And so begins an epic journey that would last three more albums, before the relatively more commercial pastures of Hell Bent For Leather.
Priest's Debut is neither the farce that many people say, nor is it on the par with Sad Wings Of Destiny. What it is though, IS epic, and classic.
One for the Road is decent, but its the definition of filler track in this era of Priest in my opinion.
The title track gives indication of some of the more commercial tracks and albums that would come on future albums, complete with a dancable groove, but also wicked guitar dual leads and evil riffs (At times a Sabbath type figure appears, such as the beginning of the song).
The "Winter" opus is Sabbath meets Zeppelin by way of 70's Scorpions in a way, but is over before it can start becoming an epic on par with later works. The next three songs though, are some of the best Priest have recorded, and ARE on par with the next album!
Never Satisfied comes out with a very heavy riff that fuses the heavy bands of the Seventies in one fell swoop, Dying to Meet You is an epic "power ballad" that foreshadows the intensity of THE GREATEST JUDAS PRIEST SONG OF ALL TIME, Dreamer Deceiver!
Dying to Meet You works mainly because of Rob Halford. He starts with a very low baritone, almost gothic voice backed by clean guitars, and ascends into a heavy galloping riff in the end complete with Halford shrieking. This is the beginning of EPIC metal, and cannot be looked over and ignored. Just ask bands like Opeth, who's Mikael Akerfeldt has called the first four Priest albums some of his favorites.
It has dynamics that NOONE, and I'm even including the most underrated Euro-Metal of the time (even Scorpions) had, only Queen had these type of Opera-like dynamics, but they weren't (really) metal.
So in my opinion, Rocka Rolla, isn't "one of the worst" Priest albums at all.
Sure, the production is dry and the dynamics stunted because of the production, but by any means, it remains a Priest classic.
I would compare it best to Ram it Down, because like Ram it Down foreshadows Painkiller which was better, Rocka Rolla foreshadows Sad Wings of Destiny.