MEATWATCH: Judas Priest

It’s a complex world out there of animal products, and Goonhammer is here to help. Whether it’s ranking the staple animal-based proteins on the market, or when a new type of meat drops and shakes up the game, we’re here for you, our loyal readers. 

Look, we know what you’re thinking: This is by far one of our worst pun-based ideas. But Greg gets real pissy if we don’t let him just go to town roasting something, both literally and figuratively, every thirty days or so. And so we present: Judas Priest.

I was staining my deck this weekend, and opened up a pack of paint stir sticks. If you’ve ever painted a room, you know what I’m talking about: those little wooden dealies you use to stir up paint buckets, they come ten for a dollar. It’s a totally useless product, because you could just use your hand, or shake the can real hard. But I got to thinking: producing these things involves heavy machinery, and they make a billion a year, so like, statistically, somebody has to have died making them, right? At some point in history, somewhere in the world, someone fell into the stir-stick machine and got all shredded up, or like they got crushed by a pallet at the stick sore? It just seems inevitable, if you look at the numbers. Pretty cool to think about. 

Anyway, when I was press-ganged into writing this column about this band, my first question was “hell yeah”, and my second was whether Judas Priest had any songs about food. If leather counts, they have kind of a lot, but I’m not sure it does.

Here’s the official Meatwatch review of Judas Priest: they kick ass. Screaming for Vengeance isn’t the best Priest album – that’s either British Steel or Painkiller, though 2018’s Firepower isn’t bad either, which is impressive for how past their prime you’d expect them to be – but it does feature the hardest album cover art I have ever seen in my entire life.

Generally speaking, every Priest album cover goes harder than shit, and the songs go stupid hard, thanks to Rob Halford singing his and everyone else’s ass off for 50 years and still hitting notes I didn’t even know existed. If there’s anything negative I can say about this band it’s that they’re unfortunately from England. You don’t have to deal with that listening to them, and they don’t seem happy about it (or, really, much of anything), but it’s there, in the back of your head, the ugly truth of the world: America peaked with Guns N Roses, but England, England, was able to produce Judas Priest. The opening drums to Painkiller will stop you worrying about mundane things that aren’t Painkiller, but the fact remains.

I did some research for this piece, which is a really haughty way of describing having Spotify open and occasionally going “oh hell yeah” when the guitars were loud enough, because I had to figure out if I actually liked Judas Priest or not. That is, was I here for the actual songs, or was this a case of either Irony or Nostalgia Poisoning? I don’t think I need to explain irony poisoning – you’re online, you know what it is – the worry here was that I only liked Judas Priest because I have hazy memories of Breakin’ The Law being on Beavis and Butthead 30 years ago. The good news is that I was correct, Judas Priest absolutely rips and the band is good as hell on their own merits.

GREGNOTE: A quick footnote about that “research”, by the way: I was trying to search Wikipedia for a picture of Rob Halford doing something cool, but I guess a wire got crossed because instead I found myself going to Google Images and typing “wikipedia” into the search box, then getting confused by the results for a second. Here he is, by the way, being exceptionally cool:

Image from Wikipedia, eventually.

It’s OK to like things that are old, but liking the same things forever because they are old is a problem to me. I understand the urge – life sure did seem easier back then. None of my friends even had to have a job in the 90s. Whether this is because it was A Simpler Time or just that we were 15, well, who can know. The past was cool in some ways: I can pretty conclusively say that my parents didn’t lose sleep about me getting machine-gunned in a classroom the way I’m going to with my daughter, for example. And there was no plague, so you could go to the mall without looking like a freak because you’re the only person wearing their goddamn mask. On a related note, I recently figured out why I bounced off the latest season of Stranger Things, and it’s because my favorite character from season 3 doesn’t appear. I’m talking about, you guessed it, the fucking mall. I like the show, but I didn’t fall so hard for that one particular season of it because I miss the 1980s. It hit me hard because I miss going to the mall. Soon I’m going to have to start binge-watching Michael Mann movies just so I remember what being around dirtbags feels like.

I think we need to clean up around here, to add some things to the Legends PDF. To start with, most songs recorded before 1985. I picked that date because it’s particular to my interests and relevant to the stated topic here, and I’m certainly betraying my age, but can we just never hear Creedence ever again? If you’re making a movie, and you insist on setting your montage to music, it can’t be anything older than, say, Duran Duran’s Hungry Like the Wolf. I’m bored with boomer music and dad rock. It had its moment, and then dug its heels in and made it last for my entire adult life, now please just go away. We let the Olds have the super bowl halftime show 50 times in a row, and look at what they did with it. We got one good one – Prince, obviously – and then like 20 more from aging chumps still coasting on the three good albums they made a generation ago. It’s bad enough I’ve spent the last two and a half years feeling like a taxidermied butterfly trapped under glass, I also have to be stuck in here with fuckin’ Leonard Skynyrd? This sucks. We gotta Legends some stuff. 

Next time an Old tries to jam you up on something, just point at them and their stupid problem, and Legends their ass. Printers? Yeah, nobody wants to print things. Get outta here with that. Oh you want directions, you need to print out some MapQuest instructions? Going to drive your Volkswagen Passat to the store and get a big bag of shitty candy to bully your grandkids into eating while you teach them all the coolest slurs from the 1950s? The future is now, old man, just look at maps on your phone like a normal brain-damaged millennial. Kids today have wildly effective new slurs technology anyway, nothing you do is going to impress them. If you’re thinking that I derailed an article about metal just to tell my dad he sucks, well: correct.

Judas Priest shocks dicks, but we’re playing with fire every time we dig into ye olde chartte toppers, and we need to be honest with ourselves to avoid getting burned: most of the time it’s probably not any good, you just like it because it was around when your back wasn’t all messed up and you still had a hairline. 

Stuff from history sucks. Throw it in the trash. Let’s start making new stuff that sucks.

Thanks for sticking around, and making this column what it is: a little-read corner of this website that exists solely for me to waste your time and get yelled at. If you have questions or comments, let us know at, or right here in the comments. Meatwatch is here to help.