Sound — 9
"Screaming For Vengance" is the 8th studio release from Judas Priest, a band all rock/metalheads owe respect to for forming the twin guitar sound we've all come to love so much. From the off I'd like to say I'm shocked that no-one has posted a review of this album yet! I mean, c'mon! This is PRIEST! And not only that but an album that includes some of their most seminal work. "The Hellion/Electric Eye", "You've Got Another Thing Comin'" and the title track "Screaming For Vengance" are downright classics, worth the albums price alone. But there's more. Much more. It really is an album in the best sense of the word. You can listen to it from start to finish and before you know it, its finished, usually finding yourself hiting the 'play' button again. Track listing: 01."The Hellion" 02."Electric Eye" 03."Riding On The Wind" 04."Bloodstone" 05."(Take These)Chains" 06."Pain And Pleasure" 07."Screaming For Vengance" 08."You've Got Another Thing Comin'" 09."Fever" 10."Devil's Child" Bonus tracks on 2001 re-release/re-master: 11."Prisoner Of Your Eyes" 12."Devil's Child (live)" This album is a slick, well produced and well written affair. It was considered a move towards a more comercial sound when compared to their earlier work for Priest when it was released in 1982. Still, it features all the classic JP hallmarks. Rob Halford's vocals are at times astounding. The range he has and his trademark 'operatic' style are all here and he hit's notes only a few can. Then there's the trademark twin guitars of KK Downing and Glenn Tipton. The album has some fantstic riffs and solos. It might be "Classic Rock" territory by todays standards but if these songs don't get you playing air guitar, feet tapping or singing along I'd be surprised. The rhythm section of Ian Hill (bass) and Dave Holland (drums) is tight and let's the guitars soar along with Halford's voice. The songs flow into each other well with plenty of the light and shade JP are known for. Like I mentioned before it was considered a move towards a more radio friendly, commercial sound, for the band when it was released with most of the songs being around the four minute mark or thereabouts. While I enjoy more epic stuff as well be it JP or other bands this album with it's shorter song format is still just as enjoyable. There's really no tedious "shall-i-hit-forward?" moments and for me just makes me want to grab my guitar and play along. When all is said and done, if you like early metal and havn't bought or given this album a spin, you should. If blast beats, down-tuning or music over 180 bpm is your thing you're not gonna like this much but otherwise get that card out and buy a classic piece of metal history.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics on "Screaming For Vengance" are varied, well structured and written. In content they range from the 'big brother's watching' paranoia of "Electric Eye" to rebellion and brashfull confidence in "You've Got Another Thing Comin'" to the heartache, lonlieness and despair of "Fever" or (Take These)Chains". All-in-all, good, solid, hard rock/metal themes that are staples of the genre and nothing too serious or gloomy, just things we all can relate too at some point. I have to admit I never delve too deeply into lyrics for the most. Instead I like to think of the voice as another instrument and like listening to how a singer colours the song with their voice. That being said not many can touch Rob Halford. He has literally created the blueprint for metal vocals and gone on to inspire a generation. Often nicknamed "The Metal God" after an earlier JP song, it's not without reason I can assure you. He has a near four (that's 4! ) octave vocal range! Most people are stuck with one, maybe two, just so you realize how impressive this is.
Overall Impression — 9
Being nearly 30 years old I would say "Screaming For Vengance" has aged quite well. It's not the metal of today but back in 1982 this was considered heavy even with the perceived more commercial angle JP took with "Screaming For Vengance". The fact that these songs are still being played live to arena sized crowds says something about the popularity and generation spaning career, near 40(! ) year life-span of JP and the quality they posess as song writers and performers. Like I've mentioned before, there isn't much "filler" here at all for me and while I have my favorites, once this album is on, I don't touch 'forward'. Generally the "classics" are considered to be "The Hellion/Electric Eye", "You've Got Another Thing Comin'", "Riding On The Wind" and "Screaming For Vengance" and they are all just that, great, classic tracks that you wont forget and quickly come to appreciate, if not love. Still there's songs like "Fever" or "Devil's Child" that are just as good and I find that this runs through the whole album. Like I havn't said enough times already! Buy this. You won't regret it, I promise. If you do then you can send me the copy as I've already worn out one and number two skips here n' there. Deal? Great! Hope you enjoy this as much as I do.