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Judas Priest Brings All of British Steel Live Album to Rock Band

Judas Priest toured through the summer of 2009, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the seminal metal album British Steel by playing it live in its entirety every night. Now fans can celebrate too by playing live versions of all nine tracks from the album in Rock Band!

Could Judas Priest’s landmark British Steel be the most metal album in history? Let us examine the facts. To begin with, the cover depicts either an ordinary man’s hand holding a very large razor blade or a very small man’s hand holding an ordinary razor blade. Either way, the steel-to-flesh ratio is about 1:1, a suitable allegory of Judas Priest’s metal pedigree.

“Bah!” you say. “Album covers are superficial!”

Fair enough. Let’s give it a spin.

British Steel is the physical properties of metal made aural: sharp, raw, direct, uncompromising. Its riffs alternately slice and bludgeon, its rhythms keep the steady, mid-paced tempo of a steel mill, and its attitude helped define heavy metal as a genre. It is a rare record that can handle mood shifts as seamlessly as this one, from the Luddite fantasy of “Metal Gods” to the working class pride of “United” to the vague declarations of menace in “Grinder” to the libidinous party anthem that is “Living After Midnight.” And let’s not forget the legendary “Breaking the Law,” whose tone of defiant desperation was probably the basis for the formation of multiple concerned parents groups, and on whose shoulders stands nearly every metal song that came after it.

As an addition to Rock Band, British Steel is a no-brainer. If you weren’t a headbanger already, this album will make you one.

These tracks will be available in Rock Band on Xbox 360, PlayStation3, and Wii on May 11th:

  • “Breaking the Law (Live)” +
  • “Rapid Fire (Live)” +
  • “Metal Gods (Live)”
  • “Grinder (Live)” +
  • “United (Live)” +
  • “Living After Midnight (Live)”
  • “You Don’t Have to Be Old to Be Wise (Live)”
  • “The Rage (Live)” +
  • “Steeler (Live)” +

In addition to being available for Rock Band, the songs marked with + will also be available in the family-friendly LEGO Rock Band Music Store. Tracks will be $1.99 each on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and $2.00 each on Wii. The pack of nine songs will be $14.99 on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.