Judas Priest – Sin After Sin
Released April 8th, 1977 on CBS Records
Released on the same day – and on the same British label – as The Clash, Judas Priest’s major label debut is a leap forward in a direction that would solidify the genre of heavy metal as much as The Clash would for punk rock. While it wasn’t the definitive statement of hard rock and heavy metal at the end of the 1970s – that would be their next two albums – it was a definite harbinger of things to come. Rob Halford sounds as though he’s still coming to terms with his shrieking demon wail (he seems even a trifle unnerved on parts of “Starbreaker”) and the rest of the band is playing it somewhat safe in the space carved out by Deep Purple. This last is underscored by the fact that production was handled by Purple bassist Roger Glover. Regardless of this somewhat unsure path, the, er, British Steel that lay within the band was clearly evident on tracks like “Sinner”, “Let Us Prey / Call For The Priest”, and the pummeling “Dissident Aggressor”, which would (many years hence) be covered by Slayer. It’s hard-rocking album, to be sure, but there would be much harder moments in the future. Much harder.