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Heavy fucking metal - 100%

Writhingchaos, April 8th, 2016

This is it folks. One of the all-time classics of heavy metal along with Iron Maiden’s Powerslave, Jag Panzer’s Ample Destruction and many more. Seriously give it just a few listens and some part of each and every song will be stuck in your head for good! I mean it. This album is super addictive and catchier than AIDS. Of course there will be many fans out there who would proclaim Stained Class, Defenders Of The Faith or Painkiller to be their crowning achievement (and they wouldn’t be wrong), but this album is where every single diverse element of the band comes together to full and perfect fruition. Still doubt my words? Well, you go right ahead and listen to any of the songs so I can watch you eating your own hat right away.

As soon as the harmonized intro of “The Hellion” explodes into the opener-to-end-all-openers (yep you read that right!!) “Electric Eye” leading up to the uber-catchy “Riding On The Wind”, you just know that you’re in for one hell of a ride. And seriously all of them are fucking scorchers, from “Pain and Pleasure” to the killer title track (arguably the heaviest and fastest song on the album) “Devil’s Child” (awesome solo) to my personal favourite “Bloodstone” with a ridiculously catchy main riff at 0:17. Ohh boy this is just too good. Just can’t keep this doozie of a song off repeat. Not all of the album is heavy metal mayhem as the metal gods show that they even rip it on the ballads with the amazing “Take These Chains” with another super catchy chorus and the slow spellbinding build-up of “Fever”. Yes, diversity folks, this album has it too. And no matter what you say; whether you’re a metalhead or not, there’s no way in hell you can look at me and tell me that “You’ve got Another Thing Coming” is not one of the most fist-pumping classic 80s heavy metal songs you’ve ever heard, even as a casual fan. Of course along with many other songs, but that’s a list for another time. That song is just too damn catchy to be true and it could even convert non-fans. Although the last song is quite a surprise as Judas Priest showcase an almost progressive side to their music with the slow and heavy ballad “Prisoner Of Your Eyes” this unusual approach works marvellously and how! With amazing solos rounding off the song, this is the proper and grand way to end a classic album.

As for the individual performances, what can I really say? I mean the guitar duo of Tipton And Downing are one of the best in all of metal. Period. Together they weave a maze of delightfully catchy classic riffs and solos that are bound to stick in your head for days on end. One of the rare cases where you’ll not only be humming the guitar riffs but also the vocal melodies! Yep I said it right. And this happened to me after just two spins of the album! Also Rob Halford proves it to you in fucking spades why he’s considered one of the best vocalists in metal history. Although I hate to say this, but in terms of sheer consistency and songwriting perfection alone, this album destroys any of the Iron Maiden or Jag Panzer releases at the time, leaving all the other releases coughing in the dust and truly standing alone in its glory. Well Ample Destruction does come close, but not quite.

Bottom line is: I don’t give a hoot which metal genre tickles your fancy; if you have yet to hear this album, then you’re not a metal fan. As simple as that. Essential listening.