Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Victim of Changes! - 100%

ballcrushingmetal, June 12th, 2016
Written based on this version: 1987, CD, Line Records

No single album from the British metallers could ever match the complexity and musicianship of their sophomore effort. It is clear that the band left behind the hippie influences that made up their debut, and their ability to mix the hard rock music with the doomish/gothic sound of Black Sabbath made of this album a unique heavy metal work. And while Black Sabbath traded their heaviness for a softer music (i.e., AOR) in "Technical Ecstasy", Judas Priest was bringing out a quite innovative musical concept, in which they took heavy metal into new levels of darkness, musical precision and roughness.

Its solid songwriting work is shown from the beginning to the end, and the songs featured herein became an important influence for bands like Iron Maiden or the Danish black metal band Mercyful Fate, but also for whole subgenres like the NWOBHM and thrash metal. However, much of this influence is pretty much owed to the abilities of the band on writing quite memorable songs which remain as classics and unavoidable concert numbers, starting with the lengthy multi-sectioned powerful opening track "Victim of Changes". The riffs that it features, the powerful vocals of Rob Halford and the quite complex but astonishing drums played by Alan Moore brought altogether a subtle, outrageous sound.

Leaving behind the lyric topics related to frustrated romance, the band took things far beyond through their remaining songs which definitely remained loyal to the obscure, dramatic and tense songwriting style of Black Sabbath. They address all kind of horrors and fantasies related to the torture and powerlessness (going from the abuse of power and oppression in "Tyrant" up to the murders and terror of "Genocide"). Besides "Victim of Changes", the album features other three classic numbers ("Tyrant", "The Ripper", and "Genocide"). What they have in common, is once again, the tremendous influence that they had in the way forward. Of course, the three songs are musically different. "Tyrant" is played in a more thrashy fashion and it exploits the guitar innovations of Tipton and Downing, "The Ripper" would establish some rules on how NWOBHM riffs should sound like, and "Genocide" sounds like a faster hard rock song with heavy metal riffs, though.

Of course their work would become a little bit improved, while other innovations were waiting to appear as soon as their albums were released. Nonetheless, these innovations would not outweigh the musical performance displayed herein, which should be borne in mind when talking about the meaning that this album has for the genre. Although this album did not reach the commercial success that was expected by the band at the time of its release, it came to the attention of Columbia. This is indeed the beginning of a successful career and a new chance for heavy metal music to gain respectability. [The CD versions start with "Victim of Changes", while the Gull's vinyl version starts with "Prelude".]