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Judas Priest
November 1997
Released: 1997, CMC
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: EvilG

Maybe its pointless to review a CD that I'm sure most of you have heard by now, but releases as important as Jugulator are few. I won't bore you with details on how Priest has a new vocalist or give you a rundown on every song. If you don't know about Ripper Owens or that Priest has a new CD out then I assume you've stumbled onto this page by accident only (time to hit that back button eh?...Or maybe you'll turn off that shit you call music and open your ears...hehe).

Its been seven long years since the last Priest CD. For some of the more recent fans of metal, Priest may appear to you as some silly band of washed up old folk who have nothing left to contribute to heavy music. This couldn't be further from the truth!!! In their seven year absence a lot of the great so called "metal" bands have released laughable material. With a large portion of the members of Priest pushing 50 its incredible that they are still kicking the shit out of bands half their age!! Without doubt this CD is a statement that metal is alive and well, and that Judas Priest are back at the forefront of the metal genre.

Besides all this idolizing lets give the CD somewhat of a critical review. Jugulator does have some flaws. For one, the lyrics are lacking. It's sad to say so but I don't know what Glenn Tipton was thinking when some of the lyrics were written. Ok, I can't knock them too much...I never claimed to listen to Priest for lyrical enlightenment. Secondly, no matter how amazing a vocalist I think that Ripper is, he is NOT Rob Halford. However, the only other person I'd rather hear singing on Jugulator would be Rob. Their choice of Ripper could not have been better. Lastly, Jugulator doesn't completely share Painkiller's intensity or speed. It's still great stuff, just not as killer.

For this band its the music that counts and on Jugulator the goods have been delivered. A lot of the long time fans of Priest, myself included, have been concerned over the loss of Rob Halford. While Ripper is NOT Halford, and Jugulator is NOT Painkiller, I think that after listening you will accept it. Knowing that Halford has gone onto be some Nine Inch Nails wannabe makes you wonder if its not for the best that he's no longer in the fold (maybe?!?). Ripper can cop Halford respectably. Luckily he is not a carbon copy, he does have his own sound and style.

Jugulator clearly begins where Painkiller left off. It is still recognizable as Priest, while at the same time does not sound dated. On a final note upon hearing Jugulator I initially was reminded of Fight's War of Words. There's not that big of a difference in styles between the two, except that Jugulator is better and hey, this is the real deal, this is Judas Priest!

Next review: » Judas Priest - Live In Concert
Previous review: » Judas Priest - Hell Bent For Leather

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