Judas Priest at The Brewery

By Laura Spalding

Remember the heyday of heavy metal? The leather, the studs and screaming guitars? Legendary metal gods Judas Priest brought back those days of metal for one evening on February 17 at The Brewery's Thunderdome.

Longtime fans of metal and even non-fans know Judas Priest. The band has a deep history, beginning in 1974 and continuing on today. As one of the first bands to come along in this style of music, they are arguably founding members of this genre and their history is a big part of the history of heavy metal.

With so much experience in their field, it has to show on their latest CD, Jugulator, as well in as their live performances. It does these guys know what they're doing and they do it well.

The Thunderdome show featured original guitarists Glenn Tipton and K. K. Downing, bassist Ian Hill, long time drummer Scott Travis and newcomer/vocalist Ripper Owens.

Former longtime vocalist Rob Halford left the band in 1992 to pursue solo projects and Priest was on a bit of a hiatus for a few years. Then singer Owens, who previously played in a Judas Priest cover band, took over the vocal slot and the band returned to touring, "Screaming for Vengeance" with Jugulator.

While at times, Owens sounds very similar to Halford, he still has his own voice, which works very well with the band's style of metal.

The band performed several of their classic tunes, including-"Grinder," "The Ripper," "Hell-bent for Leather," "Breakin' the Law," "You Got Another Thing Comin'," "Living after Midnight" and "Victim of Changes." New songs included the title track from Jugulator and "Bullet Train," one of best songs on the new CD.

The band should be commended for their support and loyalty to heavy metal music and for keeping things fresh with their new material while paying homage to the classics.

As long as Judas Priest is around, heavy metal will always be around!