4th Anniversary Tribute To THE CD PROJECT (CD Review 2 of 4)

Judas Priest - Screaming For Vengeance (1982)

Part of Legacy's The Remasters series (2001)
Originally purchased on vinyl in 1982, then on CD in 1990.
Later purchased 30th Anniversary Edition in 2012.

Metal.  When done right, it is a powerful thing of beauty.  After seven albums, everything gelled for screeching singer Rob Halford and the twin axe attack of K.K. Downing and Glen Tipton.  Screaming For Vengeance was the second Priest album I bought after 1980's British Steel and while it is hard to top that album's two singles Living After Midnight and Breaking The Law, Screaming was a more consistent, and at times melodic hard-rocking listen.  It has been consistently ranked among the Top Heavy Metal Albums of All Time on various lists.  (This particular pressing is known for sounding too compressed and brick wall mastering.  I usually prefer to listen to the 1990 of 2012 versions.)

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #17

Tracks:  If there is a better one-two opening punch on a metal album (or any album for that matter), I can't recall it.  The menacing opening instrumental The Hellion (named after the coverart's bird of war) gives way to the galloping guitar groove that is Electric Eye and the shredding solo duel between Downing and Tipton that takes the song to whole new threat level.  Together, those first two songs are my favorite Priest song ever.  Track three Riding On The Wind finds Halford near the top of his range while the energy level is elevated even further.  The fifth track (Take These) Chains slows things down while upping the melodic quotient and remains one of the closest things Priest has ever done to a power ballad.  The unfortunately named Pain And Pleasure is the sixth track and settles into somewhat of a boogie groove or at least as close as Judas Priest can get.  Flipping the record over (remember that?), we are greeted with the high-octane, high-voiced title track upping the tempo even higher before it segues directly into the single You've Got Another Thing Comin', the band's only Hot 100 single, comin' in at #67.  Even non-metal fans dig that pounding track.  The rest of the tracks, including the ones I didn't mention, usually get skipped.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD:  Judas Priest was my very first concert.  To be more specific, Judas Priest's February 1st stop on their Screaming For Vengeance tour was my very first concert.  It was amazing.  Lights, smoke, lasers, motorcycle on stage and sound coming from everywhere.  Made me a metal fan for life though I have never worshipped the devil or participated in animal sacrifice.  I have seen them twice since then but nothing will top that first time.

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