Today we tackle the first entry in the third chapter of Judas Priest: Ram it Down. Now anyone who has been paying attention will have noticed a shocking run of positive reviews from me. But I’m afraid that ends here. Ram it Down is a pretty bad album. We get the only real positive out of the way right at the start with the title track. “Ram It Down” rocks so much. A very generous helping of midrange Halford, this song is better than the rest of this album, and the entirety of Stained Class too, put together. But that’s where anything resembling positivity ends. The rest of the songs, well they range from mediocre level filler to god-awfully bad. Special mention goes to “Johnny B Goode”. Priest obviously thought that it was against the law to make three stratospheric covers in a row. It’s the only explanation for how bad this one is. And the singing on the verses isn’t even too bad, but the chorus, oh the chorus. It’s so, so bad. But you know what the most egregious transgression of this album is? Everything in the title is capitalized except for the ‘I’ in ‘iT’. There is one good thing about this album (other than “Ram It Down”). The material on it was kept off Turbo.
The verdict- 1/5
You think it’s any better, Holen?
Leftovers from Turbo? Was there any chance this would be any good? Well we get off to a good start with the title track, a pounding fierce number that points the way towards the thrash Painkiller. Tipton and Downing absolutely shred the solos, some of their best guitar work is wasted on this mediocre album. Then we derail immediately into plodding mediocrity with “Heavy Metal” subjected to the horrors of “Love Zone”, before getting a cool riff in “Come and Get It”. “Blood Red Skies” is a wicked ballad, the only song where the drum machine replacing Dave Holland works due to the cybernetic subject matter. “Johnny B. Goode” is absolutely atrocious, a Spinal Tap level mockery of the Chuck Berry standard. Unfortunately, it’s awfulness hits me in the right way and it’s fun in the same way a C-list ‘80s horror film happens to be. Special mention to “Monsters of Rock” for being pure cheese stomp shit garbage fuck. “Hard As Iron” sounds like good Manowar, but the chorus is totally rambling and forgettable. Fuck, this album can’t even write entire good songs.
2/5 Monsters of Shit
And now we come to the infamous Painkiller.