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Judas Priest-Jugulator.jpg
Cover art by Mark Wilkinson
Studio album by
Released16 October 1997 (1997-10-16)
StudioSilvermere Studios, Surrey, England
Label SPV
Producer Glenn Tipton
Judas Priest chronology
Singles from Jugulator
  1. " Burn in Hell"
    Released: 1997
  2. " Bullet Train"
    Released: 1998
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic [1]

Jugulator is the thirteenth studio album by English heavy metal band Judas Priest. It was released in Japan on 16 October 1997 and the rest of the world on 28 October 1997. It was their first studio album since Painkiller in 1990 and the first of two studio albums the band recorded without Rob Halford and with American lead vocalist Tim "Ripper" Owens. Jugulator is the only Judas Priest album that has never been released on any major digital media website, due to SPV falling under and going bankrupt around 2009.

Lyrical content

The lyrics dealt with darker themes than previous releases, including the eponymous mechanized demon which disembowels its prey, and the end of the world in the song "Cathedral Spires." The guitars were also tuned down as low as C# and C, [3] [4] making a shift from the speed metal and traditional heavy metal elements of Painkiller to a more thrash metal-oriented sound. [1]

"Brain Dead" is written from the perspective of a man who, after a tragedy, has lost the ability to move and speak and is therefore trapped in his mind, having been placed on life support. The footnote in the CD booklet for this song reads "We all have sympathy for those left to care and despair for victims of tragedy but what of the victim himself—trapped inside his body a coffin—unable to move a muscle or blink an eye but aware of the living hell he's enduring and unable to bring it to an end—a man not even a shadow of his former self—a man who wants to be remembered for what he was—not forgotten because of what he has become."


Reaction to the album was divided among those who enjoyed it on its own terms, those who liked the music but would prefer if Halford had sung it, and those who disliked it on all counts. Glenn Tipton defended the musical changes: "You must remember that two albums went missing between 1990 and Jugulator. To us, it's not the huge leap some people see it as." [5] Tim "Ripper" Owens opines that Jugulator is a better album than 2008's Nostradamus. [6]

"Some people felt there wasn't enough melody on Jugulator," remarked Tipton, "but we just weren't feeling very melodic at the time." [7]

In 2018, Owens pledged to re-record this album and its follow-up Demolition as he feels that his era of the band has "been erased". [8] Ever since Rob Halford rejoined the band, songs from both albums have been left off the band's concert setlists, although Halford stated that he wouldn't mind performing the songs live. [9]


A music video was shot for the song " Burn in Hell", though over two minutes of the song was removed in the final video. "Jugulator" and "Blood Stained" were also included on Judas Priest's box set Metalogy.

Awards and nominations

" Bullet Train" was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance in 1999.

Track listing

All lyrics are written by Glenn Tipton; all music is composed by Tipton and K. K. Downing.

2."Blood Stained"5:26
3."Dead Meat"4:44
4."Death Row"5:04
6." Burn in Hell"6:42
7."Brain Dead"5:24
9." Bullet Train"5:11
10."Cathedral Spires"9:17


Judas Priest


  • Glenn Tipton – producer
  • K. K. Downing – producer
  • Sean Lynch – producer
  • Recorded and mixed at Silvermere Studios
  • Mastered at Whitfield Street Studios
  • Mark Wilkinson – cover illustration
  • Andie Airfix at Satori – design
  • Ross Halfin – photography


Chart (1997) Peak
Austrian Albums ( Ö3 Austria) [10] 34
Canada Top Albums/CDs ( RPM) [11] 87
Finnish Albums ( Suomen virallinen lista) [12] 24
German Albums ( Offizielle Top 100) [13] 9
Japanese Albums ( Oricon) [14] 9
Swedish Albums ( Sverigetopplistan) [15] 33
Swiss Albums ( Schweizer Hitparade) [16] 43
US Billboard 200 [17] 82


  1. ^ a b c d "Jugulator review". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 16 August 2016. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  2. ^ "Judas Priest-A-Thon: Jugulator Review". 8 June 2020.
  3. ^ "Judas Priest - Jugulator (Guitar Pro)" – via
  4. ^ "Judas Priest - Cathedral Spires (Guitar Pro)" – via
  5. ^ "K. K. Downing Steel Mill :: Keep Feeding the Flames!". Archived from the original on 9 March 2016. Retrieved 19 May 2014.
  6. ^ "Ex-JUDAS PRIEST Singer TIM 'RIPPER' OWENS Says 'Jugulator' Is Better Than 'Nostradamus'". Archived from the original on 15 September 2017. Retrieved 3 September 2011.
  7. ^ "The big picture: Demolition derby". Classic Rock #28. June 2001. p. 13.
  8. ^ "TIM 'RIPPER' OWENS Says His Time With JUDAS PRIEST Has Been 'Erased' From Band's Past, Vows To Re-Record Both Albums". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. 11 October 2018.
  9. ^ "Rob Halford Open to Singing 'Ripper' Owens Era Judas Priest Songs". Loudwire.
  10. ^ " – Judas Priest – Jugulator" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  11. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 3387". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  12. ^ " Judas Priest: Jugulator" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  13. ^ " – Judas Priest – Jugulator" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  14. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005 (in Japanese). Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN  4-87131-077-9.
  15. ^ " – Judas Priest – Jugulator". Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  16. ^ " – Judas Priest – Jugulator". Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  17. ^ "Judas Priest Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 23 March 2015.