JUDAS PRIEST — Killing Machine (review)

JUDAS PRIEST — Killing Machine album cover Album · 1978 · Heavy Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Warthur
Killing Machine might have had a hardcore title (in those territories where it wasn't retitled Hell Bent for Leather), but the album itself saw Judas Priest adjusting their sound to make it more accessible, accommodating, and commercial. In some cases this works just fine; the first four tracks on the album are all catchy as hell, with Les Binks' drumming gelling better with this new style, Halford equally happy to sing raunchy songs about sex and partying as he is to sing depressing songs about death and violence, and Tipton and Downing soloing much as ever.

However, a couple of songs here are just stinkers. Take On the World is a moronic and monotonous football chant, Priest's answer to Queen's We Are the Champions, and Before the Dawn is only saved from being atrociously sappy by an awesome guitar solo. But still, I can't be too harsh on an album which includes fine cuts like The Green Manalishi (on some editions), Killing Machine, or the infectiously groovy Burnin' Up. Killing Machine is a solid Priest album which suffers a little in comparison to the very similar British Steel, which in many was it was a dry run for; it doesn't attain the heights of either its immediate predecessors or successors, but it is still a consistently entertaining piece of early metal.
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