Thursday, March 24, 2016

Judas Priest - Screaming For Vengeance (1982)

I can understand why Judas Priest is screaming for vengeance. After all, their previous album, "Point of Entry", was far from an incredible experience, probably more forced out than it should have been. So for this album, Judas Priest went back to their heavier sound, while still holding a bit of the commercialized sound that was so prominent in "British Steel", and thus, a new classic was born.

"Screaming For Vengeance" marked the band's true breakthrough in the states. Although they were already known there and have done some tours, this album was the first that actually sold good (and it is still to this date the band's best selling album). Just like in the two previous albums, the band got some air time with the songs "(Take These) Chains" and "You've Got Another Thing Comin'". The latter one was actually added to the album in the last minute, so you could almost say that the Priest did a "Paranoid" there. The songs themselves are really good, even if they are pretty soft. They both have nice instrumentation and good choruses, especially "You've Got Another Thing Comin'" impresses with its straight forward approach.

Even if those two songs got most of the attention on the radio, it is the heavier songs that defines "Screaming For Vengeance". The title track has some of the fiercest guitar work the band has ever produced, and Rob Halford match it with screams that makes it seem like he searches for a lot of vengeance. If the guitars did its work in that track, Dave Holland shows in "Riding On The Wind" that he also can show off, starting the track with a ferocious drum solo that blows you away (pun intended). And of course, we have the 1 2 punch that kicks off the album, "The Hellion/Electric Eye" has one of the coolest main riffs ever written, a emotional opening, menacing singing and lyrics, and of course, a killer solo. It has become one of the band's most iconic songs, and I see no reason to why it should not be.

As good as the album is, it does contain some head scratchers, just like "British Steel" does. Songs that are not necessarily bad, just out of place. "Pain And Pleasure" is like the hand brake of the album, killing almost all of the momentum the band had build up to that point, and "Fever" sounds like some soft 80's rock tune, and I know that you are gonna say "but dude, this album was made in the 80's!!!", the difference here is that it just doesn't sound like something Judas Priest would do, it sounds more Van Halen to me. I still think the quality of these songs are pretty decent, so they do not take away too much from the album.

Judas Priest screamed for vengeance, and they truly got it. "Screaming For Vengeance" is a killer of an album that unleashes the beast within the Priest. All of the members does some of their best performances yet, which could be the byproduct of the line-up consistency the band has had out of late. This is without a shadow of a doubt a milestone record not only for the band, but for metal in general. I might not have understood why "British Steel" was considered a classic, but I certainly understand that this album is. No matter what, "Screaming For Vengeance" screams its lungs out, loud enough for the whole world to hear, and the world screams back with cheers and applauds for a hell of a metal release.

Songs worthy of recognition: The Hellion/Electric Eye, Riding On The Wind, Bloodstone, Screaming For Vengeance, You've Got Another Thing Comin'

Rating: 9,5/10 Devil's Children

2 comments:

  1. Nice write-up! I came across this via the Angry Metal Guy piece on Sad Wings of Destiny, which is my favourite Priest album.

    I agree with most of the comments here, although for me I always preferred Defenders of the Faith as the pinnacle of Priest's 80s output.

    My favourite song (besides Screaming for Vengeance itself) is "Fever" which I know is an oddball choice. There was just something about it and the screamy vocals at the end just nailed it, in my opinion.

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