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by Chuck Eddy

July 11, 2014

Judas Priest's World

by Chuck Eddy  |  July 11, 2014

Redeemer of Souls, the first new Judas Priest studio album in six years, presents an opportunity to take inventory of the incomparably influential British metal band's many side projects over the years. Leather-lung frontman Rob Halford, for instance, famously also recorded a stack of albums with the band Fight in the '90s and his self-titled unit, Halford, this century. But you may not be aware that he has also provided guest vocals to songs by Krokus, Ugly Kid Joe, Queens of the Stone Age, and Five Finger Death Punch, or that he gave a Pantera-backed tune to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer soundtrack, or that he and the one-off supergroup Bullring Brummies (featuring Sabbath guys Bill Ward and Geezer Butler and doom-metal god Wino Weinrich) covered "The Wizard" on a Black Sabbath tribute album in 1994.

Priest drummer Scott Travis, meanwhile, also smacked the cans for Fight and still moonlights in shred-metallers Racer X, represented on this playlist by another Sabbath cover; before joining Priest for the early and mid-'80s, he played in the cheese-metal group Hawk. Guitarist Glenn Tipton put out solo albums in 1996 and 2006, and lent riffs to isolated numbers by '90s Oklahoma post-grunge team The Nixons and, of all people, Samantha Fox. And before joining Judas Priest in 2011 (the new album's his first with the band), guitarist Richie Faulkner appeared on records by such non-household names as Voodoo Six, Ace Mafia, Lauren Harris, Primitai and, most bizarrely, respected British actor Christopher Lee. Bassist Ian Hill, on the other hand, doesn't seem to have recorded much, if anything, outside the Judas Priest fold.

All of this music is represented on this playlist, along with two samples from Redeemer of Souls itself. And as a bonus, the final seven tracks feature former Priest members: longtime guitarist K.K. Downing in a cover of The Who's "Eminence Front"; Al Atkins, the singer from a very early lineup of the band, doing Priest's "Victim of Changes" under his own name; late '70s drummer Les Binks in '80s metal band Tytan and mid-'70s glam-pop group Fancy; '80s drummer Dave Holland in his much earlier Trapeze; and Tim "Ripper" Owens, who took Halford's place in front of the microphone from 1996 to 2003, recording later with Iced Earth and his current Charred Walls of the Damned. These brutes sure get around!

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