Beyond the Realms of Death
|"Beyond The Realms of Death"|
|Song by Judas Priest|
|from the album Stained Class|
|Released||10 February 1978|
|Recorded||October–November 1977, Chipping Norton Recording Studios, Oxfordshire|
|Producer(s)||Dennis Mackay, Judas Priest|
|Stained Class track listing|
"Beyond The Realms of Death" is a power ballad by British heavy metal band Judas Priest from their 1978 album, Stained Class. Vocalist Rob Halford's performance is considered one of his finest ever, and the guitar work is noted as well, especially the solos. Many reviewers have called it one of the best songs on the album. The song is considered a Judas Priest classic, with versions of the song appearing on the albums Priest, Live and Rare, '98 Live Meltdown, Live in London, A Touch of Evil: Live, Live Insurrection and many of the group's compilation albums. Drummer Les Binks has his only songwriting credit with the band for the song's main riff.
The song starts out as a slow and light ballad until the chorus, where the song erupts into heavy riffs. The song then turns light once again until the next chorus, and the following bridge section. The first guitar solo is then played by Glenn Tipton. Then the song turns light once again for the next verses, which is followed by the heavy chorus/bridge section once again and the second guitar solo played by K. K. Downing. This is followed by the final heavy riffs and the epic final scream of Rob Halford.
The song describes a man who suffers from depression and enters into a pseudo-catatonic state, which gives the outward appearance of a comatose state, in that it essentially renders the body physically immobile whilst leaving inner thought processes intact in an almost 'locked-in' fashion. He eventually dies, possibly by his own hand due to the state he was essentially locked in, so he is once more released from the chains of life. Furthermore, other lines in the song suggest an anti-suicidal message. The song was mentioned in a 1990 trial in which the parents of two teens who had committed suicide after listening to Stained Class alleged that subliminal messages encouraging suicide had been hidden in another song on the album. In a telephone interview with The New York Times at the time, Halford confirmed that the song carries an anti-suicidal message, discussing how people suffering from depression withdraw from society and refuse to communicate.
- Blind Guardian did a cover version of the song for the album, A Tribute to Judas Priest: Legends of Metal Vol. II.
- "Judas Priest – Stained Class (album review 3)". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 19 May 2014.
- Steve Huey. "Stained Class - Judas Priest | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 10 February 2012. Retrieved 19 May 2014.
- "Band Is Held Not Liable In Suicides of Two Fans". The New York Times. 25 August 1990. Archived from the original on 7 February 2018. Retrieved 16 November 2017.