Tim "Ripper" Owens says that the albums he made with JUDAS PRIEST feature some of the most diverse vocals of his career.
The Ohio-based singer created two studio LPs with the British heavy metal legends — 1997's "Jugulator" and 2001's "Demolition" — before the band reunited with Rob Halford .
During a brand new interview with "The Metal Command" , Owens reflected on the music he produced with PRIEST , saying: " 'Demolition' , in time, ended up becoming my favorite one I did with them, because there's some of my favorite songs on it, as a whole. But 'Jugulator' is an amazing record. And what I like about it… It was hard to record, because they were like kids in a candy store. Glenn [ Tipton , JUDAS PRIEST guitarist] would just say, 'Can you do this?' 'Can you sound like this?' 'Can you sing like this?' It's got all the way from death metal undertones that I'm singing underneath — death metal to the high notes. It's funny, because people don't realize this — it probably has one of the biggest ranges of vocals on it that I've done on a record, because of that… And ICED EARTH had a wide range as well, but the only one that has never been put as much on a record until maybe BEYOND FEAR was the hard, PANTERA , death metal kind of voice. Glenn loved it, man. He would just always push me and push me and push me: 'Do this.' 'Cause he knew I could do it. I had a different type of range that I had [and] different voices that I could sing."
Owens continued: "It was a great time and great records. One of my favorite songs of all time was 'Blood Stained' . And then to come back and do songs like 'Hell Is Home' and 'One On One'. 'One On One' , there's those death metal undertones in. The studio version is fantastic, when I go back and listen to it, 'cause it has that… I always said it needed to be a song that a wrestler or a boxer would be coming into a ring with."
Tim also defended "Jugulator" and "Demolition" against criticism over the albums' commercial performance. No longer on a major label, changing attitudes in the music scene towards heavy metal found PRIEST playing mostly to smaller venues with a scaled-down stage set.
"It was a different singer, different time," Tim said. "First of all, heavy metal was almost nonexistent at that time. No bands — AC/DC ; I don't care who you were — you weren't playing arenas, first of all. It was bad. It was a really bad part of metal, that time. But those records, to me, are amazing."
In a 2016 interview with StrikeCanal , Owens defended himself against accusations by some JUDAS PRIEST fans of changing the band's sound to a more brutal, modern direction on "Jugulator" . He explained: "Every record JUDAS PRIEST puts out is different. I mean, 'Nostradamus' sounds nothing like JUDAS PRIEST ever wrote, ever. 'Turbo' sounded nothing like JUDAS PRIEST . You know, JUDAS PRIEST changes. They wrote 'Painkiller' , and 'Jugulator' was a transition; it was kind of following what was going on."
He continued: "You've gotta remember, JUDAS PRIEST always went with the times a little bit. Glenn started playing arpeggios. PANTERA was really big [at the time]. [On the] 'Painkiller' [tour], they toured with PANTERA ; PANTERA opened for JUDAS PRIEST . 'Painkiller' was a heavy record, and this was a natural progression. The difference is I probably had a few more different layers to my voice that they could tap into — some deeper, death metal kind of undertones to do backups and some different types of voices that they might be able to try. But it was JUDAS PRIEST ."