Judas Priest

64 - Album ArtworkJudas Priest
Defenders of the Faith: 30th Anniversary Edition
Columbia/Legacy
by David Chiu

Defenders of the Faith, Judas Priest’s ninth studio album, captures the band at its peak form musically following the previous successes of British Steel, Point of Entry and Screaming For Vengeance. Compared to Screaming For Vengeance, Defenders sounds a bit more brasher, aggressive and louder, but the melding of metal and punk remains uncompromising. Since its original release in 1984, Defenders contain several tracks that have since go on to become beloved classics and part of the band’s current set list: the hammering and punkish “Freewheel Burning”; the swinging “Jawbreaker”; the sonic fury of “The Sentinel” with that lightning speed guitar solo; and the radio-friendly “Some Heads Are Gonna Roll.” The album of course is notable for the headbanging and explicit “Eat Me Alive,” which is notorious for being on the Parents Music Resource Center’s “Filthy Fifteen” list. With Rob Halford’s menacing vocals; KK Downing and Glenn Tipton’s dual guitar attack;  and the thunderous rhythm tandem of bassist Ian Hill and drummer Dave Holland, Defenders of the Faith remains a fist-pumping triumph worthy of being an essential part of the Judas Priest catalog. This new reissue of Defenders also includes a double-disc helping of prime live Priest from a concert in Long Beach from 1984—that includes the-then new songs from the album as well as familiar favorites such as “Living After Midnight,” “Electric Eye,” “The Green Manalishi,” and “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming.”

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