JUDAS PRIEST – Ram It Down +2 [Sony Japan Metal Gods series remastered reissue]

JUDAS PRIEST - Ram It Down +2 [Sony Japan Metal Gods series remastered reissue] full

A couple months ago we featured here JUDAS PRIEST most relevant albums in its Japanese pressings / remastered edition. And many of you asked for their other ’80s underrated LP, “Ram It Down“, including 2 bonus tracks.
When Judas Priest released their 11th album, ”Ram It Down”, on May 17, 1988, few people outside of the band’s inner circle had an inkling that the storied British metal institution was standing at a crossroads. The band’s previous record, 1986’s Turbo, was as successful as it was divisive, simultaneously broadening Priest’s audience and alienating fans of the band’s older, heavier style with its wholesale adoption of synth guitars and other pop-metal trappings.
Produced by expert Tom Allom, ”Ram It Down” reflected Judas Priest’s tougher and more aggressive side, still with a second half of the ’80s sound.

Some of the songs on this album were composed during the ‘Turbo’ recording sessions, but naturally they were left off because of its ‘heaviness’. Old-school fans were relieved to hear Ram It Down’s potent title track opening the new album and quickly achieving speed-metal velocity, ignited by a paint-peeling scream by singer Rob Halford.
The album’s second song, “Heavy Metal,” launched by Glenn Tipton’s blistering shred solo, speaks for itself. And the rest of the album’s first half bristles with muscular metallic anthems onto which the band welds catchy choruses (see “Love Zone” and “Come and Get It”) on their way to the astonishingly vicious “Hard as Iron.”

Priest takes some risks here too, doing a metal cover of Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” (which the group originally recorded for a movie soundtrack), and it works.
There’s more strong numbers in “Blood Red Skies” (a brooding, sinister epic), “I’m a Rocker,” a simple bur effective head-banger, and the ponderous closer, “Monsters of Rock”, an arena-sized metal tune.

Ram It Down’s general revival of Judas Priest heavier side was music to purists’ ears. Some synths are still found (it was 1988) but in any case, major changes were coming, as Halford, Tipton, co-lead guitarist KK Downing and bassist Ian Hill readied themselves to dismiss long-serving drummer Dave Holland and producer Tom Allom in order to escalate their metallic renaissance on 1990’s jaw-dropping ‘Painkiller’.
If nothing else, ”Ram It Down” marks the end of an era with class and dignity, according to times in terms of production sound but recapturing the metal heart the band always was all about.
Highly Recommended


01 – Ram It Down
02 – Heavy Metal
03 – Love Zone
04 – Come And Get It
05 – Hard As Iron
06 – Blood Red Skies
07 – I’m A Rocker
08 – Johnny B. Goode (Chuck Berry Cover)
09 – Love You To Death
10 – Monsters Of Rock
11 – Night Comes Down (Live)
12 – Bloodstone (Live)

Rob Halford – vocals
K. K. Downing – guitar
Glenn Tipton – guitars, synthesizers
Ian Hill – bass guitar
Dave Holland – drums



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