Thursday, February 6, 2014

433 of 1001 Albums: Judas Priest's British Steel

It was unexpected, but there were some catchy songs on the album. I even had "United" stuck in my head all day as well today. I was walking through my workplace with that song on repeat in my head. Judas Priest though thankfully left a lot of their darker lyrically themed music behind for this one. I don't like that sort of music, and it would have just made me more hesitant to listen. This album is a little more safer for the mainstream audience.

History: It's 1980 and Judas Priest would release their sixth album. The sound they would return to for this album would be classified as more commercial, and for the fans who enjoyed their darker metal stuff, this would be drawing away from that. The album would also feature some new musician lineups. The reviews for this album are quite positive with critics.

Vocals: Rob Halford is the very famous front man of Judas Priest who is the lead vocalist. The thing I didn't realize is that Halford actually has a lot of vocal talent. I remember the main song I remember from this band was "Breaking the Law", which has a lot going for it instrumentally, but one that I didn't remember some strong vocals to. It's the other songs that showcase his range better. Halford's vocals do often get drowned out by the instrumental techniques though, and the very slick guitar sounds. Then again Halford is British, and it's rare to hear a bad British vocalist who is famous.

Instrumentals: The instrumentals are good, but I actually wouldn't be able to place their names. They have a very active lead singer who does take a lot of the spotlight. There were a couple of guys on guitar. K.K Downing and and Glenn Tipton were on guitar, and this makes for some of the catchiest part of the songs for me. Ian Hill is on bass guitar for this album and David Holland was on drums. While this isn't the thrashing without rhythm metal, it still is metal, but just a bit lighter.

Recording: The band went for a more commercial sound, and while some may scoff at the that I think it made it easier to listen to for me. I prefer the approach of trying to tone down a theme it seems that is too hard sold in metal. The dark lyrics and sound have just contributed to a heavy stereotype that ignores any talent the band might have. The band focuses a bit more with this album on highlighting their talents instead.

I didn't expect to enjoy listening to this as much as I did. There is some stuff on the album that will appeal to people who aren't metal fans. They fashion it in a way that gets your attention. Some of the songs disappear behind the others, but it's very rare that as band has an all around album that pulls you into every song there  is.

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