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4.9 out of 5 stars156
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on September 15, 2013
From the Japanese audience's eager singalong on the very first song on this album ("Fall to your knees and repent if you please!"), it's clear that this early incarnation of legendary metal group Judas Priest knew how to work a crowd. The band appears onstage at Kaseinenkin Hall on the cover in full black leather and studs regalia, surrounded by bright lights and billowing smoke. Upon release, the album established Priest as one of the metal's live heavyweights and also comes in handy as an unofficial "best of" 1970s Judas Priest--containing most of their early hit songs.

A lot of these songs aren't played live anymore, which is a shame because Priest's early work was much more fiery and raw than their 80s output. The live versions crackle with gentle reverb, and the guitar solos especially are given new life in this sweaty, packed early live setting.

"Stand up for Exciter!" vocalist Rob halford orders the Japanese in the namesake opener. The echo from the guitar intro to "Diamonds and Rust" fills the theater. "Sinner," "Delivering the Goods," and "The Green Manalishi" carry the night with simple but authoritative riffing.

But the most well-known highlight here is Halford's stunning vocal prowess on "Victim of Changes," turning an already excellent song into a true epic. About halfway through the track, the band settles into a subtle breakdown, with only drummer Les Binks hammering away at a midtempo--the calm before the storm, as it were.

Halford leads the finale starting in a low baritone before building all the way up to an inhuman shriek several octaves up: "Victim of Changes!!!" The audience at the time can be pictured looking at one another in astonishment and asking, "Did he really just do that?" I know I did! The inclusion of "Hell Bent For Leather" is a fitting encore, a terrific wail of a song that stands as one of the band's most classic moments, live or otherwise.

"Unleashed In the East" hearkens back to an earlier time, when Judas Priest was poised for true liftoff into "legend" status...back before they were filling arenas and stadiums, Priest was a hungry, passionate band playing to small crowds of only a few hundred to a thousand. This album takes you back to those early days.

It could be the best live metal album ever released.

Rob Halford
Glenn Tipton
KK Downing
Ian Hill
Les Binks
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on April 3, 2015
What can I say about Judas Priest that hasn't already been said. I love them since stained class and love all of their music. This is the best metal live album of all time by far. My only complaint would be that it is missing a couple of their Staple songs. "Beyond the Realms of Death" is missing,a big mistake... However, it is still the best live album ever. however it is still the best live album ever.
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on March 31, 2011
This album was my introduction to Judas Priest, and I always prefered these versions of these original 9 songs. Its easy to understand why 6 of the 9 original cuts were concert stapples before their first album was release, but due to the Producers, those 6 wound up on the second and third albums. 2 of the 9, were from the latest album, so that is why the performances are so tight, yet earthy as in live with the slightest slop. The stadium ambience is quite noticeable as well.

Any wise engineer would use some sort of top of the line unidirectional instrument mics for drums, bass and guitars. I think so many live albums stink because they record the audience, and seriously, who wants their noise interupting the band, which is live jazz albums tend to be better. Kids aren't screaming through the whole songs.

This album is so good, its the only one other than the Essential Judas Priest, that I own, along with about 8 downloaded songs. So I'm not a Priest fan to the point of being a collector. Its got a great cover, as all official Priest albums do, but this is the only one with the band dispayed, the rest have album art.

So what is the deal if this isn't a studio album. Well, of any mics to cause an issue its the vocal, so when the vocal tracks were found damaged or unusable, which happens as it once happened to me. The singer had to re-sing the songs, most likely during a pre show sound check, which sounds like a nightmare scenario, but Rob pulled it off. Hence all the tension of a live performance, and probably one takes over two or three days between shows on the road. Also the benefits of not having too much audience noise.

I started listening to Priest because of this album, so I recomend it as a starting point for some. With songs like Tyrant, Exciter, Ripper, Victim of Changes and Green Manalishi, how can you go wrong. My complaint, they recorded "Take on the World" and "Beyond the Realms of Death" on this tour. Two of my favs, so this is a 4.5 on the re-issue bonus track edition. I wish they were here. This is the Les Binks era drummer wise, so thats a big deal.
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on December 16, 2002
For an early album, especially a first live album Unleashed in the East is an unexpected surprise. The energy projected during the concert is captured well and when played against the studio recordings of the same songs, the live versions on this album are almost always more enjoyable. Victim of Changes puts you right in the audience, the epic song will give you goosebumps.

The album was originally intended to be given away only in Japan as a souvenier of the tour, but the bands enthusiasm listening to the tracks prompted them to edit the recording (at Ringo Starr's house) and use as a worldwide release. Rob Halford was suffering a cold during the concert dates, and a few of the vocals were dubbed in during the editing by Halford running out on Starr's patio and re-creating the poorly sung notes.
A great addition to anyone wanting to be projected to 1979 and have a listen to the early gods of metal.
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on June 18, 2006
UNLEASHED IN THE EAST is true JUDAS PRIEST. I first saw JUDAS PRIEST live when they played their first show ever in the U.S. opening for LED ZEPPELIN and RICK DERRINGER at a day on the green in Oakland, Ca. in 1976. I had never heard of them before, but I was blown away by them. I have seen them five times since then, and every show is very memorable. UNLEASHED IN THE EAST is a perfect example of what JUDAS PRIEST is like live. They are true metal gods. UNLEASHED IN THE EAST captures the best of ROB HALFORD, K.K. DOWNING , AND GLEN TIPTON. ROB HALFORDS vocals are in legendary form on this album. This is a must have for any fan of heavy metal, and heavy it is. There are other great live albums in other genres of music, but for heavy metal, this is in my opinion the best. A must have for every metal fan.
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on October 20, 2014
One of the best live albums ever recorded. The remastered version sounds great for the time that the original recording was made. So glad I could add this to my collection. You can buy all the older Judas Priest remastered now. Love it!!!
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on April 3, 2016
While many bands from the 1970s would break with their first live album, several others would solidify their reputation with their live release and would hit paydirt with their next studio album. AC/DC would do this with their excellent live album, If You Want Blood...You Got It! and Judas Priest would do the same with Unleashed In the East. This album shows this terrific band at their absolute best. The band had created a few strong metal albums before this that didn't sell (most notably the excellent Stained Class record) so they were ready. Several of the tracks here such as the driving "Exciter", "Sinner", and "Running Wild" would blow the studio versions away. Their take on Joan Baez's "Diamonds and Rust" is the rare cover that triumphs the original and it rocks like hell. "Genocide", "Ripper" and "Tyrant" are raw and wicked tracks played at a furious pace compared to their studio versions while Rob Halford's performance is absolutely amazing on the now classic metal epic "Victim of Changes". Their take on Fleetwood Mac's "Green Manalishi (With the Two-Pronged Crown)" also kicks tail. The twin guitar juggernaut of K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton shine like the sun throughout as does the rhythm section of bassist Ian Hill and drummer Les Binks. The remastered version includes great versions of "Delivering the Goods", "Rock Forever", and the title track from Hell Bent for Leather album and "Starbreaker" from Sin after Sin. As a longtime Priest fan, I wish that there was more than one track from Stained Class (like "Heroes End", "Beyond the Realms of Death", or the title track) but what is here is still killer. This also blows their later live albums out of the water even if those albums had "hits". All told, Unleashed in the East is a classic heavy metal live album and would pave the way big time for Judas Priest. Highly recommended.
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on January 2, 2002
When I first listened to Unleashed in the East I thought it was a bit monotonous and similar to other hard rock/heavy metal that I'd heard - probably because the style here has so often been imitated. Then after a few years I found myself listening to it more often and more closely until I realized I was hooked. Now, I consider it one of my favorite albums. Here's a short list of reasons why:
1) The energy and power of the music, which is backed by fantastic riffs and leads that burn a hole in your consciousness. 2) Incredible musicianship. This includes the previously mentioned guitar work as well as the surrealistically talented Rob Halford on lead vocals and the drumming, which far outclasses that on later releases by Priest. 3) Lyrics that match the complexity and force of the music. 4) The quality of the recording. The sound has a depth that captures the feel of a concert hall in the way it fills and expands in your ears.
Like many other great albums, Unleashed in the East transports you into it's own atmosphere and keeps you riveted by it's intensity. In the end, you feel as if you've been on a journey. One that you want to take over and over again. There's a subtlety to it that might take some repeat listenings to notice. This includes various little effects and noises as well as the countless twists and turns in the music. Overall it's a disc that creeps up on you gradually until all the sudden you don't know what hit you. So put this one in your pipe and smoke it. You'll soon wonder what the point of living is without it (to paraphrase Running Wild).
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on August 14, 2002
Sorry I have to reply to an easiler review.
How can anyone say "avoid" the live version of Tyrant!?!? It's one of the defining moments in heavy metal history. Judas Priest blazed a trail that many followed, and this album is one of the all time greats within the genre. If you love metal and this isnt in your collection, you're seriously missing out.
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on July 20, 2011
Unleashed in the East is not only one of Judas Priest's best cds of all time, it's one of the best metal cds of all time. Recorded in the late 1970's, it perfectly captures the up and coming sound of what heavy metal would become. Every song rocks hard, most of them played faster then how they were recorded in the studio. The crowd is loud and into it and adds an exciting texture. If you're looking for something that captures Priest's sound from the early days, you've found it!!
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