Before I get into this one, let me first get out the information that this album’s true 30th Anniversary was on Saturday 1/4/2014; However, with the “New Year’s Music Resolution” series just beginning and a full plate to contend with I held off a few days before getting to raise a glass and a hearty pair of horns to Judas Priest’s fantastic “Defenders Of The Faith” which is celebrating being thirty years and four days old today. Happy Anniversary to a seriously heavy album; let me scroll back in time and give you some personal opinion on it.
“Defenders Of The Faith” is Judas Priest’s 9th album and followed their incredible “Screaming For Vengeance” release of 1982. I was already a Priest fan and had been continually listening since “Hell Bent For Leather” and like many fans of the band around this time, I was happy to see them keeping it nice and heavy and on the fast side with the newest release. Yeah “British Steel” and “Point Of Entry” had some moments but I craved the intensity that they were capable of and with “Defenders” they did not disappoint. I recalled going to the neighborhood record store almost immediately after it was put on the shelves and got the group of fellow Priest fans to join me in a listen down in my parent’s basement. From the moment that the needle hit the grooves on that black disc and the first razor riffs of “Freewheel Burning” began we were all sold on the release. Sure it was only the first track but “Jawbreaker” followed it and that was intense and while “Rock Hard Ride Free” was more of a sing along type of track it only helped warm us up for “The Sentinel” (which became one of my very own personal favorites on the album in addition to the opener). The Metallian kept on riding proud and sinister with its power as “Love Bites” blasted through the speakers and of course since we were dealing with an LP we had to pause our enjoyment and turn the album over. Oh yea and should you not really know what “The Metallian” actually is, it’s that monstrous creature that is presented on the albums cover. It was conceptualized by the members of the band and during their worldwide tour would be on the stage with them. I had to say that was pretty damn cool. Doug Johnson designed it for their album cover. Nice work Doug.
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