Top positive review
4.5 stars. One of the LOUDEST live albums ever made
on March 5, 2004
Unleashed In The East(1979). Judas Priest's first live album.
Ever since the birth of heavy metal in the late 1960s, there were several bands which left their mark on the next decade, such as Black Sabbath, Saxon, and Rainbow. Judas Priest was another big name to emerge from the 70s, and ultimately in time they created the standard by which true heavy metal music would be judged upon in the 80s. They started out with several experimental albums which were Rocka Rolla(1974), Sad Wings Of Destiny(1976), and Sin After Sin(1977). For the most part these were good albums, though Priest was searching for the right sound to go with. Thankfully they chose heavy metal, otherwise the world wouldn't have the legendary band fans have come to know. Stained Class(1978) and Killing Machine(1979) brought forth this new heavy metal image with leather and studs, the blazing guitar assault of Glen Tipton and K.K. Downing, and the glass-shattering vocals of Rob Halford. At the time, there was simply no band quite like Judas Priest.
So after releasing four albums and garnering enough of a fanbase around the world, the band decided that it was time for a live album to showcase all their glory displayed from a live performance. During the Killing Machine tour, Priest simply opened for other bands, but at other parts of the world Priest actually headlined their first full shows. Therefore, the band chose the final leg of the tour in Tokyo, Japan to create Unleashed In The East. Initially this recording was only a nine song offering, but thankfully due to the new remaster treatment now there are 13 tracks total boosting the quality of this live album GREATLY. If one thing is to be noted about UITE, it's that this is definitely one of the LOUDEST and HEAVIEST live recordings ever made, even to this day. I'm sure that back in its time this was considered to be the loudest recording. Whereas Killing Machine was the heaviest Priest recording up to that point, UITE manages to be the heaviest Priest recording for many years until albums like Defenders Of The Faith(1984), Ram It Down(1988), and Painkiller(1990) were released. Even then UITE still holds its own well enough in the context of all Priest albums.
Now before talking about the tracks, let's get this out of the way first: many people have infamously nicknamed UITE "Unleashed In The Studio" due to a bit of overdubbing on certain tracks. True, it does sound less raw than a normal live recording would generally be, but take into account that without some studio doctoring certain parts of the album wouldn't be audible. For instance, there were times during a few of the songs where Halford's voice faded in and out due to poor equipment, so the vocals had to be overdubbed. Even with the overdubbing, I thought that they did a good job keeping the sound to how it would be live, so it's really not that noticeable.
As for the tracklisting, most all 70s Priest fans will be very pleased with the song selections, as there are plenty of classics to be found from the band's first phase. It kicks off into full gear with 'Exiter', 'Running Wild', and 'Sinner', which serves as a pleasant 1-2-3 punch. Next is the original Priest haunting staple 'The Ripper' and their best cover song, 'Green Manalishi (With A Two-Pronged Crown)', both of which are excellent mid-paced headbangers. The second portion of the show brings the band back to their first albums with OUTSTANDING versions of the cover song 'Diamonds And Rust', 'Victim Of Changes', 'Genocide', and 'Tyrant'. Originally, this is where the album ended, but thanks to the remastering there are four more tracks which rightfully deserve their place in the tracklist. Thus starts the third portion of the show, which consists of several Killing Machine tracks: 'Rock Forever', 'Delivering The Goods', and 'Hell Bent For Leather'. Thankfully the show also ends with a real BANG in an extended version of 'Starbreaker'.
Initially I would've given this live recording only 4 stars, but since more tracks were included, I rate it higher. However, unlike what most fans say, UITE is not perfect. I would've also loved to hear some live versions of many underrated 70s Priest masterpieces like 'Deciever', 'Let Us Pray/Call To The Priest', 'White Heat Red Hot', 'Stained Class', and 'Killing Machine'. No big deal really, but it would have been nice. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED TO ALL BIG PRIEST FANS.
Other live albums that share similarities to UITE:
-'Live Insurrection' by Halford
-'Speak Of The Devil' by Ozzy Osbourne
-'Live After Death' by Iron Maiden