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Judas Priest’s “Turbo” @ Thirty Years

Turn that guitar synthesizer up to “11” my friends because on this very day in music history, the great Judas Priest released their 10th studio album with “Turbo”. Now I know some of you younger fans might be wondering what the “synthesizer” reference is all about and well, the simple answer is when this album was first unveiled to the public many were surprised that there was a sleek synthesizer sound to the guitars. Some loved it and some hated it. Oh who am I kidding, when Priest followed up their monster “Defenders Of The Faith” with this one a lot of people were left scratching their heads. I am included in this number because it just felt so odd for them to have employed this after such a crushing release. When it was first released the fans were under the assumption that this was to be a double album but when the single LP release came out the larger discussion stopped about that. Remember these are the days before the means of Googling everything and unless you knew someone in the inner sanctum of the record industry you were not getting the full scoop about what was coming out or not. By 1986 I was very into The Priest and had been a diehard acolyte to their Metal ways since my full listening of “Unleashed In The East” a few years prior to “Turbo” coming out. Historically speaking I had actually only gotten into the band about seven years before. 1986 was a hot and heavy year for the MTV channel and many bands were focusing on their images and sound in order to better cater it to the network and Judas Priest would not be a band to let the chance to reach many more fans go by them. The black leather and chains had been replaced by more colorful stage garb and there might have been a little more hairspray in the dressing room than there had been in the past.
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Judas Priest’s “Sad Wings Of Destiny” @ Forty Years (1976-2016)

Back in 2014 we celebrated the fact that the very first Judas Priest album had been released forty years ago with “Rocka Rolla” but as many fans of the band knew full well – their debut was NOT a Metal album by any real qualification and instead had more of a Heavy Blues and Hard Rock vibe to it along with some light Psychedelic elements. I toasted the release HERE for those interested in checking it out. “Sad Wings Of Destiny” would come out almost two years later and find a couple of notable changes taking place. The first would be the most important and come by the way of the band’s sound which had gotten a lot edgier and showed that The Priest was indeed a Heavy Metal band from bottom to top from this moment on. Songs like “Victim Of Changes” showed us just what kind of a vocal powerhouse Rob Halford was and the guitar work of Tipton and Downing just cut through your speakers when played at significant volume. The second change would come over on the drum throne as John Hinch who recorded the first album was replaced by Alan Moore (no, not the comic book writer). The band felt that Moore had better skills on the kit and served the bands future needs in terms of what he could do on drums.
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Judas Priest Announces North American Tour For 2015

Rejoice you Metal Faithful because the legendary Judas Priest has decided to honor our region with a return visit that will find Mastodon supporting the run. Do you deserve such a great thing to happen, well of course not because so many of you have not been hitting the smaller shows that are happening everywhere and as result the up and coming acts are struggling to make a difference. That said you are still getting a solid dose of The Priest as they continue their “Redeemer Of Souls” tour. I’ve copied “The Official Press” release and dates for you below and then I will return with some thoughts.

Tour - Judas Priest - NA 2015

The Press Release:
Due to the overwhelming success of Judas Priest’s 17th studio effort overall, ‘Redeemer of Souls’ (which became the highest-charting album of their career, when it debuted on the Billboard 200 charts at #6), the band has announced a fall tour, which will hit the U.S. and Canada, from October 16th through November 12th. Supporting Priest on the U.S. dates and the Halifax engagement will be one of modern metal’s top bands, Mastodon.
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Judas Priest’s “Angel Of Retribution” Still Strong At A Decade (2005-2015)

When Rob Halford stepped down from the role of commander in mic for the great Judas Priest in 1992 the worlds Metal heads were beside themselves in what to do about it. He wanted to and did his own thing with bands like Fight, Two and the eponymous Halford, but the hard part was being supportive of what both he and the Ripper Owens fronted Priest were putting out there. Fight was a more aggressive, Groove Metal sort of thing while Two was a group that no one really seemed to understand in my humble opinion. When the eponymous Halford band started up and gave us such rousing, truer to the basics Metal the hopes was that his return to Priest was inevitable. We got two albums from Halford but the return would be the case in 2003 and the reunion led us to the 2005 release of “Angel Of Retribution”. That reunion album is celebrating its tenth anniversary today, March 1st 2015. Well, actually the album was released in Japan a few days prior to this but March 1st was the Worldwide Release Date back in 2005 and that is why we are raising a pair or horns in its direction.
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Judas Priest @ Barclays Center (10/9/2014)

Logo - Judas Priest

Artist: Judas Priest
Venue: The Barclays Center (Brooklyn, NY)
Opener: Steel Panther
Date: 10/9/2014
Label: Legacy Recordings

As excited as I was to be able to see Judas Priest this evening for what amounted to the very first time in Brooklyn, I was exhausted. You see today was the beginning of the 2014 NY Comic Con at the Javits Center and I’ve been attending that for the past few years bringing all its wild colors and diverse activity to the masses on the once side presence to my website “PiercingMetal Musings”. This year the event falls right into my main content based on all the changes I have put into place but that is a tale for another already posted narrative. After inhaling what I felt was the biggest soft pretzel I had ever seen I headed over to the Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn and believe it or not this was going to be my first ever time at the arena. The Priest was on their “Redeemer Of Souls” tour and had only one support band with them on the run by way of the raucous rockers Steel Panther. Here is how the night went down for those who might have missed out.

CD - Judas Priest - Redeemer Of Souls

Steel Panther: So I’ve enjoyed the presentation that Steel Panther has been putting out there for I think about five or six years now and I always find their shows to be nothing less than a gut busting experience. They’ve headlined shows out here at either the Gramercy Theatre or Irving Plaza and the audience around them is generally another interesting part of the overall spectacle. That being said I was not too certain that the diehard Judas Priest fans would “get” that this is part parody and part high energy Metal band and I felt this way from the moment that they were announced as the direct support for the new Priest tour. Some personalities lambasted this in the public press online or via the radio and magazine outlets and since I enjoyed them already I felt let’s just see how it goes even though I would have preferred a truer to the Metal band like Kamelot or even Sonata Arctica if I could point out some worthy favorites. That being said the band was exactly what I expected them to be and that was not only musically proficient, but acting like something out of a sexually charged fraternity house with their antics. Now I am used to this having seen them a number of times but I think for the most part the Priest purists were in shock by some of the banter going on and being directed at them and their wives, girlfriends and even daughters. One comment by singer Starr found me noticing some people closer to the front with their jaws dropped based on what they had just heard. My thoughts were that many were not aware of the level of comedic shtick that this band brings to the table. Set wise they would deliver their fan favorites like “Asian Hooker” and “Community Property” along with a couple of numbers from their latest album “All You Can Eat”.
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