Judas Priest

Zare

Automaton Sovietico
But why do they lack the distinction? After playing guitar for myself for a lot of years I find progress charted everywhere after XY hours of playing, for some time now I dropped all the pretentious opinions "this guy sucks" because now I can sort of see the level of a profesional, career musician and what they could do even with 0 talent after so much hours put in. So it is not about the capacity of Dave Holland, Ian Hill or Scott Travis. It's what they're instructed to do. And they lack distinction, which is a rosy word for boring, because the rhythm itself is dull because it's been written by guys who can't play metal rhythm guitar that well. Any kind of grooving around would bring up the fact that they have no dynamics in their right hand, so it's simply not done.

No wonder why they had a lot of success with Painkiller, era of high gain amps commencing. They could make the big guitar sound without actually playing the big, hard notes.

Also I think KK and Glenn are great guitar players but they're rock guitar players from flower power era. The techniques they use, the light playing of the instrument, comes from their attitude.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
For me the musicianship of the rhythm section is more enjoyable on the seventies records. Nice audible bass playing (and not that bad Knick!) and strong drums. While the drums may be somewhat modest on the first two albums, they are not on Sin After Sin (in fact: these are the best drums done in the seventies, maybe even eighties or more decades by any metal band) and the next seventies albums. To be honest, British Steel has very enjoyable drums as well, the songs got simpler, but it is very tempting to airdrum along (the beat is important), and some of it is no chicken shit (e.g. Rapid Fire). Kudos to all these guys because the songs work. I love them a lot.

Later on, in the 1980s, the bass went more to the background and the drums went more flat, and at some point even a drum machine, but what Holland did was still remarkably well played. Holland was such a tight drummer. Live, this is very steady. It is a quality I am very jealous of myself. I am more "busy", but also have more trouble with playing a steady beat or stay in time when a piece is long in the same tempo. Holland was ideal for what Priest wanted. But enter Painkiller: the drum playing was distinctive, attractive and dominant! The drumming opened new doors. A top ingredient in superb music, driving the whole thing home with great vibe and playing. Kudos to the producer and Attie Bauw for that sound. Travis' playing is somewhat "hooky", if that makes sense, but man, these fast songs are awesome. On later albums, I do not experience that great vibe or do not hear the most interesting playing (I like the Painkillerish songs the best). Still, it is very well done.
 
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Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
@Yax I’m curious what you think of Tsangarides comments on mixing fast metal. That doesn’t seem accurate to me. Plenty of hardcore metal bands have great sounding albums with lots of bass definition. Seems like a matter of using enough compression, sidechaining, and giving the bass its own frequency space. Tsangarides was one of the best in the business, but he also was more of a “classic” Metal producer.

I think Foro’s assessment is mostly accurate, Priest had great rhythm sections during the 70s but it fell to the background more as time went on. Scott Travis adds a lot to Painkiller, but I think his talent has been mostly squandered ever since. It could be anyone behind the kit really. Dave Holland was a capable drummer, but I feel we only get that impression from how he played the 70s material live. The drums on the 80s albums are your typical bland 80s drums. That we are not even sure if there’s a drum machine on certain songs really speaks to this. Imagine having that debate with a Maiden album (Virtual XI notwithstanding).
 

Yax

Ancient Mariner
I'd say it's half accurate, or entirely depending on point of view. Bass does need time to propogate as the wave lengths are quite long. You can always boost the hell out of it, regardless of the style of playing, but it won't necessarily be a pretty low end, especially. The Death production isn't pretty, for instance, but there is a fair bit low end on the bass around, 130 hz? Using a bass synth plugin in conjunctoin with a track can be pretty neat for a tight, fat low end and isn't entirely uncommon, I think. But I think it in the case of Ian was mostly born out of necessity because Ian wasn't initially there so they turned that into an advantage. Priest's Painkiller has a lot nicer low end than the Death cover. The bass goes deeper and is consistent and "clean". They wouldn't have gotten the equivalent of that low end with just a bass. They could have gotten a different low end for sure, but not that deep, consistent and defined.

What's also important to remember, is that it's much easier nowadays to make advanced mixing manouevers compared to, even as "late" as 1990. There was a finite amount of gear whereas now, it's near infinite in the "In the box" realm. You can have much more advanced chains and stacking of processors now, that wasn't realistically available then.
 

GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
For me the musicianship of the rhythm section is more enjoyable on the seventies records. Nice audible bass playing (and not that bad Knick!) and strong drums. While the drums may be somewhat modest on the first two albums, they are not on Sin After Sin (in fact: these are the best drums done in the seventies, maybe even eighties or more decades by any metal band) and the next seventies albums. To be honest, British Steel has very enjoyable drums as well, the songs got simpler, but it is very tempting to airdrum along (the beat is important), and some of it is no chicken shit (e.g. Rapid Fire). Kudos to all these guys because the songs work. I love them a lot.

Later on, in the 1980s, the bass went more to the background and the drums went more flat, and at some point even a drum machine, but what Holland did was still remarkably well played. Holland was such a tight drummer. Live, this is very steady. It is a quality I am very jealous of myself. I am more "busy", but also have more trouble with playing a steady beat or stay in time when a piece is long in the same tempo. Holland was ideal for what Priest wanted. But enter Painkiller: the drum playing was distinctive, attractive and dominant! The drumming opened new doors. A top ingredient in superb music, driving the whole thing home with great vibe and playing. Kudos to the producer and Attie Bauw for that sound. Travis' playing is somewhat "hooky", if that makes sense, but man, these fast songs are awesome. On later albums, I do not experience that great vibe or do not hear the most interesting playing (I like the Painkillerish songs the best). Still, it is very well done.

Nice to see some love for the drumming on Sin After Sin. Simon Phillips is one of the greatest British drummer of all time.

I also really like Les Binks too.
 

GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
I should have added that I find 70s and early 80s Priest much more interesting than Painkiller or anything that came after that record.
 

Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
Painkiller is my favorite Priest album, but I would certainly argue that its reputation among younger metal heads as an album head and shoulders their 70s work is somewhat overblown. The 70s Priest was more dynamic, more melodic, and in some ways heavier than on Painkiller. A lot of the great things about Painkiller are traits that they developed in the previous decades, just with a fresh coat of paint. Everything after Painkiller is pretty dull to me compared to their earlier work for sure.
 

mckindog

Living for Sanctuary from the law
Staff member
What Holland was asked to do was significantly different than what other Priest drummers were asked to do. To me, it is no coincidence that he is the bedrock of a majority of Priest’s most popular songs.
Maybe not the right thread, but it reminds me of AC/DC’s Phil Rudd or Charlie Watts of the Stones: nowhere near the technical proficiency of so many drummers, but immaculate in service of the song.
 

The_7th_one

Ancient Mariner
That means that he's going to build a golf resort with all that money and lost it in the first year
Tipton Priest is coming!
 
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Perun

Dominus et deus
Staff member
Priest could make a setlist with deep cuts and the fans would still enjoy it, because their catalog is so extensive and great:

War Pigs tape
1. Let Us Prey/Call for the Priest
2. Raw Deal
3. Island of Domination
4. Deceiver
5. Reckless
6. Last Rose of Summer
7. Invader
8. Savage
9. Evening Star
10. Before the Dawn
11. Rock Forever
12. The Rage
13. Genocide(with long guitar intro)
14. Turning Circles
15. Troubleshooter
16. Pain and Pleasure
17. Fever
18. Night Comes Down
19. Heroes End
Encore:
20. Battle Hymn/One Shot at Glory
21. Between the Hammer and the Anvil
22. You Don't Have to be Old to be Wise

Come on man, we have a "make your own setlist" subforum.
 
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