Rating:
8.4
Judas Priest - Jugulator
16 October 1997


01. Jugulator
02. Blood Stained
03. Dead Meat
04. Death Row
05. Decapitate
06. Burn In Hell
07. Brain Dead
08. Abductors
09. Bullet Train
10. Cathedral Spires


Jugulator is the first Judas Priest album without Rob Halford on vocal duties and was released seven years after the previous album, "Painkiller."

I am sure many people were questioning the future of the band when Rob left after "Painkiller" was released, I am sure many people would have been asking how they were going to top that album even if Rob stayed in the band - but the other four members marched on nevertheless. Tim "The Ripper" Owens was the man elected to fill the (rather large) boots of Rob after the band held auditions, which also included now Primal Fear's Ralf Scheepers. The band chose Tim Owens almost immediately after he sang the beginning of "Victim Of Changes." He had been put forward for the auditions by the recommendation of two of Scott Travis' friends who saw and recorded him sing live with the Judas Priest tribute band "British Steel" he was in at that time.

As soon as you see the front cover of the album you see a (rather pixelated) creature presumably known as the "Jugulator." My first thought about this was they were trying to make this album as similar to "Painkiller" as they could by having this Jugulator as the star of the show, as the Painkiller shown on the front of that album was the star of its. The album kicks off with the title track (as did "Painkiller"), which introduces us to the powerful voice of Tim Owens screaming out and a rush of drums from Scott. From the start here you can defiantly tell that the band certainly hasn't sat down and become rather placid - they have put effort into this album.

The first four tracks follow more or less the same heavy metal formula set down by the band seven years ago. Powerful guitar riffs and chugging double bass drumming. The new vocals fit well into the band, they do not sound out of place as many singers can easily do when joining an already established band (like Blaze Bailey possibly).

"Burn In Hell" shows a slightly different side, as does "Abductors" of a heavier Judas Priest without the exact same double bass, guitar formula that previous tracks followed. "Bullet Train" picks the album back up again with the chugging riffs, etc. and then to finish the album there is the longest track on the album at over nine minutes, "Cathedral Spires." This is a slower track that shows off Tim's vocals maybe more then any other track on the album. It is a nice track to finish on; it is heavy and melodic as well. Possibly in the same vein as "Beyond The Realms Of Death."

The album is very consistent and steady although it might not have that same edge that "Painkiller" had. In some ways maybe the album sounds a bit like a new band writing music heavily influenced by Judas Priest, like the earlier Primal Fear material for example. It sounds like Judas Priest, but the vital element to complete the sound (the highly distinguishable vocals from Rob Halford) is missing. Given the circumstances though - I think Tim Owens did a fantastic job; as good as he could have on the album. If this album didn't have such a powerful album to follow up I think maybe it would have been received a bit better, but for the band to follow up from that album with a new singer - you have to at least admire them for that.

I think this is a splendid album and is well worth looking into if people are put off by the fact that Rob isn't on this album. The album might take a couple of listens for you to get used to Tim's singing, but I feel it is well worth it!

Standout tracks for me: "Jugulator," "Blood Stained," "Cathedral Spires"

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 9


Band profile: Judas Priest
Album: Jugulator


 


written by Baz Anderson | 17.09.2006


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Guest review by
Hermann Langke

Rating:
9.0
Heavy Metal is is a way of life. If Iron Maiden gave it a mascot in Eddie or if Dio gave it a greeting in the sign of the Devil's Horns, then Judas Priest gave it the look of chains,denims, leathers and studs. But their reputation goes beyond their fashion statement as they are also well known for their music. The album which I am about to inspect is one of their lesser known albums and is called Jugulator .

Read more ››
published 05.06.2010 | Comments (35)



Comments

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Baz Anderson - 17.09.2006 at 22:26  
this my first review, so be nice people!
hottercraft - 17.09.2006 at 22:46  
Hi Baz!! You're now a staff member, congratulations!! This is your first review, and it's good, I agree with you.
Dangerboner - 18.09.2006 at 02:17  
I'm trying to buy most Judas Priest albums and I was planning on avoiding this one, but I guess I'll have to pick it up.
Baz Anderson - 18.09.2006 at 12:33  
yes, definatly!!
it might take a while for you to get used to Tim's voice with Judas Priest, but when you are used to him you should like the album
i hope so anyway

this album is better then 'Demolition' but it isnt like that is a 'bad' album either
Gothya - 02.11.2006 at 03:29  
i also agree, since I got this album I cant stop playing it, as u mention, maybe some singers don't fit on big bands, although I think blaze bayley doesnt sound bad at all throughout his step on iron maiden, but it's right that tim owens did it better on JP

btw congratulations I see your almost new on the staff membership so do a great job and don't fly so high ok and if you're already flyin' away, hey, come back down to earth! ;D (just kiddin')
Valentin B - 09.11.2006 at 15:03  
bullet train,jugulator and burn in hell are probably the most heavy and skull crunching tracks in their discography ever!
Spyroid - 08.01.2007 at 17:52  
Burn in Hell is so damn aggressive
Hermann Langke - 11.10.2009 at 18:43  
Thats my all-time favorite album.so that pass bad comments on it ok.i warn you.this album has made the maximum impact on me and my life.
Hermann Langke - 13.10.2009 at 18:31  
That's great.keep it up.
Mountain King - 20.11.2009 at 00:36  
Amazing album! at least 4 tracks are excellent! "Jugulator", "Burn In Hell", "Abductors" and "Cathedral Spires"...btw i saw Ripper Owens tonight with band Hail and got some Judas Priest signed ...
JÄY - 19.10.2011 at 03:48  
Written by Baz Anderson on 17.09.2006 at 22:26

this my first review, so be nice people!

haha, how cute....
Baz Anderson - 19.10.2011 at 14:44  
Ha, over five years ago now... crazy.

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