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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Album Review: Judas Priest - Screaming for Vengeance (1982)

When I first heard the acclaimed British Steel, my initial perceptions of the album were lukewarm.  It didn't feel like a metal album to me - after all, I was acclimatized to the heavier, harsher thrash metal sounds of bands such as Metallica and Megadeth.  But since then it has grown on me significantly as the classic album that it righfully is.  Now, when I listen to the album I'm reviewing here, Screaming for Vengeance, I'm thinking to myself, "this is perhaps a more mainstream archetype of heavy metal music, this is certainly my impression of heavy metal as it was when I was a kid.  And it's friggin' good too!"  This album is why I love the band.  That, and 1990's Painkiller.  Halford's piercing scream, coupled with Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing's ripping guitar work, creates a unique and sensational sound that quite rightly deserves its perception as a de facto poster boy of sorts for the heavy metal subgenre.  A great opening with the prelude "The Hellion", which in turn leads on into the powerful and electrifying "The Electric Eye."  "Screaming for Vengeance" rips your ears a new one with its speed metal rage attack, and let us not forget the classic "You've Got Another Thing Comin.'"  If you're into classic heavy metal and don't know that song, you're in trouble.  "Riding On The Wind" and "Fever" are likewise worth listening to as well and shouldn't be skipped under any circumstances.  One of Judas Priest's best albums by a country mile.  A-

Album Review: The Ramones - Leave Home (1977)

I LOVE The Ramones.  Not because of any perceived technical proficiency (their songs were delightfully basic and straightforward) but because if the first four albums are anything to go by, they're a band who sounded like they were about good clean fun, conjuring up songs without an overload of excessive piety and fuss.  Simple rock and roll was their game, and it worked out brilliantly to boot.  Great material through and through.  I've already reviewed their eponymous debut album, as well as Rocket to Russia, and now I'm reviewing their second album, Leave Home.  Released in the same year as Rocket to Russia, it's not as good, but nonetheless still a very good album and definitely worth buying and listening to.  Filled with classics such as their excellent cover of "California Sun", the assertively brilliant "Glad to See You Go"as well as the deliciously somber "Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment."  "I Remember You" sounds like a Blondie song, and I love that.  "Oh Oh I Love Her So" is appropriately named, because it's one of the best on the album.  It's punk rock in its element.  A great album all around.  Now, go out and get it.  A-