Judas_Priest-Defenders_Of_The_Faith-FrontalWhen I think of definitive albums that have stood the test of time or best represent what heavy metal was really all about, Defenders Of The Faith by Judas Priest did just that. In my opinion, it is one of the most iconic records the band ever released in their whole career. If someone were to ask me what my favorite Priest record was, I wouldn’t hesitate to say Defenders Of The Faith. The band was on a role in their career as they released staple records British Steel and Screaming For Vengeance right before Defenders which was their ninth studio album. The album featured the usual suspects Rob Halford (Vocals), Glenn Tipton (Guitars), K.K. Downing (Guitars), Ian Hill (Bass), and Dave Holland (Drums). The album did so well in sales that it finished one spot below Screaming For Vengeance at number 18 on The Billboard Top 200 charts. The album cover was designed by Doug Johnson (he did the cover for Screaming as well) and as wikipedia describes it, “the Metallian, a ram-horned, tiger-like land assault creature with Gatling guns and tank tracks conceptualized by the band.” The back cover of the album had a quote on it that read, “Rising from darkness where Hell hath no mercy and the screams for vengeance echo on forever. Only those who keep the faith shall escape the wrath of the Metallian… Master of all metal.” The album was produced by Tom Allom (Def Leppard, Krokus) and it was recorded in Ibiza, Spain.

1. Freewheel Burning– the face scorcher with Rob Halford spitting the lyrics in the third verse faster than a rapper opens up the album and I warn you do not listen to this while driving 5/5

defenders of the faith back2. Jawbreaker– The hypnotic guitar riffs kick off the track as some suspect that the lyrical content deals with oral sex. one thing is for sure and that is Rob Halfords vocals are put to the test on this track. 5/5

3. Rock Hard Rock Free– This track is my anthem for everything as it tells you to live life to the fullest and do not let anyone take you down. The riff is a little slower, but it’s metal madness at its best. 5/5

4. The Sentinel– This is one of the most iconic tracks that Judas Priest has down in their career about a man trapped in a world that is apocalyptic in nature as he tries to survive. The intro of the track is iconic with the guitar riff before the band comes right in with the sonic assault. 5/5 (if I could give it a 6/5 I would)

5. Love Bites– The song starts with a very eerie bass line as we begin the journey into vampires with this track. 4/5

6. Eat Me Alive– The PMRC (Parents Music Resource Center) listed this track at number 3 on their filthy fifteen list declaring the song was inappropriate, but the riff is razor sharp and hammering. 5/5

judas_priest_defenders_of_the_faith_1990_retail_cd-cd7. Some Heads Are Gonna Roll– This was one of two tracks written by Bob Halligan Jr. for Judas Priest and it has that prototypical heavy metal riffage that is power chord heaven. The first guitar solo is played by Tipton while Downing does the second one. 5/5

8. Night Comes Down– This is a true gem on the album that is slow and bluesy mid-tempo track that sucks in you into the emotional landscape of the track. 5/5

9. Heavy Duty/Defenders Of The Faith– I combined the two tracks together because that’s what they did live. Heavy Duty is sort of in the same range as Metal God where it’s very machine like in feeling while the title track is more of an outro as we remember to defend our faith in Metal! 4/5

My Final Thoughts– As I said above this is the most iconic Judas Priest album that still stands the test of time. If you want to start anywhere with Priest, this is the perfect place to start and believe you will be hooked. I am giving the album five stars out of five for a final grade.

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