Posts Tagged “Hell Bent For Leather”

Legendary U.K. metal band Judas Priest announced that the band will release yet another compilation album later this year. The compilation is entitled “Nostradamus Predicted This: The Best Of Judas Priest” is scheduled for release on December 22, 2012. The release contains many other rarities that hadn’t made it on any of the band’s previous compilation albums or studio album reissues.

Vocalist Rob Halford commented on the release: “When we threw out the idea of another compilation, I was initially against it. I said to Glen [Tipton], we have done this many times in the past. However, I don’t think anyone but Nostradamus could have predicted what we were able to present with this one. After 27 compilation albums, we finally got it right.”

The following is the track list of the timeless treasures to be included on the release. The stunning renditions of the following Priest classics were remastered from the original remastered editions:

1. Breaking the Law
2. Tyrant
3. The Ripper
4. Hot Rockin’
5. Living After Midnight
6. Freewheel Burning
7. Hell Bent for Leather
8. Turbo Lover
9. Painkiller
10. Victim of Changes

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79: Thin LizzyJohnny the Fox

It’s been debated whether Thin Lizzy is a pure heavy metal act. Well, yes and no, but they’ve been criminally overlooked for their frequently thunderous contributions which deserve a special award of merit for metal in evolution. Jailbreak is an album you can’t live without, but Johnny the Fox is more adventurous, equally catchy and just a hair more aggressive, despite the couple syrupy ballads which are still damned fine tunes.

78: Chthonic – Mirror of Retribution

Seediq Bale is a mandatory listen for the sheer experience of feeling like you’ve been sucked into a black metal vortex. Still, Taiwanese black thrashers Chthonic have proved to be one of the most innovative and extreme bands on the planet right now. Their merge of traditional erhu strings entwined within their reckless speed usually creates tempests of sorrow worth submitting yourself to. Mirror of Retribution, however, showed a brilliant new dimension to Chthonic with dynamic change-ups and exhilirating melody within their portals of chaos. This is also a band not to be missed onstage.

77: Judas Priest – Hell Bent for Leather

A mega chunk of this list should be dominated by the Priest, but for the interim, let’s take Hell Bent for Leather as one of their most perfect displays of rowdy tunefulness. “Delivering the Goods,” “Evening Star,” “Take On All the World,” “Running Wild” and the title track…all imprintable classics. Let’s not forget the mammoth “Green Manalishi,” requested ad infinitum by every serious metalhead at a Priest show.

76: Whiplash – Power and Pain

There are plenty of thrash bands that were more popular than New Jersey’s Whiplash, but seldom few speed metal albums hold equal measures of blazing insanity and street cred as Power and Pain does. A raw and chunky album, Power and Pain still impresses in this day with its gusty velocity and gutsy musicality.

75: Warlock – True as Steel

“All We Are” from Triumph and Agony may be considered Warlock’s calling card anthem and in some respects, their preceding album Hellbound is a hair better, but for its place in metal history, you can’t go wrong with True as Steel. A bit slicker than it needed to be, this one still rocks hard and introduced the metal world to its future queen, Doro Pesch.

74: Mercyful Fate – Don’t Break the Oath

One of the most horrific metal albums in history, period. Forget the brackets of black and death metal, which Mercyful Fate easily hedges into. The legacy of King Diamond began with Mercyful Fate in an unforgettable plunge straight to Hell.

73: Saint Vitus – Born Too Late

Doom metal is attributed to Black Sabbath, of course, yet it was Saint Vitus who dared to resurrect the form, and they received no thanks from an early-on metal public split between thrash and death metal sanctions and the hairball partyheads. Vitus found their audience strangely amidst the punkers, who revered Black Sabbath nearly as much as the headbangers. Saint Vitus are now well-heralded, but they might’ve been born too early, in this case.

72: Pelican – The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw

Though this album betrays a few squawks and flubs, Pelican developed a powerful infrastructure of explorative drone metal and schematic progression. Similar to Isis’ modes of tone building, when Pelican hits a climax on this album, the results range from beauteous to cataclysmic.

71: Sweet – Desolation Boulevard

Some considered Sweet a glam band and there are certain parallels, yet the bottom line is Desolation Boulevard is a beast of a hard rock album. It’s chocked full of driving animals such as “AC/DC,” (one of the first rock songs to roast bisexuality) “No You Don’t,” “Sweet F.A.” and of course, its better-known tunes, “Ballroom Blitz,” “Set Me Free” and “Fox On the Run.” The latter were covered by the likes of Krokus, Heathen, Ace Frehley and Girlschool.

70: Candlemass – Nightfall

The greatest non-Sabbath doom album of all-time. Not much else needs to be said other than Nightfall is the standard to which all doom bands must answer to.

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The official setlist has been revealed for the ongoing farewell “Epitaph” tour presented by heavy metal icons Judas Priest. You can view the setlist below, with the band’s North American leg of its “Epitaph” tour an be found at this location.

1. Rapid Fire
2. Metal Gods
3. Heading Out To The Highway
4. Judas Rising
5. Starbreaker
6. Victim Of Changes
7. Never Satisfied
8. Diamonds And Rust (Joan Baez cover)
9. Prophecy
10. Night Crawler
11. Turbo Lover
12. Beyond The Realms of Death
13. The Sentinel
14. Blood Red Skies
15. The Green Manalishi (With The Two-Pronged Crown) (Fleetwood Mac cover)
16. Breaking The Law
17. Painkiller
18. The Hellion/Electric Eye
19. Hell Bent For Leather
20. You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’

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As Judas Priest will be hitting the road this year for their reported final tour, it’s appropriate to wander back to their 1977 masterwork, Sin After Sin.

Sin After Sin was, at one time, an acquired taste in Priest’s catalog. While it remains one of their all-time heaviest and most polished recordings, most fans picked up with the band either via British Steel and Hell Bent For Leather or Screaming for Vengeance and Defenders of the Faith. Those albums are slicker, louder and filled with iconic heavy metal classics. Sin After Sin is iconic itself, but you really had to dig backwards when learning the history of metal in order to appreciate their grinding “Dissident Aggressor” (made popular by benefit of Slayer’s cover) and the banging “Sinner,” “Race With the Devil” and “Starbreaker.”

A bit more refined than the over-the-top bludgeoning and tunefulness of their later work, Sin After Sin is a portal into a heavy metal wonderland, in sound by “Last Rose of Summer” and visually by the album’s escapist artwork. I have a great fondness for a lot of the older, detailed paintings gracing Judas Priest’s albums, in particular for Sad Wings of Destiny, Rocka Rolla and the Hero Hero compilation. I’m most fond, however, of the minimalist copier paper trail to infinitum found on Point of Entry. As a writer, that triggers my neurons and sends them scampering in search of that elusive vanishing point.

Yet the Sin After Sin album cover may provoke the most imagination of any of Priest’s albums. I think of Heavy Metal the magazine, I think of Arthur’s fadeout in Excalibur and I think of lust and desire, depicted in the abstract forms found at the sepulchure’s portal on this cover. One must deal with temptation from both sides when approaching the tomb, which really strikes my fancy.

Seduction and damnation await all who enter, and yet the Sin After Sin cover makes you want to see more, particularly to see if there’s a payout to the suggested sex by the translucent girl parting her legs to the side. What’s she hiding between her thighs? Kind of reminds you of an installment of Den from the pages of Heavy Metal, yes? With the devil obscura towards panel left, you get the feeling there’s pain coming with the pleasure, woe be to your genitalia…

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Sorry for the late post, gang. Morning was beyond my control, daytime a marathon and then I was featured tonight at an open mike gig. Good times on the latter, anyway…

Hope everybody’s doing good out there. Had a hell of a chat with Jaz Coleman of Killing Joke last Saturday, in which he gave his extensive views of the world. A highly interesting chat, to say the least.

Here at The Metal Minute, we’ll talk about Mini Mansions and the new Dio double live disc from Castle Donnington, plus a new Twisted Sister DVD featuring their recent Wacken performance. We’ll also have a look at Ozzy’s latest book, The Wit and Wisdom of Ozzy Osbourne, plus plenty of other fun stuff.

Calling it a night, folks, so bring out your spins if you’re still lurking about…

DioDio at Donnington UK: Live 1983 & 1987
Killing JokeAbsolute Dissent
The OceanAnthropocentric
RushGrace Under Pressure
RushMoving Pictures
RushPermanent Waves
HalfordHalford IV: Made of Metal
Judas PriestHell Bent for Leather
Van HalenDiver Down
Motley CrueDr. Feelgood
Mike OldfieldTubular Bells
Bobatunde OlatunjiDrums of Passion
Beastie BoysThe Mix-Up

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Halford Halford IV: Made of Metal
2010 Metal God Records
Ray Van Horn, Jr.

It’s fairly unanimous hardcore metal fans have blown raspberries at Judas Priest’s triple-dog-dare-you epic Nostradamus, even if the Grammy committee tagged honors upon it. Some fans even stake a dagger of hatred into the Priest’s Angel of Retribution album from 2005.

While 1986’s Turbo truly deserves a thumb bite, the point of the matter is Judas Priest is held to such a high standard by the metal community they’re demanded by de facto to be nothing less than British Steel, than Stained Class, than Screaming for Vengeance or Hell Bent For Leather. Judas Priest is the epitome of heavy, the automatic brand name when you discuss the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. Deviation from the script is not tolerated. Ask Ripper Owens. Hell, there are even some purists out there who rebuff the louder ‘n hell Painkiller, shudder to think.

Rob Halford understands this fully well, at least when it comes to issuing his solo work. Under the Halford moniker, you may not get Downing and Tipton, but you do get the scorching (and of late well-respected) Roy Z and Metal Mike Chlasciak, who entertain like the dickens on Made of Metal. Hey, when you’re the Metal God, you don’t surround yourself with a court of fools.

Thus, if you are said purist, rejoice, lad and lass, because Halford IV: Made of Metal is the textbook primer of classic metal you’re salivating for. Forget the operatics and the symphonics. Made of Metal is straight-up vintage Rob Halford and Priest, so much you get a slowed-down reworking of “Electric Eye” with “Speed of Sound” on this album plus a deliberate hail to red times ala Stained Class and Sin After Sin on “Hell Razor.”

Put your faith in Uncle Rob, because he knows what you’re craving. He takes Priest’s halcyon “Before the Dawn” and speeds it up in the thread of Stratovarius on the quick-stepped “Fire and Ice.” Then he atones for the strangely addictive misdemeanor of “Turbo Lover” with the cyber-slick pumper “Made of Metal,” one of Rob’s most memorable non-Priest tunes outside of “Nailed to the Gun” from Fight.

With 14 songs, Made of Metal is a bit of an endeavor, largely because Rob Halford takes a few outside chances in the interest of creating a leaner, more diverse listening experience. This means getting Bon Jovi jiggy on the verses of “Thunder and Lightning,” which heavies up on the choruses and solos before the song gets too oily for its own good. Like Bon Jovi, Rob Halford takes a crack at the cowpoke metal ditty on “Till the Day I Die.” Roy Z and Metal Mike are up to the task in creating blues slides and grimy lines for Halford to ante up from a near-whisper into a cracking metal hoedown catcall. Far less melodramatic and more testicular than Bon Jovi’s “Blaze of Glory.”

One of the elements most critics are missing with this album is the inherent romanticism Halford exudes. Sure, Rob’s delivered the goods to many a love rocker in his career, but Made of Metal reveals a tender, muse-stricken intimacy to the Metal God. He’s in free-frolic mode beneath the rocking stanzas of “I Know We Stand a Chance,” “Fire and Ice,” “Thunder and Lightning,” “Heartless” and “We Own the Night.” His seven-minute self-flogging mini-epic “25 Years” is nearly heartbreaking. Bless you, Rob, it’s nice to hear such lovestruck humanity sieved out with the molten lava.

Halford tempers his vocal patterns throughout the entire album, withholding his screechfest “The Mower” for a grand finale. Hinted at from the beginning of the album by the proto-power chugger “Undisputed,” “The Mower” becomes a cathartic finish to a marathon of pure heavy metal and bobbing rock delivered as only Rob Halford can do without a flinch. “The Matador” may be Halford’s smaller-scale vie to emulate Nostradamus with more efficiency, but in the end, Made of Metal is like that coveted chair in the warmest part of the house: it rocks.

Rating: ****

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