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One of the best Judas Priest studio albums - 90%

UltraBoris, August 7th, 2002

The second best, in fact, after "Painkiller" - this one is very very solid from beginning to end. The only reason this album has been looked over is due to the production, which is, for late 1970s, quite excellent, but not as good as that of Priest in the East or Live Insurrection, where one can find better versions of "Exciter", "Stained Class", and others.

However, one should definitely get this album because all together, the songs are very solid - it is definitely worth hearing from beginning to end. The opener, "Exciter", is pure speed metal, including the little melodic solo in the middle that Judas Priest made famous. Other highlights include "Beyond the Realms of Death", and the hugely, hugely underrated "Saints in Hell". It's not a thrash song per se, but that middle break is pure fucking thrash metal. Les Binks's drum work is also very much in the thrash metal vein - while Scott Travis may be far more intense, it's Les that really was their most innovative drummer.

The other song really worth checking out is the title track, which totally screams "Iron Maiden" with the galloping riff after the intro. There are really no songs that are bad or even average on this album, which is rare for Judas Priest (see: "Pain and Pleasure") - it's definitely worth getting.