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Credited as the inventors of heavy metal by The Guardian, Judas Priest are legends in metal and British music history. When the group formed in 1969, it had a small line up of musicians: Al Atkins (vocalist), John Perry (guitarist), Bruno Stapenhill (bassist), and John Partridge (drummer). Combining heavy, gothic moods with the riffs and speeds of popular rock, Judas Priest made an impact on listeners. For more information about this must-know heavy metal powerhouse, read below.
Judas Priest has always been a band with an image. Heavy metal is a type of rock music with a strong beat, harsh sounds, and vivid imagery. Judas Priest elevated their sound by morphing their band into a dual-guitar lead. This increased the power, pace, and energy of their music, which inspired other artists to tamper with death metal, thrash metal, speed, and more. With this aggressive, dark, manic musical style, Judas Priest is equally known for their visual art: leather, chains, studs, tattoos, and lots of black. Their style is said to have inspired popular—and controversial—bands, including Metallica, Van Halen, Slipknot, and more.
For newer listeners to heavy metal, it can be hard to know where to start listening. Since Judas Priests are known for the genesis of the genre, they are an excellent option. The band has sold over 50 million albums and recorded 18 studio albums, so there is plenty to choose from in this fan favorite’s body of work. Ultimate Classic Rock describes their style as “loud, uncompromising, hard rock action.” Songs that embody their work include “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” from Screaming for Vengeance (1982), “Breaking the Law” from British Steel (1980), “Living After Midnight” from British Steel (1980), “Heading Out to the Highway” from Point of Entry (1981), and “The Hellion/Electric Eye” from Screaming for Vengeance (1982). These early classic are a great foundation to get a feel for their style, the style that influenced decades of music.
Recently, Judas Priest has embarked on another international tour. In this lineup are Rob Halford (lead vocals), Glenn Tipton (guitars), Richie Faulkner (guitars), Ian Hill (bass guitar), and Scott Travis (drum kits). As the group continues to hit the studio and record new music, they keep on bringing the new music—live and loud—to big audiences on tour. They show no signs of stopping any time soon. For more information about the band’s latest tour details including ticket information, check out this website.