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For the mammal genus, see Jugulator (mammal).
Judas Priest-Jugulator.jpg
Studio album by Judas Priest
Released 16 October 1997 (Japan)
28 October 1997
Recorded 1996–1997, Silvermere Studios, Surrey, England
Genre Heavy metal[1]
Length 58:13
Label SPV/Steamhammer (Europe and Japan)
CMC International (USA)
Producer Glenn Tipton
K. K. Downing
Sean Lynch
Judas Priest chronology
Singles from Jugulator
  1. "Burn in Hell"
    Released: 1997
  2. "Bullet Train"
    Released: 1998
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2/5 stars[1]

Jugulator is the thirteenth studio album by British 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 is the first album of brand new material since "Painkiller" (1990) and the first of two studio albums the band recorded without Rob Halford, featuring replacement vocalist Tim "Ripper" Owens.

Lyrical content[edit]

The lyrics dealt with harsher 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,[citation needed] making a shift from the speed metal and traditional heavy metal elements of Painkiller to a more thrash/groove metal-oriented sound.[1]

The entire album seems to describe the ending of the world, from the coming of the Jugulator ("Jugulator"), to the actual ending of it ("Cathedral Spires"). Songs like "Dead Meat", "Decapitate" and "Burn in Hell" all describe the evils that humans do. In the end, the evil deeds are so great in number that it consumes and destroys the world.[citation needed]

"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 roughly divided among those who enjoyed the album on its own terms, those who liked the music but would prefer Halford sing it, and those who disliked it on all counts. Glenn Tipton defended the musical changes by saying, "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."[2] Despite the mixed reception—Bullet Train and "Cathedral Spires" are generally regarded as classics—even by some critics who disliked the rest of the album.[citation needed]


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[edit]

"Bullet Train" was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance in 1998.

Track listing[edit]

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

No. Title Length
1. "Jugulator" 5:50
2. "Blood Stained" 5:26
3. "Dead Meat" 4:44
4. "Death Row" 5:04
5. "Decapitate" 4:39
6. "Burn in Hell" 6:42
7. "Brain Dead" 5:24
8. "Abductors" 5:49
9. "Bullet Train" 5:11
10. "Cathedral Spires" 9:17


Judas Priest
  • Produced by Glenn Tipton, K. K. Downing, and Sean Lynch
  • Recorded and mixed at Silvermere Studios
  • Mastered at Whitfield Street Studios
  • Cover illustration by Mark Wilkinson
  • Design by Andie Airfix at Satori
  • Photography by Ross Halfin


Chart (1997) Peak
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[3] 34
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[4] 24
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[5] 9
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[6] 33
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[7] 43
US Billboard 200[8] 82


  1. ^ a b c "Jugulator review". AllMusic. 
  2. ^ "K. K. Downing Steel Mill :: Keep Feeding the Flames!". Kkdowning.net. Retrieved 2014-05-19. 
  3. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Judas Priest – Jugulator" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  4. ^ "Judas Priest: Jugulator" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  5. ^ "Officialcharts.de – Judas Priest – Jugulator". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  6. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Judas Priest – Jugulator". Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  7. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Judas Priest – Jugulator". Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  8. ^ "Judas Priest – Chart history" Billboard 200 for Judas Priest. Retrieved 23 March 2015.