Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Screaming for Vengeance

Band: Judas Priest
Album: Screaming for Vengeance
Best song: "You've Got Another Thing Comin'" was the hit, but "Bloodstone" and "Devil's Child" are the album's real highlights.
Worst song: "Fever" isn't great.

I was explaining to a friend recently of my love for Screaming for Vengeance specifically and a more general interest in Judas Priest by explaining that monster riffing and seriously vocal wailing is always a good combination.

Screaming for Vengeance has lots of monster riffing and serious wailing. Like Iron Maiden, Priest's music is based around a fair amount of Keith Richards/Tony Iommi-style heavy riffs and a ton of high(ish) pitched vocalizing by Rob Halford.

Indeed, Halford's voice is rangey, hitting the growly pieces of "You've Got Another Thing Comin'" and the Bruce Dickinson-esque screams on the title track. Full of leather, machine gun drums and fingertapping solos, "Devil's Child" hits Halford's top range.

Oddly, music like Screaming for Vengeance never really coexists with lyrics of any import. This album isn't really different. A quick scan of the record's song titles back this up, as the songs fill the songs. "Bloodstone" is some kind of social message song:

How much longer will it take
For the world to see.
We should learn to live
And simply let it be.

I can't say for sure, but I have to think the song's message has something to do with Rob Halford 1980s residence in the closet. The metal community isn't exactly the most accepting.


Genre-wise, hard rock from the 1980s seems to get throw into two categories: Hair band music and "serious" metal. However, there are bands that straddle those categories and Priest is at or near the top of those bands. Despite their penchant for leather -- and mostly nonsense lyrics -- the Priest guys are wildly talented.

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