Tag Archives: k.k. downing

PiercingMetal Visits The Judas Priest Pop-Up Shop @ Sony Square NYC

This past Friday, March 9th – The Legendary Judas Priest released their 18th album with “Firepower”. In honor of the Metal Magnus Opus, the fine folks at Sony Square NYC have set up a small gallery of photographs, memorabilia and stage attire. Since I had to be in the city for the Michael Schenker Fest performance at Irving Plaza, I paid a visit to the store to see the gallery and shoot some photos and video for those too far away to get here themselves. The photos video were shot with the Samsung point and shoot while the Facebook Live and Instagram stuff were done with my new Galaxy Note 8. Let’s take a look at the video first shall we?

Pretty cool right? Now let’s share the photos of the exhibit on their own to allow for better appreciation of the mighty band. That first thing we saw was an interactive screen and it would do what you did. I tried to make it give the METAL HORNS and you can see me trying to type notes down in the left hand corner.

judas priest, sony square nyc, judas priest pop-up shop
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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’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’s “Rocka Rolla” Serving The Hard Rock For 40 Years (1974-2014)

Raise the glasses my Metal friends because today is a monumental occasion for sure as we celebrate the 40th Anniversary of an album called “Rocka Rolla” which is the very release by the mighty Judas Priest. Now I will admit that I did NOT purchase this when it came out since I was not actually in the consumer age group at the time and I wouldn’t actually hear this specific work on LP until 1980 or 1981 so my reflections about it come from that particular time. I also don’t really get into the hard core production aesthetics of the release since so much of that is documented with finesse on the albums official Wikipedia entry. These are aimed at my own impressions on the work when I first got to absorb it and now back to the task at hand. The album “Rocka Rolla” is a very interesting one in Judas Priests history because not only is it their first but it’s also not quite a Metal album. Yes there are moments that surely “rock” across its contents, but overall the album is very steeped in Hard Rock, Blues and even bears some Psycehedelic elements. I was the kid on my block that got the others around him to listen to Judas Priest and with that influence created a certain fanaticism in one of them as he became the absolute diehard who sought out all of their past works. I began my own Priest journey with “Hell Bent For Leather” and “Stained Class” and from there I went backward. Now back to the debut.
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