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Review: "Demolition" by Heavy Metal Band Judas Priest Their Best Album Since Painkiller

Updated on March 11, 2021
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Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

Demolition Is a Very Underrated Album

There are heavy metal albums that most people may be likely to forget that are a band’s best one since the album that most people would consider to be their finest work. Judas Priest’s 2001 album called Demolition is an example of this. The album would be criticized by many fans of Judas Priest but let me tell you: upon listening to this album, this may be their best work since 1990’s Painkiller album. Are you shocked to hear this? I’m sure you are because I never thought this would happen.

Listening to Demolition 20 years later in 2021, it has a certain kind of nostalgia to it even though it is different from Painkiller. Sometimes a different metal album can be a blessing in disguise for those fans that are willing to accept it.

Why Is the Album Demolition So Underrated?

One big reason is the powerful vocals of Tim “Ripper” Owens. He can also do a pretty good low voice. His low octaves are better than that of Rob Halford. I like Rob’s vocals but they are not varied enough. I would argue that Owens made Judas Priest a better band because the vocals soared and the songs took care of themselves.

Judas Priest Was Better With Tim Owens

One on One is the first song I ever heard from this album on the first listen and the grooves on that song are CATCHY! The lyrics are similar in theme to Megadeth’s Prince of Darkness. The riff structure is similar to the album Jugulator and this is evident in the song Hell is Home. Jugulator with songs such Abductors, Bloodstained, and the title track show that Judas Priest does not need Rob Halford to sound great musically. They may not have been as popular with Owens but he does a better job than Rob. At first, some of us that listen to the song One On One may dismiss it as some filler stuff that does not belong in the album because of the weird guitar sounds. But it becomes a very catchy groove metal song. Bring it on as the song says!

The Album Demolition Has More Musical Variety Than Painkiller

"Hell Is Home" is a groovy heavy metal tune about someone who enjoys the attention and publicity in his new home. "Jekyll and Hyde" is a bit different from the other songs sounding like a hard rock tune but variety is a good thing. Painkiller was mostly mid-tempo to fast heavy metal with little musical variety but Demolition shows the heavy side of Judas Priest while mixing that with lighter songs. The song called Close to You is a ballad that is okay. Judas Priest is never really known for ballads. They are not Annihilator. "Close to You" is not a bad song. It just is not something that these guys should do. The vocals of Owens make listening to the song manageable. The song is about someone who is grieving because the love of his life has died. He is looking over her grave and he feels that he can never heal because most of him has died on the inside.

The Song Called "One on One"

Demolition the album review part 3

The song "Bloodsuckers" starts off sounding like something Spanish death metal band Avulsed would have done by using a spooky atmospheric sound. Then the song gets heavy just like many of the songs on Jugulator did. The song describes a kind of legal system that puts the suspect on the stand for trial yet they go after that person’s family because the system wants to destroy that person’s family. The chorus features Tim Owens with a darn good falsetto type of voice. This guy should be given more credit as a vocalist because he can sing in high, medium, and low octaves.

How Are the Other Songs?

The song called "In Between" is about a person that feels that they are between two extremes of good and bad. Even though these words are subjective in human life, society classifies a good thing as good and a bad thing as bad. The song called "Feed On Me" is about men that will do what they can to get food if they are dying of exhaustion. Subterfuge has an interesting mid-tempo feel to it. Politicians always make decisions that promote their own interests as the public is not really important to them. In life, there are people that win and people that lose. The winners in life are the ones that never give up and work towards what they want to achieve most. "Lost and Found" is a ballad song that is about a person that was always afraid that they would lose their way. They would not be able to walk properly but they strayed off course. They were able to find the light amidst all of the darkness. This person realizes that he does not need anyone to survive and that he is just fine on his own. "Cyberface" has a kind of melody that music fans may remember from ...And Justice for All. However, the riffs in this one are pretty average and may be uninspiring. The song may be one of the few weak points of the album. The song "Metal Messiah" sounds like Tim Owens trying to sound like a rapper. But then, he sort of redeems himself sounding melodic with his vocals.

The song called "Hell Is Home"

Demolition Is an Improvement Over Jugulator

Demolition is an album that has both ballads and the traditional heavy Judas Priest songs and it has an interesting balance. This album is definitely an improvement over Jugulator. This performance by Owens is pretty good considering that he would not get any more chances to showcase his varied and powerful vocals.

The Song Called "Bloodsuckers"

Jugulator Versus. Demolition

Which one of these two Judas Priest albums do you like more?

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Bottom Line: Tim Owens Was Better For Judas Priest

Let’s make it clear that I have nothing against Rob Halford as a vocalist but Tim Owens has a more brutal sounding voice that is more suitable to groovy thrash such as this album. He has just as much range as Rob does and he is much younger than Rob. Tim would have more energy to be on stage. Rob should have just focused more on his solo music and the band Fight after he left Judas Priest. Tim Owens made Judas Priest better even in the 2000’s.

It is about personal preference here. Rob Halford has had a very high falsetto kind of voice and Tim has a high vocal range as well. I seem to relate to the vocals of Tim “Ripper Owens more than Rob Halford even if most people will prefer the original vocalists in these bands.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2017 Ara Vahanian


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