After the debacle that was 'Turbo' (1986), Priest returned to the studio with a lot of edgier tracks left over from those sessions. Also returning for the last time were long-time producer Tom Allom and drummer Dave Holland, who were both present when Priest's prime years began with 'British Steel' (1980). Unfortunately, speed metal (Metallica, Slaywer, etc.) had become the "in" thing in the hardcore metal crowd, so attempts to repeat the success of previous efforts with metal-lite tunes like "I'm a Rocker", "Johnny B. Goode", and "Come and Get It", rendered this record relatively unsuccessful. But even the most discriminating Priest fan has to give an A for effort with power-metal entries like the pseudo-industrial "Blood Red Skies", the menacing "Monsters of Rock", and the speedy title track.
The sound of the record benefits somewhat from remastering, but (as with many of the Priest remasters) the extra tracks do not have any contextual connection with this record. "Night Comes Down" is a live version of a great ballad from a 1984 show in Long Beach, and "Bloodstone" is a live version from a 1982 show in Memphis. (FYI: If you want to check out the ACTUAL outtakes from 'Ram It Down', get "Fire Down Below" from the 'Stained Class' remaster and "Thunder Road" from the 'Point of Entry' remaster.)