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Judas Priest

Screaming for Vengeance

The Hellion Electric Eye Riding on the Wind Bloodstone (Take These) Chains Pain and Pleasure Screaming for Vengeance You've Got Another Thing Comin' Fever Devil's Child
  • Judas Priest - group

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You've got another thing comin'! Distinguished by dual magnesium-burn guitars, leather-tough percussion, molten-hot melodies, and the unmistakable piercing falsetto of operatic vocalist, Screaming for Vengeance became the soundtrack to millions of music lovers' lives in the early 1980s as Judas Priest continued to lay waste to its contemporaries' softer, cheesier hard-rock styles. An effort on which precision-based speed, mainstream accessibility, and resilient attitude meet in triangular equilibrium, the 1982 set remains the British metal legends' top-selling record. Mastered on Mobile Fidelity's world-renowned mastering system and pressed at RTI, this Silver Series numbered limited edition LP shows off the grand intersection of daring adventure and commercial purpose achieved via ironclad production values and entrenched grooves. The latter particularly benefit from this analog pressing, as the group never overlooks the importance of rhythm and pace even when stoking tempos to engine-combusting levels. Leagues ahead of the sonics gracing its peers' albums from the time, the sense of balance, separation, and realism is on par with that of big-budget rock creations. Staked by the breakout "You've Got Another Thing Comin'," which burns white-hot with foot-pounding riffs, prize-fighting percussion, and singer Rob Halford's gun-for-hire blare, Screaming for Vengeance clutches hold of the jugular and doesn't let go. A return to the band's gritty, purist roots, the record revisits the themes of darkness, menace, and the unknown firmly established on the pioneering Stained Class and Killing Machine. Along with those albums, and British Steel, Screaming for Vengeance is the template for the catchy albeit uncompromisingly heavy crossover success Metallica, Megadeth, and Anthrax enjoyed years later. With the one-two opening tandem of the instrumental "The Hellion" and stomping "Electric Eye," overseen by Halford as if he's embodying the persona of a wicked James Bond villain, Priest sounds utterly futuristic and terrifying, the instruments seemingly on a swivel and the sawed-off tones flooding the guitar solos with intimidation. A classic head-out-to-the highway anthem ("Riding on the Wind"), a racing proto-thrash banger ("Screaming for Vengeance"), and a scorching exorcism ("Devil's Child") function as the metal-hued bolts that hold the foundations of this Top 20-charting benchmark in place. Perhaps more so here than on any other record, Priest spit-shines hooks and collusive six-string harmonic leads to perfection, giving listeners yin-yang doses of pain and pleasure, sweet and bitter. Songs at once invite sing-a-longs and fist-pumping responses. Screaming for Vengeance marked the last time Priest would sound this heavy in the 80s. No wonder it was voted the 12th best metal album of all time in Martin Popoff's definitive book of the same name.

 

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