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Review of the Album Defenders of the Faith by Judas Priest

Updated on February 15, 2018

Defenders of the Faith Album Cover

Defenders of the Faith is a Decent Hard Rock Album

Defenders of the Faith is the 1984 studio album by British heavy metal band Judas Priest. And since I had been listening to their 1979 album called Hell Bent for Leather, I thought of giving this album a sort of assessment since it was released in 1984, a year that saw the release of albums such as Don’t Break the Oath and Ride the Lightning. Defenders of the Faith starts out with the song Freewheel Burning, a song that basically describes going through life while being in a high speed car and not willing to stop until you reach your destination. For those people that may say that Point of Entry is their weakest album, of all the albums that I have heard from Judas Priest, Defenders of the Faith may be their weakest album of the 1980’s. This does not mean that the album lacks melody. The style is not too different than 1982's Screaming for Vengeance album.

Jawbreaker, Rock Hard, Ride Free, The Sentinel and Love Bites

For instance, the song called Rock Hard, Ride Free is a melodic song that is about having a purpose in life and having a mind that is not willing to bend. Having a resolution to succeed is your best strategy as the song says. Of the first three songs in this album, this is the song that is the strongest even if Freewheel Burning was a more well-known song. The song is an entertaining one as the message of rocking hard and free through the night is encouraged. At the end of the song Jawbreaker, Rob Halford has a part where he delivers a vocal extension for the ages. He can reach really high octaves at this point in his career. The Sentinel is a song that describes some kind of warrior that is trained to be a professional hit man and the lyrics are kind of similar to the band’s 1990 song called Nightcrawler. Love Bites is a song that has a pretty decent chorus part where Rob Halford says: “in the dead of night love bites, love bites.”

Love Bites Official Music Video

Judas Priest Has Been Consistent for Much of Their Career

So far, I have heard both Judas Priest albums that were released in the Tim Owens era and I have heard the following Judas Priest albums:

  • Stained Class
  • British Steel
  • Point of Entry
  • Screaming for Vengeance
  • Ram It Down
  • And of course, 1990’s Painkiller album

I have not heard a single bad or sub-standard Judas Priest album out of any of these which shows consistency musically during much of their career.

How Good is Defenders of the Faith?

The rock song called Some Heads are Gonna Roll is a song about what can happen if a man cannot keep his powers under control. In life, sometimes our foes can show up when we least expect them to. And when we take our lives for granted it can disappear in a flash and we might wonder where our lives went. Night Comes Down is a solid rock song about a love that takes too long to materialize. The man is waiting for what seems like forever for a love that looks good. Heavy Duty is a rock song that lyrically is similar to what the band would write in 1988. Does anyone remember the song called Heavy Metal? Heavy Duty lyrically is a song that advocates having fun through the power of heavy metal music. Overall, Defenders of the Faith is a decent hard rock style album even for Judas Priest. They would have this style in the 1970’s and 1980’s and it worked out well for them. The strongest songs in this album are Rock Hard, Ride Free, Love Bites, and Night Comes Down. If this is the last Judas Priest album I will review, it will have been with great enjoyment. There are no guarantees in life but Judas Priest has been a band that has come up with many hit songs and even on “weaker” albums, they still manage to produce good songs. My favorite song on Defenders of the Faith is Night Comes Down.

Night Comes Down


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