Cheese, that marvellous food that is enjoyed around the world around, is made from the curdled milk of various animals. Its flavours range from the mild to the eye-wateringly sharp. These different flavours are the product of a huge range of varying factors. Animal diet, additives, the way the milk was curdled (the usual method is utilising natural bacteria) and even the age of the cheese. There are many popular cheeses that most of you will be familiar with. I will attempt to list a few of the more common ones here:
And of course Heavy Metal
Heavy Metal cheese is produced from a variety of animals, such as the guitar, and has many different flavours. And just like its fellow cheeses, it can either improve with age, or go rotten.
On May 17 in the year of 1988, a variety of cheeses were produced by master manufacturers Judas Priest. Several of these were premium stock which would stand the test of time, perhaps even improve with time. However, a number were also doomed to be too thick and insipid to ever be consumed, even when put on toast.
For make no mistake, it is cheesier than a Ď70s fondue party with a David Cassidy soundtrack. Nobody ever acclaimed Rob as the poet of our generation, but unfortunately his technology-inspired lyrics of the Ď80s and early Ď90s were the thing of nightmares (or wet dreams, depending on your tastes). Just look at the 2nd and 3rd cheeses on offer. Heavy Metal
is a song about Heavy Metal. Not only has it got a sharp, heavy flavour, but itís gooey consistency can make it unpalatable to all but those children of the Ď80s. Likewise, Love Zone
has a passable taste. Itís not going to win any awards, but you might like it on top of your pizza. Judas Priest also served up a cheese to fill the niche market of songs to play just before an awesome rock song when youíve had the beer that will send you over the line that separates tipsy and drunkenly obnoxious. The aptly named Iím A Rocker
is a lyrical car-wreck, but is it ever fun.
Undoubtedly, the most delicious cheeses on this smorgasbord are Ram It Down
and Hard As Iron
. Highlighting the fury and passion of Priestís music, with Robís trademark falsetto leading the charge, these two delicacies are best served hot and loud, perhaps in a fondue? For the finest Speed Metal that Judas Priest would produce before Painkiller
, one cannot look further than the 1st and 5th cheese varieties on Ram It Down
It is a pity, then, that this album would have any filling at all. It is a double pity that this filling isnít at all tasty. In fact, itís rather unpalatable. If you had, say, an egg roll with the cheese varieties of Come And Get It
, Love You To Death
or Monster Of Rock
, youíd probably throw the whole thing away to avoid the risk of tasting any of these noxious flavours.
Luckily, a few tasty morsels still remain. We have a new look at an original recipe by Chuck Berry, named Johnny B. Goode
. Not only do Priest play the simple, yet heavy tune with gusto, but Rob delivers some of his highest vocals, ever. Possibly the best cover Judas Priest ever did.
And finally, we have Blood Red Skies
. The only non-speed metal track on the album, this slow, steady cheese is full of deliberate rhythm, corny lyrics and some fine bass.
Truly, it is a real pity that some of Priestís best efforts of the Ď80s are sandwiched into a package with such bitter cheeses. What could have been their greatest album instead became their what if?
. Listening to this album is like playing Battleships. A lot of the time, youíll get a hit, and feel on top of the world. However, every so often youíll miss, and thatís when you ask yourself this question; Does Ram It Down
sink my battleship?