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Last of the classic era Priest albums
on August 11, 2013
This was actually the first Judas Priest album I owned. Bought it on cassette when it first came out, and at the time I thought it was about the greatest slab of metal ever. Of course one's tastes when they are 14 years old tend to be a little less discriminating, and listening to this now, it isn't nearly the masterpiece it once seemed. Which is not to say it isn't a decent album. Album opener "Freewheel Burnin'" is up there with the best of the band's anthems, and though the lyrics may be cheesy, "Love Bites" and "The Sentinel" still deliver the goods. The rest of the album is respectable but, compared to its predecessor 'Screaming for Vengeance', 'Defenders' feels a bit uninspired. It doesn't help that the production is flat and a bit muddy sounding. As with all the Priest remasters, there are a pair of bonus tracks. "Turn on Your Light" is a studio outtake from the 'Ram it Down' sessions, and can best be described as "for completists only". The live version of "Heavy Duty/Defenders of the Faith" is fine, but hardly essential.