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Jugulator: the Judas Priest Album that features the powerful vocals of Tim Owens
A photo of the CD Jugulator
A Brief Introduction To Judas Priest and Jugulator
British heavy metal band Judas Priest has been around since the 1960’s. In 1997 they came out with an album that was creative, brutal, and VERY heavy! Not only that but this album features the powerful vocals of US born vocalist Tim “Ripper” Owens. This album is easily heavier than the previous album Painkiller and it shows that Judas Priest can play heavy music that has speed, ferocity, and creativity. What follows is a song by song review, something that I have not done before. I used to have this album on a few occasions but when you change your musical tastes over the years, you tend to not want to listen to certain albums.
How Good Of An Album Is Jugulator?
Jugulator is a much underrated album that should get more credit than it does. Judas Priest shows me that they can use acoustic guitars to their advantage and make these parts fit into the songs well. Judas Priest has shown a major kind of evolution and maturity since their earlier years. In the 1970’s and 1980’s they were mostly playing a hard rock kind of style. It was not until the 1990’s that the band switched to a thrash/speed metal style. At first I objected to this change because I felt that the band had gotten away from their roots and what had catapulted them to superstar status. But this thrash metal style suits them pretty good and the end result is a solid heavy album that should be enjoyable to metal fans everywhere. This writer gives Jugulator a solid 90 out of 100 points!
Who says an American born singer can’t do well in a mostly British band? Tim Owens should put all those doubts to rest as he shows that he is pretty awesome in the title track. Which brings us to that song as we start the song by song review.
Jugulator: A Song By Song Review #1-5
- Jugulator-the title track for the album starts out with some melodic riffing before transitioning into a heavy song. But before that, there are some noises that sound like garbage is being cleaned up. Slowly the song builds up before it becomes very heavy and Tim Owens really shows that he belongs in this band. The song is about a creature that will do anything to kill its prey. If this song is any indication, it is a preview of what the listener is about to hear.
- Blood Stained-this heavy song is about the horrors of war and what it can do to the world. Many wars have been started for religious reasons as well. This is a subject that has been brought up by many bands over the years. For instance, Metallica wrote about what war can do to a person psychologically (the song called One). The song also makes reference to the greed of politicians as wars are waged for political purposes. This song almost gave me chills it is so heavy.
- Dead Meat-this groovy song is about someone that will not be scared to face his fate, whatever may happen to him. Even if he defies the opposition, even in death he will feel that he has gotten some kind of victory.
- Death Row-the song starts with a prisoner asking to be released but he is being told that because of the crime that he committed, he must pay the price for it. (Note: there is also a song with this same title in the Ring of Fire album by Mark Boals that would be released in 2001).
- Decapitate-this song is a bit slower but the lyrical concept is the same as in the previous song. Sometimes justice is served in the most brutal of ways.
Abductors: One of The Best Judas Priest Songs Ever
Jugulator: Song #6-10
6. Burn in Hell-this song starts with a brilliant riff and it is about a killer that is about be tracked down and brought to justice. Great grooves and rhythm are present in this one and there is a part in the song that sounds like something Slayer would use in their songs.
7. Brain Dead-the song starts with a police car siren as we hear a car crashing noise. The song is about someone who has been paralyzed because of an accident. He does not want to live in the current state that he is in.
8. Abductors-this may be my favorite song in the album. This slower-paced catchy song is about a monster that is ready to attack its victim. On the Painkiller album back in 1990, the band addressed this concept in the very good song Nightcrawler.
9. Bullet Train-the beginning of the song has some Slayer influenced guitar riffing (like Ghosts of War).
10. Cathedral Spires-this last song once again starts out with melodic acoustic guitar. It is not only Metallica that perfected this kind of style and made it work out well. Judas Priest does it very well on Jugulator.