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Review: Judas Priest - Ram It Down
Judas Priest
Ram It Down

Label: Columbia Records
Year released: 1988
Duration: 49:41
Tracks: 10
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 2.5/5

Review online: March 12, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
Ram It Down

Rated 3.72/5 (74.4%) (75 Votes)

After the hideous "Turbo" Priest fans were hoping for a killer album to restore their faith. This album was not it. It would be another two years before "Painkiller" ripped everybody’s head off, and the long run of crap up to it almost managed to derail even that masterpiece. "Ram it Down" is obviously intended to be a more ‘commercial’ record, and the result is a mostly wimped-out Priest sound that makes you wonder who they thought this would appeal to.

Now "Ram It" is not without its moments. "Hard As Iron" is as good a song as they have ever done, kicking along at high speed with a great chorus and wonderfully cheesy sound effects. "Blood Red Skies" suffers from very obvious drum machines but is otherwise a really cool song. It’s a long, slowly doomy number with great riffing and a stellar vocal turn from Rob. I actually think "Blood Red Skies" is better written than any song on "Painkiller" except for "Touch Of Evil".

Other songs are simply so-so. The title cut is a decent stomper with some good riffs. "Heavy Metal" is a vapid ‘metal kicks ass’ anthem, but if we let HammerFall get away with it, we can’t bitch about the Priest doing it too. "Come and Get It" has some good, catchy riffs but incredibly stupid lyrics. Album closer "Monsters of Rock" is silly, but has a slow groove and is actually a pretty good song.

Down in the steerage are wasted cuts like "I’m a Rocker" and "Love You to Death" that sound like they belong on a Ted Nugent album. And I won’t even dignify the "Johnny B Goode" cover with a response. "Love Zone" has to be the stupidest song on the album, and has become unintentionally hilarious with Rob’s public coming out of the closet. It cracks me up that whatever we thought he meant, "Love Zone" was basically about cruising for guys in leather pants. They could have called it "Butt Zone".

The CD cover is really stupid, with the big fist hitting the earth, and the interior design of the booklet (as we could expect from a ‘major label’) is utterly dull and lifeless. The production on this album is lackluster and lacks any kind of punch. The drums are a machine, the guitars are dry and without texture and the bass is thin. Rob sounds good, but that’s about it.

This is not a terrible CD, and it has a couple of really good songs on it, but most of it is mediocre at best, and some of the songs really suck. The lyrics are almost uniformly stupid, even for a metal album. If you find this used, pick it up for "Hard As Iron" and "Blood Red Skies". You can skip the rest.

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