Hands-on with Rock Band's first full album

Fans of Rock Band have seen plenty of download packs focused on a single artist, but none that boast the designation of being a full studio album. That'll all change today when Harmonix releases the entirety of Judas Priest's 1982 record, Screaming For Vengeance. You may be interested to know that...

Fans of Rock Band have seen plenty of download packs focused on a single artist, but none that boast the designation of being a full studio album. That'll all change today when Harmonix releases the entirety of Judas Priest's 1982 record, Screaming For Vengeance. You may be interested to know that we (myself, Ricardo Torres, Chris Watters and a Harmonix rep) just finished up playing the majority of the album right here in the GameSpot offices. Early indications suggest Harmonix made a fine choice with this inagural album: my right calf is still sore from the manic drumwork and Chris Watters has elected to remain silent for the rest of the day to rest his hoarse singing voice.

The original studio album features 10 songs, while the Rock Band DLC pack features nine. Don't worry--they just combined the 41-second intro, The Hellion, with the album's second song, Electric Eye. That was the first song we went with. Like the rest of the songs, it started out tough and barely let up. On the drums, there's a fast pace and plenty of kick pedal trickery to deal with, but it's undeniably fun. For most of the songs, I alternated between medium and hard on the drums. Oddly enough, I found myself doing better on hard difficulty. I think that's because it's easier to stay locked into the lightning-quick beat on hard. For me, keeping my hands moving quickly meant I didn't think as much about hitting the drumheads, which let me focus more on the pesky, alternating bass drum parts.

The other songs we played included Riding on the Wind, Screaming for Vengeance, You've got another Thing Comin and Devil's Child. Rock Band novices might be tempted to go with You've Got Another Thing Comin first, since it's one of the Judas Priest's more popular hits. That's a good thing, because it was one of the easier songs we played. Relatively speaking, it wasn't a killer on any of the instruments. You can't say the same for Screaming for Vengeance, though. That one was definitely the toughest of the bunch. It was especially difficult on vocals for poor Chris Watters, who had to wail out a falsetto for practically the entire song. He "joked" about needing an oxygen tank right afterwards, but if you could see his face I'm not so sure you'd think he was really kidding. On guitar, the songs featured plenty of solos since Judas Priest isn't exactly a band noted for their creative restraint when it comes to the six-string.

As someone who has never been much of a Judas Priest fan, I still had a lot of fun playing the songs. The difficulty level definitely veers toward the hard end of the spectrum for most of what you'll find in this $15 download, but it's not prohibitively tough for those who've spent much time with the game. If nothing else, Screaming For Vengeance's heavy metal sound should provide a nice balance to the other upcoming albums. In case you haven't been paying attention, those will include the new wave stylings of The Cars' self-titled album and The Pixies' alternative fan-favorite, Doolittle.

Wanna see more? Check out our skills (or lack therof) in the form of a video montage.

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Discussion

70 comments
ShadowInWar
ShadowInWar

Cant wait for the game after reading all of th topics and news from gamespot. i cant wait for the AC/DC track......... finally

L1nk4L1f3
L1nk4L1f3

Crossefire00 Bleh...poor choice as first full album...I bet all of Judas Priest's four fans will be excited though... actually Priest is one of the best metal bands of all time, Rob Halford is the god of heavy metal, and you probably listen to emo crap bands like fall out boy

Iamshmee
Iamshmee

I totally second Appetite for Destruction, quite possibly one of the best albums of all time. Also if they were to put out the remastered greatest hits of Motley Crue, that would be soooo awesome. I loooove the remastered Shout at the Devil (and the original of course! ^.^)

guitarshreder
guitarshreder

I just can't wait for it to come out! But i have heard rumors that the UK release is november the 20th, but i am not perfetly sure...

ARSENALNO4
ARSENALNO4

it is so much cheaper in the us then it will be in the u.k i don't see how it is fair

WHODEANEE
WHODEANEE

ELK - you can also "Google" songs and watch/listen to them on youtube to see if you wanna download them. As for pricing I keep hoping that they do a 50% off day/week where you can buy tracks you haven't got yet for way cheap or something. Cause their really is just too many great tracks and combined it's way too much money to spend!

antoofighter
antoofighter

wait2..... how to play it?? this game need to use mikrofon or what??

zoe256
zoe256

Hmm, where as DLC is always awesome, I'm not really keen on the full album idea, it's Rock Band not 'some band' Tribute Band. Picking the best tracks off an album is both cheaper and provides a bit more variety in setlists, not just playing tracks from one album, which might mean playing tracks you don't really like.

charma
charma

Downloaded and played entire album so far. A really good mix and all of them are good.

threedown
threedown

this album rocked, i played through every song on guitar and drums in one sitting... was definately trired after that... its definately worth the money... i may have spent a small fortune on this game, but compared to the amount of hours ive played, its worth it... i cant believe ive had this game almost 4 months, and im still not tired of it....

WoolieWool
WoolieWool

No offense to the author of this article, and maybe they rewrote the entire drum tracks to the Rock Band version of this album (highly unlikely), but Dave Holland's drumming is as simple and basic as metal drumming gets, with few fills and nearly constant straight backbeats. If you can't handle Screaming for Vengeance, you would have a very, very hard time if the album was swapped for Stained Class (featuring Les Binks), Painkiller (featuring Scott Travis), or any decent thrash album. (Does this game support keyboards--as in the musical instrument? Dream Theater's Images and Words would be what you need if you want a challenge...)

DeftonesRule
DeftonesRule

I'm screwed anyways even if I wanted to buy the albums cause I broke everything besides the mic but thats cause the drums are weak and the guitar when I bought it was already messed up Idk if buying the new single guitar and drums will be worth it

immortality20
immortality20

I thought you guys were supposed to be good at the game...that video is terrible! haha.

megamega777
megamega777

First off is that rock band is THE game that I play (exclude halo3 to beg friends to play rock band with me) and I would have spent as much as songs as the entire game. Which made me think, what if a Rock Band 2 came out for this gen? How would the DLC carry over OR if it will ever carry over? This is starting to worry me a little bit but I know this problem might be solve if they release a Rock Band 2.

GreyMort
GreyMort

ericbarsenas, please the caps lock is half an inch long and located to the left of the "a" key

RD1109
RD1109

I kinda wish it was sombody else like Aerosmith Greatest Hits or Boston or Lynyrd Skynyrd

denaz
denaz

Would be nice if this game would hurry up and be released in australia! we've had it as "coming soon" for months now!

NanoElite666
NanoElite666

Excellent choice to start out their full-album downloads with. I'm very much looking forward to playing this album when I eventually get the game. :)

Sacred-Snow
Sacred-Snow

im excited now, the full albums are coming, and some harmonix people were saying something about possible full libraries, after talking about the who album, maybe a full the who??? i want to see foo fighters, nirvana, velvet revolver and wolfmother personally

bulletproofcow
bulletproofcow

@xbroesslerx In the defense of the HOPO system in GH3, most of the songs are considerably harder even with easier hammer ons. Cult of Personality's solos are one big hammer on, which can be negated by the solo buttons in RB. I like both in each game, they both fit what you should be. I don't even want to try Raining Blood without the HOPOs it has. Crossefire00: All 4 fans that have kept Priest's music alive over the years? Just because you don't like it doesn't mean its not popular. What album do you think would have been a better choice, I'm sure people would say it was a horrible choice too.

Crossefire00
Crossefire00

Bleh...poor choice as first full album...I bet all of Judas Priest's four fans will be excited though...

rockstar_88
rockstar_88

All that money I spent could've gone to a good college education, but Rock Band...it's a blessing and a curse!

xbroesslerx
xbroesslerx

Oh, and I forgot @gmagnus "So you want them to patch it so that the HOPO's don't require any timing at all? Try practicing, that'll make them work better." Very nice point. GH3's HOPOs are pathetic compared to RB's

xbroesslerx
xbroesslerx

I DL'd it about 5 hours ago... It's amazing, truly a great choice for the first album.

protokyoto
protokyoto

WOOOOO JUDAS PRIEST!!!!!!!!!!!!! Rock on!!! @ohcnom4343: I totally agree. A full Metallica album instead of just the 4 songs they have would be amazing. Then again my opinion might not be agreed upon by all as Metallica is definitely my favourite band of all time.

ohcnom4343
ohcnom4343

they need to add Master of Puppets, one of the greatest metal albums of all time.

MacBrother
MacBrother

Awesome, but where's Who's Next and Nevermind?

kmart_43210
kmart_43210

This is great, but where are all the other albums they promised? Nirvana's "Nevermind" was one of the first to be announced, and I'm still waiting... That's just me being picky, though. Props to Harmonix for not breaking the weekly promise!

gmagnus
gmagnus

"$15? You can go buy any of those CD's for $8." Oh, I didn't know all you needed was the CD to be able to play along with it in Rock Band. $50 for a Spider-Man game? I can read the comic for $3! "patch the game so that the hammer ons and pull offs worked as well as they do in GH3 it would be perfect." So you want them to patch it so that the HOPO's don't require any timing at all? Try practicing, that'll make them work better. "let me download the MP3 of any song I purchased." That would cost even more money. Learn to internet. Full songs aren't exactly hard to find.

Pitchu23
Pitchu23

WTB Master of puppets on rockband hehe

n4m3l335
n4m3l335

Hopefully, the note charts will be good, and for the love of christ PLZ LET THER B NO COVERS! # Of The Beast was ruined by the cover.

n4m3l335
n4m3l335

They should do The Guns N Roses album Appetite for Destruction. Lots of fun all around. But at 15 dollars per album, thats pretty steep. I'd pay maybe $10 at most, but even then it's really expensive. And if all the promised albums come out, I'd be better off buying a real guitar and just learning to play those songs. And btw, Electric Eye + You Got Another Thing Comin = t3h AWESOMEST SONGZ EVAR FTW!

Ozzie234
Ozzie234

That's more like it! When I finally hear that the guitar charts are on level with the last two expert tiers of GH3 I might consider buying it. As is now, Rock Band is a gh-noobs game. lol.

jstern21
jstern21

what about "the who" album they promised?

King_Chozo
King_Chozo

Oh Rock Band, I love it so much. If they would only patch the game so that the hammer ons and pull offs worked as well as they do in GH3 it would be perfect. I think I'm going to download this right now.

Jason_Morris
Jason_Morris

Screaming for Vengeance is a stone classic! Played a fair lump of that album when in a Priest tribute band a few years back. Bloodstone is great fun to play! :-)

delcidanddarth
delcidanddarth

@J4YV1L "Why not go the other way too and offer bonus RockBand tracks on CDs that we purchase" Is it possible for 2 ppl to go ftw in one article? yes. That would be so awesome... like, every cd you buy comes with one or two songs that have been rockbanded or guitar heroed. That would justify the double the price of this DLC.

WV_BigBrother
WV_BigBrother

So, are they just ignoring the albums they "announced" before launch? Where's The Who and Nirvana? I guess they listened to Nevermind and realized half the songs are Cobain singing and strumming with no bass or drums to mention, or the songs were too off the wall for Rock Band.

J4YV1L
J4YV1L

@Jeeesh "One thing they could do to remove any twinge of buyer's remorse is let me download the MP3 of any song I purchased." Why not go the other way too and offer bonus RockBand tracks on CDs that we purchase (or say if we buy an entire album off iTunes). Install on your system of choice and use RockBand to play a couple tracks off the CD you just bought. The only would be RB track pirating, but still...wouldn't that be sweet?

ericbarsenas
ericbarsenas

ROCK BAND IS A GREAT GAME AND THE DLC IS FAIRLY DECENT BUT I WANT TO JAM OUT TO SOME LINKIN PARK,THE CURE ,SYSTEM OF A DOWN ,PAPA ROACH. YOU KNOW NOT EVERYONE MIGHT LIKE THE CURE BUT THEY HAVE SOME DAMN GREAT SONG FOR INSTANCE JUST LIKE HEAVEN OR LOVE SONG EVEN PICTURES OF YOU WOULD BE A GREAT SONG FOR ROCK BAND.SO PLEASE TRY TO ADD SOME OF THESE BANDS TO THE LIST

delcidanddarth
delcidanddarth

@Jeeesh "One thing they could do to remove any twinge of buyer's remorse is let me download the MP3 of any song I purchased." ftw!

Jeeesh
Jeeesh

Played through "Screaming For Vengeance" and loved it. Never heard the album before and I think it's great. The Cars should be a blast. I already own The Pixies "Doolittle" on CD and will gladly buy it again for ROCK BAND. It's a fantastic album. One thing they could do to remove any twinge of buyer's remorse is let me download the MP3 of any song I purchased.

sinister_id
sinister_id

I still can't believe how much they charge for down loadable songs.

conan6980
conan6980

@ least they are finally including some actual "rock" in Rock Band instead of all of the Emo crap they have on the game. Can't wait until they release some more albums. Hopefully they are up to snuff with what they have talked about for forever.

jjdomo
jjdomo

when can we get something even remotely recent? how about anything since 2001? i wish they'd stop giving us crap from the 80s . . .

man_hammer
man_hammer

This game has a pretty historic amount of DLC. Now we have the full albums. That's great. I'm going to pick up "Screaming for Vengeance," but I cant wait for "The Cars." It probably won't be as difficult, but the songs are catchy and the vocal range is more reasonable. I think the DLC is reasonably priced. Although you can pick up the mp3 album for $8-10, those don't include the note charts and lyric/pitch that Rock Band provides (in 4 difficulty levels). [edit] Let's not forget that they have to separate the different tracks so that they can be manipulated independently for gameplay. [edit]

Jewbacca626
Jewbacca626

$15? You can go buy any of those CD's for $8.

marielito
marielito

I thought iTunes had done away with the "entire album" concept. Also, as alluded to already, not all songs on an album lend themselves to Rock Band. I do, however, wish that Harmonix would release MORE downloadable content. The items available so far are decent, but you can't tell me they can't output MORE. There is a lot of money to be made, guys and gals!