Black Sabbath deserves all of the credit for being the Grandfathers and ForeFathers of Heavy Metal. However, Judas Priest can be seen as the Godfathers of modern day metal. Judas Priest brought metal to a new level with the dual thrashing guitar playing of KK Downing and and Glen Tipton. Priest was formed in 1969 in Birmingham England. Not only was their music loud, but it was mind blowing. Rob Halford, arguably the best Heavy Metal vocalist in History has that raging voice as well as the stage presence to make fans lose their shit. As of today, Priest has sold over 50 Million Albums worldwide and that number rises everyday as youngsters become enamored with a band that has been in existence almost 45 Years. Their most notable lineup was Rob Halford (Vocals), Dave Holland (Drums), Ian Hill (Bass), and KK Downing/Glenn Tipton (Lead Guitar). Their release of “British Steel” in 1980 was what personified what we know of today as modern day Heavy Metal.
Judas Priest has gone through a few lineup changes and even went through a period of time where Rob Halford left the band for his own solo projects including the band “Fight” and “Halford”. However, in 1995, the band got together in a small kitchen in Birmingham, England, their birthplace. They were discussing the release of their new box set when they also made a decision to reunite. You know that moment when heavy metal fans get chills down their spine when they realize their favorite band is having a reunion. We have saw it with KISS, AC/DC, even the Rolling Stones. Well that emotion was felt by many when Priest announced to the world that they would be releasing a new album…”Angel of Retribution.” Fittingly, the first track on the new album was “Judas is Rising.” When you hear the song live, it really brings chills to the bone.
If you are a Heavy Metal fan and you have never saw Judas Priest live you have missed out tremendously. Judas Priest has released 16 Studio Albums as of now and are currently working on a new album due out sometime in 2014. The Priest as they are also referred to have been one of the most successful heavy metal bands of all time. Their most recent material was the album Nostradamus, which is a concept album about the life of Nostradamus who was one of the most famous prophets in history who has predicted many life changing events on earth. The album features 23 songs. The first disc focuses on his life and predictions and the second disc focuses on his life, after being exiled and his death. It covers how mankind had saw how right he was on his predictions after death. The band even used keyboards, synthesizers and choirs which was extremely new to their repertoire. NOSTRADAMUS did not have the critical success that was expected, but nonetheless this album is extremely powerful. Shut the lights out one night, pop in the CD and kickback and listen and you will see what I mean.
The band is currently working on their 17th Studio album, which is due out later this year. KK Downing has retired, but the band has not lost anything with newcomer Richie Faulkner. If you do not believe me, check out their latest live DVD, Epitaph which has 23 live tracks spanning their entire career. Epitaph was recorded at the Hammersmith Apollo, London on May 26th, 2012. The DVD was released as both a normal version and Blu Ray. I highly recommend this DVD for any METAL Fan. Especially any newcomers that may have never witnessed Judas Priest live. Judas Priest is absolutely amazing and their music is even more special.
So as we go forward on this Thursday, let us remember the influence that Judas Priest has had on all of our favorite Metal Bands. Every band that joins today wishes they could be the next Judas Priest. However, there is only ONE Judas Priest. Rob Halford in my opinion is the greatest vocalist of all time. I have blogged about this in the past when I did my TOP 50 Metal Vocalists of all time. You can also check that out in the archives. I easily place Priest in the TOP 5 Metal Bands of all time along with Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Metallica, and AC/DC. So, if you are bored and looking for a change, go to ITUNEs and download some Priest. Also…Don’t forget to check out Philly’s hottest Internet Radio Station going…PHILLY ROCK RADIO. Also check out their website. You will be entertained I promise. Until next time, this is JJ Rock saying goodbye.