Judas Priest
British Steel


2.0
poor

Review

by Mike Stagno EMERITUS
December 21st, 2006 | 281 replies


Release Date: 1980 | Tracklist


It's always sad when a band with the potential to write and produce something astronomical wastes their talent mucking away in the realms of mediocrity and genericness. Especially when the band comes across as classy and hard working. Merely months following their amazingly good fourth album, Stained Class, Judas Priest descended down to this level of insipidness with their fifth release, Hell Bent for Leather. Yet somehow, the record was pretty successful helping break the band into the mainstream. In 1980, Priest would once again make another jump in popularity, releasing British Steel, one of the most overrated metal albums of all time bar none (well, maybe save for Master of Puppets). Hailed as a classic album, British Steel is one of the band's more popular releases, containing hits such as Breaking the Law and Living After Midnight.

Admittedly, the album starts off quite well with Breaking the Law. Much like previous cuts like The Ripper and Hell Bent for Leather (one of the album's few good tracks), the song is rather short and simple in structure. One of metal's most well known anthems; it is really the only track which successfully portrays the rebellious attitudes successfully. Its familiar riff and chorus is the by far album's finest moment, as it manages to maintain the energy and power that it builds up. The other song that impresses here is the third track, Metal Gods. Though fairly average when compared to Judas Priest's top works, its infectious main riff and short solo manage to retain interest, as do the memorable vocal lines of Rob Halford. But you know what? That's it, really. After Breaking the Law and Metal Gods, British Steel has nothing really going for it. Yes, the choruses are catchy. But catchiness, as the band's sixth album so eloquently shows us, does not necessarily make a good record. The remaining seven songs (and bonus tracks if you have the remaster) plod along at a staggeringly slow pace. There just isn't any feeling or excitement in the music, it's simply mind numbingly boring. Not so much on the level as say Images and Words or Lateralus, but it is still tedious nonetheless.

Musically, the band does not really do all that well…at all. Everything from the vocals down to the drumming is significantly weaker than it had been in the past (see Stained Class) or would be in the future (see Painkiller). Rob Halford is one of metal's greatest vocalists when he's on his game – key phrase: when he's on his game. Rob's deliveries on songs like Metal Gods, Breaking the Law, and The Rage are fairly well done. The rest is pretty fairly bad, and recorded at lower octaves. Not exactly impressive, especially for a man as talented as Rob Halford. Mr. Halford is perhaps at his most annoying during the choruses of songs like United and Living After Midnight where his performances are, despite being pretty catchy, painful and cringe worthy to listen to. The guitars have also been really restrained on British Steel. Priest's trade mark dueling guitars are scarce, and when they cam be found they are so watered down and uninteresting that they just aren't worth listening to. After being treated to such efforts such as can be found in Electric Eye, Painkiller, or The Sentinel, this repressing of talent is not really acceptable at all, and actually grows to be quite annoying as the album continues. This band can definitely do better in these respects, and the sub-par performances not really fun to listen to at all.

Among the many albums declared as classics by fans and critics everywhere, there would be a few of which I can only help but wonder what has driven these people to proclaim them as such remarkable albums. Among these albums is Judas Priest's mainstream hit, British Steel, an uninspiring, 36 minute long collection of annoying anthems and filler material. Definitely in the lower echelon of Judas Priest albums, it fails to build on most of the momentum it creates, save for Breaking the Law and Metal Gods, and for the most part toils in repetitiveness and mediocrity. Do yourself a favour and do not look into this album. Seriously now.

Recommended Tracks:
Breaking the Law
Metal Gods



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 (1022)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
Otisbum
December 21st 2006


1912 Comments


Played 'Living...' at a bar, fun song.

Great review.

Deth
December 21st 2006


13 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good album, not a great one.

One little mistake, you said Stained Class was the third JP album and Hellbent was the fourth. They're actually the 4th and 5th albums (Rocka Rolla, Sad Wings, Sin After Sin before), making this the 6th. Otherwise a solid review, though I don't completely agree.

Good for a 3.5 because I'm one of the biggest JP fanboys around here.This Message Edited On 12.21.06

Apocalyptic Raids
December 21st 2006


810 Comments


I think it's a little better than a two, but it's definitely one of their weaker albums and certainly their most overrated.

Mikesn
Emeritus
December 21st 2006


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

One little mistake, you said Stained Class was the third JP album and Hellbent was the fourth. They're actually the 4th and 5th albums (Rocka Rolla, Sad Wings, Sin After Sin before), making this the 6th. Otherwise a solid review, though I don't completely agree.

...I always forget Rocka Rolla. Always. :mad:This Message Edited On 12.21.06

Bfhurricane
December 21st 2006


6197 Comments


Nice review. I've always wanted to get into Priest but never got around to it. I'll be sure I dont start here

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
December 21st 2006


17920 Comments


Tracklist says "Beaking the Law"

Angmar
December 21st 2006


2689 Comments


good review. Painkiller is thier best album blows this one out of the water

ohcleverhansyou
December 22nd 2006


885 Comments


I do not really like the vocals on "Breaking the Law." At least, I like the live version I have ten times better. I sang the song in front of my psych class.

Mikesn
Emeritus
December 22nd 2006


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Tracklist says "Beaking the Law"
Fixed.



Mikesn
Emeritus
February 5th 2007


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Maiden easily. Priest is far too inconsistant.

And this is definitely an important album. I just don't think it's very good.

MetalicDethPriest
February 9th 2007


17 Comments


nop priest all the way!

Altmer
April 5th 2007


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This album is a lot better than you give it credit for.

Livin' After Midnight is so great.

FR33L0RD
September 14th 2007


1464 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I agree with your review (except MOP reference)

Only songs i like on this album are,
Breaking the Law (2/5)
Metal Gods (2/5)
Living After Midnight (2/5)This Message Edited On 09.14.07

Neoteric
September 14th 2007


3243 Comments


Album's pretty poor.

Altmer
September 14th 2007


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

i take back my previous comment. apart from livin' after midnight and breaking the law this album sucks so bad

ReturnToRock
November 14th 2007


3448 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

oh no you didn't!

DeathGrinder
October 19th 2008


152 Comments


albums rules

Dragonforce89
May 2nd 2009


331 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Only 4 good songs here.

KILL
May 2nd 2009


71750 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Breaking the law!

Digging: Invisible - El jardin de los presentes

MetallicaBowler
July 3rd 2009


4 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I say it's a classic, every song is catchy as Hell and the riffs are great. While this is a very well written review and I give you props for backing up WHY you think this album isn't good, I respectfully disagree and continue to blast this album!!!



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