Metal Insider contributor Anthony Maisano is listening to a different metal album that was released on that day every day this year. This album’s release date is for the U.K. release. The U.S. release of the album was pushed back until February of 1979, due to the success of Stained Class.
This is the last of Priest’s 70’s albums, and in the United States, this album was called Hell Bent for Leather, although the band doesn’t refer to the album by that name. This was really the transitional album between 70’s and 80’s Priest, and a lot their themes of leather and the works came from around this album. I have very little to say about this one, really. It’s an average Judas Priest record. “Before the Dawn” is a really beautiful ballad, showcasing how versatile of a singer Rob Halford can be. For earlier-era Priest, Rob also shows an impressive high range at the end of “Evening Star.”
Just like Sin After Sin, this is an album that, for me, is largely decent, but never outstanding. There’s never really a track from this album I go out of my way to listen to, but nor are there any I’d consider poor tracks. Once again, I call these ‘shuffle tracks.’ This album DEFINITELY doesn’t live up to being the following album to the masterpiece Stained Class. Other than that, it’s more of that rocking early era Priest. I know that the title track(s) to this album is/are popular, but I never personally got into them.
Favorite Tracks: “Evening Star,” “Before the Dawn,” “Burnin’ Up.”
As I said above, this is by no means a bad album, but I never found it to be an outstanding one either. I think there’s better Judas Priest material from their early days, but if you enjoy this point in Priest’s career, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed by this one either. If you’ve yet to give this one a listen, go pick it up, and give it a try yourself. It’s classic Priest, so it’s very hard to go wrong.