Metal Essentials II: Leather and Bell Bottoms (1976 - 1979) - Sin After Sin vs Strangers in the Night TIEBREAKER

vote for your FAVORITE songs


  • Total voters
    10

Mosh

The years just pass like trains
Staff member
Welcome to Metal Essentials II! Attached you will find the complete brackets with all the pairings that will appear in this game. Once again, the pairings were decided based on a variety of factors, including a theme and sometimes which albums had a similar number of songs. This game will be different in that most albums will have all of their songs included. Of course future pairings will need to be adjusted, but that will be based on performance in the album's inaugural round.

For this game, we will be looking at the second half of the 1970's. Very much a transitional time in the history of Metal, you will find a changing of the guard beginning to take place. The heavy hitters of the previous game are not present. Where Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin predictably ended up in the last game's final matchup, they are nowhere to be found here. Substance abuse and a sort of musical identity crisis was beginning to consume both bands. Black Sabbath released two of their most unpopular albums before Ozzy Osbourne left the band in 1979. In the case of Zeppelin, personal tragedies and injuries plagued the makings of their last two albums. While Presence and In Through the Out Door are not as maligned as the final two Sabbath albums (the former has retained a sort of cult status), it's hard to argue that they are at the level seen during Zeppelin's peak. The death of John Bonham in 1980 forced Zeppelin to come to an end, although it's hard to imagine the band staying together much longer even if Bonham had survived.

Other prominent bands also saw a significant change. Although none of the Coverdale albums appeared in the previous game, Deep Purple enjoyed a brief period of success with a new vocalist after Ian Gillan left the band. However, after the departure of Richie Blackmore as well, it was not long before the band broke up. Some bands, such as Queen, began to shed their heavier side in favor of more commercial sounds. Of course during this time other styles of music were beginning to pick up steam. Disco and Punk largely took the wind out of Metal's sails. Needless to say, it was a time of uncertainty and the first set of challenges for a new style of music.

Which brings us to the crop of bands that will be featured in this incarnation of Metal Essentials. The late 70s brought a lot of new blood to the scene that would greatly influence the genre. Despite having existed since the late 60's, it took some time for Judas Priest to find their sound and solidify a lineup. Their first album came in 1974, but it was not until 1977 that they made their major label debut. That album will be included in the game, but for our inaugural round we will be skipping ahead to the followup: Stained Class. Recorded just months after the release of Sin After Sin, Stained Class showcases an even darker and heavier Priest. The songs are fast and aggressive. It also contains the all time class: Beyond the Realms of Death. While it took the band some time to gain ground in the commercial sphere, the influence albums like Stained Class had on later bands cannot be denied. Especially in the realm of speed and thrash Metal, songs like Exciter are seen as architects for the style (there's even a band named after Exciter).

Speaking of early Heavy Metal tracks that inspired the names of later bands, Stained Class' challenger is an album that similarly influenced the more speedy and aggressive side of Metal. Of course I'm talking about Motorhead's second album: Overkill. Motorhead formed in the mid 70s as a result of Lemmy being thrown out of the psychedelic prog rock band Hawkwind. Motorhead was another band that had a lot of growing pains early on before finding their sound. They recorded one album prior to Overkill that did not do much in the way of commercial success or attracting an underground audience. The production was incredibly rough. A few years later, Overkill came hot off the heels of the band's cover of Louie, Louie which saw some success as a single. It charted surprisingly well in the UK and is held in high regard today as the beginning of a classic run of Motorhead albums.

Motorhead's place in the Metal world is something of a disputed topic. Lemmy himself did not consider Motorhead a Metal band. Indeed, their style can be pretty straight forward rock and roll, but with more grit and aggression. That has not stopped their influence on Metal, however. Like Stained Class, Overkill had a huge influence on the faster and more aggressive styles of Metal such as Speed and Thrash. For that reason, it is included here and pitted against the Priest album.

Every song from both albums is represented in this round. From Stained Class, I added the cover of Race With the Devil which was recorded during the same sessions.
 

Attachments

srfc

Ancient Mariner
Overkill
Stay Clean
Better by you Better than me
Stained Class
Capricorn
No Class
Damage Case
Beyond the realms of Death
Metropolis
Limb from Limb

I think Overkill benefits from the fact that most of the tracks from this are on No Sleep til Hammersmith, normally I'd be much more of a Priest fan.

EDIT: gave Overkill a listen this morning and changed my vote from Race with the Devil to Limb from Limb
 
Last edited:

Confeos

Game time started.
Exciter vs Overkill
White Heat, Red Hot vs Stay Clean
Better By You, Better Than Me
vs (I Won't Pay) Your Price
Stained Class vs I'll Be Your Sister
Invader vs Capricorn
Saints in Hell vs No Class
Savage vs Damage Case
Beyond the Realms of Death
vs Tear Ya Down
Heroes End vs Metropolis
Race With the Devil vs Limb from Limb

It all adds up to a 6-4 win for Overkill.

I don't think I've had a full listen to Stained Class before this - I understand many consider it the very best of Priest? Well, I might have to give it a few more spins then, because I found it decent, but I'll still take Sad Wings... and Screaming for Vengeance over it any day. "Beyond the Realms…" is nothing short of a masterpiece, and the title track is great. "Saints in Hell" and "Savage" did the least for me.

Compared to Overkill, Priest's songwriting is much more intelligent, but the production is pretty weak. Overkill is just so full of energy and sounds amazingly heavy - the one-two punch of the title track and "Stay Clean" is one of the best ways to open an album. Great stuff.
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
Exciter vs Overkill
White Heat, Red Hot vs Stay Clean
Better By You, Better Than Me
vs (I Won't Pay) Your Price
Stained Class vs I'll Be Your Sister
Invader vs Capricorn
Saints in Hell vs No Class
Savage vs Damage Case
Beyond the Realms of Death
vs Tear Ya Down
Heroes End vs Metropolis
Race With the Devil vs Limb from Limb

It all adds up to a 6-4 win for Overkill.

I don't think I've had a full listen to Stained Class before this - I understand many consider it the very best of Priest? Well, I might have to give it a few more spins then, because I found it decent, but I'll still take Sad Wings... and Screaming for Vengeance over it any day. "Beyond the Realms…" is nothing short of a masterpiece, and the title track is great. "Saints in Hell" and "Savage" did the least for me.

Compared to Overkill, Priest's songwriting is much more intelligent, but the production is pretty weak. Overkill is just so full of energy and sounds amazingly heavy - the one-two punch of the title track and "Stay Clean" is one of the best ways to open an album. Great stuff.
Apart from Invader for Capricorn that's the same as what I went with.

Also, it only dawned on me yesterday that Megadeth's chosen ones is a rip off of Tear Ya Down.
 

Dityn DJ James

A coma stole my name.
I have too much sentiment for Overkill and it's one of the most atomic rock n roll albums ever recorded. Stained Class is, well, 70's Priest playing middle of the road blues rock. 10-0 sweep from me. I like about 4 tracks off of Stained Class though. Every track on Overkill to me is absolute classic. Even I'll Be Your Sister and Tear Ya Down.
 

Mosh

The years just pass like trains
Staff member
I defy you to listen to something like Aerosmith Rocks and Stained Class back-to-back and still call Stained Class blues rock. Arguably the heaviest album in the game and maybe even the heaviest Judas Priest album.
 

karljant

Ancient Mariner
Overkill is one hell of a record. Easily the heviest thing recorded when it came out songs like the title track simply defined what Motorhead was about and it was simply Innovative, dirty and unstoppable. As far as I'm concerned Overkill's perhaps the first speed/ thrash metal song ever done (listen to half of Kill'Em All and connect the dots). That being said Stained Class is too much of a power house. Along with Sad Wings it's simply 70's Priest at its best and I must confess that I'm more of a fan of Judas then Lemmy (may rest his soul) and his crew. So it went like this:

Exciter vs Overkill: Eishhhhhhhh... Already a clash of titans. Do I really have to pick one? If so my Priest bias comes to place. Exciter then
White Heat, Red Hot vs Stay Clean: two cool songs but nothing more than that. Once again I'll have to go with Priest and White Heat, Red Hot .
Better By You, Better Than Me vs (I Won't Pay) Your Price:
two really sleazy heavy rockers but this time my choice is BBYBTM with ease.
Stained Class vs I'll Be Your Sister: another clash of amazing songs! Stained Class is superb 70's metal and that's my pickbut IBYS 's Sabbath groove is simply great.
Invader vs Capricorn: Capricorn is an ok song but Invader is on another level
Saints in Hell vs No Class: Once again: no class is a cool rocker but Saints In Hell is 70's Judas at its peak.
Savage vs Damage Case: Savage is a really good song but the sludgy mix of blues, metal and punk in Damage Case gets this one.
Beyond the Realms of Death vs Tear Ya Down: well... when going against Beyond The Realms of Death 99,999% of songs are simply torn to pieces
Heroes End vs Metropolis: Heroes End is easily the worst song out of Stained Class. Metropolis not an anthem per se... but it's better anyway.
Race With the Devil vs Limb from Limb: not even close I'll go with the aggression of the 2nd half of Limb from Limb any day.

So Priest wins this one 7 to 3. Nothing new here... just a Priest fan ranking one of their best albums over another classic from a band he likes but not as much as the former. Nevertheless Overkill is easily my favorite Motorhead album and unlike what the "score" may transpire, I don't think it ranks so distant from Stained Class (notice that some songs were decided really by a tread). 2 defining moments of 70's rock without shadow of doubt.
 

Cornfed Hick

Ancient Mariner
In my opinion, the only Motorhead tracks that win their matchups are "No Class" (pure punk attitude gave it the edge for me) and "Limb From Limb" (against a b-side that was rightly left off any album proper, though it would not have been completely out of place on Overkill itself). Look, Overkill is a fun album and a genuine classic, but Stained Class represents Priest at their creative peak and at times touches on musical genius. No wonder it wins, 8-2, on my ballot.
 

Dityn DJ James

A coma stole my name.
I understand that Priest album is heavier than average for its time. 70's Priest, outside of about 3 to 4 tracks off each one of their studio albums from the period and close to all of Unleashed, has just never gelled completely with me. Exciter, White Heat Red Hot, Saints in Hell, and Realms are pretty good.
 

karljant

Ancient Mariner
I understand that Priest album is heavier than average for its time. 70's Priest, outside of about 3 to 4 tracks off each one of their studio albums from the period and close to all of Unleashed, has just never gelled completely with me. Exciter, White Heat Red Hot, Saints in Hell, and Realms are pretty good.
As I said before I'm way more of a Priest fan than Motorhead and I do prefer Stained Class to Overkill. And the run from Sad Wings to Unleashed is simply one of my favorites in metal music. But come on! Regarding heaviness Overkill is way heavier and dirty.
 

mckindog

Living for Sanctuary from the law
Staff member
Genuinely interested in giving Overkill a serious listen, but I don’t expect this to be close.
Motörhead is like AC/DC in that they are are unique, uncompromising, aggressive and predictable, and they do what they do very well. They are unlike AC/DC in that I can get tired of what they do.
 

LooseCannon

Yorktown-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
Having listened to Overkill I can now confirm my original assumption: Stained Class is a genuine classic, and Overkill is "pretty good Motörhead".
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
[9] Exciter V Overkill [8.5]
[8.5] White Heat, Red Hot V Stay Clean [7.5]
[8.5] Better By You Better Than Me V (I Won't) Pay Your Price [7.5]
[8] Stained Class V I'll Be Your Sister [7.5]
[7] Invaders V Capricorn [8]
[8] Saint's In Hell V No Class [8.5]
[7.5] Savage V Damage Case [8]
[10] Beyond The Realms Of Death
V Tear Ya Down [8.5]
[8.5] Heroes End V Metropolis [7]
[8.5] Race With The Devil V Limb From Limb [7.5]
 

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
Almost a complete sweep for Priest, as Motorhead simply cannot craft songs that compete with even average Priest tracks...

Exciter vs Overkill
White Heat, Red Hot vs Stay Clean
Better By You Better Than Me vs (I Won't) Pay Your Price
Stained Class vs I'll Be Your Sister
Invaders vs Capricorn
Saints In Hell vs No Class
Savage vs Damage Case
Beyond The Realms Of Death
vs Tear Ya Down
Heroes End vs Metropolis
Race With The Devil vs Limb From Limb

Motorhead only prevails twice, once with Damage Case (which is top tier Motorhead from everything I've heard) over Savage (pretty sub-par Priest) and again with Limb From Limb (which actually goes to some interesting, albeit straightforward loud blues, places) over Race With The Devil (a b-side with only one riff going for it).
 

Whooten

Ancient Mariner
Somehow I have been listening to metal for over 30 years and apart from Beyond the Realms of Death, I did not have more than a passing familiarity with these songs. Hence I am coming in with a fresh perspective and basing these battles on at least five listenings per track.

Overkill- such a classic and perhaps an inspiration for Running Free?
White Heat- neither of these songs really did much for me, but Priest gets the nod by virtue of a solid finish
Better By You- both songs have pretty basic verses, but Better wins on the strong chorus
Stained Class- the gallop
Capricorn- I don't really feel strongly either way. Maybe the No Sleep to Hammersmith inclusion pushes Motorhead to the win?
Saints in Hell- toughest matchup of the game, I like the effects on the middle section and instrumental breakdown of Saints a bit more
Damage Case- 3 minutes of rollicking fun
Beyond the Realms of Death- no contest, one of my all-time favorite Priest songs
Metropolis- Love the heaviness of Metro, especially against on of the "thinner" sounding Priest songs here
Race With the Devil- Like Mr. Knick said above this song is all about one riff. A riff that to me is reminiscent of Paranoid, which I can listen to all day.

The 2 albums were a great matchup.
 
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