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"The Metallian"--the mythology of Judas Priest

I found this gem of a description in the wikipedia article on Judas Priest's 1984 album, "Defenders of the Faith," which describes the album cover (pictured below) in the following fashion:

"The cover art by Doug Johnson (who also designed the Hellion in Screaming for Vengeance) depicts the Metallian, a ram-horned, tiger-like land assault creature with Gatling guns and tank tracks conceptualized by the band."

Dammit, I WANT TO BE A RAM-HORNED, TIGER-LIKE LAND ASSAULT CREATURE WITH GATLING GUNS AND TANK TRACKS. Because of/In honor of the sneak-peak early release of Judas Priest's new single "Redeemer of Souls," I began to realize that several Priest classics actually deal with introducing a new character into the Priest mythos. These characters (for example, the Painkiller, the Exciter, Redeemer of Souls, etc) are lyrically often tied very strongly to themes of -retribution and/or -the salvation of mankind/protecting mankind from some kind of genocidal onslaught. As these types of songs dictate, this is often conducted in the utmost metal fashion. On a related note, a lyrical analysis of Painkiller makes it sound like the book of Revelations re-written by Halford, where the Painkiller is actually (the second coming of) Jesus.

I am admittedly late to this observation, but it seems that, just as they had done all throughout their career, Judas Priest has succeeded in seeding their epic singles with metal-infused messages of hope and positivity. Perhaps I am biased because I am a fan. I care not. My eternal hats-off to you, the good sirs at Judas Priest.

About the Author

PhD Candidate in Japan, researching Narrative in Games. Responds favorably to Thrash Metal, Karaoke, and Dungeons & Dragons.

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