Sound — 9
First off, if you don't own this album then you're missing out on a prime cut of metal. Buy, beg, borrow or british steel it, get it? Ha.. ha.. haargh. Seriously, crappy jokes aside, this is one Priest album you will not tire of however much or little you know or like Priest. In fact, if you're a lover of JP 80's stuff or "you just think 'Painkiller' is awesome" then this will give you a taste for what their amazing 70's work too. God, they've been around for ages.. Gotta love 'em though. Priest live up to their nickname, they are metal gods. Arguably, the first really cohesive and true modern metal band, the template for what was to come. In any case, this album compromises of recordings made on the Japanese leg of the '78 "Killing Machine" tour and includes music from every one of their studio album releases up to and including KM. Killing Machine was released as Hell Bent For Leather in the US and while most people know that this is the case, Glenn Tipton only found out a little over 20 years later through fans on tour.. or so the story goes according to Glenn at least. A curious sidenote. What most definetly isn't a curious sidenote is the quality of songs, sound and execution of said songs on "Unleashed In The East". Yes, I've heard the studio rumors. How much overdubbing was done? I don't know. Glenn Tipton says it wasn't much. Some guitar and vocals but not to the extent that this would or should be called "Unleashed In The Studio". I really shouldn't have to point out that these guys got to where they are through lack of talent, know what I mean? And talking of talent, this record has it by the truck load. Rob Halford's voice sounds amazing, his screams pierce through the excellent crunch and distortion of Glenn Tipton's and KK Downing's guitars, all the while being kept in time by the solid yet simple rhythm section of Ian Hill's bass and Les Binks on drums. They all marry in heady mix that will raise those neck hairs, especially on a cranked set of speakers or, like I do, tearing down motorways and the like in my convertible with this on. Loud. Tracks as listed on 2001 remaster: (All written by Halford, Tipton and Downing unless specified) 01. Exciter (Halford, Tipton) 02. Running Wild (Tipton) 03. Sinner (Halford, Tipton) 04. The Ripper (Tipton) 05. The Green Manalisi (With The Two Pronged Crown) (P.Green, cover) 06. Diamonds And Rust (J. Baez, cover) 07. Victim Of Changes (Atkins, Halford, Tipton, Downing) 08. Genocide 09. Tyrant (Halford, Tipton) 10. Rock Forever 11. Delivering The Goods 12. Hell Bent For Leather (Tipton) 13. Starbreaker The original release only contained 9 tracks, the same first 9 of the 2001 remaster that i myself have. The original album did come with a free bonus EP however which had the same versions of "Rock Forever" and "Hell Bent For Leather" seen in the later updated track listing and, perhaps even more interestingly because of its obscurity and being a kick ass song, a live "Beyond The Realms Of Death". I haven't heard it but coming from the same gigs its a shame that its not seen the light of day in the current releases as I'm sure it would slot right in beside all my other favorites. And what tracks do stand out here? It would be easy - and not totally unfair - to say all of them. This album cracks along at a very consistent and insistent pace. Maybe why I find it such an excellent backtrack to fast, motorway driving. Its melodic, its heavy, its fast. Its metal! My personal favorites are 'Running Wild', 'Sinner', 'Green Manalishi', 'Diamonds And Rust', 'Victim Of Changes', 'Genocide', 'Rock Forever', 'Hell Bent For Leather' and 'Starbreaker'. Basically the whole album. 'Exciter', 'The Ripper' and 'Tyrant' aren't tracks I skip either, if you know what I mean.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics in U.I.T.E vary from the genial to the throwaway, depending on your point of view. They revolve around love or loss of it (Diamonds And Rust, Victim Of Changes), war and suppression (Genocide, Tyrant), fantasy (Green manalishi, Starbreaker) or just having a plain ol' good time (Running Wild, Rock Forever). All good metal lyric subjects. Really, its the execution, quality of pitch and amazing vocal range of Rob Halford that is most enthralling. He is peerlees I would say. His style has gone on to be found in umpteen other bands and while many try to, none are as good as Rob on form, as he is here. He set the standard high, literally, with a vocal range others can only wish they had. As far as I know - and I like to know little things like this - his range is about four and a half octaves. To put that in perspective most people have a range of one, one and a half. In other words pretty f-ing amazing.
Overall Impression — 9
The old arguement of "best live metal record" will never be settled, the forums and comments here on UG alone testify to that. However, if I was given the sole vote then U.I.T.E would be a contender for top spot, no question. U.I.T.E belongs not only in the best live album category but it's one of Judas Priest's best albums and, as far as I'm concerned, a vital piece of the metal bible (record collection) that any metal fan worth his salt should own. Like I first said buy, beg or borrow. Just make sure you get it, you will not regret the (ridiculously small for something so good) ammount of money you spend getting it. It's worth every penny and then some.