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First of all, let me just say this is one of my favorite albums of all time (totally original comment). I honestly can't believe this was made in the same decade that Rod Stewart was alive, seriously screw that guy. Ok, here we go.
The album starts off with Prelude. Not really much to say about this track except it flows seamlessly into the second track on the album. Also, it really is very emotional and I only wish it was longer.
Here is where the album really kicks off. Tyrant gives me the same feeling as when I listen to some epic power metal. I would go so far as to say it is the first power metal song. This is truly early heavy metal at its best. Those verses and solos are so bad ass and full of attitude. The lyrics here are also really excellent; a tale similar to Iron Man in its message and feeling. I would say this song is a direct descendant from that classic Sabbath tune. When that chorus comes I always get such a warm feeling inside, and I know Rob Halford will be there to catch me in his caring embra...uhh, it's a total metal classic is what I mean.
Genocide is probably the only weaker track on the album, but that doesn't mean it's all that bad. There are some interesting parts to the song like that spoken word part and the section after it, and where Halford does that rapid singing before the solo near the end. The lyrics are the only constantly enjoyable quality here, but of course that is just my opinion (read: total fact). Also, there's the duo of Downing and the other guy, which go together better than American patriotism and shooting stuff in the face.
Next is Tipton's ode to getting old and dying, seriously that's it. It actually is one of the more interesting tracks on the album with Halford giving a more varied performance than usual. Some parts give off a Queen-ish feel, referencing the band, not Halford...you know what, never mind. Anyway I just wish they did more tracks like this where Halford utilizes a more dynamic range than trying his hardest to copy King Diamond (read: TROLOLOLOLOL).
Island of Domination is a song about domination (Halford's idea maybe *awkwardly winks at computer screen for some reason*). It's also about torture and medical experiments. How much more metal can you get than that in the '70s. Everything about this song is amazing and enthralling from the intro part to the ending. To be even more vague, it gave me a good feeling. Every time I listen to this song (which is once prior to this writing), I await the chorus with such anticipation, it feels as if there's some overwhelmingly hostile force coming for me. I don't need to say anything about the guitars (because I'm not creative enough) because they are always awesome. Also, that part where he goes "Skydiver, you supersonic flyer" is just balls on (Halford's face) *realizes he crossed the threshold*, wait is that Rob Halford at the front door with a whip and gag? ...*secretly hopes it is*.
Presumably, I don't have to say anything about Victim of Changes other than Al Atkins better stop claiming it as his. Seriously, get over it crybaby. Other than that this song is a motherf***ing monstrous amalgamation of morbidly magnificent menstrual (wait, that can't be right) goodness and that's all you need to know,and all that I will bother to write.
Next is Tipton's ode (damn, how many odes does he have, or that I'm making up) to mutilating women. The Ripper is so glorious and handsome as is the song that bears his name. It tells the tale of Jack the Ripper, who had a nasty habit of f***ing up a girl's day (read: face). This is easily the Stripped, Raped, and Strangled of classic heavy metal. It's brutal, catchy, and full of trademark Priest. All the lead guitar work here is amazing as are the vocals. Even the little touches like that resonating gong sound add a lot to this short song.
I had to press the ENTER key three times for these next two songs, they are that great. Dreamer Deceiver/ Deceiver is such a great way to close the album. I would liken listening to Dreamer Deceiver to a religious (in awe of the natural world, not spiritually) experience. I wish more bands wrote songs like this. It sounds like it was inspired by one hell of an LSD trip, and is the first song to bring tears to my eyes. This song is like Stairway to Heaven distilled into a more pure form. The lyrics make my mind wander and I become introspective. It makes me want to be a better person, but that's impossible since I'm at the height of sapient excellence, but dammit I could try! This song is a 6-minute nugget of perfection. Paired with Deceiver, it transforms into a 9-minute nugget of perfection (I did the math). Deceiver is on the same plateau as Tyrant, but a little faster. It contains some of the most emotional and powerful instrumentation in the band's repertoire.
So there it is. Sad Wings of Destiny is undoubtedly the best of classic Judas Priest. This album is a timeless classic and it's a shame the band is going to be no more within the decade. With Downing treading greener pastures, classic Priest is finally dead and I can only hope for the best in regards to the band. Now if you don't mind, Rob Halford and I have a date with a ball gag and anal beads, cheers.