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Review of Judas Priest's "Sin After Sin"

Updated on August 18, 2012

Introduction

Recorded and released in 1977, "Sin After Sin" was metal band Judas Priest's third studio album. It was also their very first to be released on Columbia Records. While it was well-received by critics at the time, it did not have the exact same response as "Sad Wings of Destiny" did before it. Additionally, the production, compared to anything modern, is severely lacking (what's to expect from the 70's?) so here I will be reviewing the remastered .flac edition.

Track Listing (writing credits to Halford, Tipton, and Downing)

1. Sinner 6:46

2. Diamonds and Rust 3:28

3. Starbreaker 4:49

4. Last Rose of Summer 5:37

5. Let Us Prey/Call for the Priest 6:12

6. Raw Deal 6:00

7. Here Come the Tears 4:36

8. Dissident Aggressor 3:07

Review

When reviewing this classic Judas Priest album, I had to go back and give some of the other songs another listen. Common Priest hits, like Diamonds and Rust and Sinner, I was obviously familiar with, but not so much with others that had faded from memory. I remember when I first started listening to Judas Priest, I had all their albums on my MP3 and thought, “There is no way I could learn all these songs on all these albums, I'll get bored and listen to KoRn,” but here I am less than two years later and now these guys are my favorite band.

One thing to note is that I always listen to classic albums in .flac quality and commonly remastered. What that means is that there are minimal production flaws and the sound is much fuller to the point you'd be unable to tell that the music is from the 70's. This album, on its own, isn't the most well known of the Judas Priest releases, but let's examine whether or not it's for diehard fans only.

The whole thing begins with Sinner, easily one of the biggest hits on the CD, and commonly played at live shows (i.e. “Unleashed in the East). The song was pretty heavy for its day and details the rising of one of the many creatures in Judas Priest's catalog. For this time, Rob's singing was a mix between really high notes and deeper, stronger notes. This contrasts a bit with the second song, Diamonds and Rust. When I first got this CD, I wasn't aware of Joan Baez's existence nor aware of the fact that the song is a cover of her original. It adds a bit of a metal touch compared to hers, and cuts out a bit of the unnecessary parts. The Priest recently started doing more acoustic editions of the song at live shows, which also work well. It's definitely a song not to skip.

Review Continued

The third tune, Starbreaker, is decent in its own right, but not a clear cut hit like the first two. It's like one of those songs that you don't always skip, but sometimes do; a cross between a “filler” and a great song, but it gets into unneeded repetition near the end. The fourth song, unlike the third, is a song you always skip because you'd like to believe that Priest can do no wrong at this point. Last Rose of Summer is probably the worst song on the entire release, not necessarily because of its softness, but mostly because of its softness and length. Don't get me wrong, I like the softer Judas Priest songs, like Before the Dawn and Night Comes Down (hell, I even liked Diamonds and Rust!) but this will not do. Skip this track.

Let Us Prey/ Call for the Priest is a different story! While the lyrics aren't remarkable, it still retains its bad-ass attitude and sound. What a great and overlooked track, especially when it gets super-f*cking-heavy around the 4:55 mark. One of the best moments of the album, without a doubt. Then we have Raw Deal, which is also a solid tune. It is most likely about Halford's gay exploits in different bars and clubs and such, but I don't notice many people insulting the musicianship or quality of the music. Thank God we have Halford in the world of heavy metal; he's the most bad-ass, gay, and metal singer of his time. The most notable part of this tune starts at the four minute mark, signaling the end of the song. I always get emotional at this part, where Rob laments: I'm going, no loss. Damn powerful stuff.

Review Concluded

The last two songs are titled Here Come the Tears and Dissident Aggressor. The former the second soft song on the album, perhaps even more provoking than the end of Raw Deal and is definitely a great ballad-style tune. The latter of the two was so damn heavy, Slayer couldn't beat them with a cover of it. It details war and fighting and all that good stuff, except with Halford's sky-high vocals and the dual guitars attacking the listener himself. A fine finish, to a fine album.

Overall: 8/10 While not as superb as other Priest albums, this is criminally underrated album that deserves recognition from the metal community.

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    • Steve Orion profile image
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      Steve Orion 5 years ago from Tampa, Florida

      Edited to include track listing. Let me know how you like the album in the comments!

    • FatFreddysCat profile image

      Keith Abt 5 years ago from The Garden State

      Bad-ass record, and one that seems to be sadly ignored aside from the band's most diehard fans. It's definitely the doomiest, most depressing album they've ever done.

    • Steve Orion profile image
      Author

      Steve Orion 5 years ago from Tampa, Florida

      Oh yeah, doomy, indeed; hell, take a look at the cover! But the doomy nature is, as you might think, what make it of such quality. I'd say it's one of their top five albums, honestly. Not a bad song on the whole CD (aside from the stupid rose song).

    • Audiogeek profile image

      Audiogeek 5 years ago

      yeah, very doomy. I'm more into "Painkiller".

    • Steve Orion profile image
      Author

      Steve Orion 5 years ago from Tampa, Florida

      That is a great album, check out my review of it =)

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • JohnGreasyGamer profile image

      John Roberts 5 years ago from South Yorkshire, England

      It's not one of the albums I'd recommend to someone who's trying to get into Judas Priest, but one that I'd recommend to a solidified Judas Priest fan. I have to say, Here Come the Tears sounds very depressing and gets you emotional (much like Motorhead's 1916), but it's still a wonderful song.

      Awesome review, as always! Keep up the good work ^^

    • theomajor profile image

      theomajor 3 years ago from New Zealand

      I have a copy with 2 bonus tracks; "Race With The Devil" and "Jawbreaker"-live. I'd heatrd the Girschool version of "Race..", this is better though. The question I have is what are Priest stealing from in "Sinner"? It sounds like some classical music I've heard before, in places, but I can't pick it. If only they'd refined their lyrics a bit this would have been the killer track, possibly one of the best ever.

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