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Judas Priest - "Unleashed In The East, 1979 (re-release)"
CBS Records 2001

With five studio albums in their pockets the times seemed just right to encircle their seventies legacy with live album. This album is often called "Unleashed In The Studio", 'cause sounds so perfect. Truly, it sounds perfect, so perfect that it is hard to believe from where they could capture so hellish good alive sound. Hand on heart, a lot of studio polishing was included.

Original European version of "Unleashed in The East" has contains for about 43 minutes, while newly remastered version offers 61 minutes of live material. Remaster includes extra material that was originally included only on Japanese version of this live album. Songs Rock Forever, Delivering The Goods, Hell Bent For Leather and Starbreaker are finally making a company to the rest of material. Only problem is that this album is still to short. Well it was done 25 years ago, and those were different times. Playing time is really a bit to short, but you get a lot of music here!

Album crackles and explodes from magic energy it captures. Wild Exciter knock outs with full force right between the eyes. Short resting point is relaxed Running Wild, but immediately after that, band is galloping in the upper gear with Sinner. Atmosphere dramatically rises through The Ripper and Green Manalishi (With The Two-Pronged Crown). Version of Diamonds And Rust on this album is surely the best I ever heard from this band. It is also a point where band discharges an electrifying atmosphere and relaxes a bit. Epic highlight of this live recording is undoubtedly Victim Of Changes where Rob's screams like a beast and with same spine tingling effect as in Sinner. What follows is six numbers of pure satanic march that radiates great on stage power and might of seventies era Judas Priest. Those six songs are holding one by one starting from Tyrant to Starbreaker shivering high voltage intensity of this live performance.

As the tour ended, drummer Leslie Binks split with the band, so Judas Priest were forced to search for another replacement on drums.

Melodic Ian's bass is hellish fat all the time and this brings nice contrast and fill in into whole sound picture. If you ask me, I would choose Genocide as a song where this contrast between first line (guitars plus vocals) and bass line is shinning on a brightest way. Ultra power voltage of duo Downing/Tipton demonstrates grand magic work through fantastic conversation while doing giant riffs, melting solos and gutsy bridges full of imaginative double guitar twin harmonies. Everything on stage was done much faster in comparison with original studio recordings. Rhythm line is alive and very compact all the way and it is thrilling fact when listening to overall Halford's performance, how his vocal constantly upgraded through seventies. New sound of this remaster is revamped on a best possible way.

This is most obvious in songs like Sinner, The Ripper, Victim Of Changes, Tyrant, Starbreaker and Genocide. Reissue breaths out even more life and shows the band being in an interesting stage of their evolution. They were slowly saying goodbye to good old seventies, 'cause if you listen for example studio versions of The Ripper, Genocide, Tyrant or Victim Of Changes and compare it with this live recordings, you can feel band's enormous step forward in terms of quality improvement. All those good old seventies songs were played live on a way that world had never experienced before. Judas Priest were truly burnin' up!

Author:   Aleš

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