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Judas Priest “Point of Entry” (1981)

Continuing the dulling of the blade that was British Steel, Point of Entry is an alternately sizzling and fizzling collection of tunes from Judas Priest, well enough crafted and delivered, but tinged with the uneasy understanding that these guys are compromising at best – more like skillfully selling out to a wider, dumber audience. Point of Entry delivers enough highlights, gear-shifters like “Heading Out to the Highway” and the Turbo-prescient moto-metal of “Desert Plains,” dim-witted but harmless entries “You Say Yes” and “Hot Rockin’,” and the plodding starbound “Solar Angels” all being convincing if not entirely inspiring rockers. “Turning Circles” stands as a catchy diversion but elsewhere the commercial “Troubleshooter” and party-down “All the Way” are flat-out embarrassments, the album limply galloping across the finish line with “On the Run.” From another band, a simple, effective piece of early-80’s metal marketing here, but from Priest Point of Entry only earns a grudgingly-issued pass, the boys playing the game and winning with little of the finesse and imagination of old. —Ben

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