Metallica's Lars Ulrich: My 15 Favorite Metal and Hard Rock Albums

Drummer goes deep on classics ranging from AC/DC's 'Let There Be Rock' to System of a Down's 'Toxicity'

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Judas Priest, 'Unleashed in the East' (1979)

Judas Priest, 'Unleashed in the East' (1979)

This is Judas Priest at their early peak. With a lot of harder rock and European bands, there came a point where they wanted to crack the American market and started writing singles – shorter songs – and not necessarily in a bad way, but some started deviating from their point of origin. This is just Judas Priest at their absolute best in a live situation, before the hit singles. 

There's a lot of deep cuts on it from Sad Wings of Destiny. Obviously, there's the legendary "Victim of Changes." It's just the energy and the chugging riffs and down-picking, like with Deep Purple's "Highway Star," in it. They were probably the first band, along with AC/DC, that had two guitars that were playing the same thing. Other bands like Motörhead and Deep Purple had one guitar player and they were doing different things, more of a layering thing, but when it came to Judas Priest, they had the guitarists coming together and playing the same riff. It just doubled up and gave it a heavier, bigger sound and made it thicker and more immersive. And if you take "The Green Manalishi," that has that heavy-metal, open-E down-picking – these guys were at the forefront. This record came out in 1979 but the whole sound started in '76, '77, '78. These guys were way ahead of the game. This, to me, is still the best album of Judas Priest that you can find.

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