It may not be the bands heaviest, fastest or most famous album, but the record still contains some of the fan’s favourite tracks such as the dynamic opener ‘Exciter’ as well as the powerful building semi-ballad ‘Beyond The Realms Of Death,’ which is often praised for its amazing guitar solo.
Listening to Stained Class can sometimes feel almost like studying the early development of the genre, the album contained both a lot of firsts and the perfecting of a lot of key elements for the genre in a concise and effective manner.
The Spooky Tooth cover song ‘Better By You, Better Than Me,’ which Priest absolutely make their own for example, seems to find the missing link between classic rock like Kiss with early Heavy Metal. ‘White Heat, Red Hot’ contains some early examples of double kick drum usage in the modern sense.
Beyond mere historical value, Stained Class is simply a good record that it is enjoyable to listen to from start to finish. Rob Halford would push his vocal style further in the future, the guitars would become faster and more technical and the songwriting direction would take many twists and turns over the years, but Stained Class remains no less of a good album with its early and pioneering Heavy Metal sound.
Highlights include the fantastic Title Track as well as ‘Saints In Hell,’ and the aforementioned ‘Beyond The Realms Of Death,’ all of which are of serious interest to fans of the band.
Overall, if you like Judas Priest then Stained Class is something that you want to pick up a copy of at some stage and get an idea of how they sounded back in the seventies, making some of the first pure metal albums free from the influence of The Blues.