Judas Priest
Screaming for Vengeance


4.5
superb

Review

by Matthijs van der Lee USER (219 Reviews)
July 25th, 2009 | 27 replies


Release Date: 1982 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Priest mixes mainstream with metal and create one of the best albums of their career.

Following their more hard rock-orientated albums Killing Machine, British Steel and Point of Entry, Priest went back into the studio to record an album that combined their recent direction with the traditional 70’s heavy metal they used to produce. A smart move for the band, as they could now win back old fans while still holding on to the recently gained ones. The new album, titled Screaming for Vengeance, was released in 1982, and proved to be Priest’s biggest jump in popularity so far, with the single You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’ topping the charts, and opener(s) The Hellion/Electric Eye becoming one of their favourite live performances. Screaming also introduced the first creature, The Hellion, of what would become a stream of ‘metal messiahs’ (an overly cheesy concept by Priest with each of the respective albums more or less conceptualising aspects of the creature depicted on the cover art).

Screaming for Vengeance’s Judas Priest was:
- Robert John Arthur Halford ~ Vocals
- Kenneth Downing Jr. ~ Lead Guitar
- Glenn Raymond Tipton ~ Lead Guitar
- Ian Frank Hill ~ Bass Guitar
- David Holland ~ Drums

The idea of mixing the mainstream and heavy metal approach turned out to be a very fortunate move indeed, not only commercially, but also quality-wise. Overall, the album shows the best of both worlds, meaning the catchiness of mainstream Priest along with the riffing and soloing of metal Priest. Halford retains a strong balance between high-pitched/screaming vocals and ‘regular’ vocals, in contrast to earlier albums where mostly one of the two would overpower the other. This sense of balance is something the band didn’t quite achieve earlier (except maybe on Sad Wings of Destiny), and is what makes Screaming such an excellent revitalization after the disappointing Point of Entry.

Taking the best of both worlds also means that the album has the necessary variety the most Priest albums tend to lack. The two opening tracks are straight out heavy metal and get the listener pumped for the rest, while in contrast You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’ is one of Priest’s best mainstream efforts. Riding on the Wind is simply structured to the likes of the last few years, but proves to be a great heavy metal song in the way it is presented, and has Holland putting down a surprising performance in which he stands out for a change. As should be on any album, the title track is one of the finest offerings with its menacing ferociousness, and a showcase of the fact that Priest still has some new ideas to offer.

Consistency is what completes the pleasant listening experience. Unlike almost all other Judas Priest albums, there is not a single filler track present on the album. Songs such as Pain and Pleasure and Fever may not be as memorable as the others, they do not detract from the quality of the album in any way. The only real problem Screaming for Vengeance has, is the absence of innovation, as the band is basically combining old ideas together. Luckily most listeners won’t mind this.

Simply a magnificent landmark in the extensive Judas Priest discography, Screaming for Vengeance successfully combined old and new approaches in the exact right way. It is very consistent, has more than enough memorable songs, and is enjoyable throughout. Only flawed by lack of real innovation, Priest’s 8th studio album is one of their best ever, and should be picked up by anyone with slight interest in the band.

+ Combines the appeal of heavy metal and mainstream song writing
+ Very consistent
+ Likeable for almost anyone who likes hard rock/heavy metal

- No real musical progress

Recommended tracks:

The Hellion/Electric Eye
Screaming for Vengeance
You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’
Riding on the Wind



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Nagrarok
July 25th 2009


8245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I was going to go with a 4 first, but since this album has no real letdowns, 4.5 it is.

FadeToBlack
July 25th 2009


10926 Comments


Good review. You nailed the best songs. Pain and Pleasure and Take These Chains and pretty unmemorable for me though

Nagrarok
July 25th 2009


8245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Take These Chains is probably the least interesting, but it isn't really bad enough for filler and blends in nicely.

OllieS
July 25th 2009


2031 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review. I remember buying this in a department store in Spain a year ago. Good times. The Hellion/start of Electric Eye is so epic.

Btw, who is that in your profile pic?

Nagrarok
July 25th 2009


8245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Udo Dirkschneider.

ConorMichaelJoseph
July 25th 2009


1870 Comments


Album's so damn catchy and Rob is an awesome vocalist. Great review, pos'd

lostforwords
July 25th 2009


446 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

One more really nice review. I agree with your argument about the variety and consistency of the album. I would give this a 4 though as i prefer the next one.

Douchebag
July 25th 2009


3624 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great album only Fever is a let down for me.

Nagrarok
July 26th 2009


8245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks guys.

@lostforwords: I don't think DOTF is way as good as this, and my rating is going to be at least one mark lower.

@Alligator: Fever has trouble getting started up, but is great after that. This is just more of an album where everyone has their preferences though.



Douchebag
July 26th 2009


3624 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah definitley, and on that note I'm going to say I prefer DOTF, and I don't really know why, SFV has the singles but defenders feels more of a whole album in my opinion.

Nagrarok
July 26th 2009


8245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I found the second half of DOTF to be rather meh. I'm going to give it another listen and will post the review today if I get to it.

Douchebag
July 26th 2009


3624 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah each to his own, looking foward to reading it.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
July 26th 2009


8357 Comments


really enjoying yor Priest reviews man, good stuff. This album is rather cool imo, I ain't got a lot of Priest stuff, but it looks like I am going to look this up from my cd collection and give it some listens because I remember enjoying this quite a bit.

FadeToBlack
July 26th 2009


10926 Comments


I've never really enjoyed DOTF as much as this; the last two songs ruin it for me

Nagrarok
July 26th 2009


8245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

More like the second half for me, which is far less memorable than the first.

shindip
July 26th 2009


3536 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is where JP went downhill IMO

KILL
July 26th 2009


71750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hell yea this album rapes, probably my 4th favourite priest record, good review!

Digging: Invisible - El jardin de los presentes

Buccaneer
July 26th 2009


692 Comments


I only have Painkiller and Sad Wings from these guys. Both rule.

I'm guessing this should be the next Priest album to get.


Great review.

Nagrarok
July 26th 2009


8245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is where JP went downhill IMO

Here already or after this?

shindip
July 26th 2009


3536 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

After this. Ive heard good things about Nostradamus though... site doesnt seem to like it.



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