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Priest's commercial direction starts to pall. - 58%

Warthur, November 16th, 2011

After the success of Living After Midnight and Breaking the Law singles from British Steel, Priest went for an album in a similarly radio-friendly style, taking those two songs as their inspiration. And, to give full credit to them, some of the songs on here are pretty good - Heading Out to the Highway and Hot Rockin', in particular, are decent up-tempo pop-metal pieces which wouldn't have seemed out of place on the previous album or as B-sides to the preceding singles.

However, that's not to say the album doesn't have issues. Fact is, the third single - Don't Go - is a plodding clunker, a stab at precisely the sort of classic rock delivery the band had otherwise left behind after Rocka Rolla. A similarly retrogressive approach can be heard on Turning Circles, Desert Plains - and, for that matter, most of the rest of the album. This is a disappointment considering that even on the commercially-leaning Killing Machine and British Steel the band had still managed to forge ahead and continue to expand the boundaries of metal, whereas this time around they seem happy to simply retread old ground and mimic more typical classic rock styles.

This difference is probably why this album gets a bad rap from Judas Priest fans, because going from British Steel to this is admittedly a bit of a shock, but I wouldn't say it's the absolute failure that it's often painted as. The fact is that even though it's a classic rock-influenced pop-metal album, it's a classic rock-influenced pop-metal album performed by Judas Priest, and even though they were giving their creativity a rest this time around, the musicianship on display is still second to none - and Heading Out to the Highway is a catchy song. But even though I would say that Point of Entry is a notch better than Rocka Rolla, I'd still rather listen to any of the albums between them rather than this one or the debut.