Saturday, January 4, 2014
Judas Priest - Defenders of the Faith
The line-up for the band for this one was Rob Halford (vocals), K.K. Downing (guitar), Ian Hill (bass), Dave Holland (drums) and Glenn Tipton (guitar).
Side one begins with “Freewheel Burning”; as the first single it reached number 42 in the UK. The track was actually released in 1983, a year prior to the album, and the music video includes a young boy playing the arcade version of Pole Position. I really like the fast and furious opening guitar licks; they instantly get me pumped up.
“Jawbreaker” keeps the energy level going with another relentless rocker.
Judas Priest gives their fans a creed to live by with “Rock Hard Ride Free”.
“The Sentinel” opens with a guitar solo before exploding.
Side two opens with the second single “Love Bites”. The opening is dark and ominous, and the rest seems like it was tailor-made for the soundtrack for an urban vampire drama.
“Eat Me Alive”, a rapid-fire number about oral sex, brought the band some heat with Tipper Gore and the PMRC (the Parents Music Resource Center) committee in 1985.
The third single “Some Heads Are Gonna Roll” stopped at number 97 on the UK charts. This one definitely stirs up some long buried memories; I am pretty sure the local album-oriented rock stations liked to play this track.
The band brings things down a bit with the lighter-waving ballad “Night Comes Down”.
On the march-like “Heavy Duty”, the music mood is thick and chunky. It is a good counter-balance to so many speeding guitar riffs from the first half of the album. It leads directly into the final track, the minute-and-a-half long title track “Defenders of the Faith”.
I was only a casual metal listener back in the early 80’s, most of the tracks found here on Defenders of the Faith were unknown to me until this review. I definitely enjoyed listening to it though. What I like about Judas Priest here is the razor-sharp arrangements and crisp-clean sound.