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Judas Priest - "Metal Works \'73-\'93, 1993 (re-release)"
CBS Records 2002

This fantastic cross section from one of the finest metal acts that ever crawled upon the Earth's surface proudly represents who the Priest really are. It is a final retrospective of a band that was growing through seventies and entered into "classic" eighties era which is encircles album "Painkiller" (1990). 1993 is also a year when Rob announces his leave from the band. "Metal Works '73 - '93" is a collection of diverse songs, which tries to bring the name Judas Priest to listener's ears and mind as close as possible. Songs are carefully selected, and tracking list chronologically does not follow band's vinyl releasing dates. Instead of that tracks are well mixed, and specific tracking list puzzled together with great pedantry and sense of a band members in order to achieve best possible effect of a dynamics throughout the bunch of chosen tracks. This also results in great overall impression it makes on listener.

Nevertheless that chosen titles dictate band's era from 1973 'till 1993, the cruel reality is that it starts not before the material from third Judas Priest record "Sin After Sin" (1977). There is no material from "Rocka Rolla" (1974) and "Sad Wings Of Destiny" (1976) to be find. Problems with authorizations, hands off! This is private property! Eh, will they ever find an agreement that would suit to both interested sides and there won't be any problem to get a cool "Rocka Rolla" and "Sad Wings Of Destiny" remasters, or to include songs from both albums in any other compilation that might follow in future.

I slightly miss songs The Sentinel and Starbreaker, otherwise as I already said, this historic document represents on a best way from where this band came and ever was, or in other words it is the spirit of a "classic" Priest from Rob Halford's era. Well, when having in mind they would be able to include also songs from first two studio albums, this compilation could be even better. Here's complete tracking list I think it is not worth to doctorate over it, I am leaving to you all the judgments:

DISC 1: 1. The Hellion 2. Electric Eye 3. Victim Of Changes - (live) 4. Painkiller 5. Eat Me Alive 6. Devil's Child 7. Dissident Aggressor 8. Delivering The Goods 9. Exciter 10. Breaking The Law 11. Hell Bent For Leather 12. Blood Red Skies 13. Metal Gods 14. Before The Dawn 15. Turbo Lover 16. Ram It Down 17. Metal Meltdown

DISC 2: 1. Screaming For Vengeance 2. You've Got Another Thing Comin' 3. Beyond The Realms Of Death 4. Solar Angels 5. Bloodstone 6. Desert Plains 7. Wild Nights, Hot & Crazy Days 8. Heading Out To The Highway - (live) 9. Living After Midnight 10. A Touch Of Evil 11. The Rage 12. Night Comes Down 13. Sinner 14. Freewheel Burning 15. Night Crawler

As you might already noticed, this re-release does not include some bonus unreleased material. Pity. With this re-release they could include a special CD of hit singles B-sides, which was issued in Japan under title "Priest, Live & Rare" (CBS Records, 1996), but this is a new story. Anyway, sometimes it is better when you dealing with conservation that some old good things are the best when they are maintained in the same condition, as they are. So this re-release offers only one major change. Songs have been all digitally re-mastered. And all of them are the same re-masters as they appear on all newly re-mastered studio albums from bands CBS era, being also re-released. So if you are not a die hard fan and already have all these re-mastered studio albums, than I don't see any sense to put investment into this compilation. But if you are newly recruited Judas Priest fan entering the kingdom of Judas Priest, I would highly recommend this double CD anthology to start with.

Author:   Aleš

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