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An 80s Metal Classic...Deservedly So - 95%

caspianrex, May 22nd, 2009

I can see from this album why Judas Priest absolutely defines metal for many people. This is classic 80s metal at its zenith. I have to admit, I've never cared for Judas Priest too much myself, perhaps because I've only heard what rock stations currently play from the JP catalog. These days, that means that about all you'll ever hear from this album is "Another Thing Coming." And, looking at the record objectively, I believe that song is actually one of the weaker tracks. "Electric Eye" carries a whole lot more speed and punch, which is probably why it was chosen as an opener. And then there's the title track "Screaming for Vengeance." I guess I can see why it's not played on the radio, what with that opening scream and all (thus the title of the track and the album). But THAT is a fine metal performance, Halford at his powerful best. Blistering guitar work and some mighty fine drumming make this track an absolute thrill to experience.

The double-guitar attack at the opening of "The Hellion" is a great intro to one of my other favorite tracks on the record, "Devil's Child." The crunchy guitar work and Halford's balls-to-the-wall vocals make this an outstanding track. The edge on Halford's voice is particularly gritty, which shows how versatile he is as a vocalist. No doubt about it, "Another Thing Coming" simply does not give a reliable impression of how good this album really is. I suppose we have to be thankful that some stations still play a little Judas Priest at all, but is it any coincidence that, when Pat Boone decided to record a "heavy metal" album, he chose "Another Thing Coming" as one of his songs to...um, reinterpret? I think not.

I'm beginning to listen a little more closely to Judas Priest now, and it's all thanks to this classic of 80s metal. Just goes to show you, never trust what you hear on the radio, especially when it comes to heavy metal.