Judas Priest
British Steel


2.5
average

Review

by Priestmetal USER (20 Reviews)
January 16th, 2006 | 24 replies | 7,016 views


Release Date: 1980 | Tracklist


6 of 7 thought this review was well written

British Steel is arguably Judas Priest's most well known album. It is the album that made them a mainstream success. In addition, when they released this album they had just recently changed their image from dark and gothic to showy and bright. They would come on stage through heaps of smoke and Rob Halford, the lead singer, would be riding a Harley Davidson as lights and lasers and what not would be flashing everywhere. Lots of youths could relate with these guys (especially with this album) because of their rebel attitude and metal anthemes such as Breaking the Law, United, and Living After Midnight. This connection with the youth and with thier fans is what I believe braught them so much success. Yet, now looking back on the album without its critical acclaim and historical importance for heavy metal, I realised that it is rather weak.

The album kicks off with the Priest classic Breaking the Law. The melody is catchy, the rythm section is steady, and Rob's vocals are not as high pitched as usual. This is how almost every song on the album is. Very different from their Pre Hell Bent for Leather albums. The riffs in most of these songs are now considered "Classic Priest riffs", for example the main riff in Metal Gods, and United. But they are really watered down and insipid compared to their older riffs. They are simple, like the older riffs, but they lack that mean sharp metal edge that songs like Sinner had. Moreover, the guitar solos are also watered down. They are shorter and simpler in terms of technicallity. For example, the guitar solo at the end of Steeler is merely a little bit of tapping followed by some assortment of notes that are being played and then bended with the tremolo bar. In other words, the solos on this album are more for show and are just there for the sake of bieng there and not in the purpose of making the song more interesting.

Rob Halford, as most of you may know, has an insane vocal range similar to Bruce Dickenson's. Yet, on this album, he tends not to use his signature scream. Instead he uses a lower register, with a sort of strain that makes his voice seem very metal but just not high pitched. This isn't necessarily a bad thing but still its known that he is capable of displaying much more vocal talent than he does here.

The drumming on British Steel isn't very good. It seems that it is also just there just because drumming in general is needed for this kind fo music. The drumming in every song is very simple. Not even a cool fill or an interesting beat anywhere.

On a good note, surprisingly, Ian Hill's bass work, although minimalisticaly simple is quite audible in most songs giving them a nice depth that most other Judas Priest songs lack. His bass shines the most in the track The Rage. He even gets a bass intro!!!

The main problem with the album though is that there are too many expendable songs. They get repetitive and uninteresting very fast. Eventually, one gets tired of hearing the same power chord arrangement over and over with the same cheesy lyrics. The best example of this is the song Grinder. It is basically made up of two simple as ever riffs and has some of the worst lyrics I've ever heard. "Grinder... Looking for meat. Grinder... Wants you to eat". Also, United sounds like some American patriot song. "United, United, United we stand, United we stand one and all". If you listen to this album all the way through, you will never want to hear a power chord again becasue thats all it is made up of.

All in all, the breakthrough album for one of the biggest metal acts is by far not their best effort. The musicianship is watered down and the songs are repetitive. The lyrics are horrible, as well. Yet, the last three tracks are quite good in many ways and within the six previous tracks there are some decent moments. The album itself is not atrocious but merely uninspired. It lacks interesting moments that were dropped just to seem bright and shiny and image oriented. I recommend the album for fans of maintream metal from the early 1980s and i guess anyone who likes Judas Priest. After all, this is their breakthrough album.

Bottom line: 2.5/5 An almost decent album dragged down by repetitiveness and boring songs.



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user ratings (1012)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Aakon_Keetreh
January 16th 2006



448 Comments


breaking the law, breaking the law
washing the dog, washing the dog
gotta love that song

Apathy
January 16th 2006



645 Comments


Maiden>>>>>> Priest.

Aakon_Keetreh
January 16th 2006



448 Comments


^^^^
what mazz567 said

ocelot-05
January 16th 2006



807 Comments


Maiden=Priest=Cheese

Lunarfall
January 16th 2006



3179 Comments


Mmm, cheese.

Priestmetal
January 16th 2006



542 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I prefer Priest to Maiden but I agree that they are both cheese. Please vote "yes" If you liked the review.

Aakon_Keetreh
January 18th 2006



448 Comments


meh there alright
i saw them live
it was awsome!

Jaffe
February 3rd 2006



9 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I think earlier Priest is much better. Except for Painkiller. However, it is of course a great album, but in my opinion it's far from the greatest!

Apocalyptic Raids
February 27th 2006



810 Comments


Metal Gods m/

DangerBird
March 13th 2006



51 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This CD is good, but far from a classic. Metal Gods and You Don't Have To Be Old To Be Wise are really good songs, but then theres total cheese-fests like United and Living After Midnight. I prefer the older and heavier stuff.

Priestmetal
March 13th 2006



542 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

^^^Hell ya man...This Message Edited On 03.13.06

south_of_heaven 11
March 17th 2006



5433 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

2nd priest album i got and i was really let down here...Priestmetal, you hit everything dead on...nice review


i too also strongly prefer maiden to priestThis Message Edited On 03.17.06

MetallicaBowler
April 11th 2006



4 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I disagree, I LOVE this album and, for all the haters...Judas Priest > Iron Maiden.

Mathias HIMSELF
May 30th 2006



161 Comments


MetallicaBowler, you said it bro, ive seen both Iron Maidon and Judas Priest and the Priest show was better by far, and as a band i simply like them better.

Saxon Priest
May 31st 2006



110 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This album annoys me, they all give sub-par performances and all the instruments are watered down. This review is spot on although I'd give it a 3/5.

Mathias HIMSELF
May 31st 2006



161 Comments


Priest and Maidon were amazing when i saw them

met65
June 20th 2006



105 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Breaking the law! Breaking the law!This Message Edited On 06.20.06

boofhead
August 2nd 2006



16 Comments


Saxon priest you are a sub-par bloke and you have no idea about music


Spamwise
August 13th 2006



87 Comments


I've listened to some older Priest, and some songs from this album better. I must say, i like the instrumental parts from the old Priest better, but I like the vocals a lot more in this.

Kronos
September 6th 2006



4 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I've always thought this album was poor - the reviewer summed up exactly how I feel about it. Crummy songs, cheesy lyrics(no suprise there), crummy drums, insipid guitar work. Ick.
One of their worst, along with Turbo.

And the video to Breaking The Law is risible



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