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Judas Priest's undisputed best album from their "commercial" era. - 100%

goflotsam, July 5th, 2019

Screaming for Vengeance by Judas Priest is one of the hallmarks of heavy metal history and has influenced millions of bands since its release. Many mainstream critics choose to pay their attention to British Steel, however this album was much better and on top of that, more successful. Regardless of me being born in 1995, this album is easily one of my two favorite Priest albums with the other being Painkiller. Commercial-sounding or not, this album is pure gold and I'm going to explain why.

Screaming for Vengeance has so many high points for a Judas Priest album with it's three big hits all deserving some mention. "The Hellion / Electric Eye" is not only the opener to this amazing record but it displays the return of the heavier side of Priest that was mostly absent from the lackluster Point of Entry. In my opinion, it's Priest's "Highway Star" similar to how "Exciter" was their "Speed King". The second single, "(Take These) Chains" is probably the most 80s sounding song on the album, mainly because I think of new wave bands whenever I hear it. The third single is Judas Priest's signature song, "You've Got Another Thing Comin'". This song is a really good example of a filler track that gained a large prominence, and is such a good song with a driving beat that whenever I hear it during workouts, it adds an extra bit of motivation.

Speaking of motivation, the musicians on Screaming for Vengeance have noticeably improved compared to the album's two predecessors. Dave Holland's drumming techniques are stronger on this record as his faster tempo is unleashed on songs like "Riding on the Wind" and the title track. The twin guitar attack of Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing also improved with virtually every song having some of the best guitar play that Judas Priest did during the 80s, with "Bloodstone" getting bonus points for having some really catchy guitar riffs. The metal god Rob Halford screams for vengeance on this record as his vocals pierce the sky, even when you begin the title track on Side B. Ian Hill's bass playing is quite funky on this record with his best playing being on "Fever".

Another thing I love about this album besides the care that was put into this is the fact that (for an 80s metal album) there are no cover songs on the album. Not trying to say that the cover of Fleetwood Mac's "The Green Manalishi" or Joan Baez' "Diamonds and Rust" were bad, but I think Priest did the right thing with straying away from covers on this record. Since covers are usually filler tracks, I believe "You've Got Another Thing Comin'" is a perfect compromise for the two aforementioned covers being included on the legendary Unleashed in the East live album (the studio versions of "The Green Manalishi" and "Diamonds and Rust" were originally on Killing Machine and Sin After Sin respectively). I don't think Screaming for Vengeance would be as awesome as it is if the big hit wasn't on the album.

But when it comes down to the wire, Screaming for Vengeance is an album that not only defined metal music, but it's also one of the most important rock albums ever made. It served as an inspiration for bands of one of the most beloved metal subgenres known to man: power metal. Without this album, you'd probably have no Helloween or Blind Guardian as we know it. And the world would be 100% less manly, the score of this album's review.