Tickets There Likes: Judas Priest – British Steel
If there’s one album that’s had my attention more than any other in the last six months, it’s the mighty British Steel. I think I bought it about six years ago, put it on a shelf and never bothered to actually listen to it. Other things just kept getting in the way. It wasn’t until I saw them live in February that I realized just how good they are. So, after the gig I went straight home, found the album and stuck it on. Five months later and I’m still listening to it almost every day (well….that’s a big almost). The ferocious power and energy in their lyrics, vocals and playing is mind crushing and becomes more and more piercing with time.
The fearsome Rapid Fire opens proceedings with lyrics cast from the bowls of metal and slow, yet thundering guitars to whip it along. Rob’s powerful voice bleeds through the headphones as the guitars and drums push a slow, steady riff along like crippling waves in the back ground. Solo bursts or frequent and you kind of feel like a geek because you aren’t out eating iron rods and anvils for a living. The grandness and slowly building Metal Gods is next and this notches the album into second gear. The band once again display a steady, repetitive riffs that introduces slight changes as the song gathers momentum before crashing down and grabbing you by the neck for the slow, grueling chorus. Metal Gods is a true metal classic and the opening riff of Breaking the Law almost pales in comparison. Not that any sign of weakness lasts long here. The incredible force of Grinder brings, in my opinion, British Steel to its peak of perfection. It’s intensely driven raw power is so dominating and raw, it’s hard not to jump on your desk and not thrash your head rapidly during its verse. It’s a song begging to be played on every Harley Davidson spiraling towards hell and one that would scare the devil himself out of reprimanding you for doing so.
United changes the direction of the album entirely. Rob’s vocals become more relaxed and the riffs drop much of their punishing characteristics. United is quite simply an upbeat sing along that adds a new sound to the album. You Don’t Have to be Old to be Wise and Living After Midnight are more like rock classics rather than the metal anthems at the start of the album. They’re fast, loud and just F**king brilliant. Second last song, The Rage opens with a slow bass and drum intro before the guitars slide in with Rob’s voice back in full teeth cutting metal glory. The final Steeler finishes the album in much the same style it started in. Fast riffs that plunge into bellowing storm bringers. Shredding solo’s and bursts of booming drums and delayed guitars plough together before reforming to add a sense of darkness and danger behind Rob’s mighty instrument (no pun intended).
On the re-release, the album comes with a bonus track of Grinder Live and it is quite simply one of the best live metal recordings ever. If you haven’t got this album yet, go and buy it now and get some metal up yer ass!!