JUDAS PRIEST — Sin After Sin (review)

JUDAS PRIEST — Sin After Sin album cover Album · 1977 · Heavy Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
Phonebook Eater

Although not always consistent, “Sin After Sin” is a fun and underrated excerpt of Judas Priest’s glorious discography.

“Sin After Sin” is Metal titans Judas Priest’s third studio album, the follow-up to one of the greatest albums of all Metal, “Sad Wings Of Destiny”. Being a hard album to follow, “Sin After Sin” nevertheless is an enjoyable experience that offers great, fun songs that still today are very well respected by Priest fans.

Compared to “Sad Wings Of Destiny”, SaS has a very similar kind of heaviness; this album though is a little less varied, more focused on delivering one kind of style and sticking only to one or two formulas, without adding much to it. The result however is not at all monotone or boring, because of the excellent songwriting the band always manages to have. That is not to say that all the songs are the same: a few of them are humble and honest ballads, instead of being rebellious, upbeat tunes. The guitars have the same kind of Hard Rock crunch they had on the previous two albums: with the album following “Sin After sin”, “Stained Class”, those guitars will be substituted with ones much more Heavy Metal oriented. Rob Halford though, in my opinion the greatest Heavy Metal vocalist of all time, still remains his own self, delivering both high and low pitched vocals.

Even though Judas Priest’s lyrics are not exactly popular in any way, there are still some nice images the lyricists portray, especially in the love songs: “Last Rose Of Summer” is a melancholic little declaration of love and of the change of seasons, while “Here Come the Tears” is even more blue, where the loneliness of the persona narrating is really highlighted well. The rest of the lyrics aren’t exactly memorable in any way, perhaps mildly entertaining in the description of a demonic figure (Sinner), or of an angelic figure of hope (Starbreaker).

The first half of the LP is a true gem: “Sinner”, the first track, is a colossal classic, sort of in the vein of “Victim Of Changes”, only slightly less emotional. “Starbreaker” is a fun and entertaining bridge between the powerful Joan Baez cover “Diamonds And Rust” and the beautiful ballad “Last Rose Of Summer”. The second half however disappoints because of some inconsistencies in the songwriting, noticeable even in the six minute “Let Us Pray/Call For the Priest”. “Raw Deal” and “Dissident Aggressor” don’t have the same impact as the previous songs, same thing said for “Here Come the Tears”, not nearly as haunting as the other ballad.

If “Sin After Sin” obtained a more solid and consistent flow, it would have been a guaranteed Priest classic. Yet, it’s sort of falls into the shadow of all the other albums the band has released over the years, being by the audience generally considered neither excellent or poor, but just in averagely decent.
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