5. Tim ‘Ripper Owens’ – Judas Priest
Albums: Jugulator (1997), Demolition (2001)
The arrival of Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens should have been seamless.
Here was a voice that could not only mimic his predecessor perfectly (the inimitable Metal god himself, Rob Halford) but arguably added a grittier edge to the Judas Priest sound with lower lows, higher highs, Grunge-inspired inflection (particularly on Jugulator‘s “Blood Stained”) and a powerful tone that resonates through each and every track on Jugulator and Demolition.
The problem, in this case, can be laid directly at the feet of the musicians backing ‘The Ripper’. While Jugulator embraced the Groove-Metal of the era it still sounded like Judas Priest. Demolition, on the other hand, was disturbingly dark and would have benefited from being released under a different band name entirely. Demolition bears no resemblance to Priest’s canonical sound of old and in reality this is simply not a Judas Priest album….but it sure is a great album!
Irrelevant of the music written for these 2 highly underrated albums, it’s Tim Owens vocals that are up for discussion here and in all honesty, they border on perfection; he simply did not put a foot wrong. He sings loud, he sings proud and he screams, growls and shrieks like a Metal master and more than matches his illustrious predecessor.
Hats off to you lad, you pulled it off with aplomb, it’s a shame the Metal masses didn’t give you more credit at the time.