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What's there to say about this album that hasn't already been said. This is arguably the epitome of Heavy Metal and defines all that is right about the Genre. This album explores all the positives of metal, it has some thrash as fuck tracks, touching ballads which still kick at least twenty-four and a half different types of ass as well as some killer anthems that you find yourself singing along to on your very first listen. In short, this album has it all and end some.
We start off with Exciter, which has to single handedly be the heaviest song of it's time and one of the earliest thrash masterpieces. The beginning is reminiscent of Painkiller and Motorhead's Overkill and god damnit it's just as good. Halford's screaming vocals along with the screaming guitar solos really set the scene for the album and by the first minute in, you know this album is gonna kick ass.
The next two songs are White Heat, Red Hot and the cover song Better By You, Better Than Me which are a bit slower, but still sound powerful and heavy and really live up to the hype left over from Exciter and the latter track has you singing along from the get go.
Then we are treated to another mind blowing song which is indeed very heavy for it's time, the title track Stained Class. It opens up with a riff which you gotta headbang to, followed by a great sing along chorus, the solo in the second half is out of this world and surely would've turned many heads back in 1978.
This album takes a very minor dive with the next track Invader, which is alot like a slower version of the 1982 Iron Maiden song Invaders. It isn't a bad song, but I guess since it's following Stained Class, it's bound to be a step downward.
The next track is Saints in Hell, which I have to admit didn't really grab me right when I first heard it, but on the second or third spin I grew to love it simply for the opening riff and bassline which is amazing catchy. Savage is next up here and it's not a bad song at all and is a great headbanger, just not one I drool over like others on this record, still it really suits to feel to it.
The next song needs no introduction, I'm talkin of course about Beyond the Realms of Death, it is a complete masterpiece of the music world and is indeed a timeless classic, whether it's the sad, depressing ballad which makes up the verses, the explosion of a chorus with that epic riff or the solo's which actually have that feeling of sorrow with them... this song is flawless, probably the only song ever done that can match this one is Hallowed Be Thy Name, and that is an amazing feat.
Beyond the Realms of Death would've been the perfect closer for the album, but strangely it wasn't. For afterwards is the final track called Heroes End which, much like Invader, is not a bad track at all, but it simply doesn't hit you as hard as the previous track.
All in all the album is virtually perfect, the only complaint it has (and the only reason it wasn't 99 or maybe even 100) is the position of a couple of songs, but that's what playlists are for right? Either way, if you haven't bought or atleast heard this album yet... WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?