Sad Wings Of Destiny
JUDAS PRIEST

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4.51 | 113 ratings | 11 reviews
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Album · 1976

Tracklist

1. Victim Of Changes (7:44)
2. The Ripper (2:51)
3. Dreamer Deceiver (5:53)
4. Deceiver (2:46)
5. Prelude (2:01)
6. Tyrant (4:29)
7. Genocide (5:48)
8. Epitaph (3:20)
9. Island Of Domination (4:20)

Total Time 39:16

Line-up/Musicians

- Rob Halford / vocals
- K.K. Downing / guitar
- Glenn Tipton / guitar, piano
- Ian Hill / bass
- Alan Moore / drums

About this release

Released by Gull, March 23rd, 1976

Reissued with the following tracklist:

1. Prelude (2:01)
2. Tyrant (4:29)
3. Genocide (5:48)
4. Epitaph (3:20)
5. Island Of Domination (4:20)
6. Victim Of Changes (7:44)
7. The Ripper (2:51)
8. Dreamer Deceiver (5:53)
9. Deceiver (2:46)

Total Time 39:16

This is also the running order listed on the original Gull Records LP, putting the B side before the A side. However the LP opened with Victim of Changes.

Thanks to Pekka, Raff, Lynx33, adg211288 for the updates

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JUDAS PRIEST SAD WINGS OF DESTINY reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

666sharon666
Despite only being released a couple of years after Rocka Rolla, and still containing some material credited to original vocalist Al Atkins, the second Judas Priest album Sad Wings of Destiny is markedly different to their debut. Where Rocka Rolla was a blues based hard rock album typical for the time, Sad Wings of Destiny marks the first example of the heavy metal act that Judas Priest have become one of the best known examples of. As was the case for a lot of their early work there was a drummer change from John Hinch to Alan Moore for this release. Most versions of the album begin with the classic Victim of Changes but others begin with Prelude, which of course actually makes the most sense. I've played the album using both versions of the tracklist and I personally prefer the more well known Victim of Changes led version though, but of course the album still flows pretty well with the other one.

For me Sad Wings of Destiny represents the very best of the 70's Judas Priest work, as well as being one of my favourite records of the group all told. I'd go as far to say that Sad Wings of Destiny is the epitome of 70's heavy metal in general. Victim of Changes is an early example of a metal epic and easily one of the best songs that Judas Priest have ever recorded while in following song The Ripper is an equally good but more to the point style of song. The duo of Dreamer Deceiver and Deceiver are also excellent. The only track I've never been so fond of is the ballad Epitaph actually. It simply pales next to Dreamer Deceiver and not being too much of a ballad person I guess I didn't need two of them on the same album as well. The rest though can still be counted as some of the best Judas Priest songs to date and while many of their albums no doubt deserve classic status, Sad Wings of Destiny, along with the later album Painkiller, is one of the most deserving. It shows off a massive jump in quality from Rocka Rolla and in my opinion is one metal album everyone should own.

Attribution: http://metaltube.freeforums.org/judas-priest-sad-wings-of-destiny-t3779.html
Sinkadotentree
The first time i remember hearing about JUDAS PRIEST was around 1979 when i went to a friend's party. I was walking down the stairs to the basememnt of his parent's house who were away when i could hear this amazing music. I asked who it was and he said JUDAS PRIEST. I promptly went out and found "Unleashed In The East" of which almost half of the tracks were from this very influential 1976 album. "Victim Of Changes" is my favourite. Man Halford can scream and he sounds incredib;e on this track. "The Ripper" makes me smile as i can imagine Bonn Scott handling this one. Great track ! "Dream Deceiber" is interesting as the focus is on Halford's laid back vocals. A nice long and lazy guitar solo comes in late. "Deceiber" is where they kick it up a notch. Check out the high pitched vocals later on. "Prelude" reminds me of Elton John with the piano and sound. I'm thinking "Funeral For A Friend". "Tyrant" blows that all to hell fairly quickly though. Nice rhythm section here, especially the bass. "Genoicide" is a good rocker while "Epataph" is for me a let down, and those vocal harmonies remind me of QUEEN. Just not a fan. "Island Of Domination" ends it. I just can't pull the trigger on 5 stars but certainly this is an influential album that kicks some ass.
Kingcrimsonprog
Sad Wings Of Destiny was the second full-length studio album by the legendary British Heavy Metal band Judas Priest. It was released in 1976 and was their final studio album to be released on the small label Gull Records.

Since its initial release, Sad Wings' has gone on to become one of the band’s most popular and enduring records and also one of the most definitive and influential albums in the history of Heavy Metal. The band have represented the album well in live shows and compilations all throughout their career and numerous important bands have covered tracks from it throughout the years.

Musically, Sad Wings Of Destiny is an interesting and impressive album that was years ahead of its time and miles ahead of its 1974 predecessor Rocka Rolla despite much of the material being written roughly around the same time. Practically every song on the album is either instantly loveable or a grower that will become loveable over time, or else a mixture of the two, such as on ‘Victim Of Changes’ which just kind of gets better with every listen and also becomes even more dynamic and explosive on their live albums.

Stylistically, the band mix grand piano lead tracks with lengthy semi-epic tracks, acoustic moments and outright rockers, and end up delivering at least something for all kinds of fans. Tracks like ‘The Ripper,’ ‘Deceiver’ and ‘Genocide’ with their use of twin guitar work, power chords, palm muting and powerful steady drumming foreshadow almost two decades of Metal music, and still stand up as good songs to this day.

Then the more Progressive Rock influenced moments like ‘Prelude’ and ‘Epitaph’ showcase the talent and variety that the band were capable of musically and the immense range that singer Rob Halford can operate within, and ultimately help prevent the album from seeming one-dimensional or dull.

Overall; If you like Metal music this is something you should seriously consider listening to and if you like Judas Priest it is an absolute must-have record that no fan should be without for long. Sad Wings Of Destiny is not just an important historical document, but a genuinely enjoyable album that still stands up remarkably well to this day.
bonnek
If you could argue that Black Sabbath is hard rock rather then Metal, then Priest's "Sad Wings of Destiny" leaves no room for doubt, this is pure metal, with soaring twin guitars, dark harmonies, thunderous riffs and piercing leads.

It may not be the first album with twin guitars (the Scorpions come to mind) but it's the first this level of attack and vile mood. The vocals are loud, epic and overstated, and much like the death metal growls of a good decade later, they divided mankind into two camps, lovers and haters of heavy metal. Till Metallica's black album there was little room inbetween. I must have been 15 when I first heard this album (a dedicated fan of prog and opera in those years :) I can tell you I didn't know what hit me, love at first sight for sure.

I know a certain Priest fan that doesn't like this because it is too slow. What the heck, the guy needs to lay off the speed pills. This is the most gloomy Priest album, and one of the few metal albums to get so close to the morbid atmosphere of Black Sabbath's early albums. No metal collection can exist without it. Even with a bit of filler like 'Epitaph' this is nothing short of a masterpiece.
Warthur
After making next to no impact (critically, commercially, or historically) with Rocka Rolla, Judas Priest returned with Sad Wings of Destiny and knocked the music world flat on its ass. Opening track Victim of Changes takes the heavy blues-rock template as driven into the ground (taking as its lyrical subject matter the classic blues topic of a no-good woman who done you wrong) plays that particular style of proto-heavy metal far heavier than any of its early proponents ever did, and then absolutely tears the format apart with wailing dual lead guitar solos and a frenzied vocal performance from Halford, who unleashes his trademark ear-shattering scream on record at long last.

From the closing scream, all bets are off - having blown away all metal that came before it, the album proceeds to completely rebuild the genre in its image. Want a blueprint or two for the NWOBHM and speed bands who would take this album as their gospel? Have The Ripper and welcome to it. Want an acoustic ballad that turns into a prog-metal workout? The one-two punch of Dreamer Deceiver/Deceiver has your back. Want a death, destruction, and mayhem-obsessed suite of songs that would set the pattern for every classic Judas Priest album to follow? Turn the record over, you'll find all that and more on side two.

As well as giving the instrumental performance of their lives, carving the dual-lead blueprint into the decapitated skull of metal, the album also marks the point where Rob Halford truly came into his own as a singer. Even today, his vocal performance - ranging from demonic moans to banshee screams to delicate crooning to megalomaniac ranting - is a joy to hear, and I can only imagine what an incredible shock to the sense it must have been when the album first came out. Compared to every other singer on the hard rock and early metal scenes from the era, Halford sounds absolutely possessed on this album, and the rest of the band are raging berserkers to match.

This, quite simply, is the ship that launched three or four subgenres of metal, as well as establishing a credible alternative to the blues-rock basis of metal as established by Zeppelin and Sabbath. If you care even slightly about the history of metal, you need to own this album. If you just want to hear top-notch metal performed by a band at their absolute peak, then guess what, you still need to own this album.
Certif1ed
The sound of a piano and a synth is not what I'd normally expect on a metal album - but then we are talking about 1976, a year or two before the genre finally started to cut loose - and this is arguably the album that kicked it all off.

With Sabbath producer, Rodger Bain still twiddling the knobs, the production seems at odds with the music still, as it did on the debut, but the band's identity is becoming ever stronger, and shines through.

To my ears, this isn't as strong an album as The Scorpions mighty "In Trance" album of the previous year, Alan Moore's drumming being noticeably "boom-pish", and the playing and compositions are far less technically challenging - I do feel that this album is rather over-rated, although I do enjoy it and recognise it's importance in the great scheme of things.

Tipton's compositional skills really aren't all that, as Prelude is a somewhat unconvincing start to this impossibly influential album, with sounds of Queen-lite (meaning Queen on their first two albums!).

An ominous mood is nevertheless established, and "Tyrant" is the song that launched a thousand bands, many taking the title as their name. It's not as intense as "Dark Lady", but that riff can be found in many a NWoBHM composition, and the bridge passage to the solo duel that follows is classic Priest. The second bridge/twin solo is also a great progressive twist, and Rob's own vocal duet is masterly.

The somewhat hesitant intro to Genocide leads to yet another classic Priest riff that was to be plundered by the up and coming generation. Again, the structuring is more progressive than you'd expect from a Metal song of this period, but there are moments where I feel the music is somewhat hollow.

Epitaph is a straight homage to Queen, and a non-metallic song - but the composition is far better here - not Queen by any stretch, but actually not far off.

Island of Domination is a welcome return to the heavy stuff, but again, there's that sense of hollowness until the main riff kicks in, with heavy Budgie and Sabbath ("Children of the Grave") flavours.

Again, Priest get most experimental during the instrumental section, exploring ground laid by Sabbath before them, but taking it forward.

This is an album of two sides though; Side 2 (the first 4 songs on all but the first release!) is the stronger - if the album had continued in the same vein as Side 1, it would be a different story.

Side 2 takes a lot of influence from fellow Brummies, The Sweet - particularly from the song "Sweet FA" on the album "Fanny Adams" of 1974. Play the song (or, at least, the intro and outro - also listen to "Into The Night" and "Set Me Free" from the same album), then listen to the following tracks, and the direct line is unmistakable.

Victim Of Changes, a composition by original vocalist Al Atkins, is the strongest on the album - and a mighty fine epic it is too, although much of the soloing is rather bluffy for my tastes - and packed with Rudolph Schenker style whammy bar action! There are plenty of more original touches - and I can hear the direct influence on Diamond Head.

The Ripper follows - building on a long tradition of songs about the infamous Victorian criminal, popularised in the 1960s by "Screaming" Lord Sutch, and is another massive song, with more Queen and Scorpions tribus.

Dreamer Deceiver is another Atkins song, and the obligatory balladic moment. While slightly bluffy still, the solo here is beautiful as it slithers, snake-like around the frets, competing head on with M. Schenker and Uli Roth for the "most awesome solo of 1976".

Wrapping things up is the "Children of the Grave" inspired "Deceiver", with the unmistakable rhythmic motif derived from the theme to the UK long-running sci-fi series "Dr Who", originally composed by Ron Grainer and realised in electronics by the impossibly talented Delia Derbyshire, later abused by 90% of any metal band that wanted to be taken seriously...

An absolutely massive finish to a rather weak starting album. I disagree with the masses in that I don't find it to be a masterpiece as an entity - Side 1 is just too weak.

It's true that "Sad Wings" is massively influential - but there were other bands that were touring and exerting a huge influence too - so I have to come to the conclusion that this album is rather over-rated, in the truest sense of that over-used term, and in fact it's "Sin After Sin" that bears the real Priest crown. Both Simon Phillips and Les Binks kicked Alan Moore's ass, and provided the powerhouse that Priest needed to catapult them into the Metal Gods realm.

An excellent, nay, essential addition to any metal collection - but do check out the albums I name-checked to keep things in perspective!
rushfan4
Album number 2 from Judas Priest and this is even more progressive and more awesome than Rocka Rolla. The album features spectacular songs like Victim of Changes, The Ripper (one of my all-time favorite songs), Tyrant, Genocide, and Epitaph. To hell with it, all of the tracks are awesome. This album features all of the trademark sounds of Judas Priest: the best screaming vocals in metal from Rob Halford, the dualing twin leads guitars from K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton, the crunching bass and drums of their rhythm section. On top of that a piano works it way into the mix. This would be as close to progressive rock as Judas Priest would get as they would go on to adopt the more thrashier sound that they are so well known for. This album is their first of a number of 4 and 5 star albums that they produced throughout their career. I have rated this album with 4 and 1/2 stars, as I don't quite think that it is a masterpiece, but it is damn good.

Time Signature
Island of metal domination...

Genre: (progressively inclined) heavy metal

"Sad Wings of Destiny" is one of the most important albums by Judas Priest, and one of the most important metal albums ever.

One of the things that I like about it is how it captures the band's transition from being a band that was influenced by the hard rock scene of its time (especially by Led Zeppelin and progressive rock in general, it seems) to becoming the gods of all out heavy metal.

As with "Rocka Rolla", "Sad Wings of Destiny" is full of progressive stuff, as in "Victim of Changes", the ballady "Dreamer Deceiver", and even the metal masterpiece "The Ripper", while the Queen-esque piano-based "Epitaph" is a bit of an oddity in the corpus of Judas Priet opuses, and "Island of Domination" seems to draw on the syle of Led Zeppelin. Other tracks, like "Deceiver", "Tyrant", "Genocide" and the above-mentioned "The Ripper" are very much precursors of the all out heavy metal style that would make Priest the gods of metal.

An excellent metal album that belongs in any metal collection!
Stooge
I’ve often heard people describe Judas Priest as an overrated band. Usually when I ask someone having this viewpoint what Priest albums they’ve heard, they often will not have mentioned their second album, Sad Wings Of Destiny. I will often use Sad Wings as a reference point for potential Priest listeners because I believe this is a record truly worth being recognized, along with some of Sabbath’s work among other things, as an album that helped to give the heavy metal genre it’s sound.

This album starts with not just two of the most classic Judas Priest songs in “Victim Of Changes” and “The Ripper”; these are bona fide metal classics. “Victim” is propelled by the powerful rhythm guitar work of KK Downing and Glen Tipton with some solid backbeats and creative fills by drummer Alan Moore. While the guitar riffs continue to please with “The Ripper”, I’m more drawn towards the lead guitar work on this track, particularly with the melody played during the chorus. You can even hear a few “noise solos” in the background that bands such as Slayer adopted as part of their sound.

The next two tracks, “Dreamer Deceiver” and “Deceiver”, make for the highlight of the album. It’s great to hear bassist Ian Hill’s playing in a less restricted context, meshing well with the clean guitars and adding melody as opposed to simply serving as a pulse. Halford’s voice has never sounded as fantastic as it does here. I never remember which part of the song to associate the proper name to, but I usually just consider them one song (and it’s one of my favorites :)).

The brief “Prelude”, penned by Tipton, combines two rather basic piano and guitar parts rather beautifully. “Tyrant” brings up the tempo again, and has some outstanding harmony vocal lines, both parts being performed by Halford. The main riff is one of those instantly recognizable riffs, a precursor to “Breaking The Law”. While “Genocide” is the track I often give the least attention to, it fits well within the context of the album and is a cool song on it’s own, so it gets no complaints from me.

“Epitaph” is definitely not what I’d expect from Judas Priest. While it sounds more like a Queen song then a Priest tune, Halford’s voice is so beautiful on this ballad that it is easily deserving of more attention than it gets. The piano melody is also rather memorable. One of the most underrated Priest tracks without question. “Island Of Domination” fades in at the end of “Epitaph”, and is a great blues-based hard rock song. The slower pacing in the latter half of the song bring it to an appropriate conclusion.

While Sad Wings may not sound like a metal album throughout, I still consider this album as a must-have for fans of metal. 5 stars without question!!

Members reviews

RuneWalsh2112
I had surprisingly little knowledge of this album up until fairly recently. The reason for that has to do with the way I was introduced to Judas Priest back in the late '90s. My initial album introduction came from the amazing compilation album "Metal Works '73-'93" which I really can't praise enough. Remember that this comes from someone who otherwise despises all compilation albums in favor of the original studio albums. Even to this day "Metal Works '73-'93" holds a special place in my discography. Unfortunately there is a problem with that compilation in the fact that it pretty much only covers the "Sin After Sin" to "Painkiller" era of Judas Priest history. The only exception is the live version of "Victim Of Changes", taken from the 1979 live album "Unleashed In The East".

Since I pretty much comprised my Judas Priest collection based on the material that I enjoyed the most off "Metal Works '73-'93", albums like "Rocka Rolla" and "Sad Wings Of Destiny" weren't actually given a fair chance until only recently. This is very unfortunate since "Sad Wings Of Destiny" is easily one of the band's best moments where Judas Priest made an effort of recording a solid album instead of concentrating on singles, which would become a constant problem later on in their career.

There are just so many great moments on this album that I really can't decide on any one favorite standout moment. In contrast to most of the later albums in the band's discography, "Sad Wings Of Destiny" doesn't actually feature any filler material and the only track that might feel a bit tiresome at times is the 5+ minute "Genocide", which really doesn't do much for me halfway through the track. At least it doesn't annoy me like some of the material that I'll talk about in my later reviews.

Overall, this is a solid piece of Judas Priest history that was criminally overlooked by me up until now. Luckily I've come to my senses and can now enjoy the album for all its greatness!

***** star songs: The Ripper (2:51) Deceiver (2:42) Prelude (2:02) Tyrant (4:27) Epitaph (3:07)

**** star songs: Victim Of Changes (7:44) Dreamer Deceiver (5:54) Genocide (5:46) Island Of Domination (4:24)
SouthSideoftheSky
“In the cosmos is a single sonic sound that is vibrating constantly, and if we could grip and hold on to the note we would see our minds were free”

Sad Wings Of Destiny is one of my favourite albums of all time and an absolute classic. Together with Black Sabbath’s first six albums and a few albums by Deep Purple and Rainbow, Judas Priest’s Sad Wings Of Destiny is one of the most influential Metal albums ever and it is not hard to see why. The dual guitar attack had, of course, been done before by Wishbone Ash and Thin Lizzy among others, but within a Metal context Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing pioneered this approach. In a way they did they same kind of thing with two guitars as Ritchie Blackmore and Jon Lord did with one guitar and one Hammond organ, but Judas Priest took it to new levels in terms of speed and precision and inspired legions of followers in the process. The heavy Blues influences present in much early Metal music (or ‘Proto-Metal’ as it is called here) and that were also predominant on Judas Priest’s debut album were almost entirely eradicated here which resulted in traditional Heavy Metal as we know it. Another essential ingredient was, of course, the very distinctive lead vocals of Rob Halford which were also clearly influenced by Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan, but again taken to new levels and again inspired legions of followers; Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden being but one of many.

The original 1976 vinyl album opened with the bombastic instrumental Prelude which was a perfect way to open the album and lead the way into the excellent Tyrant. For some strange reason all the CD re-issues of this album opened instead with Victim Of Changes. I think that contemporary listeners should program their CD-player to play the album in its original running order. But regardless of in what order you play it, what follows is a tour de force of great riffs and melodies, inspiring tempo and mood changes, incredible guitar duels and some beautiful slower acoustic passages. It is very plausible that they were also influenced by Queen who had just released the amazing A Night At The Opera album the previous year. The Queen influence is most apparent in the extravagant vocals, in some of the arrangements and perhaps most notably in the Queen-like piano ballad Epitaph. Like most Queen albums, Sad Wings Of Destiny is very varied and alternates between different tempos and moods both within the same song and from one song to another to great effect. The end result is a perfectly balanced album with infinite appeal.

It is hard to pick out favourites from such a uniformly excellent album but Dreamer Deceiver and Deceiver (which should be regarded as two parts of the same piece) are especially brilliant. Here Halford gets to show off his whole vocal range as the song moves from slow and reflective to aggressive to high-pitched Ian Gillan-like screams. Since Prelude and Tyrant basically forms one piece and Dreamer Deceiver and Deceiver also, the album basically just has seven songs and the average length of the songs hints at how much is going on in each of them.

Sad Wings Of Destiny is not only Judas Priest’s best album but an essential Rock classic; it is essential listening not only for Metal fans, but equally so for fans of Prog Rock and Classic Rock in general.

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