Rating:
9.5
Judas Priest - Defenders Of The Faith
4 January 1984


01. Freewheel Burning
02. Jawbreaker
03. Rock Hard Ride Free
04. The Sentinel
05. Love Bites
06. Eat Me Alive
07. Some Heads Are Gonna Roll
08. Night Comes Down
09. Heavy Duty
10. Defenders Of The Faith
11. Turn On Your Light [Recorded during the 1985 Turbo sessions] [2001 re-release bonus]
12. Heavy Duty/Defenders Of The Faith [Live at Long Beach Arena, Long Beach, California, USA in May 5, 1984] [2001 re-release bonus]


1984....MTV was not in every household, metal was not all over the radio, and you couldn't pick and choose your favorite songs to download. One of the complaints that I have seen about "Defenders of the Faith" is that there is not a standout track (i.e. "Breaking the Law" or "You've Got Another Thing Coming"), but this is the biggest draw of the album for me. There are no filler tracks.

"You've Got Another Thing Coming" proved that Priest could make the radio, but the songs on "Defenders of the Faith" proved that they didn't necessarily want to. The album is uncompromising.

"Freewheel Burning" leads off as the furious burner that sets the pace for the rest of the album. Halford's vocals have never sounded better than when he rips through the vocal breakdown before and after the guitar solos. If there was ever a pair of tracks that captured this band as "metal gods" they are "Freewheel Burning" and "The Sentinel".

"Jawbreaker", "Love Bites" and "Eat Me Alive" all fit the performance and tone perfectly.

Normally I am turned off by songs that tell me how to "rock", but "Rock Hard Ride Free" is a glaring exception. "No denying we're going against the grain / So defiant they'll never put us down" are lyrics that work more and more for me the older I get.

It does tail off over the last three songs, but they appear to be intentionally winding things down. Avoid the reissue of this album. The bonus tracks are a waste and destroy the flow. You can remaster it yourself by just turning the volume up and messing with your treble and bass knobs.

After "Defenders of the Faith" came failed experiments ("Turbo"), mediocrity ("Ram It Down") and new members ("Painkiller") before Halford departed from the group. "Defenders of the Faith" is the peak of the classic Priest lineup with the most consistent songs, technical ability and authenticity. They weren't trying to be heavy (i.e. "Painkiller"). They were just being themselves.

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Production: 9


Band profile: Judas Priest
Album: Defenders Of The Faith


 


written by amerislave | 02.11.2008


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



Comments

‹‹ Back to the Reviews
Comments: 27  
Users visited: 130  
Search this topic:  


Desecrator - 04.11.2008 at 08:38  
What? And they weren't on "Painkiller"? That couldn't be further from the truth. It was the beginning of the 90's, of course they are going to evolve from their distinctive 80's sound. That "failed" experiment "Ram it Down" was just another step closer towards what they achieved on "Painkiller". I would give this a 9, The Sentinel alone is enough to warrant such a rating.
Marcel Hubregtse - 04.11.2008 at 12:28  
Written by Desecrator on 04.11.2008 at 08:38

What? And they weren't on "Painkiller"? .


I think what he means is that Defenders is the last truly great album in the classic JP line-up. Cause on Painkiller Scott Travis is the new 'young' drummer.
amerislave - 04.11.2008 at 14:42  
Written by Desecrator on 04.11.2008 at 08:38

That "failed" experiment "Ram it Down" was just another step closer towards what they achieved on "Painkiller".


The failed experiment referenced in the review is "Turbo" (the synthesizers). "Ram It Down" is described as mediocre, which it was. "Painkiller" is a great album, but was clearly made after they tried to become more mainstream and then looked at each other and realized they were supposed to be heavy metal. Scott Travis is the best drummer Priest has had, but he was brought in because they needed to recapture heavy metal fans on "Painkiller". "Defenders of the Faith" was not as calculated in my opinion.
Baz Anderson - 04.11.2008 at 16:03  
Still, you can't hold it against them for moving with the times.
But yes, I generally agree with this review - "Defenders..." is one of my favourite, if not my #1 Judas Priest album.
Desecrator - 05.11.2008 at 04:29  
Written by Guest on 04.11.2008 at 14:42

Written by Desecrator on 04.11.2008 at 08:38

That "failed" experiment "Ram it Down" was just another step closer towards what they achieved on "Painkiller".


The failed experiment referenced in the review is "Turbo" (the synthesizers). "Ram It Down" is described as mediocre, which it was. "Painkiller" is a great album, but was clearly made after they tried to become more mainstream and then looked at each other and realized they were supposed to be heavy metal. Scott Travis is the best drummer Priest has had, but he was brought in because they needed to recapture heavy metal fans on "Painkiller". "Defenders of the Faith" was not as calculated in my opinion.


Oh... now I see, I clearly misinterpreted that last paragraph, I thought you refered to "Ram it Down" as a failure. My apologies.
Paradox0 - 06.11.2008 at 00:58  
I really don't get whats so great about this album. I've actually been on a Judas Priest craze as of late and compared to albums like Rocka Rolla, Stained Class, Screaming for Vengence and Painkiller, this album just seems kind of bland andf disapointing.
What this album seems to me that after their apparent success with Screaming for Vengeance, they tried cashing on on their success by "going with the times", and kind of falling flat. Nothing really stands out here. I even believe that "heavy Duty" just seems to glam metal I hate to say. Kind of a big disapointment really. 4/10...for now.
IronBlackZepp - 03.02.2009 at 23:54  
This is a great album, the first 4 tracks are some of priests best along with some heads are gonna roll and when the night comes down. The ones in the middle still have an edge as well, and are still pretty enjoyable. Heavy Duty and the title track close out the album, they mix together to sound like one, they are by far the weakest songs on the album. However they are so short that they do not ruin the album in any way. DOTF is every bit as good as anything Priest has ever released.
Daggon - 12.02.2009 at 00:34  
IMO this album is fantastic, one of the best albums by the metal gods. I like too muche "Jawbreaker", "Eat Me Alive" and "Heavy Duty/DOTF". I've been listening this album again the whole past week. 9/10
dismaleuphony - 12.02.2009 at 01:21  
I got the original vinyl version of this a few months ago as a birthday present - It still is my favorite Priest artwork, and has a classic sound and production that really permeated a lot of darker music (not just metal) around 1984. I haven't heard a band that can recreate this era yet.

What I agree most in your review here is your comment about songs telling us to "rock". In general, I despise them too - so much cliche, endlessly bad lyrics. But not here, because "Rock Hard Ride Free" is excellent, and not dripping with melted cheese like so many other bands that want us to "rock".

I love "Night Comes Down" as well, but yeah, I never could get into "Heavy Duty / DotF" for the last two songs, so I'm with you on that comment as well...
Marcel Hubregtse - 12.02.2009 at 04:03  
Quote:

One of the complaints that I have seen about "Defenders of the Faith" is that there is not a standout track.


I have seen that complaint as well... back when it was released and also still to this day.

But I wholeheartedly disagree on that point because for me the two truly standout tracks on this piece of vintage Priest are the opening salvo of Freewheel Burning and Jawbreaker and then especially Jawbreaker's opening verse
Deadly as the viper
Peering from its coil
The poison there is coming to the boil
Doc Godin - 12.02.2009 at 06:41  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 12.02.2009 at 04:03

Quote:

One of the complaints that I have seen about "Defenders of the Faith" is that there is not a standout track.


I have seen that complaint as well... back when it was released and also still to this day.

But I wholeheartedly disagree on that point because for me the two truly standout tracks on this piece of vintage Priest are the opening salvo of Freewheel Burning and Jawbreaker and then especially Jawbreaker's opening verse
Deadly as the viper
Peering from its coil
The poison there is coming to the boil


Yeah I think Jawbreaker has to be my favorite Judas Priest song. Rock Hard Ride Free probably being my second, but I didn't pay much attention to it until after I saw it performed live, probably my favorite song I've seen them perform live. I really hope they release a live album from their recent shows...
Valentin B - 12.02.2009 at 09:59  
Lol no standout tracks? to me all of them except Some Heads Are Gona Roll are standouts lol.. but from those.. hmmmm... The Sentinel takes the cake imo. epic, fast, slightly technical, lots of insane screaming, brilliant.
AngelOfDisease - 16.02.2009 at 23:59  
Their best along with Painkiller, but Heavy Duty and Defenders Of The Faith are horrible songs...
Heart_of_METAL - 11.04.2009 at 18:18  
I know all the albums of Judas Priest from "Rocka Rolla" to "Nostradamus" and I must say this is the best album of them. A little bit better than others immortal albums of JP.
BloodTears - 11.04.2009 at 20:52  
What about "Eat Me Alive", that certainly stands out for me

That one and "Rock hard Ride Free" quickly became some of my favourite JP songs.
Deadmeat - 17.05.2009 at 15:51  
Freewill burning is the best song here. the other are far away...
Powerslavex - 02.06.2009 at 22:57  
Another great Priest album, the title of the album is brilliant
Valentin B - 02.06.2009 at 23:18  
Written by BloodTears on 11.04.2009 at 20:52

What about "Eat Me Alive", that certainly stands out for me

half of Priest's fanbase has no idea what that song is about
BloodTears - 03.06.2009 at 00:01  
Written by Valentin B on 02.06.2009 at 23:18

Written by BloodTears on 11.04.2009 at 20:52

What about "Eat Me Alive", that certainly stands out for me

half of Priest's fanbase has no idea what that song is about


isn't it about sex? or cannibalism, one of those lol
Valentin B - 03.06.2009 at 08:41  
Written by BloodTears on 03.06.2009 at 00:01

Written by Valentin B on 02.06.2009 at 23:18

Written by BloodTears on 11.04.2009 at 20:52

What about "Eat Me Alive", that certainly stands out for me

half of Priest's fanbase has no idea what that song is about


isn't it about sex? or cannibalism, one of those lol

yeah it's about bondage sex, but it's written as a joke... not many people know it anyway and fewer still knew it before they started playing it live last year
Marcel Hubregtse - 03.06.2009 at 08:49  
Written by Valentin B on 03.06.2009 at 08:41

Written by BloodTears on 03.06.2009 at 00:01

Written by Valentin B on 02.06.2009 at 23:18

Written by BloodTears on 11.04.2009 at 20:52

What about "Eat Me Alive", that certainly stands out for me

half of Priest's fanbase has no idea what that song is about


isn't it about sex? or cannibalism, one of those lol

yeah it's about bondage sex, but it's written as a joke... not many people know it anyway and fewer still knew it before they started playing it live last year


Where do you get the idea from it is about bondage? It is clearly about getting a blow job.
Valentin B - 03.06.2009 at 09:51  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 03.06.2009 at 08:49

Written by Valentin B on 03.06.2009 at 08:41

Written by BloodTears on 03.06.2009 at 00:01

Written by Valentin B on 02.06.2009 at 23:18

Written by BloodTears on 11.04.2009 at 20:52

What about "Eat Me Alive", that certainly stands out for me

half of Priest's fanbase has no idea what that song is about


isn't it about sex? or cannibalism, one of those lol

yeah it's about bondage sex, but it's written as a joke... not many people know it anyway and fewer still knew it before they started playing it live last year


Where do you get the idea from it is about bondage? It is clearly about getting a blow job.

damn, i checked with the site from where i supposedly got this info(i forgot about it)
http://maddrakket.com/DEFENDERSOFTHEFAITH.html

and you're right it's about oral sex, but still it's made as a joke though a better song about the same thing is Diamond Head- Sucking My Love
Marcel Hubregtse - 03.06.2009 at 10:02  
Written by Valentin B on 03.06.2009 at 09:51


and you're right it's about oral sex, but still it's made as a joke though a better song about the same thing is Diamond Head- Sucking My Love


Actually I prefer eat Me Alive to Sucking My Love.

Btw I am sure ANvil's got at least two or more songs on oral sex since most of their songs are about sex anyway
DayFly - 03.06.2009 at 12:51  
You two, Lizzy Borden's Flesheater tops them all.
Marcel Hubregtse - 03.06.2009 at 12:52  
Written by DayFly on 03.06.2009 at 12:51

You two, Lizzy Borden's Flesheater tops them all.


I trust you on that one. I don't like Lizzy Borden generally so I must have missed that one
Ellrohir - 19.07.2009 at 22:19  
We are...Defenders of the fate...

damn good album
Judas The Priest - 22.10.2010 at 18:47  
Yeah it was a wicked good album, i dont think they "tried" to be heavy in painkiller, judas priest like pantera experimented, but always stayed solid in their form if you ask me.

Advertise on Metal Storm


Login or register to post here.



Similar topics

Forum Topic Similarity Started
Albums Judas Priest - Defenders Of The Faith 9 18.02.2010 by Ellrohir
Reviews Judas Priest - Unleashed In The East 7 03.10.2006 by Spyroid
Reviews Judas Priest - Point Of Entry 7 21.07.2011 by
Albums Judas Priest - Rising In The East [DVD] 6 10.04.2010 by fosi
News Judas Priest - To Release The Complete Albums Collection 6 21.01.2012 by Apothecary



Hits total: 7525 | This month: 11