photo & text by nacrowe
when i lived in MYANMAR i remember flying from YANGON in the south to MANDALAY in the north where i taught. on that flight right after take off you could see this notorious prison from the colonial period called INSEIN PRISON which had this unique circular shape. it was the embodiment of this BRITISH concept of the PANOPTICON, whereby from one spot you could view virtually everything.
i remember my song of choice to listen to while viewing INSEIN PRISON from the air was "ELECTRIC EYE" by NEW WAVE OF BRITISH HEAVY METAL pioneers JUDAS PRIEST off their SCREAMING FOR VENGEANCE (COLUMBIA, 1982) record. that song concerned itself with the idea of modern spy satellites looking down on you from space bearing witness to your every move like a pernicious, judgmental god. again, perfect song to listen to in that situation.
long considered the real follow-up to BRITISH STEEL (COLUMBIA, 1980) after the misfire of POINT OF ENTRY (COLUMBIA, 1981), SCREAMING FOR VENGEANCE to my ears is where the modern sound of JUDAS PRIEST cemented itself and established them as one of the premier METAL bands of the new decade and a prominent influence on the then-emerging stateside THRASH scene. just look at all those dueling guitar leads of the leading bands (SLAYER, METALLICA and MEGADETH) and say no more. makes sense that those bands couldnt compete with the real ace in the hole of PRIEST which is the operatic vocals of ROB HALFORD, which to this day still stand as some of the best ever in the genre (arguably only RONNIE JAMES DIO is in the same discussion).
obviously "YOU'VE GOT ANOTHER THING COMING" is the standout single from the record, and well it should be. it is a classic pop song for the ages. i have heard it overseas at rock bars from CYPRUS to CROATIA and it never fails to get an enthusiastic response. it is a stone cold METAL anthem. that being said, i veer way more towards the more adventurous songs of this record like "PAIN AND PLEASURE," "DEVIL'S CHILD," and of course, "SCREAMING FOR VENGEANCE" that all seem to point the way to what would much later culminate at the dawn of the next decade in my favorite PRIEST album PAINKILLER (COLUMBIA, 1990). that album absolutely crushes.
so in summation, SCREAMING FOR VENGEANCE is required listening for any fan of METAL. definitely worthy of revisiting and reexamination. it absolutely stands the test of time and continues to inspire modern musicians.