JUDAS PRIEST — Killing Machine (review)

JUDAS PRIEST — Killing Machine album cover Album · 1978 · Heavy Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
Released less than a year after the masterful "Stained Class", "Killing Machine" (aka "Hell Bent For Leather") was a clear drop in quality. Unlike the two preceding album openers, "Delivering The Goods" goes for a much groovier approach and even if the question of whether it works or not is debatable, it sets a tone for the rest of the material. Did the band think that it would have been too obvious to start the album off with the upbeat title track or was this a clear way of telling the fans that a change was in the making? Either way, I can't exactly say that I liked how it turned out.

The first four tracks are actually quite enjoyable, even if there aren't as many magnificent moments throughout these 14 minutes as the on previous releases. "Take On The World" is where the material gets a clear drop in quality for me. I see that Judas Priest were going for a real anthem here but the results come off very unfocused for my tastes. The final product really sounds like a stab at Queen and their success with their anthem based "News Of The World" album from the previous year.

I can't listen to "Burnin' Up" without being reminded of all the over the top rockers of the '80s like Europe - "Rock The Night", it's really hard for me to label it anything more than filler. "The Green Manalishi" works better due to some memorable riff, but I would be lying if I would consider this track to be more than filler material on any of the previous releases. The album's second title track is probably one of the weakest title tracks that rank, together with "Defenders Of The Faith", at the bottom of the scale.

Fortunately, Judas Priest come to their senses and deliver a memorable rocker with "Running Wild" followed by the beautiful, but somewhat out of place, balled "Before The Dawn". "Evil Fantasies" closes the album on a clear homage to Led Zeppelin which manages to work quite well after all the ups and downs that we've witnessed so far.

It's pretty clear that I've never been a huge fan of this release, but it's far from a terrible album. See it more as the worst of the best Judas Priest releases!

***** star songs: Hell Bent For Leather (2:41) Before The Dawn (3:23)

**** star songs: Delivering The Goods (4:16) Rock Forever (3:19) Evening Star (4:06) The Green Manalishi (With The Two-Pronged Crown) (3:23) Running Wild (2:58) Evil Fantasies (4:15)

*** star songs: Take On The World (3:00) Burnin' Up (4:07) Killing Machine (3:01)
Share this review

Review Comments

Post a public comment below | Send private message to the reviewer
Please login to post a shout
No shouts posted yet. Be the first member to do so above!


Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
Buy this album from our partners
Rust in Peace Thrash Metal
Buy this album from our partners
Moving Pictures Hard Rock
Buy this album from our partners
Powerslave NWoBHM
Buy this album from our partners
Dirt Alternative Metal
Buy this album from our partners

New Metal Artists

New Metal Releases

The Absolute Universe - Forevermore Metal Related
Buy this album from MMA partners
The Absolute Universe - The Breath of Life Metal Related
Buy this album from MMA partners
Euclid Deathcore
Buy this album from MMA partners
Content Mathcore
Buy this album from MMA partners
Core​!​Core​!​Core! Mathcore
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Metal Online Videos

More videos

New MMA Metal Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions


Latest Metal News


More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us