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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Judas Priest

Screaming for Vengeance

Review by Gary Hill

This disc comes from the period of time when Judas Priest were really riding high on the waves of fame and fortune. It’s one that fits into the period many think of as the classic Judas Priest era. I have to say that, for my money, it tends to be a bit too far into the generic style of the band and is too closely tied to the hair metal sound. Still, there are some great pieces of music here. I wouldn’t consider this necessarily to be one of Priest’s best albums, but it’s up there. Of course, there really aren’t any bad Priest discs, anyway. Some are just stronger than others. It should be noted that most of the track by track reviews here come from either the Metalogy box set review or the review of The Essential Judas Priest for the sake of consistency.


This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Hellion

This very short instrumental (42 seconds) serves as dramatic, hard-edged intro to "Electric Eye." I can't picture either song without the other.

Electric Eye
This is a killer frantic hard-edged song that works so well with its other half that it's almost scary. When this one was originally released its big brotherish tale of electronic surveillance seemed like science fiction. In today's world it has become a grim reality.
Riding on the Wind
This fast paced rocker is solid, but not really a standout. Still, some of the riffing is downright classic.
Bloodstone
This track has never really done a lot for me, and classic that it is, I still feel the same way. It's a competent Priest rocker, but really, other than Halford's killer vocal performance, it just doesn't grab this reviewer.
(Take These) Chains
A melodic movement starts this off. It powers out into a hard rocking sound. This really feels like it would fit quite well on the Point of Entry album. It’s got a Judas Priest does R & B feeling to it, but I like it. 
Pain and Pleasure
A tribute to the world of S & M, this rocker is similar to “Evil Fantasies” from Hell Bent For Leather – both in terms of lyrics and music. I’d consider it a more developed (both musically and lyrically) version of that song. It’s a good tune, but not really a standout. 
Screaming for Vengeance
This is, appropriately, a screamer. It is frantic, angry and a standout cut.
You've Got Another Thing Comin'
I have always felt that this cut is one of the most empowering and strongest from this period in Priest's history. It still holds up every bit as well, even years down the road.
Fever
A catchy cut, this isn’t great, but it’s got its moments. In some ways it feels like it could fit on the later disc Turbo. That’s not necessarily a good thing, though. That said, the guitar solo section on this is particularly cool and the vocal movement after feels a bit like something from Stained Class.
Devil's Child
Another that has never really gotten under my skin, this is solid enough, but a bit too generic.
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