Judas Priest has many excellent albums in their catalog but there is one release that stands out amongst them all as the template for a heavy metal recording, Screaming For Vengeance. Originally released in 1982, remastered in 2001, and now repackaged and re-released with a DVD featuring a live performance from the US Festival Show in San Bernadino, CA on May 29, 1983 - the band celebrates the 30th anniversary of the album’s release with this new special edition.
Screaming For Vengeance is commonly referred to as metal classic and it earned that title when it was released. It remains held in high esteem to this day as a genre defining group of bone crunching metal tracks. One of the factors that always stood out about the remaster from 2001 was how the vocals of Rob Halford came out more to the front of the tracks. This was a good thing and it did not dilute the overall power of the music at all, in fact it gave the recording a crisper and clearer presentation than the original release. This is that same remaster in this package with a few enticing bonuses added in.
The CD has six bonus tracks and five of them are live from the San Antonio Civic Center (tracks 11-14), Track 15 “Devil’s Child,” is live at Mid-South Coliseum, Memphis, Tennessee (December 12, 1982) and the final bonus track is the studio track ”Prisoner of Your Eyes” from the 1985 Turbo sessions.
The DVD is representation of the band during their most fertile time period. The US Festival Show captures the band at the height of their powers presenting their best tracks to date with incredible precision and seemingly endless energy. Halford has hair, which is kind of strange to watch after seeing him for so long without it but it’s still that trademark voice leading the way, just with a different younger look.
Screaming For Vengeance was always my favorite Priest recording until Nostradamus was released and now I would say it’s hard to choose. Even so, when I want those metal juices to start flowing this is the album I will always reach for and give a spin. It never loses its appeal if you are a true metal fan. It epitomizes the energy, the darkness and the fat head pounding licks that made metal what it was in 1982. It was like they were saying “Move over Black Sabbath, it’s our turn to wear the crown!” They did it with a decisiveness that was recognized by metal fans worldwide.
With tracks like “Screaming For Vengeance,” “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming,” “Bloodstone” and “The Hellion,” this metal classic ranks in the top ten of the all-time greats. Now you got another bonus with the DVD to enjoy and watch the band in their prime performing in front of an estimated 375,000 people. This is a worthwhile pickup for any Priest or metal head for sure, its Judas Priest releasing the beast and it doesn’t get any better than this.
Key Tracks: Screaming For Vengeance, You’ve Got Another Thing Coming, The Hellion
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-Founder MuzikReviews.com
August 28, 2012