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Sin After Sin

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Judas Priest was a steadily evolving metal machine. Their twin-guitar attack of Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing gave rise to the term. Their deconstruction of Joan Baez’s “Diamonds and Rust” takes her ode to Bob Dylan and runs roughshod over its remains. Along with the now classic metal gallop of “Sinner” and the years-ahead-of-its-time grind of “Dissident Aggressor”, the album is one of many peaks for the group. The production is relatively tame compared to their live show, but session drummer Simon Phillips, then just 19, keeps the band tight and focused and there is a great stereo effect working through the chugging guitar chords, as “Starbreaker” makes plainly evident. “Last Rose of Summer” is a hard-rock ballad that doesn’t mind remaining a ballad. Halford sings it thoughtfully. “Let Us Prey/Call for the Priest” is a classic epic that easily glides through the gear and time shifts. The 2001 collection includes “Race With the Devil” from the Stained Class sessions and “Jawbreaker”, a track from Defenders of the Faith, recorded live in California in 1984.

Customer Reviews

A great album...

This album followed Sad Wings of Destiny...I cannot say anything about Sad Wings that hasn't been said already, buy it. As for Sin after Sin, this was a slight departure - far more polished - but a perfect bridge between Sad Wings and what was to come. Rob Halford's vocals are on fine form on this album - possibly even better than on Sad Wings, although the material here is far more eclectic. Of course, they had the awesome skills of guest drummer Simon Phillips on this album, as their previous drummer was given the boot. There are some really good tracks on Sin after Sin - in fact there's nothing bad about the original material at all. There is the great version of Joan Baez's Diamonds and Rust, the definitive version of which can be found on the live album Live in London (which I was privileged to witness), even if that version wasn't sung by Rob Halford. Of course, this is the re-issue, so there are two extra tracks - Race with the Devil, which is a throwaway track really, and a live rendition of Jawbreaker, a track that would only be released on a much later album and which doesn't really fit here. But they don't detract from the original material. Buy it, you won't regret it.

Sin After Sin

Sin After Sin was British Heavy Metal band Judas Priest’s third studio album, released in 1977 following up the Sad Wings Of Destiny album. The album saw a few changes for the band; it was their first album on Columbia Records as they escaped from their original label Gull Records, the position of drummer changed from Alan Moore to the talented session player Simon Phillips and finally the production job was handled by Deep Purple’s Roger Glover.

Musically there is a lot going on, the tracks cover a lot of ground; are flashy and virtuosic and still manage to actually rock hard. For example the opening track ‘Sinner’ has impressive vocal performances, great guitar work and even impressive drumming, especially when it slows down in the middle; all individual areas shine yet don’t compromise the song’s energy or attitude for the sake of showing off.

Sin After Sin is also interesting to listen to from a vocal stand point as Rob tries out dozens and dozens of different voices, from lows to highs, hard to soft and sometimes adding in surprising emotional weight too. The amount of territory covered really is rather surprising and more and more variety is revealed upon repeat listening.

With such great vocals, improved drumming and the ever wonderful twin guitar approach of Downing and Tipton, Sin After Sin is a very strong and enjoyable record. In addition to the aforementioned ‘Sinner,’ other highlights include the heavy ‘Dissident Aggressor,’ the catchy upper-mid-paced ‘Starbreaker’ and the speedy Queen influenced ‘Let Us Pray/Call The Priest.’

Interestingly, the album features the concert favourite Joan Baez cover song ‘Diamonds & Rust’ which was previously recorded but eventually omitted from previous albums. This was the first of the few cover songs that the band would officially release, alongside ‘Better By You Better Than Me’ and ‘Green Manalishi (With The Two-Pronged Crown)’ which came out on the next two records.

Overall, Sin After Sin is a great record by Judas Priest with a few absolute classics and a mixture of interesting ideas, noteworthy drumming and a huge range of vocal approaches by Rob Halford. I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in the band or early metal in general.

**** If you get the version with bonus tracks, you are treated to another cover song called “Race With The Devil,” which was recorded during the sessions of their next album Stained Class in addition to a live version of Defenders Of The Faith era song ‘Jaw Breaker’ recorded live in 1984. ****

A classic

Quite simply one of my all-time favourites. I've been listening to it for over 25 years and I never tire of it. Ahead of its time and full of emotion and intelligence, with brilliant musicianship to boot.


Formed: 1969 in Birmingham, England

Genre: Metal

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Judas Priest was one of the most influential heavy metal bands of the '70s, spearheading the New Wave of British Heavy Metal late in the decade. Decked out in leather and chains, the band fused the gothic doom of Black Sabbath with the riffs and speed of Led Zeppelin, as well as adding a vicious two-lead guitar attack; in doing so, they set the pace for much popular heavy metal from 1975 until 1985, as well as laying the groundwork for the speed and death metal of the '80s. Formed in Birmingham,...
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