Judas Priest

Picture of Judas Priest

Metal Works '73-'93

Judas Priest - Metal Works '73-'93 ©1993 Columbia
CD one:
1. The Hellion
2. Electric Eye
3. Victim Of Changes
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
CD two:
18. Screaming For Vengeance
19. You've Got Another Thing Coming
20. Beyond The Realms Of Death
21. Solar Angels
22. Bloodstone
23. Desert Plains
24. Wild Nights, Hot & Crazy Days
25. Heading Out To The Highway
26. Living After Midnight
27. A Touch Of Evil
28. The Rage
29. Night Comes Down
30. Sinner
31. Freewheel Burning
32. Nightcrawler

So you've seen the "Breaking the Law" video on Beavis & Butthead and now you're wondering about the band behind it all. Or perhaps you've heard about Judas Priest and want to learn more about this long running band (twenty-five years of music, as of 1998, which is pretty impressive no matter what your opinion of the band is). Probably the best place to start is by picking up this 2-CD, thirty-two song anthology of the JP back catalogue. It covers the entire spectrum of Priest music from their early days as a somewhat bluesier outfit to their more metallic later days, as well as all the cheese, glitz, and hellraising that has accompanied their career. Admittedly some of this material defines the most stereotypical elements of metal, as "Wild Night, Crazy Days" or "Metal Gods" demonstrate. And of course, the photos in the CD booklet are prime with the boys all decked out in their studded leather, motorcycles, and choreographed guitar antics onstage. But since Metal Works covers a huge time span, you will be able to pick the eras that best suit your tastes. I personally lean towards their older material as well as that short lived guitar synth era of Turbo. Longtime fans may quibble over track selection, but with any band that has been around this long, people will never agree on what should or shouldn't be included. Absolutely recommended if you've ever been the slightest bit curious about Judas Priest.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 11/1998

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Judas Priest - Jugulator ©1997 CMC International
1. Jugulator
2. Blood Stained
3. Dead Meat
4. Death Row
5. Decapitate
6. Burn In Hell
7. Brain Dead
8. Abductors
9. Bullet Train
10. Cathedral Spires

This album was doomed from the get-go. On the first listen I chucked it out of the player for something else by the fourth song. I was driving back home from Denver and the music was so irritating that a carwreck would have ensued the next time Ripper Owens penetrated the ozone layer with his voice.

Successive listens at home haven't done much for the album either. Usually when an album gets turned off partway through its first listen, it doesn't stand a chance. Honestly, I really did want to like this album since many of my friends have said commendable things about it. Unfortunately it came off as extremely derivative and becoming a parody of what it is supposed to embody. I can quickly point to Tim "Ripper" Owens as being the first and foremost reason I dislike this record. While his style is difficult to perform and requires some talent, his usage of that voice is distasteful. Usually he sounds like his teeth are clenched as he tries to add grit to a melody and comes off sounding goofy instead. But just when he shouldn't, he hits the upper octaves with a vase-shattering scream. On the opening track, had he been sitting next to me in the car, I would have slapped him upside the head on the first one and said, "We know you can hit that note, so knock it off."

Meanwhile, the songs are generally mid tempo plodding diversions into monotony, only to be interspersed by boredom and occasional weariness. I've heard my share of Judas Priest songs over the ages but not a single track here is even worthy of the legacy they hold. Guitarists Glenn Tipton and KK Downing had quite some time to write this. Why on earth did they have to make it so dull? "Abductors", the mindnumbing "Decapitate", the lyrically vapid "Blood Stained" and "Burn In Hell" are just prime examples of the lukewarm riffs. I could easily spend a few more paragraphs taunting the insipid lyrics. Some of the gems: "Your head/you will lose it". "Oh no!--I won't go/You'll never get me down to death row". Did they contact some bored fifteen year old stuck in World History class to write these? They're so unbelievable cliched that I'm surprised Owens could sing them with a straight face.

For a band that is loaded with as much talent as these guys (you know as well as I that Tipton and Downing are legendary and have influenced countless scads of bands that are now out-performing them), this wretch of a record is simply inexcusable.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 10/1998

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