Formed in 1969, Judas Priest originally hail from the West Midlands and are considered one of the best British Heavy Metal acts of all time. Rob Halford’s depth of vocals lends itself to the dark and evil subject matter that carries through many of the band’s recordings of almost 50 years. ANN MASSEY O’REGAN picks her top 7 Judas Priest Horror inspired tracks.

1. The Ripper

From 1976 album ‘Sad Wings of Destiny’, this Glenn Tipton written song is one for the live gigs. It is narrated in the voice of Jack the Ripper, a warning to the terrified folks of Whitechapel he is coming out of the shadows.

…You’ll soon shake with fear
Never knowing if I’m near
I’m sly and I’m shameless
Nocturnal and nameless
Except for “The Ripper”
Or if you like “Jack the Knife…”

2. A Touch of Evil

This powerful track stems from 1990 album ‘Painkiller’ and features heavy drums and synthesizer as well as a blistering guitar solo from Tipton. The lyrics focus on the occult and demonic possession used to commit heinous acts.

…Without warning you’re here
Like magic you appear
I taste the fear
I’m so afraid
But I still feed the flame
In the night
Come to me
You know I want your touch of evil…”

3. Night Crawler

Also from ‘Painkiller,’ this song has an intro that would fit into any Hammer movie. It reaches down into the deepest of our fears as we walk alone in the night.

Howling winds keep screaming round
And the rain comes pouring down
Doors are locked and bolted now
As the thing crawls into town
Straight out of hell
One of a kind
Stalking his victim
Don’t look behind you…”

4. Jekyll and Hyde

2001 album ‘Demolition’ brings us ‘Jekyll and Hyde.’ Dark lyrics and heavy chords relate to the darkness of character that reveals itself in a Hyde like fashion, then the key change lifts to bring Dr Jekyll back before swiftly hitting the depths of depravity once more.

…Rage consumes
You every night
Caged inside you
Trying to get out
Schizophrenic basic needs
Fools me into complacency
But now I see through your facade
Behind the mask a monster snarls…”

5. Lochness

As Rob Halford says himself, only Judas Priest can produce a track about the Loch Ness Monster and get away with it! Taken from 2005 album ‘Angel of Retribution’ it refers to the legendary serpent of Loch Ness.

Grey mist drifts upon the water
The mirrored surface moves
Awakened of this presence
Dispelling legends proof
A beastly head of onyx
With eyes set coals of fire
It’s leathered hide glides glistening
Ascends the heathered briar…”

6. The Four Horsemen

2008 brought “Nostradamus”, a heavily themed theatrical album that includes this foreboding orchestral homage to the End of Days and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, War, Famine, Death and Conquest.

Horsemen raised from the light
Omens filled with dread
Desecration I beheld
A world of men gone mad
The final age that comes to pass
Apocalypse is here at last
A call to arms, the end to all
Peace on earth no more.”

7. Necromancer

We are bang up to date with 2018 album release “Firepower.” Necromancer tells exactly what these dark magicians do to the dead and how the deceased are used to exploit and increase power.

…Raising the dead, cadaver consumed
Sacraments said, bodies exhumed
Necromancer
Feeding from the host
Necromancer
Black unholy ghost
Necromancer
Death’s his guiding lights
Necromancer
Stealing afterlife…”

Ann Massey O’Regan
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