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Ram It Down

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  • After the release of “Turbo”, an album I (and many others) dug but which left a lot of Priest fans scratching their heads, the question was whether or not the band was going to go in a poppier direction. Happily they did no such thing and came back with “Ram it Down”, a crushing metallic onslaught that marked the return of the classic Judas Priest sound along with some new tricks.Make no mistake, these songs are the heaviest Priest had written up to that time, although the song lyrics are more down and dirty ala Kix or Faster Pussycat as was the scene in ‘88, and some of Rob Halford’s customary forays into fantasy/literary themes are absent here. Still, songs like “Hard As Iron”, “I’m A Rocker”, “Heavy Metal”, and the title track are shining headbangers. You also have the most bizarre version of “Johnny B. Goode” you’re likely to hear. The title track also has the distinction of containing what many Priest fans regard as perhaps the greatest extended guitar solo duel in metal (and Priest’s) history and marked Glenn Tipton’s and K.K. Downing’s evolution into the cutting edge of guitar-playing.The remastered sound is really crisp here and the guitars sound great, although no amount of studio tweaking could do away with the synths and Dave Holland’s lame electronic drums (what were you guys thinking?). Unfortunately, the only bonus tracks are two filler live songs, but this album is worth owning for the title track alone. Be amazed, be very amazed.

    Posted on January 26, 2010