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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Judas Priest

Point of Entry Expanded Edition

Review by Gary Hill

When Point of Entry was released, it was definitely an unexpected sound for Judas Priest. Fans had gotten to know them as a heavy metal band, and suddenly they changed the format dramatically. The album seemed to reach back to the old boogie roots that often showed up in their earlier sound and also stretch into a sound that at the time was dubbed “progressive metal.” The result was album that might have caused ripples of dissatisfaction within the group’s fanbase, but one that I’ve always enjoyed a lot. It still holds up quite well to this day. This rendition has a couple of bonus tracks. I’ve reviewed a few of these individual tracks on Priest compilations, so, for the sake of consistency, I’ve used or adapted those reviews for use here.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Heading Out To The Highway

This is a straightforward metal cut that holds up well, but is not exceptional.

Don't Go

A rather stripped down number, this has a real groove to it. In some ways, this feels like it hearkens back to Sin After Sin. There’s a tasty, but not especially metallic, guitar solo segment here.

Hot Rockin'
There’s still some of that boogie here, in the shuffling kind of structure, but this one is all Priest metal number. The lyrics might be a bit generic, but the number more than makes up for it with the killer musical arrangement and aggressive energy. It feels like something that could have come from Hell Bent For Leather or British Steel.
Turning Circles
This cut falls somewhere between “Don’t Go” and “Hot Rockin’.” It’s tasty, but probably not the metal that Priest fanatics were craving. Still, Halford’s vocals are very strong. In some ways, this predicted the type of sound the group would use on Turbo, but this is tastier than that, by far.
Desert Plains
This one starts slower and more tentatively, but picks up the pace as it carries forward. Always a favorite of mine, this is a killer arena rock balladic number.
Solar Angels

Coming in hard edged and fast, this one shifts toward the more melodic as it moves forward. It is an anthemic sci-fi metal cut with a classic Priest sound.

You Say Yes
Another boogie number, the vocals really steal the show here. It’s another that was likely to send Priest’s more metal-headed fans running for the exits.
All The Way
This still has some of that boogie element, but mostly in the chorus. The music is closer to standard Priest metal, but the vocals have a real sneer to them. It’s a good song, but not really a highlight. In some ways, the vocal performance calls to mind “You Don’t Have to be Old to be Wise.” The guitar solo also feels like it could have come from British Steel.
Troubleshooter
Drums begin this, feeling a bit like "Living After Midnight". As the rest of the band joins in it feels almost funky. This one is another that is not great, but stands the test of time. The chorus is one of the standout portions of the piece.
On The Run
This is one of the stronger cuts on show here. It’s a bit more metallic than some of the other stuff, but still has a lot of that boogie element.
Thunder Road
This bonus track is actually more purely metallic than a lot of the other material presented on the original release. That said, it definitely “feels” different than the other music. It’s a strong tune, though, and a bit like “Hot Rockin’.” The guitar solo on the piece is quite fiery. There’s an unusual little drop back to a mellow section later.
Desert Plains (Live)
Another bonus track, here we get a live version of the song from earlier on the album. The live treatment makes it a bit more purely metallic. There’s a tasty percussion and vocal workout mid-track, too.
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