JUDAS PRIEST — Defenders Of The Faith (review)

JUDAS PRIEST — Defenders Of The Faith album cover Album · 1984 · Heavy Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
SouthSideoftheSky
Heavy duty

Screaming For Vengeance constituted an improvement over the previous three albums, but that does not say very much since those albums were quite weak. With Defenders Of The Faith they once again improved things resulting in their best album since the 70’s. The album opens with the very good Freewheel Burning that features excellent guitar work from Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing and impassioned vocals from Rob Halford. Those trademark guitar duels have not sounded as inspired as this since the Stained Class album in 1978 (think Exciter). Jawbreaker follows with more of that amazing guitar pyrotechnics and another strong melody and characteristic Halford screams. The band feel inspired again and showcases an energy and passion that had been mostly absent on previous 80’s albums. My only criticism here is directed against the sterile drum sound.

Rock Hard Ride Free is more of an Arena rocker, but once again with strong guitar work. Next up is the excellent The Sentinel which for me is the album’s highlight. The guitarists are on fire here and the almost spoken word passage in the middle reminds me of the brilliant Sinner from the Sin After Sin album. The tracks in the middle of the album are a bit weaker but still very good and very much classic Priest. The Night Comes Down stands out as being a kind of semi-ballad that brings variety to the album. However, the album would have benefitted even more from the all-out ballad Turn On Your Light which is a bonus track on the re-mastered version of this album. So make sure you get that version (though I suppose some Metal fans wouldn’t like it as much as I do).

To sum up, Defenders Of The Faith is my favourite 80’s Judas Priest album and definitely recommended!
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