Sad Wings Of Destiny

Judas Priest

Koch International, 1976

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


There is an inherent danger to being on the cutting edge of anything -- namely, people tend to be unable to see the genius or madness of your actions. Instead, all you get are some confused shakes of heads.

For Judas Priest, their second studio release Sad Wings Of Destiny can still be seen as one of those head-shaking moments. Yes, there are some improvements over their debut effort Rocka Rolla, but there often still seemed to be an uncertainty in the music over where the group saw their style going. Still, there was enough in this release to convince Columbia Records to take a chance on them.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

By no means is this a bad album -- in fact, one can almost hear where an artist like King Diamond developed his ideas for both his vocal style and his ability to tell tales in his music. Tracks like "Victim Of Changes" and "The Ripper," the two which kick off this disc, are solid efforts and definitely show that Rob Halford and company had something to prove this time around. Similarly, "Tyrant" -- while a great track in and of itself -- seems to promise even greater things to come from Judas Priest.

Yet there are still too many moments of musical uncertainty surrounding this set. With the exception of "Tyrant," the suite of songs that starts with "Prelude" and ends with "Island Of Domination" don't quite sound like Judas Priest knew what direction they wanted to go musically. Granted, they were blazing a unique trail not unlike what Black Sabbath was doing since their start, but the steps taken on songs like "Genocide" feel like they're far too tentative for a band staking a claim in the musical battlefield.

Statements like that may make it seem to the reader that Sad Wings Of Destiny is a failure. Hardly -- and I admit it is difficult looking at an album and knowing the band's 30-year history that followed its release. Whereas Rocka Rolla was an unsteady first step, Sad Wings Of Destiny is indeed a move in the right direction, and shows a band growing a little more confident in the fact that they were unlike any other group out there at the time. Granted, they hadn't hit their salad days yet, but they were getting there.

Sad Wings Of Destiny is, at times, an interesting look back at where Judas Priest was at an early stage in their career. The journey was still on some unpaved roads, but even with the weaknesses, Judas Priest would come through their travels well.

Rating: C+

User Rating: A


This is my favourite priest album. Halfords vocals don't get any better.

© 2005 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Koch International, and is used for informational purposes only.