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Judas Priest - "Screaming For Vengeance, 1982 (re-release)"
CBS Records 2001

"Screaming For Vengeance" (1982) represents an absolute turnover in comparison with previous album. Eighties Judas Priest entered with this album into most fruitful period of their songwriting. Well this is a record where Judas Priest perfectly joined some articles that were in dominion on previous albums, but Screaming For Vengeance gathers them into pure sound and style equilibrium. Band gathered ferocious face from "Point Of Entry" (1981) pre-era albums with subtility and sophisticated touches that derived from band's growing maturity and experiences. If "Point Of Entry" can be understand as an album where Judas Priest unconsciously, via few fresh experiments tried improve or upgrade their music, served as a kind of new vision where to go next, than "Screaming For Vengeance" is an album where Judas Priest materialized those dreams, thoughts and whishes, that were foreseen with "Point Of Entry".

With "Screaming For Vengeance" band sounded even more lethal, ferocious and damaging and multiplied their rawness in musical expression with fantastic dope of emotive expression as a counter point which brought into a record colorful contrast full of shivering atmosphere. We got again fantastic colorful picture of more complex "Point Of Entry" sophisticated melodic songwriting and bursting emotions combined with raw aggression from "British Steel" (1980).Also what became more obvious than ever in K.K. and Glenn guitar style performance is division of a lead breaks into many equal lead breaks, spiced with supremely crafted intro or outro breaks and colorful twin guitar harmonies. Always highly imaginative guitar duo made another quality step forward, showing both guys are as a duet further growing and developing, having lots up their sleeves still left to show.

Hellion opens the record and immediately warns the listener Judas Priest are offering something completely different with magnetic and somehow demonic charm. Electric Eye is first among many killers and its machine gun roaring energy is taken with Riding On The Wind and especially title track even on a higher level. Not to mentioned final smash and true metal hymn You've Got Another Thing Coming.

You've Another Thing Comin' is a fantastic model for my opinion to express here. Judas Priest were band originally formed in 1969. Times of flower power, psychedelic rock bands like Pink Floyd, a lot of bands with strong R&B roots like Grand Funk or MC5, progressive rock was just about to explode, while rock sound in general was constantly growing heavier with bands like Gun, Budgie, Free,... or early doomers Pentagram, and rock'n roll means a life and a culture to all those bands. They lived it. Every band that emerged on a planet was sounding new, different, and music they would express was impossible to had bad vibes. Everything was done sincerely and when you are sincere you are always progressing. And this is reflected in a person's individuality via vide growing positive spirit and by deeds that can't be never bad or evil. And as Judas Priest were breakin' through this fat ice shield with their bare naked hands their belief grew stronger and stronger. They begin to develop their unique style, and integrated a part of rock'n roll vibe of seventies as their living spirit, which was reflected through all records also during eighties and which was abandoned not until "Painkiller" (1990). And in case You've Got Another Thing Coming, Priest again delivered song that actually sounded in 1982 and still sounds the same in this very presence like heavy metal and smashes heavy metal like hell, but actually it is based on a very simple rock'n roll riff. I just can't express my deepest emotions over this band and their strong belief. Well Iron Maiden undoubtedly took a leadership in 1982, but their way to the top was much easier, 'cause in time Iron Maiden were formed (I think it was 1975) and through next five years as they've launched their debut album, Priest already made a giant route for them. If Maidens would hypothetically claim that they were never influenced by Judas Priest, I would never believed them. Never, even in my wildest dreams if I heard statement like this coming out from their mouth. Iron Maiden is bigger band than Judas Priest in terms of commercial success, but never in terms of faith and strong metal religion. Sorry, I know that many of you might disagree with me which is right and I support and accept all your own views over a heavy metal rock scene, but I've had to make a slight curve ahead, I felt I have to include this here, because this is not just a review, we are discussing about history of rock, too.

(Take These) Chains is a song originally written by Bob Halligan Jr. member of a group called Ceili Rain, which fuses rock music with Scottish and Irish (Celtic) folk elements. Halligan became very respected composer who also worked with such acts as Blue Oyster Cult, Kiss, Joan Jett, Ted Nugent, Michael Bolton and Cher. Bob and Judas Priest crossed their paths again when Bob wrote another song for Judas Priest called Some Heads Are Gonna Roll, which was included on Priest's album "Defenders Of The Faith" (1984). (Take These) Chains is a song written for Halford's skin and his emotive passionate singing approach. Ultra melodic song fully charged with strong emotions, with simple guitar solo which nicely fits into it. This song is perfectly assembled to be a hit single. I mean a hit single of early eighties. Pain And Pleasure is another song of such caliber. What I feel about Fever is not only expression of strong passionate emotions via Rob's beautiful soulful singing that brings high atmospheric charge here, but also capturing of some special feel or energy vibes if you like, that is very close to what would later emerge on Judas Priest next record "Defenders Of The Faith". Also song contains rhythm drive and open-rounded riffing in a way that was later used very strong by glam metal acts like Twisted Sisters, Motley Crue or W.A.S.P. that were just about to take on the world.

Now let us further stick with Halford's singing. In title song he screams with such a strong heavy soaring powers that there is no way you wouldn't got some shivers down your neck. Rob shouts the devil out here intentionally, to bring stark contrast into a song and also on a record. He is aggressive as never before. Listening to Rob in Electric Eye also offers a lot interesting things to discuss. His vocal in pre-chorus has been intentionally twisted and deformed via some kind of robotic effect that sounds truly abnormal, and it is not hard to imagine a real electric eye somewhere above us that keep the country clean by extermination of all those who want somehow to escape from brainwashing in order to keep their minds free. And that's the point. Building the right atmosphere must be always on first place, and Judas Priest were always strongly and fully aware of that.

Devil's Child is a moment where Rob blisters in all his glory. This is another song just written for a singer like Rob is. Pure magic! Live pulse from "World Vengeance" tour is offered on this splendid remaster with two bonus track. One is phenomenal live version of a Devil's Child, where Rob takes some lines in verses intentionally higher and this brings some dissonance into song, but you can effort always that, because band with this little sacrificial of its own, focuses the listener to enter into grand magic atmosphere, which band effectively succeeded to built and radiates so convincingly strong. We got another bonus track called Prisoner Of Your Eyes. It is fantastic half ballad, which perfectly fits with rest of the material. Judas Priest added some synthesizers and ambient is again full of eruptive emotions where both guitars and Rob's vocals are truly working in a kind of hypnotic state. It is strange why this brilliant song didn't find its place on one of band's studio albums.

Judas Priest did with "Screaming For Vengeance" another progression. It is a record where band successfully established great balance between raw powerful metal face and sophisticated melody. With Screaming for Vengeance Judas Priest really climbed on the top of the world. This album went double platinum in U.S.A. Those were great times of great musical architects. "Reemerging the heavy metal sound and taking it to the higher level", I think this would be appropriate verbal expression to what Priest offered in 1982.

Author:   Aleš

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