Wednesday, 17 February 2010

CD Review: Screaming For Vengeance, by Judas Priest (1982)

With their eighth studio album, Judas Priest achieve widespread popular appeal, radio play, and multi-platinum status. They also take several steps away from innovative metal and move towards some non-threatening and fairly boring music. The guitar solos are routine, Rob Halford's vocals generally subdued, the songs simple and often descending into the simplistic. There are few strong melodies and no complex compositions, just straight-ahead songs aiming primarily for popular appeal.

However, Screaming For Vengeance does deliver some gems: Electric Eye introduces a hypnotic riff that carries joyful high speed. Title track Screaming For Vengeance is refreshingly dangerous and equally fast, and finally allows guitarists Tipton and Downing to let rip, radio be damned. Fever provides an interesting and effective slower and more deliberate tempo.

The album has more than its fair share of mediocrity. Bloodstone is somewhat repetitive and boring. (Take These) Chains is much more pop than metal, attempting to reach the mass market. Pain And Pleasure has a strong chorus surrounded by a lazy song. Commercial hit You've Got Another Thing Comin' summarizes all that is poor here: a shallow, simplistic, fist-pumping track aimed at a non-metal audience. The utterly forgettable Devil's Child defines "filler".

The band's typical lack of sound depth is once again evident, with Ian Hill's bass non-existent, while on drums, often Priest's weakness, Dave Holland labours away to no great effect.

The album is sloppily produced by Tom Allom. The sound is neither raw nor polished, just bland and undistinguished.

Screaming For Vengeance has its strong points, but it is more likely to be appreciated by fans of the simple rather than the sublime.


Glenn Tipton - Guitar
K. K. Downing - Guitar
Rob Halford - Vocals
Ian Hill - Bass
Dave Holland - Drums

Songlist - Rating out of 10:

1. The Hellion - n/a (short instrumental)
2. Electric Eye - 10
3. Riding On The Wind - 8
4. Bloodstone - 7
5. (Take These) Chains - 6
6. Pain And Pleasure - 7
7. Screaming For Vengeance - 9
8. You've Got Another Thing Comin' - 6
9. Fever - 8
10. Devil's Child - 5

Average: 7.33

Produced by Tom Allom.

The Ace Black Blog CD Review No. 67.
All Ace Black Blog CD Reviews are here.

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