Encyclopaedia Metallum: The Metal Archives • View topic (2023)

Top 5 Priest Songs:
3.All Guns Blazing
5.Beyond the Realms Of Death

Ranking Studio Albums: Album * Rating * Best song * My published review

Rocka Rolla * 2.5/10 * Run of the Mill * My Full Review
Side 1 is horrible and the opening song of side 2, Never Satisfied, is my least favorite song of theirs. Their treatment of of Caviar & Meths warrants punishment. Run of the Mill is the only good song on the album.

Sad Wings of Destiny * 6.5/10 * Epitaph
Historically important release that is justifiably overshadowed by the live renditions three years later. Not only do all four songs from this album to make it on Unleashed In the East sound greater there, the other songs either really suck or just subpar. Sad Wings of Destiny has always been an album by Priest I greatly respect more than I enjoy.

Sin After Sin * 9.2/10 * Last Rose Of Summer * My Full Review
I have always loved when Judas Priest were inconsistent. The albums most metal fans seem to dislike by them are the ones I enjoy the most. The common excuse is the albums are not consistent but what does that description even mean? Consistent at what? Consistent at quality? That is 100% subjective and what one finds to be trash another might find to be a treasure, so never how one should construct a review. The only thing people mean by that word is the band spends a great deal of time outside of the metal realm and this is, somehow, a bad thing for a metal band to do. While they showed the ability on the last album, this is where the true identity of Judas Priest was born. A band who could play the first modern equivalent of a power(Sinner), speed(Call for the Priest) & thrash(Dissident Aggressor) metal on the same album to feature Last Rose of Summer. A song so gentle that it makes Barry Manilow blush.

Stained Class * 8/10 * Beyond The Realms Of Death
Was how I first discovered Judas Priest in 1979. Was never as big a fan of this as others. I was never much a fan of either Invader & Saints In Hell and Exciter is too flat here. The final three songs are all classics with Savage being, imo, not only one of the bands most underrated songs ever but also one of K.K.'s greatest guitar solos.

Killing Machine * 9.5/10 * Burning Up
Just like Sin After Sin, this album is so eclectic that it is impossible for it to fail. There is something for everyone as the band began a trend where they would simply look over the musical landscape (both within metal and outside of it) and simply copy whatever the current trends were. In 1978/9 the music most successful in America were Disco, Southern Rock & Funk so it is not surprise when Delivering the Goods, Rock Forever & Burning Up are dropped respectively. Yes, both Delivering the Goods & Killing Machine are examples of the band sampling the Disco movement. Strip away the distorted guitars and both songs ooze all of the tropes that genre had. Just watch the promo video for Killing Machine and Halford is doing his best Travolta while singing.

British Steel * 9.0/10 * STEELER!
While not a complex album and a couple of real duds, the good material here is simply sublime. Living After Midnight and United both really suck but a lot of the songs are timeless. It also contains my all-time favorite Priest song with album closer, Steeler!

Point of Entry * 7.5/10 * Desert Plains
I like this more than most. I became a fan in mid 1980 upon buying and hearing Unleashed In the East, this turned out to be after the release of British Steel, so the first album Priest dropped after I became a fan was this one. While it contains a few turds like All the Way and the abhorrent Don’t Go, it also has several underrated gems, like Solar Angels, Turning Circles and Troubleshooter.

Screaming for Vengeance 6.5/10 * Bloodstone
I adore the first four tracks, however the album plummets immediately and only recovers during the title track and that opening acoustic passage of Fever. The interlude of Devil’s Child is also interesting vocally but otherwise, this album is terribly overrated.

Defenders of the Faith 9.3/10 * The Sentinel
Their best album of the 80s. Everything came together to produce a masterful slab of metallic might. Is both a great Priest album but is also a speed metal masterclass.

Turbo 9.3/10 * RECKLESS! * My Full Review
Most do not like this album but I do not care. It is one of my favorites. It is the one album I turn to when I want mindless fun and a carefree mindset. Besides, the album sports the ever so badass closer, Reckless

Ram It Down * 4.5/10 * Blood Red Skies
This album has some good moments but it all seems so over produced and vacuous. It still has amazing songs on it, this is Judas Priest after all. Hard As Iron, Love You to Death, Ram It Down all rock. They sounded amazing on this tour however. Best version of Sinner and Metal Gods with Halford live at the shows I saw for this tour.

Painkiller * 7.5/10 * All Guns Blazing * Full Review
I will just let my review speak for itself. I do not dislike this album, despite the lower rating. It is the only Priest album to feature more than one song in my top five. Almost every song is incredible on their own but I have never enjoyed Priest as much when they were ‘consistent’ in their songwriting. Halford claimed in an interview in I believe it was Kerrang! that their approach with Painkiller was to make nine of ten version of Freewheel Burning. That sounds great on paper but Priest were intuitively too eclectic to ever make a consistent record that was not safe. Where Priest shines most is when they are being deliberately inconsistent.

Jugulator * 8.5/10 * Cathedral Spires * Full Review
I should have disliked this album. A band who was 28 years into their careers and whose individual (and collectively as a genre) time in the sun had passed, trying to stay relevant with the younger crowd. Meanwhile this was not the Priest I had spent the 80s following and I was out of the age demographic for this album anyway, so why do I - a Priest fan for close to two decades by Jugulator’s release - be so accepting of such a radical change? Easy! It is who Judas Priest are and why I am as much a fan. I appreciate any artist who purposefully reinvents themselves. To trust their own brand is capable of fitting yet another mix into their repertoire. Priest simply reinvented themselves for the late 90s angry mosh pit crowd just like they had done ten years before with the 80s joyful sexually charged crowd and then ten years before that with the 70s stoned to the max from Sweet Leaf crowd. Quite simply, Jugulator rules and slaps harder than any other Priest album.

Demolition * 8/10 * Subterfuge * Full Review
Again… I prefer Priest when eclectic; when there is variety on their records. This album has that and while there are duds to be sure (this is, once again, Judas Priest after all) there are also so much variety to digest. I am part of a VERY small crowd that actually loves the song Cyberface and have never understood the hate it gets.

Angel of Retribution * 6.6/10 * Hellrider
I remember the hype for this album and it simply never caught me like others did. Worth Fighting For, Revolution and Angel all suck really hard, however Eulogy is one of the bands darkest ballads and there are some classic tunes. This was an example of Priest trying and failing to be themselves. Attempting to please everyone by issuing a safe, albeit relative to them, release that simply reaffirms the classic Priest writing lineup had not missed a mark.

Nostradamus * 7.5/10 * Persecution
There is so much great about this album. Lost Love is simply one of the saddest songs Priest have ever done, while the best ballad on the album is the melancholy but gut wrenching Exiled. You can hear how personal this album is to Rob and songs like Exiled, Future Of Mankind & Persecution benefit greatly from his inflections as a performer. While Conquest, War, Visions & New Beginnings are weak and could have been cut, the rest of the album is very engaging and deserves a deeper dive by Priest fans.

It also speaks to what I have always said about Priest. This is a band who in their 39th year of existence was following up their most successful album to date (in part because it was a comeback record) and chose not to strike when the iron was hot by releasing a carbon copy of the previous record. Instead they wait until the iron has frozen over and in the midst of a surge in popularity for symphonic metal the band tries their own and ends up sounding like NOTHING they had in their … once again … 39 years of existence.

Redeemer of Souls * 4/10 * Halls of Valhalla
Couple of good songs but is mostly forgettable. Also has a very bad production and was longer than it needed to be. Still an important album since it introduced a new member in Richie Faulkner but was also the launching pad for…

Firepower * 7/10 * Spectre
Their best album since Jugulator. Firepower may not be the most original album the band has put out it still is not a rehash in the way Angel Of Retribution was. This had all the trappings of a Priest album but told with a fresh slab of paint upon the familiar canvas. It is also the best Halford has sounded since returning to the band, even moreso than Nostradamus. The reason it gets the edge over Nostradamus is the band at least cut out a lot of the fat that weighed down that album. Here the ideas are faster, more concise and effective, thereby saying more than Nostradamus ever could. If this is the final Priest album then it was a mighty fine album to close out their distinguished and Olympian discography.

Ranking Live Albums:
1.Unleashed In the East * 100/10 * ALL
Not only do I consider this album to be the best Priest album by far but I consider it the greatest musical statement ever associated in anyway with the genre of metal, at least of the traditional variety. When I think of the term Heavy Metal I IMMEDIATELY think of Unleashed In the East
2.'98 Live Meltdown * 9.5/10 * Rapid Fire
3.Live Vengeance * 9.5/10 * Desert Plains
4.Rising In the East * 9.0/10 * Exciter
5.Epitaph * 8.5/10 * Turbo Lover
6.Priest...Live! * 8.0/10 * Private Property
7.Battle Cry * 7.5/10 * Halls of Valhalla
8.A Touch of Evil: Live * 7.0/10 * Dissident Aggressor
9.Priest, Live and Rare * 5.5/10 * Beyond the Realms of Death
10.Live in London * 5.0/10 * Hell Is Home

Ranking Artworks:
1. Jugulator (the complete layout)
2. Painkiller
4. Sad Wings of Destiny
3. Sin After Sin
5. Nostradamus
6. Redeemer of Souls
7. Ram It Down
8. Stained Class
9. Firepower
10. Defenders of the Faith
11. Screaming for Vengeance
12. Angel of Retribution
13. Killing Machine
14. British Steel
15. Turbo
16. Point of Entry
17. Demolition

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