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Judas Priest - "Point Of Entry, 1981 (re-release)"
CBS Records 2001

After forging their stainless steel through "Killing Machine" (1978) and "British Steel" (1980), "Point Of Entry" represents a curve away from goods that band was delivering. Change in musical style directions were accepted with mixed emotions and sometimes even with great non-understanding, because everybody expected that Priest will continue to produce albums like "British Steel" was. From all songs of a new alum Hot Rockin' is by it's overall mood, style performance and sound probably the closest approximation to "British Steel". Bad luck for this album is also the fact that it appeared between two highly successful albums "British Steel" and "Screaming For Vengeance" (1982), and because of that album got quickly forgotten and remains till presence still heavily underrated. Instead of raw energy and pure metal aggression, "Point Of Entry" delivers especially through songs as Don't Go, You Say Yes, All The Way and Troubleshooter more sophisticated tunes, driven in hard rocking directions. "Point Of Entry" is not an album where Judas Priest would demonstrate at all costs their loudness, arrogance and metallic aggression. Their metal noise is nicely equilibrated with subtler hard rocking touches.

There is no reason for any frustration over "Point Of Entry". Priest deliver some sounds they've never experienced till then, for example with opening killer Heading Out To The Highway. Hot Rockin' and On The Run are also classic short powerful speedy heavy tracks that fans were use to get from a band. What is especially attractive on this record, and all of you who will recognize and realise that, are songs of shivering high atmosphere driven in directions that were new to the fans. Songs like Turning Circles, Solar Angels and Desert Plains meant another evolutionary step forward and band's sound was growing even if this remains somehow diminished by the presence of merely hard rocking bluesy feel of a record. Among all songs Desert Plains is surely outstanding by its caught overall spine tingling ambient and especially because of great contrasts it has. First what makes special impression on listener are thundering drums and powerful bass line drive. Both are providing real torpedo sound. Guitars are covering sound space with simple yet massive opened riffs and builds fantastic atmosphere. When Halford jumps in with his soulful and subtle approach this song surely represents romantic epic highlight of a record. It is one of Judas Priest classic masterpieces where Rob had delivered real blast of his emotions. All I can say in one word splendid! Halford's emotive singing on "Point Of Entry" is what concerns me, most expressive counting from debut album till 1981. Halford's singing can be truly passionate especially in songs that contain a touch of rock'n'roll like Troubleshooter or All The Way.

Well if we dig further inside, "Point Of Entry" does not enter the ears so smoothly as "British Steel" or "Killing Machine" but highly awards the listener who gives this record a chance, because it offers huge palette of diverse caught moods. Judas Priest delivered also a record of a great dynamic contrast because of diversity among songs in terms of constant rapid changing of atmosphere and musical arrangements. Fact is that it doesn't immediately penetrates under your skin and you need some time to discover all hidden beauties it has.

This magnificent remaster contains never issued song Thunder Road with fantastic basic rock'n roll line in its chorus, fantastically twisted in typical Judas Priest heavy metal vein. They used synthetic rhythm line. Same drum sample was used as a basic for C. Berry's cover Johnny B. Goode, which will appear on band's "Ram It Down" studio effort in 1988. Second bonus is live version of Desert Plains, which only proofs incredible on stage powers of a band. It is done even faster and sounds far more intense in comparison with its studio version.

What we can also recognize is that band got more mature with "Point Of Entry". "British Steel" brought them fame. They stopped a bit, turned around and looked over the long path they've already passed to reach this point, a point of entry. And they just didn't give a damn about styles and commercial success of their previous record. They were fully and freely breathing while composing new stuff and result is different record and god damn good record. This album was recorded under hot son of Ibiza, and living inside Mediterranean climax surely left special overall feel. Working chemistry in studio and entire mood of this record is special and very relaxed. "Point Of Entry" is a great record, still solid and heavily charged with all eruptive energy.

Judas Priest went further with this album. They offered some new sounds (Desert Plains, Heading Out To The Highway, Solar Angels) and added some more complexity inside song's arrangements. Both guitarists delivered again longer, spicier solos and passages. Also lyrics reflect more maturity. Halford began to deal in verses with his own personality and adds into his poetry a bitter insight of being disillusioned in love. Yearning, love, passion are just among few emotions here. "Point Of Entry" is a special record of a special magic and crackles out of bursting emotions.

Author:   Aleš

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