Metal Insider contributor Anthony Maisano is listening to a different metal album that was released on that day every day this year. Today, it’s Judas Priest’s sophomore album Sad Wings of Destiny, which is old enough to be your dad, having been released on March 23rd, 1976.
Priest’s second album, and their first that started to establish their real metal sound. The riffs are better than on their first album, Rob Halford’s vocals are even better (the last notes on “Victim of Changes” always amaze me), and the songs in general just have a bigger feel than their debut. Plus, with “Victim of Changes” and “The Ripper,” the album delivers one of the best one-two opening punches ever. It’s Priest’s first real huge step as a band, and it’s a bold and strong one.
This album still has a strong classic rock feel, too, which isn’t essentially a BAD thing. It’s just that I feel Priest had not fully worked out their own completely unique style yet. I believe they were still relying on a bit of the style of the times at this point, and hadn’t yet blazed their own completely unique trail. Songs like “Genocide” and “Tyrant,” while not bad at all, simply don’t have that pure Priest style to them that I look for in the band. It would take another album or two before Priest had a completely unique style in my opinion.
Favorite Tracks: “The Ripper,” “Victim of Changes,” “Island of Domination.”
If you’re a Priest fan, this is an essential album to listen to. This album shows more of the true roots of the band to me than the debut album. I don’t particularly think it’s their greatest work, but it’s still a really good album. Pick this one up, and give it some love.