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"Sad Wings Of Destiny" is definitely my favorite Judas Priest album, and it is also considered one of the best Judas Priest albums. But what makes it a classic like "British Steel"? This is where Judas Priest found their sound. They hadn't quite discovered themselves yet on "Rocka Rolla" but here on this record we have the Judas Priest that we all know and love.
The production definitely makes this record seem like a product of its time, but to me that is a good thing. It sounds like it was recorded in 1976, and rightfully so. The music is heavy and sinister much like Black Sabbath at the time, but the riffage is different and it is generally a bit faster than Black Sabbath. At times this even sounds like early 70's Rush, but a bit more metallic. The music is definitely blues based, which is the case with most early metal. Rob Halford has just as much vocal range here as he does on any other Judas Priest record. The guitar now has a thick sound that wasn't present on the first album. There is also a more powerful rhythm section now. This is a quite different Judas Priest than we had on "Rocka Rolla".
This album is full of great metal. There are a couple of faster songs on here, such as one of my personal favorites "Tyrant", which appears to be war oriented. "Ripper" is the other fast song on here, it's also very catchy and has some insane high notes provided by Rob Halford. Some of the songs are mid paced. Such as the very 70's sounding "Genocide", and "Deceiver". There is also my other personal favorite "Victim Of Changes", which is considered one of the albums highlights. My favorite part of the song is the trippy part near the end of the song, it's very melodic and very unusual for Judas Priest. "Island Of Domination" is also a very 70's sounding mid paced song, but later on it gets very slow and bluesy, it sounds like a heavier AC/DC. There are also a few non metal songs here too. "Prelude" is the opener of the album, it is an instrumental with drums and a piano. "Epitaph" is a choir like piano ballad, very out of place on this record. "Dreamer Deceiver" is another ballad but is closer to Judas Priest's style of music. It sounds pretty hippy like, but it is much more guitar based than "Epitaph".
I think that this is a great metal album worthy of any metal collection. However, I wouldn't recommend this album to anyone who is only familiar with albums like "British Steel" or "Painkiller" because some might find this too dated. I thought the same thing when I got this album, but now I think that it rules. Now all of you metalheads who love 70's metal should respect your metal gods and purchase this album!