Tuesday 22 December 2020



Despite the utter chaos caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, 2020 has still managed to be an amazing year for music. There are several excellent albums that didn't make my top 30 this year, as the standard has just been so high. For that reason, I've deliberately left out live albums this time, just so I can squeeze in some more original material (For the record, The Wildhearts and Iron Maiden put out fantastic live albums this year).

I'm expecting next year to be even more packed with killer records, as so many that were due this year have been postponed as, understandably, many artists want to tie in their new album with a tour. 

Anyway, I've really enjoyed putting these lists together, and re-listening to some of 2020's finest moments. 

I have applied my usual rules which include a maximum of ONE single and ONE album per artist. I also omit singles that are from albums or EPs that are due to be released next year. I may change this rule, as some bands are releasing the first single from their upcoming album a year before the full thing comes out (lookin' at you, Devilskin!). The jury's still out on that rule. Does anyone really care that much anyway?

I've linked the albums to my reviews and the singles to the YouTube tracks, so if you're interested, you can go down the rabbit hole and check out some tunes you may have missed so far.

If you disagree with my choices, please let me know how wrong you are in the comments.

Drum roll please......


01. CREEPER – Sex, Death & The Infinite Void
02. MARILYN MANSON – We Are Chaos
03. TESTMENT – Titans Of Creation
04. SEPULTURA – Quadra
05. NIGHT CLUB – Die Die Lullaby
06. HANK VON HELL – Dead
07. PVRIS – Use Me
08. BIFFY CLYRO - A Celebration Of Endings
09. NIGHTMARE – Aeternam
10. LORDI – Killection
11. POPPY – I Disagree
13. AMARANTHE – Manifest
14. AC/DC – Power Up
15. LUCIFER – Lucifer III
16. PRIEST – Cyberhead
17. BODY COUNT – Carnivore
19. KILLER BE KILLED – Reluctant Hero
21. OZZY OSBOURNE – Ordinary Man
22. BUSH – The Kingdom
23. IN HEARTS WAKE – Kaliyuga
24. BURNING WITCHES – Dance With The Devil
26. DELAIN – Apocalypse & Chill
28. ARMORED SAINT – Punching The Sky
29. PARADISE LOST – Obsidian
30. SHE HATES EMOTIONS -Melancholic Maniac


01. KREATOR - 666-World Divided
02. MARILYN MANSON - Don't Chase The Dead
03. HANK VON HELL - Danger Danger!
04. POWERMAN 5000 - Black Lipstick
05. BIFFY CLYRO - The Champ
06. CREEPER - Poisoned Heart
07. BUSH - Flowers On A Grave
09. NIGHTMARE - Aeternam
10. NIGHT CLUB - Gossip
11. OZZY OSBOURNE - Ordinary Man
12. PVRIS - Dead Weight
13. THE BIRTHDAY MASSACRE - The Last Goodbye
15. BODY COUNT - Bum Rush
16. H.E.A.T - Dangerous Ground
17. AMARANTHE - Viral
18. POPPY - Fill The Crown
19. SEPULTURA - Means To An End
20. LORDI - Cutterfly
21. WITCHSKULL - This Silent Place
22. LUCIFER - Midnight Phantom
23. ALESTORM - Treasure Chest Party Quest
24. DELAIN - Let's Dance
25. PRIEST - Dead Ringer
26. IN HEARTS WAKE - Son Of A Witch
27. SOILWORK - Death Diviner
28. DEVILSKIN - All Fall Down
29. IN THIS MOMENT - Legacy
30. TRIVIUM - Catastrophist
31. SEMBLANT - Murder Of Crows
32. MACHINE HEAD (Feat. Jesse Leach) - Stop The Bleeding
36. BRING ME THE HORIZON - Teardrops
37. SHE HATES EMOTIONS - See The Light
38. U.D.O. - Neon Diamond
40. CODE ORANGE - Underneath


Monday 21 December 2020



01. The Colour Of Love
02. Confessions Of A Dopamine Addict
03. Cyr
04. Dulcet In E
05. Wrath
06. Ramona
07. Anno Satana
08. Birch Grove
09. Wyttch
10. Starrcraft
11. Purple Blood
12. Save Your Tears
13. Telegenix
14. Black Forest, Black Hills
15. Adrennalynne
16. Haunted
17. The Hidden Sun
18. Schaudenfreud
19. Tyger, Tyger
20. Minerva


Album Review: PRIEST - Cyberhead


01. Xpander
02. Dead Ringer
03. I Believe In You
04. Decay
05. Thieves
06. Time Traveler
07. Beacon Of Light
08. Hysteria
09. Indestructible
10. Star Maker
11. Mother Base


Album Review: KILLER BE KILLED - Reluctant Hero


01. Deconstructing Self-Destruction
02. Dream Gone Bad
03. Left Of Center
04. Inner Calm From Outer Storms
05. Filthy Vagabond
06. From A Crowded Wound
07. The Great Purge
08. Comfort From Nothing
09. Animus
10. Dead Limbs
11. Reluctant Hero


Sunday 20 December 2020

Album Review: IRON MAIDEN - Nights Of The Dead, Legacy Of The Beast: Live In Mexico City


01. Churchill's Speech
02. Aces High
03. Where Eagles Dare
04. 2 Minutes To Midnight
05. The Clansman
06. The Trooper
07. Revelations
08. For The Greater Good Of God
09. The Wicker Man
10. Sign Of The Cross
11. Flight Of Icarus
12. Fear Of The Dark
13. Iron Maiden
14. The Number Of The Beast
15. The Evil That Men Do
16. Hallowed Be Thy Name
17. Run To The Hills


Saturday 19 December 2020

Album Review: RAGING SPEEDHORN - Hard To Kill


01. Snakebite
02. Doom Machine
03. Spitfire
04. Hard To Kill
05. Hammer Down
06. Hand Of God
07. Brutality
08. The Best
09. Children Of The Revolution


Friday 18 December 2020

Album Review: THE WILDHEARTS - 30 Year Itch


01. Dislocated
02. Everlone
03. Suckerpunch
04. Anthem
05. Diagnosis
06. TV Tan
07. The Jackson Whites
08. Let Em Go
09. Vanilla Radio
10. Urge
11. Mazel Tov Cocktail
12. Sick Of Drugs
13. Someone Who Won’t Let Me Go
14. The Revolution Will Be Televised
15. Caffeine Bomb
16. Love U Til I Don’t
17. I Wanna Go Where The People Go


Friday 13 November 2020

Album Review: AC/DC - Power Up


01. Realize
02. Rejection
03. Shot In The Dark
04. Through The Mists Of Time
05. Kick You When You’re Down
06. Witch's Spell
07. Demon Fire
08. Wild Reputation
09. No Man’s Land
10. Systems Down
11. Money Shot
12. Code Red


Wednesday 4 November 2020

Album Review: IN HEARTS WAKE - Kaliyuga


01. Crisis
02. Worldwide Suicide
03. Hellbringer
04. Moving On
05. Timebomb
06. Son of a Witch
07. Crossroads
08. Husk
09. Nāgá
10. Force of Life
11. Iron Dice
12. Dystopia
13. 2033


Tuesday 3 November 2020

Album Review: POWERMAN 5000 - The Noble Rot

01. Cannibal Killers That Kill Everyone
02. Brave New World
03. Play God Or Play Dead
04. Black Lipstick
05. Special Effects
06. Let The Insects Rule
07. Movie Blood
08. Strange People Doing Strange Things
09. We Got The Beat
10. VHS


Monday 2 November 2020

Album Review: BIFFY CLYRO - A Celebration Of Endings



01. North Of No South
02. The Champ
03. Weird Leisure
04. Tiny Indoor Fireworks
05. Worst Type of Best Possible
06. Space
07. End Of
08. Instant History
09. The Pink Limit
10. Opaque
11. Cop Syrup 


Sunday 1 November 2020

Movie Review: THE CRAFT: LEGACY (2020)


I've been waiting for Blumhouse's sequal to The Craft with some apprehension, as there's so much that could go right and wrong. I'm sure we can all agree that the original is an absolute classic. The wonderfully 90's original earned a cult following and a place in timeless pop culture with it's depiction of teenage outsider girls who are dabbling in witchcraft. It's a coming of age gem packed with memorable scenes and quotable lines. 

This new version was apparently going to be remake, but the powers that be decided to make it a sequal instead. Certain scenes and shots have been recreated as a homage to its predecessor, and as Easter eggs for die-hard fans, but for the most part it feels like a very different movie to the original.

Spoilers ahead.

The Craft: Legacy is a massive missed opportunity. It's so engrossed in being 'woke' that it fails to grasp the elements that made the original so special. I re-watched the original the night before watching the new one, which made its weaknesses even more apparent.

For example, the young witches in the original are flawed and learn about the consequences of their actions. The audience shares their rage, and rejoices in the revenge they take using witchcraft. We all partake in the journey showing us that they'd gone too far and the extent of the damage that they had done. It humanises them and makes us think about ourselves and our actions. However, in the new film, the girls are portrayed as heroes and go around using their powers to right wrongs with no consequences. There's no 'getting it back threefold' rule to keep them in check, or any interesting dynamic like that. 

The story starts with Lily and her therapist Mum moving to live with her new boyfriend and his sons. Unsurprisingly, they're all dicks. Incidentally, all of the men in this film are portrayed as pieces of shit. Anyway, Lily gets her period in class, and the other schoolkids make fun of her, especially Timmy, who is the token alpha-jock bell-end. This leads to the three witches befriending her and making her the 'fourth' witch, like in the first film.

The witches cast a spell on Timmy and turn him into a mega-woke social justice warrior, constantly challenging his un-PC jock mates, which I thought was great fun, and finally gave the film some humour and a little social commentary. 

However, Lily starts to fall in love with Timmy and casts a second spell on him, a love spell no-less. She does this despite knowing that his personality was changed by magic, and in reality he's a total asshole. What the fuck, Lily? Anyway, he allegedly commits suicide. We later find out that it's the evil homophobic toxic-masculinity-soaked evil step-dad who was responsible. Initially, the girls blame Lily for casting a second spell and I remember one of them saying "If we can't do magic responsibly, we shouldn't be doing it at all". How fucking crap are they? Nancy wouldn't have tolerated that shit!

Throughout the film, with the exception of the finale where they burn the now-supernatural step-dad alive (this scene is shit so don't get excited), the witches are a bit lame with their magic. There's one scene where some clearly gay person is being bullied by some high-school bigot, and one of the witches turns the bully's clothes rainbow coloured and everyone laughs at him. It's funny, but I wanted a bit more savagery and vengeance from the movie. Remember in the original when that vile racist bitch's hair fell out. We all loved that shit. There's nothing like that here, sadly. 'Legacy' is far more tame.

'Legacy' caused controversy when it was announced that one of the witches was going to be trans-gender. I'm cool with that, and in addition to some positive inclusivity, gave the story-teller some interesting avenues to go down. However, they didn't explore this dynamic at all. If it wasn't for the one line of dialogue where the witch Lourdes mentions that she's 'trans', I'm sure most members of the audience wouldn't have even realised. Just like the other two witches who aren't Lily, her character and back-story aren't developed at all, and consequently, I found myself not really giving a fuck about any of them. Again, this is another stark contrast to the original, where we get to know the young witches and empathise with them to a degree, so we actually feel something for them as the story continues.

At the end of 'Legacy', in a lame attempt to tie this sorry movie in with the original, we find out that Lily is the biological daughter of the crazy witch Nancy, who, let's be honest. is the star of the original and far cooler than anything or anyone in this sorry new movie.

So, to conclude, there isn't really any Horror here. It makes Twilight look like A Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Aside from Lily, I didn't give a flying fuck about any of the characters. It started off alright but I lost interest after the first 30 minutes. There is no awesome villain like Nancy. There's no-one Goth AF, or anyone girls would want to dress as at Halloween. It's just a badly written, boring movie, cashing in on a cult classic. Fuck. Right. Off.


Wednesday 28 October 2020

Album Review: ARMORED SAINT - Punching The Sky


01. Standing on the Shoulders of Giants
02. End of the Attention Span
03. Bubble
04. My Jurisdiction
05. Do Wrong to None
06. Lone Wolf
07. Missile to Gun
08. Fly in the Ointment
09. Bark, No Bite
10. Unfair
11. Never You Fret


Tuesday 27 October 2020

Album Review: NIGHTMARE - Aeternam

01. Temple Of Acheron
02. Divine Nemesis
03. The Passenger
04. Downfall Of A Tyrant
05. Crystal Lake
06. Lights On
07. Aeternam
08. Under The Ice
09. Black September
10. Anneliese


Sunday 25 October 2020

Movie Review: VAMPIRES VS. THE BRONX (2020)


Vampires Vs. The Bronx was recently released on Netflix, and being in the Halloween mood, I decided to give it a go.


Friday 23 October 2020

Album Review: AMARANTHE - Manifest


01. Fearless
02. Make It Better
03. Scream My Name
04. Viral
05. Adrenaline
06. Strong (Feat. Noora Louhimo)
07. The Game
08. Crystalline (Feat. Perttu Kivilaakso and Elias Holmlid)
09. Archangel
10. Boom! (Feat. Heidi Shepherd)
11. Die And Wake Up
12. Do Or Die (Feat. Jeff Loomis)


Thursday 22 October 2020

Album Review: PVRIS - Use Me

01. Gimme a Minute
02. Dead Weight
03. Stay Gold
04. Good to Be Alive
05. Death of Me
06. Hallucinations
07. Old Wounds
08. Loveless
09. January Rain
10. Use Me
11. Wish You Well


Wednesday 21 October 2020

Album Review: NIGHT CLUB - Die Die Lullaby


01. Go To Sleep
02. Die In The Disco
03. Sad Boy
04. My Valentine
05. Miss Negativity
06. Gossip
07. Misery Go Round
08. The Creepshow
09. California Killed Me
10. Civil War


Thursday 15 October 2020



In case you didn't know, this year marks the 50th anniversary of Judas Priest. Having recently read KK Downing's book 'Heavy Duty', and Rob Halford's book 'Confess' having recently arrived through my letter box, I felt inspired to write about the awesomeness of Judas Priest and rant like an opinionated old man in a pub.

Throughout my life, I've always had two favourite bands: Kiss and Judas Priest. Despite several tracks that are clearly 'Metal', Kiss have always been more of a good time Rock n' Roll band. Judas Priest, however, are full-on Heavy Metal. For me, the definitive Heavy Metal band. Yes, Black Sabbath arguably created the genre, but Judas Priest have contributed more to it than any other band I can think of, in terms of both image (leather biker jackets etc), and also musically, time and time again. 

Each of their albums sees the band evolve, and in turn, influence countless other bands with each subsequent release, developing Heavy Metal even further. Speed Metal, Thrash, Power Metal... all of these sub-genres and many more wouldn't be what they are today without the innovators that are Judas Priest

In short, I believe that Judas Priest is not only the greatest Heavy Metal band that has ever existed, but also one of the most important. Even your own shit band wouldn't exist without them. If you disagree or wish to give me that 'Iron Maiden are better' crap, you should re-evaluate your life at the earliest opportunity. Incidentally, I do love Iron Maiden. Judas Priest are just better. They're better than Black Sabbath too. Fight me!

Anyway, I've decided to do what all nerds do and rank their studio albums. I've seen this done by various journalists before, but as they were all clearly wrong, I thought I should do it properly. 

I've had great fun digging out all of these albums again and no doubt the neighbours enjoyed them too. 

Oh, and for the record, I've ranked them in order of preference, not historical significance, before a handful of internet bitches moan that Sad Wings Of Destiny isn't higher up the list.

Anyway, without further ado. Ladies and Gentlemen. I give you JUDAS FUCKING PRIEST!

#18. Rocka Rolla (1974).
Their debut album is a solid Blues-based Rock album that sounds like a band finding their feet. It's decent enough, and has some Led Zeppelin vibes here and there. The mix isn't the greatest and it does sound really dated by modern standards. It's a cool record nonetheless, but if the band had broken up after this album, would people still be listening to it today, or would it have disappeared into obscurity? Personally, I think the latter. It's still worth a spin as a point of interest. Oh, and the title track is annoyingly catchy.

#17 Nostradamus (2008).
Their double concept album and magnus opus about the life and times of Nostradamus was an ambitious and gloriously pretentious project. Musically, it veers a little too far into pompous Symphonic and epic Power Metal territories for my tastes, especially with those synthesised strings that sound like they were programmed on GarageBand. In all honesty, this isn't an album I listen to much. There are some fantastic moments though, such as the songs Nostradamus and Prophecy.

#16 Demolition (2001).
The second and final studio album with Tim 'Ripper' Owens on vocals, Demolition is a mixed bag. The sub-par production and that shit album cover didn't exactly help the masses to warm to it when it came out. However, it's far from the turkey so many have made it out to be. It's still a solid album with a handful of truly killer songs such as Bloodsuckers, Subterfuge, One On One, and the tongue-in-cheek Metal Messiah.

#15 Redeemer Of Souls (2014).
Redeemer Of Souls
is their first album without KK Downing and their first with his replacement Richie Faulkner. After Nostradamus, the band made a straight-forward, no-messing about Judas Priest record. My only issue with it is the production. Sonically, it's good but it doesn't stand up to, say, Angel Of Retribution. I guess I'm just picky. My favourites on this one are the opener, Dragonaut, and Halls Of Valhalla.

#14 Angel Of Retribution (2005).
This album was the first since their reunion with Rob Halford. It's best described as a very good Judas Priest album, and it's also worth mentioning that Roy Z's production is superb. For the first time, I felt that this was a Priest album that was looking backwards instead of forwards. You can hear all eras of the band throughout the record, masterfully done in such a way that it sounds cohesive and definitive. After the dodgy Demolition, this was Judas Priest back in the game. Stand-out tracks for me are Judas Rising, Worth Fighting For, and the magnificent ballad Angel. This is also the album with the thirteen and a bit minute song about the Lochness monster. Sometimes I forget that they actually did that. Utterly ludicrous, but great nonetheless.

#13 Stained Class (1978).
Now, this is classic 70's Heavy Metal. The song Exciter spawned the seeds of what would soon become Thrash Metal. This record also has that brilliant cover of Spooky Tooth's Better By You, Better Than Me, which would be the recording used against them in that ridiculous court case over a decade later. It was the one where the band were accused of putting subliminal messages in their music to encourage teenagers to kill themselves. This album also features Beyond The Realms Of Death which is an undeniable Metal classic.

#12 Sad Wings Of Destiny (1976).
After Rocka Rolla, Judas Priest took a huge leap forward with Sad Wings Of Destiny, creating their first masterpiece of many. They honed their sound, and this album is consequently packed with Priest classics that are still played live today. This record also has huge historical significance and has been cited as an influence by countless Metal bands. For me, the best tracks are Victim Of Changes, The Ripper, and Tyrant.

#11 Sin After Sin (1977).
Produced by Deep Purple's Roger Glover, this was Judas Priest's major label debut. It is also a hugely significant release in the history of Metal. Opening track, Sinner, spawned a million other Metal bands by itself. What a fucking track! My other favourites are Dissident Aggressor and their phenomenal cover of Joan Baez's Diamonds And Rust.

#10 Jugulator (1997).
After the departure of Rob Halford, who said that he wanted to play heavier music, this album feels like the rest of Judas Priest shoving his statement where the sun doesn't shine, as it's the most brutal record they've ever released. It had been a few years since Rob quit, and the band recruited the then-unknown Tim 'Ripper' Owens as their new lead vocalist. I remember wondering what this new version of Judas Priest would sound like, as so much had changed within the world of Metal. Before its release, I heard the song Bullet Train on a CD that came with a magazine, and I was so happy I nearly cried. Ripper sounded like a hybrid of Rob and Layne Stayley from Alice In Chains. He was perfect. The music was post-Painkiller Priest with a modern de-tuned heaviness that matched the most popular Metal bands of that time, like Fear Factory and Machine Head. My favourites, along with Bullet Train, are the title track and the epic Cathedral Spires.

#9 Point Of Entry (1981).
This album gets a lot of shit, and is widely regarded as a poor follow-up to British Steel. OK, so it may not be as good as one of the greatest Heavy Metal albums of all time, but it is still a 'mostly' amazing album in its own right. Let's face it, Heading Out To The Highway, Hot Rockin', Desert Plains, and Solar Angels are four of the coolest Rock/Metal songs ever written. Anyone who thinks this record is a dud needs a new pair of ears.

#8 Killing Machine (1978).
Killing Machine
, also known as Hell Bent For Leather in America, is another bona-fide classic. I know plenty of Judas Priest fans who believe that this is their best. I get that. It's packed with sacred gems including Hell Bent For Leather, Running Wild, Delivering The Goods, and the funky Burnin' Up. It also has that cheesy hit single Take On The World. I also love their cover of Fleetwood Mac's The Green Manalishi (With The Two-Pronged Crown).

#7 Firepower (2018).
Wow. Just fucking wow! This is the ultimate comeback album and their best record since Painkiller. Despite having the dream team of Tom Allom and Andy Sneap producing, I still didn't expect Firepower to be this good. Rob Halford's voice seems to have become twenty years younger, and everyone involved is simply on-point. What makes Firepower so much better than their previous few releases is down to the song-writing. This is a brilliantly put together album that sounds 100% Judas Priest, yet manages to stay fresh, modern, and utterly essential. My top picks from this beast are Firepower, Never The Heroes, Rising From Ruins, Spectre, No Surrender, and the utterly ridiculous yet wonderful Flame Thrower. CLICK HERE to read the review I wrote when it came out.

#6 Ram It Down (1988).
Chronologically, this record sits between Turbo and Painkiller, which I think explains it quite well. It has the upbeat euphoric vibes and riffage of Turbo, but also some speed and aggressive playing that we will hear more of on Painkiller a couple of years later. Ram It Down isn't all good though. Their cover of Johnny B Goode is just horrid. That minor gripe aside, Ram It Down has some of the best Judas Priest Songs ever. It's fun, crackles with energy and life, and sounds truly massive. I absolutely adore Come And Get It, Heavy Metal, Ram It Down, Hard As Iron, and the epic Blood Red Skies. The latter features some of Rob Halfords finest singing ever. The hairs on the back of my neck stand up every time I hear that song.

#5 British Steel (1980).
British Steel
was a massive success for Judas Priest and features the legendary Breaking The Law. Strangely enough, that has never been one of my favourite Priest songs. I like it, but they have so many better songs in their repertoire. Regardless, there is no questioning this classic. The track-listing is legendary track after legendary track. For me, the best are Rapid Fire, Metal Gods, The Rage, and the Heavy Metal party anthem Living After Midnight.

#4 Defenders Of The Faith (1984).
Defenders Of The Faith
is another timeless classic. It is to their back catalogue what pyramids are to Egypt. A very big deal indeed. Historic, gargantuan, timeless. Even that album cover is amazing. By the time this record came out, Judas Priest were the kings of Heavy Metal, and with a damn good reason. From the blistering opener, Freewheel Burning, the hits come hard and fast. My most essential picks from this one are Jawbreaker, Rock Hard Ride Free, The Sentinel, Eat Me Alive, and the dark, heavy, epic ballad Night Comes Down.

#3 Turbo (1986).
If the band have one album that has been unfairly berated over the years, it's Turbo. Let's get one thing clear. Anyone who doesn't like Turbo is a sexless, taste-free, gremlin who probably still lives with their mother, and has no right to call themselves a fan of Heavy Metal. This album sums up the excess of the 80's for me. It's an upbeat, masterpiece that's more about fast cars, sex, drugs, and the hot summer sun, than fictional monsters or any kind of misery or hardship. Big Hair, massive sunglasses, and amps turned up to eleven were the order of the day, and Judas Priest unleased the best album of that entire era.

There are lots of synthesisers here, plus synth guitars, electronic drum beats etc. Priest embraced modern technology and used it to further their music. I strongly suspect that the production values of Turbo were used as a template for Def Leppard's Hysteria, which went onto become one of the biggest selling albums of all time. Maybe I'm wrong? Just listen to them again and have a think about that one.

Turbo sits nicely alongside the massive Heavy Metal releases of that time from bands like Ratt, Kiss, and Motley Crue, but sounds a bit more futuristic.

I want to also point out that some of Rob Halford's most impressive and borderline inhuman vocals are on this record. Turbo boasts what may well be the greatest Heavy Metal vocal performances of all time. I can't emphasise how mind blowing he is.

I still wonder why the band never shot a music video for Wild Nights, Hot & Crazy Days. That track would have owned MTV back in 1986. Turbo Lover and Locked In were chosen instead, which, to be fair, are also awesome.

The songs on Turbo are out of this world. Out In The Cold is an epic masterpiece, and, even now, when I watch them open the Fuel For Life live DVD with it, sends shivers of excitement down my spine. 

I also adore the sexually charged Hot For Love and Reckless, the latter being the song that nearly ended up on the Top Gun soundtrack. 

Turbo may be fun, commercial, and consequently not the album some fans wanted from Judas Priest, but there's no denying that it's utterly phenomenal.

#2 Painkiller (1990).
Apparently, back then, many fans and journalists thought that, by the end of the 80's, Judas Priest had lost their edge. God, they were fucking stupid. Who underestimates Judas Priest? Painkiller is classic Priest with a new found ferocity, partly due to the addition of Scott Travis on drums. This is a perfect Heavy Metal album with a contemporary, almost extreme edge and continues to be cited as a huge influence on bands across the globe even to this day. 

The title track is just so fast and heavy. Rob's vocals are like a ravenous banshee, tearing the listeners face off after the first few seconds. The lead guitar work is exceptional, and it's all just so relentless. It may well be the greatest Heavy Metal song ever written. 

Painkiller also saw Judas Priest tour with new kids on the block, Pantera, and you can hear how this record had a huge influence on their legendary Cowboys From Hell album.

The songs are all on-point too. There are no fillers here, just exemplary slabs of impeccable Heavy Metal. Obviously, I love the whole record, but were I to be forced at gunpoint to choose my absolute favourites, I'd have to go for the title track, Night Crawler, A Touch Of Evil, and Between The Hammer & The Anvil.

#1 Screaming For Vengeance (1982).
Beating the legendary Painkiller to the number one spot by a hair on a gnat's bollock, Screaming For Vengeance takes gold. 

If having the coolest title of any Metal album ever wasn't enough, just look at that cover! Some kind of robot bird of prey with missiles on its back swooping down, no doubt to tear apart some duplicitous Kerrang! journalist or some other fucker, all against a backdrop that looks like a burning red sun. When one gazes upon its cover, there is no doubt that Screaming For Vengeance contains the greatest Heavy Metal music ever.

Starting of with The Hellion, which is the most iconic Heavy Metal intro of all time, the following majesty of Electric Eye is irrefutable. Right here, Judas Priest  redefined and updated Heavy Metal music. The bar had truly been reset very high indeed. No prizes for guessing what that bar was made from- Judas Priest Heavy Metal! (Sorry, I got carried away there).

Those guitar tones on the intro to Bloodstone must have sounded like they'd come from the future in a time machine. Considering it came out in 1982, the whole album still sounds so vital and alive. Like AC/DC's Back In Black, it may be vintage, but it never gets old. 

Packed with killer tracks like (Take These) Chains, You've Got Another Thing Comin', Fever, and the super-catchy Devil's Child, Screaming For Vengeance is a record you can listen to in its entirety, time and time again, without ever wanting to skip tracks. 

So there you have it. If you disagree with me, let me know how wrong you are in the comments section. Incidentally, Judas Priest have apparently written plenty of material for a new studio album and will be tracking it very soon. I guess it'll come out after their belated anniversary shows next summer. Before then, I'm expecting the release of KK Downing's new band 'KK's Priest' featuring Ripper Owens on vocals. I'm really excited for that too. Who knows, maybe KK will re-join Judas Priest someday? Whatever happens, 2021 is sure to be a great year for Priest fans.

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