Judas Priest’s ninth studio album was released in 1984. Defenders Of The Faith is an album often celebrated by Priest fans but isn’t as famous as some of their other albums like Painkiller, British Steel or Screaming For Vengeance. The album doesn’t feature as regularly in top 100 album countdowns but don’t let that discourage you; this is a very good record indeed.
After the band’s previous album Screaming For Vengeance had taken the band to new heights of popularity, breaking the US market two years earlier, Priest had a tough job following it up.
Defenders Of The Faith does a good job of trying however. It largely follows the formula of its predecessor, only with a marginally heavier and darker edge. Tracks, such as ‘Eat Me Alive,’ and ‘Freewheel Burning,’ are the type of big and exciting Heavy Metal songs that you want from Judas Priest, and they mix neatly in with slower material like ‘Love Bites,’ or ‘Night Comes Down.’
It could be argued that Defender’s Of The Faith is a sort of perfect center of Judas Priest’s 1980s output. Not flashy or innovative, not a big departure or a new chapter but an absolutely refined and well crafted album of the sort of music you want from the band.
If you like Judas Priest, don’t overlook Defenders Of The Faith. The songs are good, the performances are good and the album has all the wailing vocals and guitar solos that the band stands for. I highly recommend it.