“Screaming for Vengence” by Judas Priest

Last week, we took a look at the sensational Iron Maiden. Let’s look at one of the other pillars of traditional heavy metal, Judas Priest.

The fan bases of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest are often at odds despite the bands’ similarities. Both are British heavy metal bands that started in the ‘70s and blew up during the ‘80s. However, there are still many differences, with Iron Maiden being recognized for the intense and complex playing and the powerful operatic vocals from Bruce Dickinson. Judas Priest is known for the twin guitar sound, but both lead singers are synonymous compared to Rob Halford’s hard hitting vocals.

It’s those differences that make each band so noteworthy and an album that can display Judas Priest’s best is “Screaming for Vengeance.”

It opens with a short instrumental called “The Hellion” that flows smoothly into “Electric Eye.” “Electric Eye” is a classic that talks from the perspective of a surveillance satellite and compares it to an all-seeing spy eye the government can use to watch every aspect of your life from the sky. It reminds me of the whole Big Brother concept in the book “1984,” where he could be looking at people at any moment, so they constantly had to be on alert.

After that is “Riding on the Wind,” which has an impressive riff and seems like it’s about a motorcycle and trying to go as fast as possible, or just any risky dangerous thing you could do to get that adrenaline rush. Depending on who you ask, there are many ideas about what the next song “Bloodstone,” is about. But I feel like this song is more focused on how people will always end up in conflicts due to simple differences.

Then comes a very underrated song, “(Take These) Chains,” which describes the feeling of being hooked on someone who is no good for you, like an addiction. It really packs ballad-type qualities to it but has a super catchy chorus. “(Take These) Chains” is a good song about being attached to something and wanting to break that hold it has on you.

Next is “Pain and Pleasure,” a song about a guy who is trying to figure out if he should leave his girl because of how she treats him in the relationship but doesn’t want to lose how she treats him in the bedroom.

Next comes the title track featuring a killer solo, “Screaming for Vengeance.” The song focuses on how anger should be targeted at those who are overbearing leaders and who try to invade every aspect of our lives. After that is one of their most iconic songs “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” that I’ve still heard on the radio. It is one of their staple songs that they are recognized for.

“Fever” is an incredible ballad that really takes a hold on you and features another insane solo along with incredible vocals. The combination of these aspects during the entire song moves you. To close out the album with great vocals, “Devil’s Child” creates that true ‘80s feeling about a relationship that got so bad to the point where he flat out calls them the devil.

Overall, it is easy to see why this is their bestselling album—it’s packed with great songs and some of their signature songs, but the iconic ones are too easy for top picks. My top picks for this album are “The Hellion/Electric Eye,” “(Take These) Chains,” “Fever” and “Devil’s Child.”