Top 10 Cover Versions of Judas Priest Songs

Judas Priest is an iconic band and it takes guts and talent to cover their songs, especially attempting Halford vocals. Because it's not easy, I appreciate the bands that did Judas Priest covers - these covers may not be better than the originals but they are still very good renditions that keep the metal legacy alive and remembered.

I noticed that the bands didn't change the originals very much (if any). I guess it's because the bands wanted to pay a tribute to Judas Priest and not to prove they can do things better or something.

Some covers are very well known, some others are not but there are some good ones among them.
The Top Ten
1 Painkiller - Death

This is a well-known Judas Priest cover (for a reason), and I don't need to explain much here.

2 Before the Dawn - Scheepers

A very soft breakup ballad covered by Ralf Scheepers, often dubbed Rob Halford Jr. There's no doubt Halford was his vocal idol and inspiration. Ralf pours so much love into this vocal performance that Before the Dawn is likely his favorite song of all time. Ralf recorded this cover in 2011 at age 46, but he still sounded remarkably like the young Rob Halford from 1978, when Rob was 27.

3 The Ripper - Mercyful Fate

Another well-known version. I guess nobody is surprised this cover is so high at #3. Halford and King Diamond have the craziest high notes ever. They both have vocal ranges of 4+ octaves.

4 Metal Gods - Primal Fear

Vocals from Ralf Scheepers again - no surprise, his voice and singing style sound close to Halford. This song isn't very difficult, but it's a metal anthem and Primal Fear played it very well. I love how Scheepers reminds me of Halford.

5 Beyond the Realms of Death - Blind Guardian

Not many have attempted "Painkiller" and "Beyond the Realms of Death." These two songs are difficult for different reasons. "Beyond the Realms of Death" is the most emotional Judas Priest song, addressing suicide. Judging by the other two covers I heard, the hardest part is conveying the emotions. Blind Guardian achieved this, while the others simply sang and played notes.

Again, this cover isn't better than the original, but I give credit to Hansi for the choruses. No disrespect to Halford, but especially Hansi's second chorus at 2:15 is mind-blowing. His emotion and power even intimidate, particularly with "Keep the world with all its sin."

6 Starbreaker - Starbreaker
7 Hell Bent for Leather - Annihilator

The guitars and drums, performed by Jeff Waters and Mike Mangini respectively, are excellent. The vocals are fine, but the singer is more suited for thrash. He's not Halford, of course, but if you don't insist on Halford-like vocals, this cover is quite enjoyable.

8 Screaming for Vengeance - Iced Earth

I placed Iced Earth's covers relatively low because Judas Priest fans usually expect some Halford-esque high notes. However, Matt Barlow's voice is quite low for that. He's a standard baritone, not even a high baritone. Nevertheless, he pushed himself to reach as high as possible, and I think he did an excellent job, especially for a vocalist singing far out of his comfort zone.

9 Living After Midnight - Disturbed

This song is hard rock and is relatively easy but, yeah, Disturbed did a good job.

10 Tyrant - Overkill
The Contenders
11 Dissident Aggressor - Slayer

This is better than the original. They really took this to the next level. Dave Lombardo definitely took the drumming to the next level. It makes the original sound like a cover.

12 Dreamer Deceiver - Steel Prophet
13 Never Satisfied - Armored Saint
14 The Ripper - Iced Earth

Again, this is a very good cover, but my comments about their Screaming for Vengeance cover are applicable here as well. Clearly, Iced Earth loves Judas Priest since they covered two of their songs. Matt Barlow is a hero for daring to sing two songs outside his vocal range.

15 Electric Eye - Helloween

Andi Deris sings this song, not Michael Kiske, as some might expect.

16 Grinder - Kreator
17 Saints in Hell - Fates Warning
18 Breaking the Law - Motörhead
19 Electric Eye - As I Lay Dying
20 Running Wild - Huntress
21 Dissident Aggressor - Halestorm
22 Metal Gods - Fozzy
23 Love Bites - Nevermore
24 The Sentinel - Heavens Gate

This is a super underrated cover and definitely deserves a spot in the top five. It's in my top two, right behind Death's cover. Listen to this one. It's faithful to the original but still manages to deliver a kickass solo without directly copying the album version.

25 Breaking the Law - Arch Enemy
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