A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

Judas Priest continues to lead the charge

Sony Music Entertainment
Judas Priest again proves their relevancy with the breakneck tempo of “Firepower”

Powerful, chaotic vocals. Growling, thunderous bass lines. Sharp, screaming riffs.


In their 2018 release, “Firepower,” their first album release since 2014’s “Redeemer of Souls,” heavy metal legends Judas Priest relive the glory of their early days.They prove their relevance and dominance in the metal scene for years to come.


“Firepower” is the group’s highest charting album ever, reaching No. 5 on the Billboard 200, beating out “Redeemer of Souls’” from sixth place.


Judas Priest, originally formed in West Bromwich, England in 1969, currently consists of Rob Halford on vocals, Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner shredding their twin guitars, Ian Hill backing up with bass and Scott Travis playing the drums.


While other bands of their vintage struggle to break into the the 2010s, Judas Priest cuts through new-age bands with a classic, heavy feel.


Judas Priest’s sound has a characteristic speed to it, with most tracks featuring a blistering guitar riff and high energy drums. They capitalize on their classic sound while adding an edgy, evil element to it. Themes of devilry and lyrics about unrelenting villainy give the record an eerie, fearful ambiance.


Dark themes are common in death and black metal today, but Priest’s lyrics have different weight. Rob Halford delivers with a confidence and skillful clarity that is uncommon in modern metal’s emphasis on harsher vocals.


Halford stands out on “Never the Hero” with a soaring chorus and anthem-worthy lyrics, interrupting the harshness of the album with an epic track about an anti-hero’s glory.


Songs like “Flamethrower” and “Firepower” build up speed that keeps listeners on the edge of their seats.


Many tracks have a chorus and a pre-chorus, giving the record an unpredictable feeling, almost as if the listener isn’t sure what will happen next. Well known for their songwriting prowess, Priest flexes their strengths to full effect in heavy tracks like “Evil Never Dies” and “Necromancer”. These tracks jump from guitar solo to chorus to high-tempo shredding quick enough to give you motion sickness, in the best way.


Firepower is more than just a testament to Judas Priest’s strengths; it is a group of living legends expanding on a genre that they themselves created, pushing it forward in a powerful way. Judas Priest refuses to fall into obscurity, choosing instead to once again lead the charge.

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About the Contributor
Séamus Reed
Séamus Reed, Arts & Entertainment editor
Seamus Reed is the Arts and Entertainment Editor for the Oak Leaf. 2019 is his third year at the JC.

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