JUDAS PRIEST — Killing Machine (review)

JUDAS PRIEST — Killing Machine album cover Album · 1978 · Heavy Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
2/5 ·
SouthSideoftheSky
"There's many who tried to prove that they're faster, But they didn’t last and they died as they tried!"

After a good debut and three excellent albums in Sad Wings Of Destiniy, Sin After Sin and Stained Class, Judas Priest made some really radical changes to their sound and approach with this album that was called Killing Machine in Europe and Hell Bent For Leather in America. The songs are shorter, more straightforward and often ’catchy’. Indeed, I even think that the band made some Top Of The Pops appearances with some of these songs! There were small hints of this development on the previous two albums, particularly in songs like Starbreaker and Invader, but here they really went headlong into this direction here. If it wasn’t for the very distinctive vocals of Rob Halford, you could almost think this is a different band! It was also around this time that Judas Priest began wearing biker outfits; black leather, chains, etc. thus pioneering one typical Metal look. This association with bikers is clear from the cover art and the lyrics to Hell Bent For Leather. Personally, I strongly prefer the old Judas Priest. In my opinion, this was the beginning of the band’s weakest era.

The album begins with two straightforward Rock ‘N’ Roll numbers; even the lyrics are generic and unimaginative here and far away from previous glories. Evening Star is a rather commercial song with a catchy chorus, but I kind of like it! Hell Bent For Leather is, however, one of the best songs of the album though it is shorter than three minutes! Take On The World is a typical Arena-anthem, clearly designed for the stage. The album continues with further gritty Rock ‘N’ Roll songs on rather predictable subjects. Like on the previous two albums, there is a cover song included. This time it is The Green Manalishi (With The Two-Pronged Crown) which, if I’m not mistaken, is a Fleetwood Mac song. It fits this album well, but that’s not really a compliment! One song that stands out is the acoustic ballad Before The Dawn which I think is quite lovely and actually one of the best songs from this album!

This album has some good moments but overall it is very disappointing
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