Well here we are, over 7 months into the throwback segment and yet we still haven’t talked about the metal gods. Judas Priest has been around since the early 70’s and is easily one of the most influential bands in the history of heavy metal. Hell, they are the type of band that deserves not only a throwback, but an entire discography review. Several bands have already paid tributes to Judas Priest, and today The Circle Pit will pay it’s respect to this juggernaut of a band.
Judas Priest made their entrance into metal music when the genre was still very young. Bands such as Black Sabbath and Deep Purple had already begun experimenting with a sound that was much heavier and darker than the standard rock n’ roll of the time, but these groups were still heavily influenced by the blues. The same can be said about Priest’s debut album, but by the time they released “Sad Wings of Destiny” in 1976 they had established a unique sound that would go on to influence an entire generation of young rockers. This album contained musical elements such as dueling guitars, operatic lead vocals, and faster tempos than any preceding band could concoct. Not to mention they also introduced the leather-and-studs clothing image to the metal community. All of these became trademarks of Judas Priest, and were later adopted by several metal bands in the 1980’s.
So how was this band able to create such an influential sound? Well, with incredibly talented musicians of course. Every member of Judas Priest brought something special to the table. Guitarists’ Glenn Tipton and K. K. Downing worked well together and managed to construct a massive duel guitar attack on every album. Ian Hill provided a thunderous bass tone that served as a perfect backdrop to the band’s music. Every drummer sounded good in the mix, whether it was Les Binks’ cool drum fills, Dave Holland’s driving rhythms, or Scott Travis’s pummeling double bass. And Rob Halford seriously has one of the greatest voices in metal music. His vocals are gritty, high-pitched, and can span nearly four octaves!
The Judas Priest line-up remained fairly consistent through out the 70’s and 80’s (with the notable exception of their drummer position). This was a great thing for the band, as it allowed them to grow together as musicians and gradually evolve their sound over time. Even the frequent change in drummers didn’t force them to change their sound drastically on any releases. With a solid line-up they were able to release many classic heavy metal albums, such as “Stained Class” (1978), “Screaming for Vengeance” (1982), and “Painkiller” (1990). Judas Priest is a classic band with a rich discography worthy of every metalhead’s time and affection. Horns up!