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Review: Judas Priest - Live Vengeance '82
Judas Priest
Live Vengeance '82

Label: Sony
Year released: 2006
Duration: 95 min.

Rating: 5/5

Review online: June 4, 2006
Reviewed by: Pierre Bégin
Readers Rating
Live Vengeance '82

Rated 5/5 (100%) (16 Votes)

This DVD is something really special to me. Recorded at the Mid South Coliseum, Memphis, Tennessee, on December 12, 1982 on the "Screaming For Vengeance" world tour, and originally released in 1983 in VHS format under the name "Judas Priest Live", it was my first ever contact with a heavy metal concert. And what a great way it was!

The 95 minutes gig begins with the classic intro "The Hellion/Electric Eye" followed immediately by "Riding On The Wind", both tracks from the brilliant "Screaming For Vengeance" album. One thing that is noticeable is the way it was filmed. The in-your-face pictures without camera tricks (except for some okay Commodore 64 effects like in K.K. Downing's lead guitar solo in "The Sinner"), (-; are perhaps basic but very efficient. You can feel the sweat literally (watch the drips fall from Glenn Tipton's head at the end of his lead guitar interlude solo in "Victim Of Changes"). Yes I know; I've watched it too many times! (-; There is no ultra fast editing camera angle; you have the time to watch a guitar solo or Rob Halford singing a chorus. There is so much dynamism and energy on stage. Pure pounding heavy metal the way it should be!

The stage design is genuine heavy metal: walls of Marshall, great light effects, some blue lasers, smoke (aptly used in "The Ripper"), band members in leather and studs, and the obligatory Harley Davidson for "Hell Bent For Leather". After all, Judas Priest is one of the main influences of the heavy metal experience (acoustically and visually) and this live show is proof.

The full concert is extremely enjoyable to listen to, with classic Judas Priest tracks like "Metal Gods", "Bloodstone", "Breaking The Law", "The Ripper", "Devil's Child" and "Victim Of Changes". A nice addition to this concert is "Diamonds And Rust" and "The Green Manalishi (With The Two Pronged Crown)": both cover tracks weren't included in the original release in 1983. All in all, the concert features 17 great tracks (no filler here!) that are seen nowadays as classic tunes being part of the Judas Priest and heavy metal legacy.

Sony BMG did a very good job with the remastering of the aged audio/video source. The footage is raw but very clean and I see some details that I missed with the VHS tape. There is however some little flaws like a small distorted horizontal line near the middle of the screen in some places, yet nothing really serious to disturb the listening. Also, the new 5.1 audio mix is excellent (especially the drums) and each instrument is easily recognisable. Overall, I really dig the quality of the footage, considering it was originally recorded way back in December 1982!

Note that this DVD is also part of the "Metalogy" (4 CD/1 DVD) boxset released in 2004 as a "limited" (hum! hum!) bonus DVD. Both discs are exactly the same. However, the disc was only included in a cartoon holder in the boxset instead of a regular keep case with a little booklet in this standalone release. There is also a limited edition digipack DVD available.

Sadly, there is no bonus features (like on the "Rising In The East" DVD), apart from a very good discography section. Just a small interview with the band members would have been a nice addition.

Without a shadow of a doubt, this release is a must-have in the shelves of every metalhead. This is Judas Priest in their prime time that play all their classics one after the other. The band is in top shape and everybody can see why Mr Rob Halford is aptly named the Metal God; he hits all the high pitch notes very easily and sometimes even more than the tracks call for! I often use this video recording to compare with newer releases, particularly the efficient editing pace and the in-your-face footage. I believe it's the best, yet simplest way a live show should be recorded most of the time. Sure, new technologies of recording are a lot better nowadays; this is not the point.

One word review: ESSENTIAL!

Additional Information

Originally released on VHS in 1983.

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