hOlY MiS­SiONS

We run through five decades of heavy metal his­tory

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Black Sabbath & Judas Priest -

Black Sab­bath form as the Polka tulk Blues Band in as­ton, Birm­ing­ham. they later change their name to earth.

earth re­name them­selves Black Sab­bath, af­ter a Boris Karloff hor­ror film. Ju­das Priest form in West Bromwich, Birm­ing­ham. No mem­bers of the orig­i­nal line-up re­main in the band to­day.

Black Sab­bath re­lease their de­but, self-ti­tled al­bum and its fol­low-up, Para­noid, within seven months of each other. that’s just show­ing off.

rob halford joins Ju­das Priest from the band hi­roshima.

Black Sab­bath play in front of an in­cred­i­ble 200,000 peo­ple at the cal­i­for­nia Jam fes­ti­val.

Ju­das Priest re­lease their de­but al­bum, Rocka Rolla.

ozzy leaves Sab­bath, only to re­turn early in 1978.

Ju­das Priest re­lease Sin Af­ter Sin – the al­bum on which they fur­ther de­fine their heavy metal sound.

ozzy is fired. ron­nie James Dio is his re­place­ment.

the Dio-fronted Black Sab­bath re­lease the land­mark Heaven And Hell al­bum.

the iconic Bri­tish Steel be­comes Priest’s defin­ing mo­ment of the 80s.

Dio quits. a re­volv­ing cast of singers fol­low through­out the decade.

Ju­das Priest’s hot streak con­tin­ues with Scream­ing

For Vengeance, their com­mer­cial break­through.

Sab­bath re­lease Sev­enth Star – orig­i­nally a tony Iommi solo al­bum.

Priest re­lease the di­vi­sive Turbo, fea­tur­ing guitar syn­the­sis­ers.

Dio re­joins Sab­bath.

Priest re­lease the ca­reer­re­viv­ing Painkiller.

Dio quits Sab­bath, re­fus­ing to sup­port

ozzy. rob steps in.

rob quits Ju­das Priest to form Fight. the orig­i­nal Black Sab­bath line-up re­unite.

Priest re­lease their first al­bum with­out rob, Jugu­la­tor. tim ‘rip­per’ owens is on vo­cal du­ties.

halford re­joins Priest.

Sab­bath and Priest co­head­line the US oz­zfest. Priest un­leash their first al­bum with rob back in the fold, An­gel Of Ret­ri­bu­tion.

the Dio-era Black Sab­bath line-up re­unite, re­nam­ing them­selves heaven & hell.

Ju­das Priest an­nounce their farewell epi­taph tour. the orig­i­nal Black Sab­bath line-up, mi­nus drum­mer Bill Ward, record a new al­bum, 13.

halford an­nounces epi­taph isn’t their fi­nal tour af­ter all.

Black Sab­bath bow out, play­ing their fi­nal show in Birm­ing­ham on Fe­bru­ary 4.

Ju­das Priest re­lease their

18th al­bum, Fire­power.

re­ally im­por­tant, be­cause it brought me back to the place I was al­ways des­tined to be – the singer for Ju­das Priest.”

their two worlds truly col­lided in 1992, when Black Sab­bath opened for ozzy os­bourne at two gigs in cosa mesa, cal­i­for­nia dur­ing his sup­posed re­tire­ment tour. a com­bi­na­tion of ego clashes and pol­i­tics saw ron­nie James

Dio, who had re­turned to Sab­bath af­ter a decade away, re­fus­ing to play, leav­ing them in a very deep hole. en­ter their old friend rob halford, who stepped in as front­man for a pair of land­mark per­for­mances…

HOW DID THE COSA MESA SHOWS COME ABOUT? R:

“Some­one told me that tony wanted to speak to me, so he called me in Phoenix and ba­si­cally ex­plained what was go­ing on. I just said, ‘I’m in!’” T: “It was great, he was so good. he just jumped in and killed it.”

R: “We had one lit­tle prac­tice in Phoenix, in a tiny re­hearsal room. We ran through ev­ery­thing once, and the show was the next day. We had no time to think. It’s just that Bri­tish thing: ‘Get on with it. It’s gonna hap­pen, just do it.’”

WAS IT EVER ON THE CARDS THAT YOU’D JOIN SAB­BATH FULL TIME, ROB? R:

“I don’t think it was. I was just thrilled to get the call. I’ve al­ways said that Priest is my first band, but right af­ter that it’s Black Sab­bath. It’s al­ways been that way, it al­ways will. It was mag­i­cal. I watch it oc­ca­sion­ally on Youtube and I can’t be­lieve I was there. It doesn’t look like me.”

T: “It was def­i­nitely you.”

THE 90S WAS A TOUGH DECADE FOR METAL AS A WHOLE. WHAT DID IT FEEL LIKE BE­ING ON THE IN­SIDE?

T:

“It was tough for a while. It went through a funny patch. a lot of peo­ple fell by the way­side. a lot of peo­ple started back­ing out and go­ing in dif­fer­ent direc­tions mu­si­cally. But that’s where you’ve got to be­lieve in what you do, and fol­low it through. You’ve got to take the rough with the smooth and get through it. that’s what we did. at the end of the day you come out the other side.”

R: “I re­mem­ber the day I heard Man In The Box on the ra­dio. I was driv­ing round Phoenix, and the DJ goes, ‘this is this new band, alice In chains from Seat­tle.’ I thought, ‘ooh, that sounds in­ter­est­ing.’ then I heard some­thing from this band called Pearl Jam, then some­thing from this band called Nir­vana. then I thought, ‘oh god, here we go again.’”

HOW DIF­FI­CULT DID THINGS GET IN THE 90S? R:

“It was like the punk thing all over again. ev­ery­body was go­ing, ‘metal’s over, it’s done.’ You couldn’t get any in­ter­views, you couldn’t get on the ra­dio. In amer­ica, the pro­gramme direc­tors at ra­dio sta­tions were told by the own­ers, ‘Don’t play metal any more.’”

T: “they’ve tried to de­stroy metal so many times and it still comes back.” R: “that’s to­tally the truth. But you can’t kill metal. It just makes you stronger, doesn’t it, tone? It makes you more de­ter­mined.”

WAS THERE A POINT WHERE YOU NO­TICED THE PEN­DU­LUM BE­GIN­NING TO SWING BACK?

T:

“For us, we’ve just car­ried on. ob­vi­ously, with bands cit­ing you as an in­flu­ence, peo­ple will al­ways lis­ten. and it starts again. I don’t think in our lives, metal has ever gone away. the amount of peo­ple that have tried to write it off is un­be­liev­able. It was all, ‘It’s had it now’, and it never has – it’s al­ways been there.”

IS IT POS­SI­BLE FOR A BAND START­ING OUT TO­DAY TO HAVE THE IM­PACT SAB­BATH AND PRIEST HAD?

R:

“It de­pends what you mea­sure suc­cess by. how do you de­fine it? Is suc­cess a plat­inum al­bum? Is suc­cess sell­ing out madi­son Square Gar­den? Pop­u­lar­ity or records sold? I don’t know. But to me, that doesn’t mat­ter. metal will al­ways be there. there’ll al­ways be a new band com­ing along. there’s prob­a­bly a bunch in the UK that I don’t even know about. Same in Ger­many or Ja­pan or South amer­ica. that’s the thrill – the fact it’s al­ways there.”

“We’Ve talked aBOut cOl­laB­O­rat­iNG”

IS THE METAL SCENE HEALTHY IN 2018? R:

“Def­i­nitely. there’s al­ways a new gen­er­a­tion out there. But the cool thing, watch­ing this over the decades, is that peo­ple al­ways go back to the source, to the roots of heavy metal – to Black Sab­bath, to Ju­das Priest.”

ARE YOU AT A POINT WHERE YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’RE READY TO HAND OVER THE BA­TON TO THAT NEW GEN­ER­A­TION AND STEP BACK FROM THE FRONT­LINE? OR DO YOU STILL HAVE PLENTY OF YEARS LEFT IN YOU?

T:

R:

“I bloody hope we’ve got plenty of years left!” “Def­i­nitely. You can’t turn it off. there’s al­ways an­other riff, there’s al­ways an­other song to make. the joy about where we’re at in our lives is that even though we’ve achieved so much, there’s still stuff to do. there’s no end in sight.”

BLACK SAB­BATH CALLED IT A DAY LAST YEAR. WHAT ARE YOU UP TO AT THE MO­MENT, TONY?

T:

“I’m not writ­ing at the mo­ment, but I will be. I moved house, and I’ve only just got set up again. It’s great to have a break – you come back fresh.”

ANY PLANS TO COL­LAB­O­RATE WITH SOME­ONE NOT A MIL­LION MILES FROM HERE?

T:

[Beck­on­ing to rob] “What, him? We’ve talked about it for ages. When the time’s right it would be nice to write a track or two, or what­ever. I’d like to do that. It’s nice to work with peo­ple that you re­spect and like.”

Out­side the win­dow, the light is dim­ming and the tem­per­a­ture is plung­ing. rob is head­ing back to his house in the West mid­lands. In a few days, he’ll meet up with the other mem­bers of Priest to be­gin re­hearsals for the tour in sup­port of their new, 18th al­bum, Fire­power. tony’s head­ing back to his own place, where he’ll start think­ing about dust­ing down the amps and get­ting back into the ring. there are farewell hugs and self­ies. “are you on In­sta­gram, tone?” asks the metal God, to the Dark lord’s mild be­muse­ment.

ear­lier, rob had pon­dered the im­print that Priest and Sab­bath have left over the past 50 years. For him, the peo­ple who made this mu­sic – and con­tinue to make it – are im­por­tant. But there’s some­thing else to it, some­thing less tan­gi­ble.

“Your band be­comes big­ger than you,” says rob. “the Black Sab­bath name is gi­gan­tic. tony’s al­ways been there, ad­mit­tedly, but it be­comes some­thing big­ger than that. It’s the same with Priest. You’re al­most like the care­taker of it.”

the men who cre­ated heavy metal will even­tu­ally be gone. But Black Sab­bath and Ju­das Priest, and the thing they will leave be­hind: they’re im­mor­tal.

COULD WE HEAR ROB SCREAM­ING OVER TONY’S RIFFS SOON?

JU­DAS PRIEST’S NEW AL­BUM, FIRE­POWER, LANDS ON MARCH 9 VIA COLUMBIA. THEY HEAD­LINE BLOOD­STOCK FES­TI­VAL ON FRI­DAY, AU­GUST 10.

BLACK SAB­BATH’S THE TEN YEAR WAR BOXSET IS OUT

NOW VIA BMG

Does this re­ally look like a man who plays jazz mu­sic? and with that, the two le­gends parted ways and dis­ap­peared into the night

rob and tony both in­tend to make mu­sic for many years to come. We’re down with it

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