Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Judas Priest - British Steel (1980)

The comercially attractive Judas Priest reached its peak with this album, "British Steel". It is a album that contains two of the band's most well known songs, "Living After Midnight" and "Breaking The Law", and is still to this day considered as one of the finest metal albums ever made, a opinion I am having a hard time to agree on.

I can understand that the album fit well during that time, but ultimately, this is not one of the most well aged albums in the band's discography. Most of the songs sounds so... weak, like "I have not eaten in days" weak. It is almost like the band focused more on creating a kick ass chorus than on the music itself, because most of the choruses here are extremely catchy and good, but the musical aspects is lacking.

By now, you are probably thinking that I hate the album, and that the rating will be low. That my friends, is not how my feelings for this album are. I do think it is a good album, and that it has its fair share of great music. The opener "Rapid Fire" is a fantastic pieces that may be without a pure chorus, but makes up for it with kick ass riffs, solos, and a Halford that gives it all. "Breaking The Law" is another favourite for obvious reasons that you probably already know (for those of you who have lived under a rock for the last 30 years, riff, chorus, and sound effects), "Metal Gods" is impressive for its grandness, and "Steeler" has a really nice outro where Tipton and Downing really dominates.

But it is the inconsistencies in "British Steel" that makes me cringe. First off, the all time classic "Living After Midnight" is a decent song with some nice lyrics, but it is sooooooooooo boring. It literally has one of the most generic and bland riffs in the history of metal, and it does not help that the speed can barely catch up to a moped. Then we have the duo "United" and "Red, White & Blue" (a re-release bonus track), two songs that stands out for all the wrong reasons. Seriously, why are these songs in this album? These patriotic songs are so misplaced, they fit better as a opening performance before a big sport game.

In its whole though, "British Steel" is still a good album. It got a good production to it, and it is also the first album with songs that are written by current members of the band (also the first album without a cover). The band itself does a good performance, and does not hinder the album in any way.

I personally do not see why this album has become such a classic. Sure, it has a awesome album cover, and the music is overall fairly pleasing, but it just does not have that sting. I do not say this because the band was way more accesible during this time, I say this because the music is not the best the band has ever produced. All in all though, I do enjoy "British Steel", but unfortunately, it is a album were I am forced to press the skip button a couple of times, just so I do not get mad.

Songs worthy of recognition: Breaking The Law, Rapid Fire, Steeler

Rating: 6/10 Grinders

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