PiercingMetal Spotlights: Judas Priest

For as long as I can remember, I have maintained that in my status as a Heavy Metal and Hard Rock fan that my own “Big Three” favorites were KISS, Van Halen and Judas Priest. Over the years I have of course come to appreciate and enjoy a wider variety of acts for the genre because there are so many amazing groups out there, but this list and its ranking has rarely veered off course. If memory serves me correctly, I first heard the band in High School about a thousand years ago (give or take) and the album of note at the time was “Hell Bent For Leather”. Wait, I am wrong in this assumption – the album that I FIRST heard by the band would the live recording of “Unleashed In The East”, and was the album that captured the band in action while on tour to support “HBFL”. I had never heard anything like the vocals of Rob Halford and the twin guitar wizardry of Downing and Tipton and when you put all this together with the powerful drumming of Les Binks I could safely admit that I was a fan from that moment on. From this defining moment I would try my own hand at some of the drum parts, look into the bands back catalog and even become the town crier who hoped to convince other Metal fans to rally behind me in the bands cause. Good times to say the least.

Logo - Judas Priest

When I began my own little music journalist adventurers in 2003, I began to review the then current Judas Priest releases and even tried to find time to do some back catalog commentary for the benefit of those who might not yet be aware of a particular album for whatever reason. With a website under my command it was time to take up the charge and let people know about the older recordings which had been remastered a few years prior. PiercingMetal has featured quite a bit of their concert reports when it was possible and offered up some live action photography as well. To say its exhilarating to photograph one of your favorite bands of all time is an understatement. Click the logo that is just above to be taken to all of the Judas Priest review content on PiercingMetal.com and learn what makes them such an incredible and relevant band to the Heavy Metal faithful and keeps their fans coming back for more. After your done you can let us know what you think about The Priest by leaving us some comments.

Official Website: www.judaspriest.com

There is a lot to sink your Metal teeth into when it comes to Judas Priest CD’s and DVD’s and I’ve taken the time to put almost every US Release down below as an Amazon.com link which will let you raise your own awareness and become a true Defender Of The Faith. My suggestion is to start with the classic “Unleashed In The East” or perhaps even “Hell Bent For Leather” and then dig deeper. Enjoy the trip.

One thought on “PiercingMetal Spotlights: Judas Priest”

  1. OK Ken I finally made it back!

    This is my favorite band period. It just happens to be a Metal band. I think the first time I heard Priest was in 1985, this kid I hung out with had this gigantic boombox (some will need reminding that this was a “portable radio” that required 8 D size batteries for all you kids out there) and he had “Defenders of the Faith” playing. The first song I remember hearing was “Love Bites” (and no, not the Def Leppard one) and just being blown away! Not only was this the first time I had heard a scream like that but the entire production just shook me to my core. Anyone who has been listening to metal knows what I am describing. Metal music is like nothing else produced in the music genre as it’s very nature is to rile an emotional response to which can only be described as HOLY SHIT!!!!

    Sorry about that I got carried away, now my Priest journey was just beginning I had to go to my local record store and see what else they had to offer. Was I in luck because Priest, even 25 yrs ago had an extensive catalogue from which to sample. I was in Record Factory which has long been replaced by several different stores in my nabe and I was in for a surprise in that they had all their albums (yes vinyl) in stock. I had heard of “Screaming for Vengeance” but that was the record prior to Defenders so I wanted to go back a little further in time. I picked up “Hell Bent For Leather”, I believe it was released in 1978. I bought the cassette ’cause I had to be able to put it in Mike’s boom box! “Delivering the Goods” starts with some kind of guitar effect I wasn’t familiar with and I just listened all the way(flip tape) through to “Evening Star” and “The Green Mananlishi With The Two-Pronged Crown”, and finally “Evil Fantasies”. I had realized that this was the music I was going to listen to for the rest of my life.

    Rob Halford’s vocals went places I had never heard before and Glen Tipton with KK Downing as duel lead guitarists traded blistering solo’s and chug chug monster riffs that I still blast today. Of course I made sure to start buying as many of their records as I could and fololwed up with “Screaming”, “British Steel”, “Unleashed in the East” (maybe the greatest live recording ever), “Stained Class” and “Point of Entry”. I had a friend record “Sad Wings of Destiny” for me onto tape as well. Now I was fully immersed in all of JP’s glory and started to realize how important and influential they are as a metal band. Directly behind Black Sabbath, Priest are the #2 founding fathers of all things Metal. Not just with music either, Priest also introduced the Metal world to the leather and stud look that is still prevalent today. From their almost Gothic stylings from Sad Wings to the much later thrashesque masterpiece “Painkiller”, Priest has not only reinvented themselves but also stayed current with their music. They have experimented several times from “Turbo” (lots of synths and no screaming) to the newest concept release “Nostradamus”, as a Priest lifer I actually like it but think they should get back to what makes them great.

    Now that I’ve covered almost all of their recordings let’s get into the live shows. Anyone who has gone to a show and been excited to see their fave. band live for the first time only to hear poor vocals or lousy sound production knows how frustrating that can be. Thankfully Priest fans have never had to endure such nonsense as Halford and co. bring it everytime with a ferocity that can be matched by very few other groups. The main reason for the consistently great shows is Rob Halfords voice is defying time and every other law of physics known to man. He is obviously not the same as he was 20 yrs ago but his clean voice is truly amazing in tone and quality. His upper register screams are a bit scratchy as he is 60 years old but there is not a single vocalist who has ever been able to sustain the type of singing/screaming he has been doing for almost 40 years. From the mere stage presence of Halford,Glen and KK, to the solid bass playing of Ian Hill and the double bass drumming of Scott Travis, Priest remain a force in the metal world. I am so glad Mike had that tape in the radio that night or maybe I never really get to hear Priest quite like that ever. I have seen them live 3 times and the Halford band once and never have I left the arena disappointed! True icons and never afraid to fly the flag for metal Judas Priest are one of the greatest metal bands still going strong. ,,/

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