One of the last surviving prophets of heavy metal, the legendary Judas Priest was formed in the year 1969 by two childhood friends K.K.Downing and Ian Hill of Birmingham England. Together with the high pitched screaming vocals of Rob Halford and the guitar riffs of the band’s two guitarists, Glenn Tipton being the second, Judas Priest can be called the epitome of the NWOBHM (“New Wave of British Heavy Metal”).The band was named after a song of Bob Dylan titled The Ballad Of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest. Though some critics claim that the band has no invention of moves(or style apart from their studded leather apparel)to their name the fact that Judas priest was the first band to use dual rhythm guitars with riffs(which means that both the guitarists played the same repeated part consistently only with small variations in them) still remains.Though some bands before them had dual guitarists none had actually used similar dual guitars.
The Judas priest also influenced the heavy metal genre by introducing the melodic solos or the lead breaks between the riffs which has come along to become an integral part of metal. Many influential rock bands still believe that the Judas Priest’s first three albums namely Sad Wings Of Destiny, Sin After Sin and Stained Class laid the base of the genre called heavy metal and are regarded as the predecessors of heavy metal. The band also started playing more faster and added more metallic sound to their music and the songs such as the one’s in Stained Class where groundbreaking for their sheer speed which was absent during the late 1970’s.The Priest also played slow tunes with a lot of melody.
Though after this many bands tried using the dual lead guitars but they failed to keep up the metallic sound in their music like the Priest did. The early 1980’s saw the Priest shift to more Americanized and songs that are more pop such as breaking the law and living after midnight. The Priest’s later albums such as Defenders of faith, Screaming for vengeance and Turbo where a commercial success until vocalist Rob Halford left the band for an experimental career in grunge and industrial rock. The band was in doldrums until Glenn Tipton and K.K.Downing to a bizarre step(as described by many critics) of hiring Tim “ripper” Owens the vocalist of tribute band named Akron. This was also the story that inspired the story of the movie Rockstar. The Priest along with Owens released two albums, but the dream of Owens was short lived and Rob Halford rejoined the band in July 2003 and immediately embarked of the live performance also headlining in the Ozzfest 2004.Their latest album titled Angel Of Retribution was released of March 1 2005.