British Steel: 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (Sony)
Reviewed by Raoul Hernandez, Fri., June 18, 2010
Judas PriestBritish Steel: 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (Sony Music)
By the time Birmingham, England's anarchist answer to the industrial purgatory's other black sheep (Black Sabbath) defined hair metal's immediate precursor with British Steel brands "Breaking the Law" and "Living After Midnight," the backwater quintet bridging Peter Green's blues breakers Fleetwood Mac to Iron Maiden's initial post-punk strip-down may have already peaked on its first five LPs: Rocka Rolla ('74), Sad Wings of Destiny ('76), Sin After Sin ('77), Stained Class ('78), and Hell Bent for Leather ('79). Sony Music's triple-disc remaster sands a first-generation digital edge off the original 1980 LP, then restores said abrasive in its entirety live on CD and DVD in Florida, 2009. Still bent in leather, front behemoth Rob Halford and henchmen Downing, Tipton, and Hill – flogged forward by Painkiller Scott Travis – also guit-harmonize Sad Wings' beatdown "Victim of Changes" and Sin After Sin Joan Baez haunt "Diamonds & Rust."