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Baker's Dozen

Really Heavy Things: Devin Townsend's Favourite Albums
Toby Cook , December 18th, 2012 13:18

…well, apart from Enya. The Strapping Young Lad man offers up his top albums


Judas Priest – Unleashed In The East
I guess if I was to choose a studio record I’d choose Defenders Of The Faith, just because that was the one I first heard when I was a kid, but I chose Unleashed In The East because it was the first real heavy metal record that really caught my ear, it was that and the song Motörhead by Motörhead, it was sort of a one-two punch!

Unleashed… just had a vibe to it, y’know, I think the thing that current metal sort of lacks for me – and I’m not saying it totally lacks it, just for me – is the blues element of it. I mean, I love the blues element of metal, that’s what made Sabbath and Zeppelin and all of those guys so significant to me, that connection to those sort of microtones, and Unleashed… in general is cool – well, fucking ‘Diamonds & Rust’ or ‘Green Manalishi’, I always hated those fucking songs – but the thing is that there are two songs on Unleashed… that, again, I can decide in my mind that a record is one of the greatest records ever based on one or two songs, and the versions of ‘Victim Of Changes’ and ‘Sinner’, those two songs are huge to me and I think a lot of it had to do with K.K. Downing. He was pretty much my first guitar hero because he was microtonal as well, like, out of tune with tonnes of echo on it, I loved that; I loved the idea that someone plays a wrong note and then puts 20 seconds of echo on it, so not only is it a wrong note but it’s a wrong note that’s like "yeah, I meant to play it that way". And, like, Glenn Tipton would always be playing these noodle-y little note-y things – and y’know, technically I think Glenn Tipton was probably a better guitar player – but I love the fact that K.K. Downing was like "I’m just gonna do this and it’s gonna beef out over everything else and it’s going to sound really, really evil or eerie", but it was conscious. Even Rob Halford had tonnes of echo on his voice at the time too, and I don’t know, it just had a very quiet, bluesy yet dark sort of vibe to it and that record really drew me into heavy metal.