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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Judas Priest - True Metal Gods!
This album defines British Heavy Metal. There isn't a weak song in sight. Glenn and K.K.'s guitar playing is flawless throughout, their solos mind-blowing in both precision and power. Check out the solos to 'Love Bites' and 'Freewheel Burning' for examples of the perfect heavy metal twin-guitar assault as pioneered by Judas Priest. As for vocals, there's not a lot you...
Published on 17 Mar 2004 by HeavyMetalMonty

versus
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Catchy yet unsatisfying? or Commercial Metal masterstroke?
This album represents a solid offering from the priest it is certainly not a classic as there are too many tracks which really don't deliver such as Heavy Duty/Defenders of the faith which is just a bit of a plodding rip off of Queens "We will rock you" which falls well short of the mark.

However there are some really great tracks on offer here as well like...
Published on 20 Oct 2006 by Alex Lewis


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Judas Priest - True Metal Gods!, 17 Mar 2004
By 
HeavyMetalMonty (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Defenders Of The Faith (Audio CD)
This album defines British Heavy Metal. There isn't a weak song in sight. Glenn and K.K.'s guitar playing is flawless throughout, their solos mind-blowing in both precision and power. Check out the solos to 'Love Bites' and 'Freewheel Burning' for examples of the perfect heavy metal twin-guitar assault as pioneered by Judas Priest. As for vocals, there's not a lot you can say about Rob Halford, except that he is the one and only Metal God.
Every metal fan should own this album. Young bands should listen to 'Defenders of the Faith' as the blueprint for heavy metal performed as it should be: anthemic choruses; beautiful melodies; wall-crumbling riffs; stratospheric vocals; tight rhythm section; synergy between band members; alternating pace. If you don't have a copy, get one now.
Buy it.
Play it loud.
Repeat.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Priest, 10 Jan 2010
By 
M. G. Chisholm "chiefengineer3" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Defenders Of The Faith (Audio CD)
I always think of this album in conjunction with Screaming for Vengeance - in fact I sometimes feel that these two records could have been put together as a double album. It also coincides with my youth at a point where I was discovering what kind of sound I liked. This cemented my love of heavy metal.

Cast your mind back to the eighties and the early days of Kerrang. I remember vividly how much of an impact Screaming and Defenders had on the rock press. And rightly so. It's perhaps hard to recall after so many years and so many bands how much Priest did with this album to shape what we call heavy metal or rock now. They virtually invented the sound and Defenders is perhaps the best example Priest have of the balance of commerciality and full on metal.

I have read that some feel it is too accessible. Not true. It is successful and popular and whilst one may turn their collective noses up at this concept the truth is that when a band sells records it can change tastes and also carry on viably. One cannot knock a band trying to make some money. The fact that Priest did it with such genre changing aplomb is commendable.

Make no mistake however - this is a heavy record. The way some folks review it one would think that it is a radio friendly pop album and that would be very wrong indeed. Nope we have some of the best full on speaker rocking metal ever produced and the songs Heavy Duty rolling into Defenders of the Faith alone should be on any rock fans list. Give the combo a listen at ear bursting volume and then try and suggest that this is over commercial. It's a brain melting gruesome twosome.

We have of course a few more classics often used live. The Sentinel, Love Bites, Some Heads Are Gonna Roll and Freewheel Burning. Many bands would be happy if in their entire career they came up with these gems. Priest had them on one record for goodness sake.

There is however a sting at the end. We have with many of the re-issues the dreaded bonus tracks. Now don't get me wrong here, sometimes it's nice to have all the stuff punted out by your fav band, but often the added extras just don't help. Turn On Your Light is a horrible dirge and rightly so was never used originally. The live version of Heavy Duty/Defenders is good but oddly enough for a live recording isn't as good or heavy in some ways as the original studio effort. Therefore it has no place on this one. Priest would be better served by doing an AD/DC and collating all the guff together as a "Backtracks," type collection. That way you could have all the dodgy stuff but not actually end up having to listen to it. Thankfully as the extras are at the end you can turn the CD off.

Still, it's one of the best records that Priest have made and as Priest is one of the best bands in rock history it then means this is one of the un-missable items anyone should own if they like heavy metal and possess a pulse.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic and dramatic, marks the end of an era, 11 April 2009
By 
Brian V. Burford (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Defenders Of The Faith (Audio CD)
On its first listen, Defenders of the Faith, despite some commercial leanings, doesn't possess a hit single - and it's all the better for that.

This album is epic and dramatic, Rob Halford's soaring and at times operatic vocals only gives this release a sense of granduer that the ambitious Nostradamus failed miserably to replicate. The production is intense, heavy and never again would Judas Priest appear this intense.

From the relentless pace of Freewheel Burning to the closer Heavy Duty/Defenders of the Faith, the intensity never lets up. The twin guitar work of the masters Downing and Tipton is class, and even Dave Holland's drum work - never a spectacular drummer - benefits from the production.

The band's performance is polished and shiny, as was illustrated on The Sentinel, but they also show a sadistic side with Love Bites and Eat Me Alive that whiplashes the listener with its sharp chords and razor-like delivery.

There isn't a duff track on this album and despite the classics before like British Steel and Screaming for Vengeance which will always be the albums that cemented their reputation, Defenders of the Faith represented a culmination of all these things, a perfect blend of rock, heavy metal and their sense of sinister, artistic muscle.

The weak Turbo (1986) followed and then the about face Ram it Down (1988). And although Painkiller (1990) restored their reputation as one of the world's best rock bands, its production didn't share Defenders class.

Therefore, Defenders of the Faith really was a watershed release for the band and while die hards will point to the previous releases of British Steel and Vengeance as being superior, I beg to differ. Never again would Priest sound this polished or intense, and if they're honest, both British Steel and Vengeance contain weak tracks that Defenders just doesn't. In short, 40 odd minutes of the best rock music ever produced by Judas Priest and arguably one of the best albums of 1984.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Have faith in Judas Priest, 19 May 2012
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Defenders Of The Faith (Audio CD)
Defenders Of The Faith,released in Jan 84,a time of rock turmoil,,Rush had released Signals a keyboard album, Van Halen the single Jump and Def Leppard the soft rock album Pyromania,all sold well.Where would Metal go ,was it out of fashion? Metal Gods, Judas Priest,the most influential metal band stood firm,recording one of the best metal albums of the 80's.Taking,its lead from the tour they had just completed ,Live Vengeance,on which the Priest were playing at a very energetic tempo.Defenders Of The Faith is almost a thrash metal album compared to Screaming For Vengeance,all the songs race along ,flowing from one to the other.Each song is carefully crafted with harmonic twin guitars, great choruses and the lead breaks are some of the best Priest ever recorded. The band are on top form and the whole album has an uplifting feel.I saw Priest in Dec 83 at the start of the Defenders tour in Birmingham ,their home city,they also appeared live on the TV show The Tube at this time. They were on fire live, blasting this album out at an unrelenting pace.I still play this CD ,it's a blast, addictive stuff and great fun. History will record the fact that Judas Priest stood up ,at the height the 80's keyboard assault,to defend the guitar and did so in great style. Metal Gods? Yes they earned this title over the years and this CD is one of the reasons, it has a place in time.Imagine Xmas 1983 playing on the radio [BBC Radio 1 rock night] is Van Halen's Jump getting it's first UK radio play ,,immediatly followed by Judas Priest's new song, Some Heads Are Gonna Roll,you needed to be there, pure Heavy Metal history
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What An Album From The Metal Gods, 13 April 2007
This review is from: Defenders Of The Faith (Audio CD)
Wow, this is an awsome album from the metal gods. They some how improved on Screaming For Vengance with this album Defenders Of The Faith,

with stand out songs such as Some Heads Are Gonna Roll and The Sentinel.

I was amazed when i first heard this album, it's a really addictive album with catchy songs and great guitar work.

A 5 star album in my view, i recommend it to any rock and metal fans.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Catchy yet unsatisfying? or Commercial Metal masterstroke?, 20 Oct 2006
This review is from: Defenders Of The Faith (Audio CD)
This album represents a solid offering from the priest it is certainly not a classic as there are too many tracks which really don't deliver such as Heavy Duty/Defenders of the faith which is just a bit of a plodding rip off of Queens "We will rock you" which falls well short of the mark.

However there are some really great tracks on offer here as well like The Sentinel, Freewheel Burning and Rock Hard Ride Free. For me though the production is a little too slick and polished and, has a bit to much of a Pop feel to it, the edgy Killing Machine or the brilliant Painkiller are far better examples of what the Priest are capable of.

If you like the more commercial side of Judas Priest this is probably the album for you as well as British Steel but if like me you prefer the harder sharper Priest stuff then you can give this one a miss
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5.0 out of 5 stars Judas Priest keep it clean and crisp, 10 Jun 2003
By 
J. Sparks "the_jord" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Defenders Of The Faith (Audio CD)
With this album, Priest kept the Metallion alive with a burning heavy metal album that was not only one of the best Priest albums, but one of the best heavy metal albums around.
Its not slow, but not fast, just downright heavy! One of the greatest features of this album, for a guitar fan like myself, is the incredibly crisp, clean and quality solo's. Priest weren't divulging in the extra heaviness that came about in the Painkiller album with new double bass techniques. That extra edge may have been missing at this stage but this made the music appear some what more technical.
All in all, the clean sound that comes out of this album surprised me at the time, as I was used to the ridiculous wah of Slayer and brutality of At The Gates.
Rob Halford's voice is as powerful as ever on this album. I would recommend listening to a few songs first before purchasing to get used to Halford's voice.
Great heavy metal, get it in the collection!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best and Finest Metal: Epic, 28 Nov 2009
By 
F. Camilleri - See all my reviews
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Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Defenders Of The Faith (Audio CD)
This is the album that started me off in the 1980s. I remember listening to it when it came out and I was instantly a convert. Every track exudes power, confidence, variety, skill, and heavy, very heavy, metal. The opening tracks are a punch in the stomach and leave your head feeling dizzy. There is such an orchestral feel and composition to the Priest sound of this period: such a rich texture of heavy riffs and pounding drums.

I had a very big problem after listening to this album for three or four times a day: all the other albums I kept buying or borrowing sounded so not-heavy compared to Priest. It was a problem because I couldn't satisfy my need for a heavy rock sound. Eventually, it was what attracted me to the speed and thrash metal at the end of the 1980s.

I still listen to 'Defenders of the Faith' - not as regularly as I used to do, but over two decades later it still feels fresh and electric.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars KEEP THE FAITH!!!, 24 Jun 2009
This review is from: Defenders Of The Faith (Audio CD)
Things were never going to be quite the same after this album. The weak Turbo and mediocre Ram It Down were to follow before the mighty Painkiller resurrected the band's sound. So this is a jewel of an album.

As others have said it is stylistically similar to Screaming For Vengeance but man is it a whole lot heavier. At a time when there was a lot of froth and bluster in rock music; DOTF as a metal album with balls. The opener, Freewheel Burning is thrash-a-la-Priest, and if my memory serves me correctly was released as a single (with a truly hammy video). Just listen to and try to keep up with Rob on the "Look before you leap..." refrain. Jawbreaker is now the stuff of legend and although a fantastic song is not the best thing on here. That title, for me, is between Rock Hard and The Sentinel. Love Bites is another of those dark, sexually themed songs that wouldn't have been out of place on Killing Machine whilst Eat Me Alive had the US moral majority up in arms at the time. Some Heads Are Gonna Roll and Night Comes Down are pure class which leads us to Heavy Duty which does exactly what it says on the tin - it's a Heavy Duty number with the singalong Defenders Of The Faith tagged on at the end.

Sure, some of the lyrics are poor and the album cover has to be one of the worst Priest ever released but overall it's a damn good album. I prefer SFV personally as there is a bit more diversity and a bit more light and shade on there whereas DOTF is heavy, heavy, heavy. A great album, buy it and KEEP THE FAITH!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Screaming For Vegeance 2, 9 Sep 2008
This review is from: Defenders Of The Faith (Audio CD)
The follow up to the monster Screaming For Vengeance opus was always going to be hard work and to some extent the cover of Defenders clearly trades on the success of Screaming by aping its gormless imagery of a mythical mechanical beast (complete with machine guns and tank tracks, courtesy of Doug Johnson). It's worthy of note that I had a tee shirt of the cover in my youth and it had the effect of reducing a bus full of people to laughter when they passed me on the street - serious it is not, although I sometimes wonder if Priest actually get their own joke. The impression before playing the CD is therefore one of continuity from Screaming and to some extent this is achieved in the music. The music is warmer, less intense and more melodic than Screaming but the general style doesn't really stray from its predecessor in the way that Turbo does from Defenders or Killing Machine does from Stained Class. The production is also less intense, almost bordering on pedestrian if I was to be uncharitable.

Freewheel Burning is a `fast and furious' opener in the tradition of Exciter, Rapid Fire or Ram It Down, all of which are in a similar vein and open their respective CDs. Why it was released as single, following the commercial success of the radio friendly `You've Got Another Thing Coming' from Screaming, is a mystery, as it has all the subtlety and finesse of being hit in the face with a cricket bat. To be fair the song is all over the place. Multiple rhyming of words ending in `us', double quick verses, screaming bridges and a baffling subject matter should write this off as truly awful but the conviction of the delivery and sheer power sort of carry it through with some success - Top 40 material it is not.

Of the rest of (what was) side 1, Jawbreaker is excellent with its urgent riff and screaming finale (what sort of snake Rob was going to break his jaw on is anybody's guess..), Rock Hard Ride Free is melodic but a bit plodding and the Sentinel is a good frenetic atmospheric yarn about `the metal future'.

The lascivious and controversial `Love Bites' and `Eat Me Alive' are up next (both courting controversy at the time due to the lyrical content). `Love Bites' lumbers along in the vein of `Rock Hard' and `Some Heads', which comes later in the listing, but `Eat Me Alive' positively charges out of the speakers, carried effectively by Rob's snarling vocals. `Some Heads' fairs better in a live setting, as it is a fairly slow melodic piece somewhat stifled by the production and when the Night Comes Down stands as a fairly impassioned ballad. Finally, there is the duet of Heavy Duty and Defenders of The Faith. This is where the album lifts again. In the bloodline with Take on The World and United this is another firm nod to the almost `Queen' like nature of some of Priests more well known anthems. This is a good finale to an album which tries to follow the successful formula of Screaming but unfortunately slightly loses out in comparison as a result.
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