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Sad Wings of Destiny
Judas Priest

Janus JXS-7019
Released: August 1976

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Dave HollandIan HillGlenn TiptonK. K. DowningRob HalfordChock full of ear-piercing vocals and the thick, sensuous rhythms of a Fender Stratocaster, Sad Wings of Destiny recalls the intensity of the Deep Purple of Machine Head. This is the second time around, of course, so the effect is less startling. Even the titles -- "Genocide" and "The Ripper," for instance -- parallel Purple's malevolent attitude.

Priest lacks Deep Purple's keyboard emphasis but the real difference is in the vocals. Lead singer Robert Halford is a screamer with powerful projection and little control, although he executes a complete turnaround in "Epitaph," where he proves he can sing fluid tenor on a song suitable for Barry Manilow. If the Yardbirds/Zeppelin legacy has led Aerosmith so far, surely Judas Priest has a fair chance of success through copying Deep Purple, especially since their antecedents are no longer contenders for the throne.

- Kris Nicholson, Rolling Stone, 9/23/76.

Bonus Reviews!

Now that Judas Priest, after years of slaving away in near anonymity, is a hot commodity, this set of early tracks has been released. Basically, the British group's sound hasn't changed much over the years. This LP shows Robert Halford's vocals in good shape and the two guitarists' prowess. Remind current fans of this effort and feature with current catalogue. Best cuts: "Tyrant," "Dreamer Deceiver," "Victim Of Changes," "Island Of Domination," "Deceiver."

- Billboard, 1976.

Vintage Judas Priest from the mid-'70s, it's an excellent example of British heavy metal coming into its own and of a band beginning to gain acceptance on both sides of the Atlantic. The album includes "The Ripper" and "Victim of Changes," the latter of which demonstrates the full vocal range of Rob Halford. * * *

- John Book, The All-Music Guide to Rock, 1995.

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