Editors’ Notes One of the best metal albums of the ’70s, this was the blueprint for the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. Judas Priest are utterly convincing while embracing dark themes and psychodramas (“Beyond the Realms of Death,” “Saints in Hell”). Opening cut “Exciter” is great speed metal, and Glenn Tipton steps up as the lead guitarist on this album, shifting the band’s dynamics while shredding at a million miles an hour. Stained Class is immensely heavy, with an emphasis on menacing, paranoid riffs.

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