Archive for Defenders of the Faith

Great Metal Albums of 1988: Judas Priest- Ram It Down

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 15, 2022 by 80smetalman

There has been much negative talk over the years in regards to Judas Priest’s 1988 album, “Ram It Down.” I agree that it doesn’t reach the heights of colossal albums like “Screaming for Vengeance” and “British Steel” nor does it even come close to two very underrated albums, “Point of Entry” and “Defenders of the Faith.” “However, I must give the album credit where credit is due, I thought it was better than “Turbo.”

It was plain from the opening title track that Judas Priest was determined to put their synthesized previous album behind them and get back to basics. “Ram It Down” comes out of the blocks at 500 mph with the determination of pounding your ears into submission. It also host the first of a number of great guitar solo tradeoffs between KK and Glenn. Then with “Heavy Metal,” following an interesting guitar intro, they try to recapture the formula which made those great albums mentioned in the first paragraph what they were. This track sounds a little like the bastard child of “Better By You, Better Than Me” and “Some Heads Are Gonna Roll.” There are many cool guitar riffs, hooks and solos in the song.

Judas Priest continue their all out assault over the next two songs starting with a cool drum solo to start, “Love Zone.” The chorus on the song is quite catchy and does bring back memories of their former glories. While critics said that the album brought nothing new to the table, on this track, it didn’t need to. Instead, they remind you of what they did to get you listening to them in the first place. I can pretty much say the same on “Come and Get It,” although that has a cool guitar intro and great riffs and solos throughout the song instead. Then we come to the hidden gem, “Hard as Iron.” Not only does this track capture the glory days, it does so without sounding like you’ve heard this all before. That chorus blows my mind away and the solo tradeoff is damn cool.

The second half of the album starts off with the more progressive metal sounding “Blood Red Skies.” The way out intro lets you know that this is going to be more than an assault on the ear drums. The acoustic guitars and Rob’s more sombre vocals stamp it as fact. The only problem is that after the intro synths and drum machines reminding you of “Turbo” do threaten to put one off the song. However, the guitars and Rob’s falsetto vocals spear any thoughts of a return to the previous album. Actually, the track is well placed as the change up keeps the interest and thought it’s nearly eight minutes long, it never gets boring.

If you want a song which is pure traditional Judas Priest, then I give you “I’m a Rocker.” While slammed for being nothing new, it is a great reminder of something old and after “Turbo,” I think this was what they needed. Following on is a cool cover of the Chuck Berry classic, “Johnny B. Goode.” This appears on the “Greatest Hits” album and I can see why it would be there. One question I ask about a lot of albums is why least strongest track is used as a penultimate track. AC/DC did this a lot and I have to say it’s the case here. “Love You to Death” isn’t a bad track but is the one which sounds a bit tired. However, “Monsters of Rock” closes the album out superbly. The song may have an impending doom feel but tells you that Judas Priest weren’t finished yet.

Track Listing:

  1. Ram It Down
  2. Heavy Metal
  3. Love Zone
  4. Come and Get It
  5. Hard as Iron
  6. Blood Red Skies
  7. I’m a Rocker
  8. Johnny B. Goode
  9. Love You To Death
  10. Monsters of Rock
Judas Priest

Rob Halford- vocals

Glenn Tipton- guitars, synthesizer

KK Downing- guitar

Ian Hill- bass

David Holland- drums, drum machine

Some people were ready to give up on Judas Priest after “Turbo” and even after this one. Fortunately, most of the masses didn’t and they are still out there blowing people away. “Ram It Down,” while no where near those classic from the late 1970s and early 80s, it was a step back in the right direction after what many called a misstep.

Next post: RATT- Reach For the Sky

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Rest in Peace: Dave Holland

Posted in 1980s, Death, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2018 by 80smetalman

Dave Holland

Well it seems that it’s going to be another sucky year where all the great musicians we all listened to and loved are departing this world. I’m sad to say that former Judas Priest drummer, Dave Holland, who was with the band from 1979- 89 passed away last week, cause of death is still to be revealed.¬† During his time with Priest, he played on some of their most classic albums like “British Steel,” “Screaming for Vengeance” and “Defenders of the Faith.” FFI go to:¬†https://www.udiscovermusic.com/news/judas-priest-dave-holland-dies/

Rest in Peace Dave!

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Judas Priest- Defenders of the Faith

Posted in 1980s, Books, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2017 by 80smetalman

If I thought I didn’t do Great White justice when I wrote about theirs as the first concert to take place in “Rock and Roll Children,” then I should grovel to Judas Priest begging their forgiveness. The Judas Priest/Great White concert that happens in the first few pages of the book is the one I knew least about. I couldn’t go on account of work and only had patchy accounts of the concert from people I spoke to who went. This meant my account of that night was, as one critic put it, bare bones, if that. So, to Judas Priest and their hardcore fans, I’m sorry. Though I do make up for it when I write about their 1986 concert. One of my biggest critics, my sister, said I nailed that one.

While the first Judas Priest concert might have been lacking in substance, the album they were touring in support of, “Defenders of the Faith” did get a good number of listens from the characters in “Rock and Roll Children.” I have always held this album in great esteem and will put my head in the lion’s mouth and declare that it is Judas Priest’s most underrated album, ever! Sales wise, it did not match the numbers of its mega fantastic predecessor, “Screaming for Vengeance,” and I put it a half a mark below it but “Defenders of the Faith” is one fantastic album.

The first seven songs are the reason why the album is soooo good. One by one each of those songs launch into an all out assault on your ears with such ferocity, you can’t help but to head bang away and jump up and down to it. Even when one song ends, the next one grabs you by the throat and makes you give your undivided attention to it. When I say the first seven songs, I mean all of those songs, not just the ones some might be more familiar with like “Freewheel Burning” and “Love Bites,” who when the premier of the video for it was announced on MTV was called “a family affair.” Of course there’s also my favourite track from this album and my third all time favourite Priest song, “Some Heads are Gonna Roll.” I just love that song. “Jawbreaker,” “Rock Hard, Ride Free” and “The Sentinel” all can cause an unsuspecting listener to lose control of their bodily functions as well. Plus, there’s the amusing “Eat Me Alive” which a year later would be rank on the PMRC’s hit list as the third dirtiest song. All great!

This not to say that the last three songs are in any way not up to scratch, they are good songs but intensity levels do tail off after “Some Heads are Gonna Roll.” Things go slower tempo with the remaining three songs but the pounding doesn’t let up. It just takes on a different form, nor does it detract from this great album in any way.

Track Listing:

  1. Freewheel Burning
  2. Jawbreaker
  3. Rock Hard, Ride Free
  4. The Sentinel
  5. Love Bites
  6. Eat Me Alive
  7. Some Heads Are Gonna Roll
  8. Night Comes Down
  9. Heavy Duty
  10. Defenders of the Faith

Judas Priest

Robert Halford- lead vocals

Glenn Tipton- guitar

KK Downing- guitar

Ian Hill- bass

Dave Holland- drums

I’ve never really ranked Judas Priest albums before, except I knew that “Screaming for Vengeance” was my favourite. I have called “Defenders of the Faith” underrated but I am now declare it number two and not by much. It is a great under appreciated album.

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