Judas Priest
Defenders of the Faith


4.0
excellent

Review

by Mike Stagno EMERITUS
December 14th, 2006 | 255 replies


Release Date: 1984 | Tracklist


Chances are, if you like metal, you've at least heard Judas Priest. You've probably liked them too, at some point, but I'm not sure if everyone can vouch for that. Judas Priest was one of the first metal bands that I have heard. When they're on their game they can create great things, as seen songs like Electric Eye and Metal Gods which had me hooked after mere listens. Throughout their almost 40 years of existence (That's right. 40 next year!), they've had many ups and downs, extreme highs and extreme lows. Over the course of their highly successful career, the Priest has recorded three albums of which I shall affectionately call "The Big Three." These albums, of which include 1984's Defenders of the Faith, Stained Class, and Painkiller, are some of my favourite metal offerings, and include some of the genre's top songs.

Similarly to both Painkiller and Stained Class, Defenders of the Faith is driven by constant aggression and power. You know, the kind of supremacy that can only be matched by classic metal stalwarts Iron Maiden. Yet at the same time, the album still contains that laidback feel found on the ever popular Screaming for Vengeance or Angel of Retribution. Tracks which effectively balance this combination of song writing include the ever impressive Freewheel Burning and anthem Rock Hard, Ride Free. Both songs capture the raw emotion and strength of your standout Priest track, and satisfy both the hardcore metal head and the casual hard rock/metal fan. But on the album you also have songs like The Sentinel. Containing what is arguably Judas Priest's most memorable chorus of all time, the track runs on the pure power, speed, and well, everything that makes classic metal such a treat to listen to. The duelling guitars, aggressive riffs, and catchy vocal lines are among the album's finest. Definitely one of the tracks that Judas Priest will (or should) be remembered for. Judas Priest's 9th release features interplay from the Tipton/Downing duo countless times throughout its 40-or so minute runtime, and really, anyone who calls themselves a fan of metal should find something which they enjoy.

So where else does the band excel? I'd say Rob Halford's performance behind the mic is quite good. Superb, if you will. In fact, this would have to be one of the "Metal God's" best efforts of his career, and definitely his strongest since Stained Class. Just look to again, the likes of The Sentinel and Freewheel Burning, as well as the slower track Night Comes Down and Jawbreaker for tracks that back up this claim. Rob Halford mixes his trademark high pitched, falsetto with the gritty menacing style he'd been employing for years at that point. Aside from perhaps The Sentinel, Rob doesn't quite hit the same high notes as in Painkiller, The Ripper, or Stained Class, it remains very impressive, especially when compared to some of his contemporaries.

Looking to buy a Judas Priest album? Though most would undoubtedly point to the likes of British Steel, I would instead recommend this (or Screaming for Vengeance, I guess). For while Defenders of the Faith isn't the pinnacle of the Birmingham band's career, it is certainly one of their better albums and exemplifies the attitudes of traditional metal quite well. Fast yet precise; Gritty yet classy; Aggressive yet accessible; heavy yet melodic; the band's ninth release may not have been as commercially successful as the likes of British Steel, Hell Bent For Leather/Killing Machine, or Screaming for Vengeance, it certainly bests them in musical quality. Defenders of the Faith contains some classic Priest tracks, and those looking to delve deeper in the world of classic metal should not hesitate to check it out.

Recommended Tracks:
The Sentinel
Freewheel Burning
Jawbreaker
Some Heads Are Going to Roll



Recent reviews by this author
Funeral for a Friend ConduitPropagandhi Failed States
Tycho DiveMegadeth Th1rt3en
Fair to Midland Arrows and AnchorsArch Enemy Khaos Legions
user ratings (679)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
Matthijs van der Lee (3)
Another one of Priest's overrated affairs, Defenders of the Faith is far inferior to its predecessor...

sonictheplumber STAFF (3.5)
...

Priestmetal (5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
December 14th 2006


17941 Comments


I think you should try a different format. Or something.

Oddsen
December 14th 2006


1127 Comments


Great review.

"Judas Priest was one of the first metal bands that I myself have heard"

You don't really need myself. I know your probably trying to make it more interesting but it sounds a little wierd.

Erratic
December 14th 2006


1120 Comments


I agree great review.




Mikesn
Emeritus
December 14th 2006


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I think you should try a different format. Or something.
I've been thinking that myself, actually. I'll try experimenting when I go away for the holidays.

You don't really need myself. I know your probably trying to make it more interesting but it sounds a little wierd.
Heh, well I don't pretend to be a grammar guru or anything like that, my writing isn't all that great in that aspect. Thanks for the heads up.

south_of_heaven 11
December 14th 2006


5438 Comments


Good review man...I love Judas Priest, so I'll probably pick this up sooner or later.

Mikesn
Emeritus
December 15th 2006


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Jesus Mike, take a breath. You already took the 3 spot for most reviews.
Well, it's been a pretty slow month by my standards... :p

Good review man...I love Judas Priest, so I'll probably pick this up sooner or later.
You should. One of their better albums.

DemonicBlade
June 2nd 2008


7 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is certainly a fine album.

Douchebag
December 11th 2009


3624 Comments


The Sentinal is such a kick ass track!

Piglet
December 11th 2009


4662 Comments


they aren't all that great.

KILL
December 11th 2009


72086 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks for that

Digging: Steve Hackett - Out of the Tunnel's Mouth

Douchebag
December 11th 2009


3624 Comments


I had no idea.

mark7477
August 19th 2010


394 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This was probably the last good priest album they did up until painkiller.

Metalfist
October 11th 2010


36 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The last good one from Priest until Painkiller.

How the mighty would fall during the two years following this...

BigHans
July 8th 2011


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

THE SENNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNTINEL

KILL
July 8th 2011


72086 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yea not brill

BigHans
July 8th 2011


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

probably a 4 but this jams hard

KILL
July 8th 2011


72086 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

didnt even know you reviewed this sonic damn

BigHans
July 8th 2011


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I saw them paly British Steel live in its entirety it was way better live

KILL
July 8th 2011


72086 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

dude british steel hasnt got shit on painkiller

but my favs are sad wings and stained class

BigHans
July 8th 2011


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

best song on British Steel is YOU DONT HAVE TO BE OLD TO BE WISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSE



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy