Review Summary: When they pull the lever, hear the goddamn screams!
First album by the Metal Gods, introducing lead singer Tim "Ripper" Owens, replacing Rob Halford, is actually, an underrated powerful dynamite. Every track is heavy as hell, picking up where "Painkiller" stopped and even though -of course- not so unique, this is a natural evolution.
Judas Priest wanted to show they still can sound heavy as f... and they actually made it. There are many periods in the band's history. The more hard rock one, the more nwobhm one, the more commercial one, the more heavy or speed one. Everyone has his own taste, as far as when the band sounded better or which style was more appropriate. All i know is, Judas Priest never feared to try out new things and whatever they produced was, at least, decent.
Jugulator is full of heavy metal anthems, a bit pantera-like riffs, high pitched vocals, mid tempo to fast songs and ofc great solid drumming, by the monster Scott Travis. First 2 songs are only decent imo, but the real party starts on track 3, "Dead meat". From that point on, the tracks kick off for real and the headbanging just goes on endlessly, "Death row", "Burn in hell", "Abductors" and of course the ear meltener, huge track, "Bullet train". Bullet train being certainly one of the best songs the band has ever produced. Vocals by the "Ripper" are delivered on high level all across the album and ending in triumph on the anthem, "Cathedral spires". He surely does a good job replacing Rob and he sounds fresh and dynamic. No ballads here, no turbo lovers etc. Pure modern heavy metal, delivered by the metal gods themselves with the only purpose to melt some "sensitive" ears. Intros of the songs, on the same time, are very atmospheric and lead perfectly to the pure hatred that is unleashed, especially in tracks, like "Death row" and "Burn in hell".
Overall, this album is not recommended to the Priest fans of the early period. This is highly recommended to fans who worshipped Painkiller and who are also into some modern metal sound, like the one produced by Pantera and Machine Head. The production is clean, could have been a bit more "grandiose" on the rhythm guitars for sure. Glenn Tipton is riffing heavily like a bulldozer throughout the whole album. This album is highly recommended for working out, when you are pissed off, when you need some serious screaming and headbanging. Well done Priest!