RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Judas Priest – Screaming for Vengeance 30th Anniversary Edition

Rating: A+

Judas Priest have many landmark albums, but Screaming for Vengeance is in a league all its own. This album ushered in Metal for the next generation. Priest was able to have crossover success and knock down barriers, taking their special brand of music into a new arena with the original release of this album.

To celebrate three decades since the original release of the album, Priest has released a Special 30th Anniversary Edition, which not only contains the remastered album, but also bonus live tracks. The REAL treat of the release, however, is the inclusion of the 1983 Us Festival performance, filmed in San Bernardino , California on Heavy Metal Sunday. This was THE tour for Priest and they knocked it out of the park. The band was literally burning up the fret boards, the drums and the microphone.

Seeing, and hearing, this classic show brings back memories of when Metal, and Priest, ruled the world. The band recalls this about that special day, “On the day that we performed, we flew in by helicopter — and the first sight we saw was that of thousands of abandoned cars piled up around the crests of the hills that surrounded the festival arena, which as we went over took our breath away. For there below us, spread throughout hundreds of acres was a massive crowd - over three hundred thousand strong! The summer heat was raging and combined with the hot Santa Ana winds made for a scorching metal furnace on stage."

While the DVD is the icing on the cake, the album, itself, is the cake! The songs included here, remastered, sounding better than ever, are some of the most iconic tunes in Heavy Metal History. “The Hellion/Electric Eye” kicks off the sound-fest. “Riding on the Wind,” “Bloodstone” and the classic “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’” are the trifecta of Metal perfection. The band are just as good on album cuts, as they are on the classics, as “Devil’s Child,” “Fever,” “(Take These) Chains” and “Pain and Pleasure” will be cranked up just as loud and often.

Even if you own the original Screaming for Vengeance on cassette or vinyl, or if you own the non-anniversary CD version of the album, that should not defer you from picking this one up. It is Metal perfection from start to finish, and the bonus tracks, the booklet photos from rock photographer Mark Weiss, the liner notes by That Metal Show’s Eddie Trunk and the US Festival DVD send this one way over the top.

Long Live Priest!

By Jeb Wright