Thursday, 4 February 2010
CD Review: Sin After Sin, by Judas Priest (1977)
The third album from Britain's Judas Priest confirmed their status as leaders of the emerging New Wave of British Heavy Metal. At a time when Punk was dominating England, Priest go very much their own way and come up with a record that is one of the heaviest non-Sabbath albums of the 1970's.
Produced by Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover, and sounding very much a product of a relatively limited studio budget, Sin After Sin combines the more blues-oriented metal sounds of Purple with heavier Sabbath tones stirred with two guitarists, to push the genre forward towards territory that Iron Maiden would soon conquer.
The album marks an early crossroads in Priest's career: it is split almost equally between heavier, longer tracks and shorter, more commercial (and slightly more radio-friendly) music.
From the tight set of eight tracks, three are terrific. Sinner, Let Us Prey and Call For The Priest / Raw Deal are long, complex, dense and smart compositions, featuring engaging and varied melodies, solid solos, and Halford's signature oscillation between octaves reaching a manic high falsetto. If Priest had continued to develop along the lines suggested by these three tracks, they would have found a richer, although admittedly less commercial, sound in their future.
Unfortunately, on the long series of albums that followed, Priest elected to chase down the path signaled by tracks like Diamonds and Rust and Starbreaker: functional, simpler, more mundane and more widely approachable. Songs which are not bad; just much less interesting than what the band was clearly capable of.
Sin After Sin is a notable milepost in the history of metal, coming at a time when little else sounded similar and laying the groundwork for a lot of what was to come.
Rob Halford - Vocals
Glenn Tipton - Guitars
K. K. Downing - Guitars
Ian Hill - Bass
Note: Simon Phillips played the Drums, but not officially as a member of the band.
Songlist (ratings out of 10):
1. Sinner - 10 *See Video Below*
2. Diamonds And Rust - 7
3. Starbreaker - 7
4. Last Rose Of Summer - 7
5. Let Us Prey - 10
6. Call For The Priest / Raw Deal - 10
7. Here Come The Tears - 8
8. Dissident Aggressor - 7
Produced by Roger Glover and Judas Priest.
Engineered by Mark Dodson.
All Ace Black Blog CD Reviews are here.