JUDAS PRIEST — Stained Class (review)

JUDAS PRIEST — Stained Class album cover Album · 1978 · Heavy Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
By the time of their forth release, Judas Priest have finally managed to fuse their creativity of "Sad Wings Of Destiny" and the commercial approach of "British Steel" in what would be one of their best releases!

"Exciter" pretty much continues the powerful album opener tradition of "Sinner" from "Sin After Sin" while featuring clear sounds of the NWoBHM era that was just taking off. "White Heat, Red Hot" keeps up the pace with another action packed moment while "Better By You, Better Than Me" is another cover great cover this time of the late '60s tune by Spooky Tooth.

The band keeps most of their material here very energetic and this, to me, is the key to "Stained Class". Songs like the album's title track and "Invader" clearly show that the band could deliver some pretty spectacular album tracks whenever they put their minds to it. "Savage" is probably the only song that falls short of greatness in my book, but I'm sure that most fans actually happen to enjoy even this track.

"Beyond The Realms Of Death" is the only ballad here but it's actually one of the four ballads ( together with "Before The Dawn", "Blood Red Skies" and "Night Comes Down") that I really like from the band. Come to think of if, I've always preferred their more upbeat and aggressive approach to the mellower material but that's just a personal preference.

"Stained Class" is one of the few Judas Priest albums that really made me wish that the band could have worked more on their other releases. The potential has always been there, especially with the magnificent songwriter trio of Rob Halford, K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton. It's really unfortunate that they didn't manage to recreate the magic on"Killing Machine" and the later releases since only a few of them would ever come to the top notch quality of "Stained Class"!

***** star songs: Exciter (5:33) Better By You, Better Than Me (3:25) Beyond The Realms Of Death (6:51)

**** star songs: White Heat, Red Hot (4:19) Stained Class (5:17) Invader (4:11) Saints In Hell (5:28) Heroes End (5:00)

*** star songs: Savage (3:28)
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