When you’re planning on being a multi-platinum rock band, a dark album is normally where things start to go a bit off the rails. Since everyone is looking for the traditional song to listen to on the way to work, hearing their favorite rock band talk about the darker side of life is when most people stop listening. If you have the right bits to back it up, you can sometimes go mainstream anyway.
Throughout these bands’ careers, there were times when things started to get a lot gloomier than before, with some fans even worrying about the band’s well-being. Before you start though, going dark doesn’t always have to be about writing heavier sound material. Sometimes the darkest songs ever written can be about the lyrics you write, and these artists have gone from being the kind of carefree songs you sing to making you feel much more disturbed when you’re done listening to them.
While it might have seemed like a gamble at the time, each of them seemed to have paid off in the long run, with the darker songs still finding their way into these bands’ live sets to this day. It may not have been the career trajectory many expected, but it did quite a ride once launched.
It’s time for Judas Priest to get the mantle he deserves to create heavy metal. Yes, Black Sabbath may have given birth to the idea of heavy music, but the Priests were the first to identify with heavy metal and were damn proud to fly the flag. And thank goodness they did if you look at where they started.
Even before Rob Halford was in the band, Judas Priest were still one of the most forgettable bands on the English rock scene, with a sound that felt more in tune with the late Sixties hippie movement than any what was loosely called heavy metal. Once Pavarotti metal got behind the mic, everything started to change, with Sad Wings of Destiny marking the start of Priest’s classic sound on the song Victim of Changes.
Over the years, Priest also deserves credit for becoming heavier over time, for embracing the harder sound of the new wave of British heavy metal on albums like Screaming for Vengeance, and for opting for something thing that could rip your face off on Painkiller. Along the way, Halford even maintained his dark streak in projects like Two, which opted for a much more industrial sound than we were used to hearing from him. Since the band is still going full throttle after the Firepower album, Priest seems just as dedicated to heavy metal as he was when he started and does his best to preach it to devotees across the country.