the genre. Recorded with the classic line-up, this material is high quality and contains 10 solid songs, all worthy representatives of Priest's creativeness.

Let’s move on further. Ram it Down has become a classic speed metal song, straight forward metal from 0:00 to the end. The next song perfectly captures the content of Heavy Metal when your head will survive after the gorgeous and ridiculously-fast intro; you will know why Judas Priests members are called metal gods. Then the tempo slows down in Love Zone, allowing a rest before the next giant song, Come and Get It, a song where Tipton and Downing spin up to fall with a flourish into Hard as Iron, the fastest and the best song on Ram it Down. After this anthem, the tempo slows to introduces a pair of slower, but very interesting ballads such as I’m a Rocker or Monsters of Rock.

Finishing, I would like to mention that this album is way better for me than Painkiller. My final remark is that this masterpiece will always be in the shade of other Priest albums and the content is inversely proportional to popularity. If you want to hear essential Judas Priest, get it right now!