CD Reviews

Judas Priest - 'Screaming For Vengeance - Special 30th Anniversary Edition' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     November 13, 2012    
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A wonderful album.

Celebrating thirty years, Judas Priest’s seminal metal album ‘Screaming For Vengeance’ was the natural successor to 1980’s equally important ‘British Steel’ although it was actually released after 1981’s vastly underrated ‘Point Entry’, which has sadly faded into relative obscurity. By the time Priest released this now legendary album they had become a major arena metal band in America which had begun in earnest with ‘British Steel’; their first real serious stab at commercial success in America and arguably the start of a series of pop-metal albums from the band throughout the 1980s. The term “pop-metal” is not entirely accurate, however, especially as this album contains some stunning metal tracks such as the brilliant ‘Riding On The Wind’, which is dominated by Dave Holland’s powerful drums, and the stunning title-track shows just how awesome a singer Halford was back then. ‘Bloodstone’ contains one of Downing and Tipton’s most melodic and seductive lead riffs, and little needs to be said about the iconic duo that is ‘The Hellion’ and ‘Electric Eye.’ ‘Devil’s Child’ is certainly a dose of pop-metal but a catchy song nonetheless and we all know about ‘You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’.’ The less well-known ‘Fever’ and ‘Pain And Pleasure’ certainly deserves more attention while ‘(Take These) Chains’, written by Bob Halligan, Jr., shows just how good Priest were at creating melodic metal at that point in their career yet it still manages to maintain an edge.

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This 30th anniversary edition also includes a bunch of bonus tracks: four live tracks recorded in 1982 and the studio track ‘Prisoner Of Your Eyes’ which was recorded during the 1985 ‘Turbo’ sessions. However, best of all is the DVD which contains the band’s now legendary performance at 1983’s US Festival, which was held in San Bernardino, California. The twelve song performance illustrates just how stunning Judas Priest were onstage back in the 1980s: edgy, energetic and enthusiastic, traits which they have seemingly lost in recent years. My only gripe is that as it is such an important release and a welcome re-release a box-set would have been more commemorative rather than the bog standard two-disc CD case. The famous ‘Hellion’ artwork has been reworked by Mark Wilkinson and there are some cover sleeve notes by US metal broadcaster Eddie Trunk, which in all honesty lack detail for the more serious metal nerd.

‘Screaming For Vengeance’ is without question one of the band’s finest achievements. It would influence not only the burgeoning thrash metal bands of the 1980s but a whole legion of other metal bands that found success in years to come such as Annihilator and Pantera, and more contemporary bands like Fozzy. If there was such a thing as a ratings system in Fireworks this would be one of those rare albums that would get top marks. It truly is a wonderful album. Nuff said.

Neil Daniels

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