Judas Priest has created a small controversy over compilations as this. The label wanted to capitalize on their success via British Steel, and therefore made a compilation of some of their work. Songs on this album came from Rocka Rolla and Sad Wings of Destiny. There are alternate mixes which ultimately appealed to the fans enough to stay interested in a moreless re-release of previous material. However, the band discouraged people from participating in this kind of consumerism.
I usually just gloss over preludes, but the dramatic effect of this one definitely drew me into caring more deeply upon initial listen.
“Tyrant” has a rhythm that is harder for me to follow. I don’t like the match up of the melodic structure with the instrumental. It sounds off from the singer.
While the lyricism isn’t exactly unique, “Rocka Rolla” gives a better melodic impression of them. It is also cool to hear harmonica. Just not something you expect in good old rock and roll.
“One for the Road” feels more like a filler track lyrically, but the guitar work is fantastic.
“Victim of Changes” really leans into the delivery, making this thus far the most impressive song I have heard.
“Dying to Meet You” has such a vivid contrast in vocals and lyricism. Strongest song I have heard yet, powerful messaging.
I will say despite any feelings of lyricism or vocals, the guitar work throughout these albums is outstanding. It sometimes has an almost bluesy feel, like the guitar is singing instead. “Never Satisfied” keeps you interested in this vein.
“Dreamer Deceiver” is just outstanding. The delivery. The lyricism is simplistic but fits. The instrumentation is powerful.
“Deceiver” does not grab as much as the previous track.
“Diamonds and Rust” seems okay. It doesn’t grab me as much, but it is also a cover, so that could be part of it.
The guitar on “Deep Freeze” is actually kind of offputting. I don’t like the effects of it.
“Winter” and “Winter Retreat” have nice instrumentation, but don’t grab me as much as previous tracks.
“Cheater” is a pretty intense song. I think the harmonica adds an effect, because it feels like the old west lawlessness in the raw anger of the track.
“Run of the Mill” has a strong delivery and a softer sound to add to it. The instrumentation makes it stand out a lot more than other tracks.
“Genocide” while lyrically profound has a similar issue to Tyrant. It feels a bit “off” the entire song.
The album closes with “Caviar and Meths”, another strong instrumental.
Lyrics: 6/10 – Some lyrics were harsh and profound while others fell flat and the instrumentation had to uplift the tracks.
Music: 7/10 – Instrumentally the songs are fantastic. The structure keeps you interested. However, they do not always blend with the musical melodic structure for the singing.
Overall: 6/10 – It is a cool compilation. I figure many rather have the albums themselves for a fuller piece, but if you want some extras and some different mixes, Hero Hero is a good find. – Michaela