Have you had a listen to our latest podcast series Educate Ebony yet? If not, give yourself an uppercut because host Ebony Story has already featured a plethora of heavy music’s finest including Nikki Brumen (Blood Command, ex-Pagan), Dylan Gillies-Parsons (Gravemind), Jack Bergin (Void of Vision), Jesse Cash + JT Cavey (ERRA) and, more recently, Mr Metal himself Max Cavalera.
The premise of the show is simple – what’s the one metal album Ebony (and her listeners) should have heard by now and what makes it a stand out? For his contribution to the series, Max spoke highly about an album that made him scratch the band’s name in his school desk and rock out in front of the mirror in his denim battle vest/leather at age 11 – Judas Priest‘s sixth album British Steel.
“From the iconic name to the album cover, which is a hand holding a razor, it came out in 1980 and it’s just full of classic heavy metal songs: ‘Rapid Fire’, ‘Metal Gods’, and of course probably the most famous Judas Priest song—’Breaking The Law’. Everybody knows ‘Breaking The Law’! I’ve covered it with Soulfly many times.”
But what makes it so special that Cavalera excitedly exclaimed it’s the essential thrash metal album you have to hear? Well, first take his word for it from a fan’s point of view:
“In this record you can find all the foundations for thrash metal, they’re all in there in songs like ‘Rapid Fire’ and ‘Grinder’ – it’s all there… I’m sure you can ask Metallica, if it wasn’t for British Steel they wouldn’t be here, so it’s that much of a powerful record…”
“If you have aspirations of being a rock star, this is the record to [help you] do it.”
And from a musician’s point of view (when it comes to discussing the instrumentals throughout), he adds:
“The guitar work, it’s just amazing. The double guitar attack, it’s a solid rhythm, and the bass and the drums are just solid. It’s just a fantastic record. It’s definitely one of their most classic albums ever.”
In his own words, Max Cavalera says it’s what you’d consider a perfect album – all killer no filler:
“From beginning to the end, they were firing on all cylinders. There’s no bad song and that’s kind of critical if you want to have a perfect album, you can’t have one shit song. There’s no filler… that doesn’t happen on British Steel, every song is fucking amazing”
Many fans claim because the album was released around the time the New Wave of British Heavy Metal [NWOBHM] started gaining momentum with bands like Iron Maiden, Angel Witch, Motörhead and Def Leppard (to name a few) flying the flag for heavy music, it solidified Judas Priest‘s spot amongst the ranks and low and behold, they’re still here making noise, inducing headbanging and inspiring new legions of acts 41 years after its release.
“I think Rob Halford is the metal god for a reason. He has been there forever” – Max Cavalera
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