Ram it Down is one of my favourite albums, and I think the biggest reason for that is because it’s one huge high energy celebration. The biggest thing I seek in music is positive energy, and this album comes fully loaded. The goal of Turbo was to celebrate Rock and Roll, and the goal of Ram it Down was celebrating Heavy Metal.
It’s pretty obvious too. The title track accurately describes a concert, “Thousands of cars and a million guitars” and the following track, Heavy Metal, drives the point home. “It stimulates, regenerates, It’s therapeutic healing!” I think for some of us, this is exactly how Metal makes us feel; empowered. The track itself starts with a terrific solo and chugs heavily along to the synthetic beat of the drums. Closer to the end of the album is I’m A Rocker, one of the only two Ram it Down songs to be played outside of the 1988 tour.
The album also focuses on the Halfordian brand of love. Love Zone being the fast paced, rhythmic introduction to this element. The song, interestingly enough, seems to be about prostitution, “Get your love for money there, satisfaction guaranteed.” The theme is continued in Come and Get it, Fire Burns Below, Red White and Blue, and the classic Love You to Death. Love You to Death gives us a blatantly clear insight on the “hell bent for leather” aspect of Halford. Not bad for a Metal God.
The third element to the album, the one the makes it full, through and through, are the epics. Blood Red Skies makes a huge, eight minute long statement of just how broodingly powerful Judas Priest can be, and I personally believe the song, like Heavy Metal, is somehow enhanced by the sound of the drum machine. Judas Priest manages to embed an inspiring tone even in a song that seems to be about dying in battle. Hard as Iron is my favourite song on the album, -“Hard as iron, Sharp as steel!”- and I personally believe it’s one of Priest’s most intense songs. Like Painkiller(and Ram it Down), the main guitar riff is dynamic, it isn’t just a chord. That, along with the extremely detailed and heated lyrics and solo make it one of my favourite Judas Priest songs, from any album.
Untouched, cold as ice
I’ll turn your blood to water
Strangle in my vice
Ram it Down ends with Monsters of Rock, which along with Blood Red Skies marks the beginning of a new tradition for Priest; ending the album on a long, epic song. (See; One Shot at Glory, Cathedral Spires, Lochness, Future of Mankind, and Battle Cry). Ram it Down was an important part of the priest discography. It was one of the few times that Priest celebrated their art form, and it started amping up the heavy aspect that we would later see in Painkiler. Some criticize it’s celebration of metal, (although rock is well know for this), the drum machine, and more, but the album was exactly what it wanted to be. Judas Priest has stated in interviews that they only release tracks they personally liked, and Ram it Down is music to my ears. Heavy Metal… what do ya want?