Judas Priest - Stained Class
10 February 1978

01. Exciter
02. White Heat, Red Hot
03. Better By You, Better Than Me [Spooky Tooth cover]
04. Stained Class
05. Invader
06. Saints In Hell
07. Savage
08. Beyond The Realms Of Death
09. Heroes End
10. Fire Burns Below [Recorded during the 1988 Ram It Down sessions] [2001 re-release bonus track]
11. Better By You, Better than Me [Live at Foundations Forum, Los Angeles, California on September 13, 1990] [2001 re-release bonus track]

Stained Class. How this album has not been reviewed is...troubling. But, very lucky for me.

Judas Priest had been laying down the groundwork for NWOBHM for four years, and with three albums by this time, in 1978; it's considered today as a miniscule portion of the "killing road" traveled on their glorified expedition to metal "God-dom". Stained Class must have contained some of the most influential songs for aspiring guitar players at the time, because the entire album shreds. From "Exciter" on down the line, it's guitar gold. Or maybe stained steel? Oh yes. Steely guitar distortion, upgraded even slightly from that of their previous two classic albums; with solos that define the term "face-melting". Thank you Glenn and K.K.

Anyway, Rob Halford.

Screaming. Heavy. Metal.

Born: 1951. A man with vocal chords so metal, some say they have on them, imprinted, "BRITISH STEEL". He's a triumph to the world of innovative, bombastic metal. And here on Stained Class they resonate over the guitars, like a sledgehammer just pounded down onto a steel pipe. Check any song for proof.

I mean, the album starts with a great drum solo to be followed with pounding double-bass on the verse. Just heavy metal? No. Damn fine heavy metal. "Exciter" has it all, including the greatest twin guitar solo of all time near the end of the song. And I'd be remiss not to mention the hauntingly beautiful ballad that is "Beyond the Realms of Death". Let the solo pull on your heartstrings.

With as much influence as this album had on the blossoming NWOBHM scene, and even on the fledgling thrash movement (check "Stained Class" and "Exciter")...if you're reading this...this album should be a mandatory purchase for you.

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 10
Production: 9

Band profile: Judas Priest
Album: Stained Class


written by Nosurper | 12.04.2012

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


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sbgmetal - 13.04.2012 at 03:55  
Ace Frawley - 13.04.2012 at 12:08  
Agree it is mandatory for any true metal fan.
Mountain King - 13.04.2012 at 15:42  
9.5/10. Beyond The Realms Of Death might be my fav song. Do u know how hard it is to say such a thing with all the fantastic songs in the world? Priest rule, I'm gonna listen to it now, it's been a while.

Better By You, Better Than ME!
Metalex - 09.12.2015 at 04:51  
Great review and kickass record!

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