Label: Columbia - PC 34787 • Format: Vinyl LP, Album, Promo • Country: US • Genre: Rock • Style: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal
Judas Priest 's major-label debut Sin After Sin marks their only recording with then-teenage session drummer Simon Phillipswhose technical prowess helps push the band's burgeoning aggression into overdrive. For their part, K. Downing and Glenn Tipton employ a great deal more of the driving, palm-muted power-chord picking that would provide the basic rhythmic foundation of all but the most extreme heavy metal from here on out.
Sin After Sin finds Priest still experimenting with their range, and thus ends up as perhaps their most varied outing. Yet despite the undeniably tremendous peaks here, the overall package doesn't cohere quite as well as on Sad Wings of Destinysimply because the heavy moments are so recognizable as the metal we know today that the detours stick out as greater interruptions of the album's flow. These two sit Billy Crash Craddock - Broken Down In Tiny Pieces uneasily against the viciousness of the more metallic offerings.
Classic opener "Sinner" is packed with driving riffs, sophisticated guitar interplay including a whammy-bar freakout during a slower middle sectiona melody that winds snakily upward, and nifty Paper Planes - Atomic Workers - Get Your Head Unreal production tricks doubtless inspired by Queen.
A galloping, fully metallic reimagining of the Joan Baez folk tune "Diamonds and Rust" is a smashing success, one of the most effective left-field cover choices in metal history.
Proggy, churchy guitar intro "Let Us Prey" quickly leads into the speed-burner "Call for the Priest," which may just be the earliest building block in the construction of speed metal, and features some of Tipton and Downing 's most impressive twin-guitar harmonies yet. Things close on a high note with Judas Priest - Sin After Sin utterly stunning "Dissident Aggressor," one of the Judas Priest - Sin After Sin songs in the band's catalog, so much so that it was covered and not outdone by Slayer.
Once the bludgeoning main riff abruptly kicks in, Halford screams Judas Priest - Sin After Sin what must be the very top of his range; a completely manic Phillips offers some of the earliest double-bass drumming in metal; and the crazed guitar solos prove that Tipton and Downing had more than just pure technique at their disposal.
It's not a stretch to say that at the time of its release, "Dissident Aggressor" was probably the heaviest metal song of all time. It's the biggest sign here that Gene Watson - Fourteen Carat Mind good as Judas Priest already was, they were on the verge of something even greater. In what must seem like a much bigger oddity now, the inaugural American tour that ensued found them opening for REO Speedwagon and Foreigner.
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