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Review: Judas Priest - British Steel
Judas Priest
British Steel

Label: Columbia Records
Year released: 1980
Duration: 36:10
Tracks: 10
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: May 30, 2017
Reviewed by: Christian Renner
Readers Rating
British Steel

Rated 4.45/5 (89%) (40 Votes)

I think the hardest thing about doing reviews of classic metal albums is the question of whether it fits into the genre. To me it absolutely does but I am also at the point in my life where I am the old guy at the metal show. I think your perception then is all based on your age. When I was first getting into metal at age 12 in 1981, metal bands included Rush, Van Halen, Ted Nugent and Blue Oyster Cult just to name a few, and yes, THAT was metal at that time. Most people will not argue too much about Judas Priest as a band being considered metal but you will certainly get some argument over the album we have here, British Steel.

The band returns with their second album of shorter and more radio-friendly songs. They also come up with their biggest commercial hits so far in "Living after Midnight" and "Breaking the Law". Overall this album is one of my favorite Priest albums. I don't know if Judas Priest planned the order the songs are in but I like to think so. They always seem to start out very strong and if there is filler they spread them out. This is in evidence with the explosion out of the gate with "Rapid Fire" which gets right to the point with its great riff, high tempo and excellent lead work. Other stellar tracks include "Metal Gods" and "The Rage" which are both slower, grittier and dirtier rockers and, of course, the excellent higher tempo fan favorite "Steeler". It's not all sunshine and studded arm bands, however, as there are a couple of absolutely horrible songs here as well in "United" and "Red, White and Blue". I never understood why Judas Priest were so bad at writing your basic metal anthem but I can't help but skip these every time they are on.

Overall, I still find this a very enjoyable album. Absolutely perfect road music when on the highway even by today's standard. Love or hate this era of Judas Priest, it is still important in the pantheon of heavy metal.

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