Music News

Judas Priest

It's easy to forget that Judas Priest existed at the dawn of heavy metal, because the band's most well-known releases are rightly affiliated with the new wave of British heavy metal. Starting out in 1969 in Birmingham, England (the home of Black Sabbath), the group solidified its classic lineup in 1974, in time to record its debut, Rocka Rolla. Since then, Priest has become one of the world's most successful and influential rock bands — metal or otherwise. Rob Halford's ability to sing with a gritty conviction and unleash a soaring, melodic scream is often imitated but never quite matched. The dual lead-and-rhythm-guitar attack that Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing created can be heard in the music of numerous acts that followed in Priest's wake. This is one band that doesn't disappoint live.

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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.