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Different Shade of Priest - 82%

Ripping_Corpse, November 17th, 2004

This is an odd start for the beast that is the Priest. It’s not metal, and for the most part, it’s not catchy either. Thin guitars and poor drumming plagues this album, but hey, it’s from 1974. Besides, this is the only album where Ian is always audible. It’s overall pretty weak, but does have some excellent tracks.

One For The Road is decent at most. It’s not memorable and pretty weak. The title track is a little bit better, but still not good. The riffs on these two are pathetic and except for Rocka Rolla’s outro, the solos blow as well. The Winter Suite spells acid in more ways than you can think of, but actually is pretty good. K.K. unleashes his whammy bar fury here, which still sounds wickedly insane to this day. Cheater is the catchiest song on the album. This will ensure that you won’t fall asleep on this album. Never Satisfied is the heaviest and most metal song. Although it won’t brutalize you, it does warm you up for what comes next.

The main highlight is Run Of The Mill. Featuring anti-old age lyrics and solemn, mesmerizing solos from Glenn and K.K., this song lifts you up and takes you away. K.K. even does a 3-minute solo, but Glenn’s opening solo and licks are much better. Lots of atmosphere is found on this one. The lead work is the best on the debut and Glenn’s are just pure brilliance. The screams at the end are intensively sick and are some of the best wails Rob has ever done (a true feat done here). I’m surprised his sac didn’t burst in the studio when he did those. The next song, Dying To Meet You, starts out slow and features Rob holding notes extremely long, foreshadowing his brilliance to come on later releases. It’s much heaver than the previous track. The second part is very catchy and features the best and most memorable riff, which is also my favorite riff of the album (the one before the solo and right before the song ends). This oddball ends with a short instrumental. Real smooth guys, real smooth.

The weakest Priest album ever, and only blues-rock Priest album, mostly due to the production. Rodger Bain, Sabbath’s producer for their first 3 albums, really fucked up here. The riffs and drumming don’t pack any punch at all. Amateur lyrics are found all over, but it is their first album. Rob even uses a harmonica on two songs, oh the horror! Although personally hated by the band, it’s somewhat of a gem. For die-hard Priest fans only. If you’re not, than get any other ‘70s album from the one, the only, Judas Fucking Priest!