JUDAS PRIEST — Stained Class (review)

JUDAS PRIEST — Stained Class album cover Album · 1978 · Heavy Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
Stooge
Long ago, when men were kings, Judas Priest stood head and shoulders above the competition. Stained Class marks the point in Priest’s career where they became “more metal”, that is, they began adapting many elements to their sound that would become synonymous with metal in the 80’s and would become a major part in their sound for years to come.

Take the drum stool for example. In comes Les Binks, bringing with him his tight style of play and a rapid right foot. His work on “Exciter” would help to give speed metal drumming a template to work from. From a tonal perspective, the sound of the guitars/bass and overall production also steps away from their bluesy hard rock sound and more towards a new, slick sound to take with them into the next decade.

The highlights are numerous. All very solid to spectacular songs with nothing I consider being filler. Aside from going on about the more popular numbers (“Exciter”, “Beyond The Realms of Death”, “Better By You, Better Than Me”), I get great enjoyment from listening to “Heroes End”, which has a nice midsection with the thundering bass/guitar and soaring vocal followed by one hell of a metallic guitar riff. The title track has a great chorus, and Halford’s wail in the chorus of “Saints In Hell” is of the Geddy Lee school.

The remastered version of this album includes the previously unreleased bonus track “Fire Burns Below”. It doesn’t fit in with the material on Stained Class, but it’s a nice song. It’s a song with definitely dated 80s elements, but the slick guitar and electronic drums compliment each other nicely in this case.

Stained Class comes as an easy recommendation from me when I want to introduce someone to Judas Priest. One of their best!!
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