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Iron Priest - Tribute to The Number of the Beast and Screaming for Vengeance

All interviews conducted by Luxi Lahtinen

Date online: May 21, 2017

...With additional help from Marco Barbieri (Salem Rose Music), Emil Westerdahl (Ulterium Records), Tarja Virmakari (Alpha Omega Management), Jeremy Golden (Heaven and Hell Records) and Phivos (Pitch Black Records)

Without the shadow of a doubt, back in 1982 – 35 friggin' years ago – two of the greatest and most iconic Heavy Metal albums were released: Iron Maiden's third album, Number of the Beast, with a new luminous and powerful sounding vocalist, Bruce Dickinson, in the ranks for the first time, and Judas Priest's Screaming for Vengeance, which was 100% pure, ripping Heavy Metal to the very bone, with Rob Halford's almost inhuman, incredibly ripping high-pitched screams. Both albums have firmly taken their own place among the worldwide Metal community as some of the Heavy Metal genre's finest and most trendsetting albums ever released. And both still manage to sound amazingly fresh and as captivating as some 35 years ago.

It's the 35th anniversary of both Maiden's 666 and Priest's Screaming... in 2017, and they both need to be celebrated. Hence we here at The Metal Crypt asked several musicians how those two albums changed their lives when they first heard them, and how big of an influence the albums had on them personally and their own bands when things started shaping.

Luxi: How much did your world change when you heard both 666 and Screaming... for the first time? Can you even still remember where that happened?

Markus Makkonen (SADISTIK FOREST): I can remember the (first) encounter with The Number of the Beast very well indeed. This was in early parts of the 90s, me being a young teenager heavily into Punk, Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. My local library had a copy of the first Iron Maiden album, so I visited the place regularly to blast it with headphones. Had just recently got my own copies of No Prayer for Dying and Fear of the Dark in c-cassette, so I was falling more and more under the spell of Iron Maiden. As living in the countryside of Finland, visits to "bigger cities" like Iisalmi, Kajaani or Kuopio were usually all about taking the little money I happened to have in record stores. On one particular occasion I was in Iisalmi looking for a CD version of an Iron Maiden album. The one I picked up was The Number of the Beast for two reasons above anything else: I loved the album cover A LOT (still maybe the most iconic Maiden cover art!!) and the album had a solid reputation. When I got home, The Number of the Beast was such a mind-blowing experience! There's a hectic, driving feel in songs like "The Prisoner" and "Invaders". The title track and "Hallowed Be Thy Name" being true Metal classics, but my favourite track of the album is still "Children of the Damned." Sending chills up the spine every time when listen still today. This album is Heavy Metal through and through and it blew everything I had heard from Iron Maiden so far out of the water, cementing them as one of the all-time classics in my books.

King Fowley (DECEASED/OCTOBER 31): I can remember. Both kicked my ass severely. Both are classics to the highest caliber. Iron Maiden I purchased and went to my basement and watched the cool sticker on the center of the record art spin around while songs like "Children of the Damned" engulfed me. It felt like I'd joined a Heavy Metal coven.

Judas Priest I would crank in my room in the summer and headbang ferociously to the title track while I'd sing the chorus repeatedly to "(Take These) Chains." I actually saw both bands together on one stage on this tour and what a gig it was!!!

Rob Urbinati (SACRIFICE): I remember hearing "Electric Eye" for the first time and being totally blown way. I was with a bunch of school friends at night; someone had the cassette on a boom box. I was already a huge Priest/Maiden fan at this point. "Run to the Hills" was the first song I heard from "The Number of the Beast." I was at home, the radio was on. Being a huge Maiden and Di'anno fan, I remember thinking, "I hope this isn't the new Maiden". The song was over, and the DJ confirmed it. Disappointing. Once hearing the rest of the album, I loved it, but this would be the last great Maiden album for me.

Dave Harvey (MILLENNIAL REIGN): Both of those albums were completely iconic for me personally. I remember hearing "Another Thing Coming" on the radio one day while on the way to band rehearsal. We were definitely discussing it as soon as I got there.

Chris Church (DÄNG): Both albums mean a lot to me as true guideposts of heavy music. Both have classic, unforgettable moments and album-length continuity that keep them in the conversation for Hard Rock/Metal's elite masterpieces.

Chris Reifert (AUTOPSY): I hate to admit this but I discovered both of those albums because of the early MTV days. Back in '82 to be exact. I bet I'm not alone on that with people my age. I remember sitting through hours of new wave junk just waiting for that elusive "Run to the Hills" video. The video for "You Got Another Thing Coming" was good too, especially with that exploding head at the end. Gotta love that! I wouldn't say my world was changed, but I definitely had to track those records down as quickly as I could. And hey, they still sound awesome! Essential listening for anyone into metal in any way.

Cederick Forsberg (ROCKA ROLLAS): Iron Maiden was a big part of my musical upbringing, but it was mostly Brave New World and the debut album that was going hot in my stereo. But The Number of the Beast has a fair share of hours! Judas Priest is a great band but wasn't really there when I was a kid.

Alec Firicano (RAVAGE): Both albums had an impact but Number of the Beast caused the big change for me. Screaming for Vengeance was one of the last Priest albums I heard for some reason, so it was a different experience. I think that, because I had heard "You've Got Another Thing Coming" before hearing the full album, I assumed that Screaming... would be one of their more commercial albums and wouldn't be as good as say, Defenders of The Faith. The funny thing was that I finally picked it up after hearing samples of deeper cuts from it on this telephone music ordering service called "1800 Music Now", which came out in the early 90s. The service allowed you to use the punch pad on a rotary phone to search for artists and albums and then they would have about a minute-long preview if the album. I discovered a lot of good Metal albums that way because in the early to mid-90s a lot of Metal wasn't that easy to find. A lot of it was going out of print and was hard to find in stores. I ended up finding an old vinyl version of it and I think the vocals were the part that really stood out on songs like "Ridin' on the Wind" and "Devil's Child" - it was just inhumanly high screaming. I was familiar with what Rob Halford could do at that point from the other Priest I had heard so the impact wasn't as great as when I first heard Number of the Beast. That was a different story because it was really the first Metal album I ever bought. I had gotten into Metallica from a tape of their self-titled album which my brother gave to me in exchange for an old guitar, and I had gone out in search of other metal bands. I remember finding the cassette of Number of the Beast in the tape rack and it was the cheapest one they had. I think they had Maiden Japan and Iron Maiden and they were charging $12 for those, while Number of the Beast was marked down to $7.99 and being a broke 12-year-old kid at the time, that was all the money I had, so I picked it up. I remember putting it in this crappy old Fisher Price cassette deck I had and putting headphones on to listen to it and I must have had it turned up all the way because I remember the opening drum hits of "Invaders" being insanely loud and thinking, "this is the most incredible thing I've ever heard!" Then the vocals came in and I just lost my mind. It was the most Metal thing I'd ever heard. It was just up to another level. I sat there and listened to the whole thing straight through, just completely entranced, staring at the crazy artwork on the little cassette box which just had the song titles and artwork - no liner notes, no lyrics or pictures, nothing. My imagination just ran wild. I still think it is probably the best Metal album I've ever heard...

Danny Lilker (NUCLEAR ASSAULT): These were both extremely influential albums for me as a teenager that helped set me on the path to start playing metal myself. It, of course, must be kept in mind that I heard these albums when they were released, so it's hard to remember exact specifics regarding where I was when I first heard these records, but I think their impact on me was obvious and profound.

Lassi Landström (CRIMSON DAY): The first time I heard The Number of the Beast must have been some 12-13 years ago, when I first started listening to Iron Maiden. The first songs were "Run to the Hills" and the title song, "Number of the Beast", as they are on the best of -album Edward the Great, which was my first ever Iron Maiden record. Very soon after that I bought the record NotB. The first time I laid eyes on The Number of the Beast must have been in my father's record shop, where I listened to the record time and time again while going through the artwork like a book you just cannot let go of. All the tiny details in the art perfected the record, and I had to have it for myself.

When it comes to Screaming for Vengeance, I was a bit late for the party and discovered the record a couple of years ago for some reason. The title song hit me like a battering ram, and I've been in love with the record ever since. Vengeance is a record that for me personally represents a 'renaissance' of Judas Priest in my life, as the first fandom of Priest for me was as a teenager with British Steel, then afterwards Painkiller, and now as I've 'found' Priest again, primarily Vengeance and the older records.

John Kevill (WARBRINGER): Oh these were both important records for me getting into Metal. Following the discovery of Black Sabbath when I was young, Maiden was next and Priest followed for me. I remember one of the first times I listened through Screaming for Vengeance I was on a city bus blasting it in headphones. For The Number of the Beast (it was) almost certainly in my room.

Stu Marshall (DEATH DEALER): I think I heard The Number of the Beast first. It was pretty amazing to hear Bruce's power but the songs are a little hit and miss. I think "Gangland" is a fairly poor track but then you have the incredible "Hallowed", "Run to the Hills" and "The Number of the Beast."

Screaming is a killer from end to end - pure Priest.

Anthony Lopez (SATAN'S HOST): I was 10 or 11 years old when these albums came out. A cousin of mine showed me the Priest album and I was floored with "The Hellion/Electric Eye"; very captivated by the song and the musicianship.  A friend of mine from school showed me the Maiden album. I was already hooked on Maiden from the first release and was really impressed on the progression from the first album, through Killers to Beast; the highlight was the new vocalist who totally brought Maiden up many levels on an already favorite band for me.

Zel (ANCIENT): I think I heard 666 for the first time around 1984, and Screaming around 1983 (I was born in 1972 and started listening to Metal around 1982). My friend and I were listening to the Screaming album on a small portable record player. He had borrowed the LP from his older brother. I was just 11 at the time and it was an exciting feeling to listen to this music. I remember I noticed especially the voice which was somewhat different than what I expected. I had just been listening to bands like Ozzy Osbourne, Motörhead, Kiss, AC/DC, Raven, Black Sabbath and a few more; it was just 1 year that I had been listening to Hard Rock and Heavy Metal.

I had already listened to the debut of Iron Maiden and I had just bought Powerslave, which I loved, but I was just starting to become a real fan of Iron Maiden. In Norway, there was a radio that played Heavy Metal for two hours every Friday evening. They played a "Top 20 Heavy Metal Albums of All Time" in the end of 1984 - and I remember that the 666 album was at number four or so. I just heard the title track, and shortly after bought the album on cassette and kept playing it over and over. I loved it a lot and the title track was always my favorite on the album.

Tyler Satterlee (BLESSED CURSE): The 1st time I ever saw or heard Iron Maiden was on VH1's The Rock Show they had going in the late 90s with like Sebastian Bach, Lars Ulrich or Scott Ian hosting, and it just happened to be the "Run to the Hills" video right before they premiered "The Wicker Man" video, right before Brave New World came out in 2000. The heavy riff galloping, the drumming, Bruce Dickinson's voice, the shredding, etc. literally made me start headbanging and I got caught thrashing and singing to it by my parents and they're like, "Shut the hell up! What the fuck are you doing?" Unbelievable. Like meeting and feeling a true form of a new religion.

Jacques Serrano (CULTURAL WARFARE): My world not only changed but grew to a level to where I became a metal head for life!!

First, Iron Maiden's The Number of the Beast blew me away! I was already into Paul Di'Anno's era of Maiden. In my youth I was a competitive wrestler and that afforded me the chance to hang out with older kids/wrestlers because I could compete with them. Well the older kids showed me ALL sorts of music – and Maiden's Killers became one of my favorites – so when The Number of the Beast was released I was ready!! My God it just was the most pure sounding METAL I had ever heard!! The cassette stayed in my back pocket that entire year...!!!

Second, Judas Priest's Screaming for Vengeance was something I was truly awaiting since I had already ditched school many times to go and buy records with my allowance. Most of Priest's catalog was already on heavy spin and influencing me in ways I didn't even know!! I was living in Santa Fe, New Mexico, but was on summer break in California and picked up my copy of Screaming... The whole summer I would sit by my father's stereo with head phones listening to it. When I went back to New Mexico no one knew it was out yet!!!! I said YOU GOTTA YEAR IT!!! ITS GOING TO BE BIG!!! One month later Priest was the biggest band in the land!!! Great times...!!!

Johnny Hagel (SORCERER): I can't remember which of those two albums I heard first but I loved both of them directly – the songs, the production, the playing and everything. Not to forget the artwork, killer!! I had heard both bands before. Iron Maiden's Killers was when I started to listen to Iron Maiden. The funny thing is that I had Killers on one side of a cassette and Unleashed in the East with Judas Priest on the other side. I heard both albums when they came out.

Mitchell Allred (DOGBANE): My world changed a great deal. Up until I heard The Number of the Beast and Screaming for Vengeance my fledgling record collection had more of a theatrical slant. I had already been introduced to the likes of Kiss and Alice Cooper and I had just discovered Mötley Crüe. Certainly, there was a gimmick to Iron Maiden's Eddie and the leather and studs of Judas Priest, but something else was on display... Musicianship. In regards to the bands I mentioned previously the gimmick was front and center. The flash took precedence to the substance. In all honesty I was fine with that, but I could tell Maiden and Priest were different. Even with my novice ears I could tell they were pushing the boundaries of what Rock/Metal could be. The best I can recall I was introduced to this by tape trading with friends, or when I sent off the Columbia House ad offer and got my 13 tapes for a penny. If you were growing up in the 80s you will know exactly what I'm talking about, and I got into a quite a bit of trouble for that venture when I couldn't uphold my end of the bargain ha ha!!

Jeff Neal (DOGBANE): My world drastically changed, because I knew I wanted to be a singer from my youth because of bands like KISS, but hearing these two albums led me in the direction that I wanted to take as a singer. Their range and power was like nothing I'd ever heard. Even to this day when I listen to these albums it still has that same effect on me. These two albums are timeless classics.

John Ricci (EXCITER): Both of these records are timeless. The songs are such a staple in Metal music. I played these records over and over (the original vinyls) and I still play them today. I first heard these records on a local radio station that featured a Metal show called "Power Chords." I immediately went and bought both these records. On occasion I would co-host with the DJ and I would play my favourite songs from each albums.

Jadran "Conan" Gonzalez (EXMORTUS): I remember my dad had lots of mix tapes, which had many tracks from 666 and Screaming on them. I would blast them in the car or at home. I was completely blown away with what I heard, this being the first New Wave of British Heavy Metal to grace my ears. I just had to buy these albums and listen to them in their entirety, and that I did.

Dan Todd (SALVACIÓN): The first time I ever heard The Number of the Beast was on a set of headphones in my bedroom, around midnight in my teenage years. The part that really stands out the most is the beginning of the title track. It was a transcendental experience. The mood that builds up to Bruce's wailing scream had me hooked. I played that intro over and over again that night.

The first time I heard Screaming for Vengeance wasn't long after. It was in the middle of a summer storm and it was raining like hell outside. I ran into the record store, picked up my first Priest album, and played it in my car on the way home. I'm still surprised I didn't get a speeding ticket when "Riding on the Wind" came on.

Bob Simonson (TAKASHI): As I remember it, EVERYBODY was so psyched for Screaming for Vengeance for months before it arrived. In those pre-Internet days, every little piece of information (or rumor) was dissected over and over. When it arrived, everyone was just like "best album ever!" In the case of The Number of the Beast, the cover alone was worth the price of the record.

Jeremy Golden (HEAVEN AND HELL RECORDS): I was 10 years old when both albums were released, so I'm not going to pretend that I bought them back then and have been into them since. I would not say either album was really a defining album for me. I never really thought either album was the "best" releases from either band, but certainly one of each of the band's best albums. Nor are they my favorites from the bands.

Songs like "Breaking the Law", "Hell Bent for Leather" and "You've Got Another Thing Coming" pushed me away from Priest for years. It was not until years after knowing who the band was that I really got into Priest when a friend handed me Sad Wings of Destiny to listen to. That, of course, has since been my favorite album.

With Maiden I suppose it was similar. I first heard songs from The Number of the Beast seeing videos on Metal Mania and Headbanger's Ball, but my first Maiden album would be Somewhere in Time. I think their best is a tie between Powerslave and Seventh Son, coincidentally the band's last good album before they would just start repeating themselves.

That was probably pretty blasphemous of me to say right? (*laughs*) (You will be nailed to the cross for saying this, Jeremy - Luxi grins diabolically)

A. J. Spiegel (JACK THE RIPPER): Being a huge fan of Judas Priest, I remember the Screaming for Vengeance album as a ground-breaking moment for the band in the USA. They began playing iconic Metal with the Sad Wings of Destiny release but they would not be a "household name" until Screaming came out and received tons of airplay on the radio and TV.

"You've Got Another Thing Coming" put Priest on the map the US and as they say, the rest is history and the world of Heavy Metal took a giant leap forward.

Maiden also made a memorable leap with the addition of Bruce Dickinson as the new vocalist. His signature presence led to Maiden's meteoric rise in Metal history. It hardly seems thirty years has passed since Screaming for Vengeance and The Number of the Beast were released.

Nicholas Leptos (ARRAYAN PATH): My first interaction with The Number of the Beast was around 1987. Actually, the first Maiden record I listened to was Piece of Mind – and then it was Somewhere in Time. So The Number of the Beast came third. I was blown away by it! It really cemented the bond I had, and still have, with this band. As for Screaming for Vengeance, I listened to it much later. I wasn't really a fan at the start, although "Devil's Child" still remains in my top five Priest songs.

Elliot Madre (SALVACIÓN): For me personally, it was less about hearing either of these albums and more about hearing "Hallowed Be Thy Name" for the first time. It was the first song I had heard by either of these bands, and the first song I'd heard that I would consider real Heavy Metal. Those chimes at the beginning seared up my spine and grabbed a hold of my heartbeat, locking it in to Maiden's tempo. Seven minutes later, my heartbeat was still pounding with the tempo of the song, albeit much faster and harder than it was before. I couldn't even tell you what had just happened.

I was a child of 1990's America. At the time that I heard this song, Grunge was king, and post-Grunge and Nu-metal were looming. I was uninitiated, unexposed to Heavy Metal. It was not played on my local radio.

It just took one friend saying, "Hey man, check this out!" – and in one song, guitar solos became cool to me. Singing loud, proud, and high became cool to me. Epicness became cool to me. And being a grouchy pants, being grumpy and depressed, became dumb to me; in music or otherwise. And it shaped my outlook on life.

Luxi: Has your band (or bands) ever covered any songs off the 666 or Screaming for Vengeance albums, and can you remember how you ended up covering those? 

Markus Makkonen (SADISTIK FOREST): My old band Farewell used to play stuff from Iron Maiden, Metallica, AC/DC and Motörhead at rehearsals all the time. We did "Hallowed Be Thy Name" quite regularly.

King Fowley (DECEASED/OCTOBER 31): October 31 did Judas Priest's "Electric Eye" for fun on a B-side of a single. I've covered many Iron Maiden songs with Deceased but not one from this record. If I was to do now it would have to be "Children of the Damned" or "22 Acacia Avenue."

Rob Urbinati (SACRIFICE): Not live, but I think you would be hard pressed to find a band that hadn't messed around with those riffs at rehearsal.

Dave Harvey (MILLENNIAL REIGN): Yes, "Another Thing Coming" and "Run to the Hills" were getting heavy radio airplay which was kind of unusual for those days. The Rock stations in my state never really played Metal. But since they were, we added both songs to our set list.

Chris Church (DÄNG): I was in a band that covered both "Electric Eye" and "You've Got Another Thing Coming." When the SFV album came out, it was a hit on album Rock radio, and we played the Hard Rock songs that people had heard. It wasn't that big of a deal to have our band's leader suggest these two kickass songs, because they had received airplay. It was, however, a big deal that he got it right! [I took my 'smoke break' during the Skynyrd and Seger numbers...] One had to dig a bit deeper for Iron Maiden, so I never got to cover them.

Cederick Forsberg (ROCKA ROLLAS): I have made some Judas Priest covers for my YouTube channel in the past, and will do more!

Alec Firicano (RAVAGE): At various times Ravage has fooled around with covers of "Number of the Beast", "The Prisoner" and "Ridin' on the Wind" and "Devil's Child" but we never recorded anything or even played them live. We were planning on playing "Number of the Beast" live at some point in the early 2000s but never got around to it.

Danny Lilker (NUCLEAR ASSAULT): Although I believe early Anthrax (with me) did in fact cover Priest and Maiden songs, I think they were from earlier albums by these bands.

Lassi Landström (CRIMSON DAY): We've played around with "Hallowed Be Thy Name" at our rehearsals, but never played it live yet. Maybe someday... Judas Priest has not yet found its way to our set list, but you never know!

John Kevill (WARBRINGER): Nope, we don't do many covers and we try to be a little unconventional about it. For me, covers are often a fun thing to listen to once but except on rare occasions, the original works stand tall. In the case of these two records, what are you gonna do, beat Halford (or Dickinson)? Good luck.

Stu Marshall (DEATH DEALER): Not yet, I'd like to cover "Bloodstone."

Anthony Lopez (SATAN'S HOST): I don't know if Satan's Host ever covered any bands in the early days because I was not part of the band back then, but most of the adolescence bands that I played in we covered the "Electric Eye" and "You've Got Another Thing Coming" from the Priest album, and from the Maiden "Run to the Hills", "The Prisoner", and "Hallowed be Thy Name."

Zel (ANCIENT): No. In Ancient, the vocals are screaming and have no actual melody, so we don't normally cover Heavy Metal bands, unless there are some songs that sound OK even when losing the melody line of the vocals. We have done covers of "Powerslave" of Iron Maiden and "Sweet Leaf" of Black Sabbath, but these were exceptions. I would love to do a cover of Judas Priest, but it would have to be with a guest singer or so, cause with screaming vocals it would lose so much... Perhaps some songs like "Freewheel Burning" or so could work, but I would only do it if it could be done in a really good way, you know.

Tyler Satterlee (BLESSED CURSE): Yes! Blessed Curse has covered and played songs from both of those. During the garage days in 2001 and up it was "The Number of the Beast", "Run to the Hills", "The Hellion/Electric Eye" and "You Got Another Thing Coming." When we got more advanced we went to "Hallowed Be Thy Name", "The Prisoner", "Children of the Damned", etc., just pissing off the neighbors in Derek Bean's (drummer) garage in Meadow Vista, CA, which I am sure everyone loved. That was our schooling, training and trying to test our skills so they both had such a profound impact in our playing and songwriting later on when we were allowed to grow our hair out, lose the braces, the fucking acne, loser-dom and tried to finally get laid.

Jacques Serrano (CULTURAL WARFARE): In my early days of singing I think everyone had a Priest or Maiden tune that they covered and I was no different! I heavily sang "Electric Eye" and the band always loved it as well for the intro and overall epic writing... I just loved Halford's delivery on that tune – not tons of high notes but aggressive singing at its best. I use to sing the whole album in my bedroom though lol! I use to sing the album two times and that's where I got most of my early training.

On 666 I sang "The Number of the Beast" but my bands were doing more Di'Anno stuff back then. I use to sing the whole album as well and Bruce's voice was harder for me to copy but it did push my voice and I felt like a rock star at 18 singing both albums in full while jumping up and down in my bedroom. That was my stage as a kid, ha ha!!

Johnny Hagel (SORCERER): No we haven't. We have only recorded one cover tune and that is "Stargazer" by Rainbow. Maybe in the future, who knows...?

Mitchell Allred (DOGBANE): Ironically no, but as I was trying to learn to play guitar as a teenager I spent considerable time learning "Run to the Hills" and "You've Got Another Thing Coming." Back then in the age of videos those two tracks were all over MTV and both songs were the commercial breakthroughs for both bands. At the time I learned them to try and impress friends, as I had no band until my early 20's. This isn't true for some of my other band mates. I know our vocalist, Jeff Neal, spent a lot of time in cover bands and I'm sure he may have covered tracks from both these albums. Don't get me wrong, Maiden and Priest are major influences on Dogbane's sound, but we've always tried to focus on our own material instead of trying to expand upon the classics of others.

Jeff Neal (DOGBANE): Yes, in my early days of playing in cover bands I sang songs from both of those albums. Of course, by no means did I match the vocal skills and abilities of my heroes Bruce Dickinson and Rob Halford, but who can? It felt so good just to be singing those songs that meant so much to me growing up.

John Ricci (EXCITER): Actually by 1982 we were strictly playing our own songs and no longer cover songs. So, even though we were heavily influenced by these two iconic records we never played any songs from them.

Jadran "Conan" Gonzalez (EXMORTUS): Indeed we have, and a very early age, too. When my cousin and I were in Middle school before the conception of Exmortus, we managed to get some friends to jam "Number of the Beast" with us for a talent show held at the school's cafeteria. We had the lights dimmed and some florescent lights on so the audience can see the weird designs we drew on our arms and faces with highlighter. It was pretty weird, but our performance was well received, to say the least. Haha...!! Later in our "career" we also covered "Hallowed Be Thy Name" and "22 Acacia Avenue" from 666. As for Screaming we've only covered "Electric Eye."

Dan Todd (SALVACIÓN): I've never covered any of these songs with a band. It might be time to rectify that.

Bob Simonson (TAKASHI): Takashi covered Judas Priest many times in our early cover band days and I'm quite certain "You've Got Another Thing Coming" was included in that list... Maiden was considered untouchable at the time though.

Jeremy Golden (HEAVEN AND HELL RECORDS): When I was in bands in my younger days I remember doing "Run to the Hills." Doesn't everyone do that at some point?

As for bands on Heaven and Hell Records; I am sure many have covered several songs from these two classics. Witches Mark has recorded a great cover of "Devil's Child."

A. J. Spiegel (JACK THE RIPPER): My band Jack the Ripper did not do any Priest or Maiden cover tunes since they played all original Heavy Metal. If we did, "Painkiller" and "Exciter" would be obvious choices.

Nicholas Leptos (ARRAYAN PATH): I am not sure if our band ever covered songs from Screaming but we covered pretty much everything from The Number of the Beast throughout the ages. It was never a question of 'why Maiden?', it was always 'which Maiden?'

Elliot Madre (SALVACIÓN): My bands have always seemed to cover more obscure Maiden/Priest songs because we're giant dorks and we think that's cool. That said, I can't tell you how many times I've been rockin' out several beers deep at friends' bands shows and been invited up on stage to sing "Run to the Hills" or "Electric Eye." Seriously, I can't tell you. I was blacked out for many of them.

Luxi: Up to this very day, both albums have succeeded in maintaining this special, unexplained charm. What makes these two albums so immortal and unbeatable for the whole Heavy Metal community?

Markus Makkonen (SADISTIK FOREST): I guess they both are simply just amazing collections of timeless Metal songs, simple as that. Both bands have obviously been in really good place when writing, as the resulting material did turn out as killer as it did, without being any way forced. The Number of the Beast also has an amazing drum performance from the late great Clive Burr, which gives the album such an tremendous backbone.

Screaming for Vengeance is priest at their most metallic, almost. It's loaded with driving riffs and drums, Rob Halford sounding better than he ever had done, until the point. The production is heavy and really good sounding. Just listen to "Riding on the Wind" or the guitars in "(Take These) Chains", you know... Screaming for Vengeance would be a solid reference record for any Heavy Metal release even today.

I suppose both bands were just real happy being thoroughly Metal at the point in their careers. Maiden were discovering their formula with Bruce Dickinson now on vocals and heavier, but also more melodic elements being brought in to the mix. Judas Priest were already veterans by then, but their search for the lighter sound that was Point of Entry, was now over and they were glad being the titans of Metal again. These albums were both recorded without radio singles being the main goals. They are bold and unforgiving recordings and have therefore stood the test of time just perfectly.

King Fowley (DECEASED/OCTOBER 31): Because the times were complete. The power to take over the world with Heavy Metal was at its very strongest. These bands were the leaders and they were held to the highest standards and both delivered incredible songs and talent! Iron Maiden had added Bruce air raid siren and he was an incredible find, soaring them instantly up up up. Priest was coming off Point of Entry, which was a hit or miss record. This one showed the heavy edge of the band complete.

Rob Urbinati (SACRIFICE): I think both albums have songs that will live forever as some of the best songs in Heavy Metal. The cover art in both of them is recognizable to pretty much anyone. They both came out when I was about 15, and music was taking over my life. They were both huge albums, and this wasn't Hard Rock anymore. This was Metal. There were a lot of truly great, immortal albums coming out around this time: Mob RulesDiary of a Madman.

Dave Harvey (MILLENNIAL REIGN): Up till then, Metal was kind of an underground thing. It wasn't normal for bands like that to have "hits" so to speak. Both of those albums broke that mold with so much radio airplay. For me and many other musicians who were there and musically active when those were released, they'll always be the catalyst for which way our musical direction.

Chris Church (DÄNG): Obviously, the material was stellar. That time was rich for Hard Rock and Metal, and a new world was dawning with MTV. It's easy to forget that there were also many great artists from other subgenres in and around the edges of Rock music at that time that did unforgettable and groundbreaking work. I think the spirit of music was alive at that moment as much as at any point; maybe more than it has been since. It was a fertile, competitive, and artistically-minded time in all of Rock music. If an artist wanted to stand out, their album had to mean something. I think everyone reading this will agree that both of these legendary bands just happened to be at the top of their game in the early 80's. I also feel it's worth noting that both of these classic records also contain some of the more spine-tingling screams Rock music has ever produced!

Chris Reifert (AUTOPSY): Just listen to them while you stare at the album covers, that's all you need to do. You'll quickly see why they still rule.

Cederick Forsberg (ROCKA ROLLAS): Neither are honestly any of my personal favorites. So it's hard to answer this question haha!

The Number of the Beast introduced Bruce, which was a big step forward in some senses.

Screaming for Vengeance has a great selection of speedy songs like the title track, "Riding on the Wind" and of course "Electric Eye." I think these songs really took Speed Metal to the masses!

Alec Firicano (RAVAGE): I think both albums are just chock full of great Heavy Metal songs that still stand the test of time. They just have a lot of great, memorable Metal songs and they are performed flawlessly in a way that no other band could probably ever perform them again. Bruce Dickinson and Rob Halford don't even sound quite like that anymore, so it is just a great Metal moment in time and great Metal tunes. Both albums are in the pantheon of Heavy Metal because every element is great – the lyrics, the tunes, the vocal range, the guitar wizardry, solid drumming, great artwork... Just tough to top that.

Danny Lilker (NUCLEAR ASSAULT): Analog recordings, no triggers or ProTools trickery for one thing. Old school! Plus, both these bands had their own styles which made them stand out. They stand as two albums which were monumental in the history of Metal.

Lassi Landström (CRIMSON DAY): In the case of The Number of the Beast, I think the everlasting charm of that record is that it gave Iron Maiden the direction that it has been on since. Both Iron Maiden and Killers are amazing records, but it was after Bruce Dickinson joined their ranks, Iron Maiden found their true sound and from the first verse of "Invaders" with the air raid siren the world changed. Dickinson's vocals have since been an inspiration to most Heavy Metal singers I dare say (I myself shamelessly copy Dickinson sometimes) while the songs themselves are ambitious and have a never-before-heard sound.

Screaming for Vengeance, on the other hand, was heaven for all fans of the heavier Judas Priest, as the previous album Point of Entry was more commercial and lighter by tone. I think Vengeance formed the sound of Judas Priest that we know and love today, and without it we wouldn't have Painkiller or Ram It Down. It's raw, Halford's vocals are better than ever and it takes you by surprise. That is why I think Vengeance lasts as a classic.

John Kevill (WARBRINGER): It's these two bands in the wider sense to me that are so special and immortal. I think it is because both are definitive Heavy Metal bands who helped establish what it means to play Metal. In the early 80s Maiden and Priest are both on an enormous hot streak of putting out just goddamn great songs that has rarely been matched by anyone.

Stu Marshall (DEATH DEALER): The originality – they paved the way for everyone. Those albums were made when the bands were still hungry and had something to prove.

Anthony Lopez (SATAN'S HOST): I think these albums brought each band up to a new level and set a new standard and benchmark at the time that classic Metal was to take form from. It was the beginning of the classic run for both bands with the following records for the rest of the decade at the time.

Zel (ANCIENT): I believe that when these two albums were made, the musicians were in a period of very great inspiration and there was a very good vibe in the Metal scene. Fans were ecstatic about the development in Heavy Metal and how amazing and quickly the scene was growing. I believe the musicians loved this feeling as well, and in some way they felt very confident and strong about creating these albums that were both quite innovative and somewhat 'modern' sounding at the time, but still not something that was 'difficult to swallow' for the general public. 

Screaming was definitely the heaviest album JP had put out so far, and 666 was a lot better produced than their previous albums. And with Bruce Dickinson behind the microphone I think they knew they had the power to make one serious masterpiece, and they did.

When you are making music in a scene where you don't have hundreds of other bands already playing the same style you are, it's an exciting feeling; you know you're creating something new and special. I have been there myself, and it's an amazing feeling, priceless.

It's also not without importance that around 1981–82, there was a great development in the guitar sound, with the new Marshall JCM 800, various distortion pedals, pick-ups for the guitars, etc. I believe this also influenced Judas Priest. There is a great difference in guitar sound from the previous album, and when you get this monster of a sound into your hands, I think you get an inspiration that is just indescribable; we can't even imagine this today. Heavy metal would not have been anything what it's like today, without the development in distorted guitar sound that happened in the early 80s.

All in all, this contributed to great songwriting and albums that seriously set a mark in Heavy Metal history.

Tyler Satterlee (BLESSED CURSE): What makes both Number and Screaming so special is the songwriting and chemistry. To this day it will hit you just like it did when you first heard them. That is the sign of timelessness and is basically a Heavy Metal musical form of immortality. They both never get old nor sound dated and the songs still are among the best Heavy Metal songs that have ever been composed. Basically it's like what is there to complain about? Sure you may like some tracks more than others but all in all, absolute Heavy fucking Metal gems. I seriously think those two records really blew the floodgates open for anything and everyone into early Metal and metal bands (and also Motörhead's "Ace of Spades" but that's another story. R.I.P. Lemmy).

Jacques Serrano (CULTURAL WARFARE): There are several reasons... The obvious ones are, plainly, both bands were so full of talent and they had already proved they could write some awesome music but I think that both bands had already paved a road with prior albums – especially Priest. They both had paved the road and while paving that road they went through hard times, growth, loss of members, etc., etc. and I think you can hear the build up to those two albums through all the prior ones. So with all the pain and success and ups and downs they put all of that into those two albums. You can hear the fire, the angst and then, like all bands, you get a little bit of luck – and BAM! – we were all blessed to have both records in our hands. So all those years before helped the bands create and grow to that first peak and DAMN did they PEAK on those records!! The artwork I think helped in its own way as well.

Johnny Hagel (SORCERER): I think they are so good and timeless is the fact that they are both very strong albums with great songs on them. I also think the artwork is great. My feeling is that it is a whole concept and both have some mystical feeling about them.

Mitchell Allred (DOGBANE): What makes them both special is that it could be argued that these two records are the pinnacle of achievement for an entire movement; that movement being the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. In my opinion, from the late 70s through the mid 80's the finest Heavy Metal was produced. Iron Maiden and Judas Priest are two of its most notable practitioners with The Number of the Beast and Screaming for Vengeance being two of its best albums. Perhaps from a sales standpoint some could argue Def Leppard might have been the more successful NWOBHM band. However, in terms of steadfastness and consistency Iron Maiden and Judas Priest stand alone.

Jeff Neal (DOGBANE): To me what makes these albums immortal and unbeatable are simply the songs. Just listen to them, there is absolutely no filler on either of these two albums. That's why both those albums have stood the test of time. These albums epitomize all that is great about Metal music.

John Ricci (EXCITER): I think the songwriting is so strong that no one can deny the inspiration it has given to so many bands. You never get tired of these albums; all the songs are anthem songs and I think that is why with Exciter we have always written songs that fans can remember and sing along to.

Jadran "Conan" Gonzalez (EXMORTUS): I was born in 1990, so I missed out on the golden years of Heavy Metal, but the influence of these albums is undeniably strong to this day to the younger generations. I'm sure my father wasn't the only parent to introduce their kids to the majesty of the NWOBHM. These albums in particular stand out with impressive songwriting, thought-provoking lyrics and technical prowess for an overall cranium crushing sound. This is a standard set to last for generations to come.

Dan Todd (SALVACIÓN): One of the things I love so much about classic albums like these is that unidentifiable quality that makes them so incredible. You can go on about how they helped define the genre, or how these albums were milestones for not just the bands themselves, but for Heavy Metal as a whole, but ultimately I think that's only a small part of it. There is a quality to the production of classic albums that is hard to recreate today, and I think that plays a part as well. But that magic you hear when you listen to albums like these I think is the energy; the blood, sweat and tears; the heart that these guys put into writing and recording these songs.

Bob Simonson (TAKASHI): It's so much more than just the two LPs! If you remember, Priest and Maiden toured the U.S. together after releasing the records. Still to this day the best Metal show ever!

At their show in NYC at Madison Square Garden the fans went crazy and started ripping up the seat cushions and throwing them at the stage, like hundreds of them! There were no Hard Rock/Metal shows there for a good while afterward.

Jeremy Golden (HEAVEN AND HELL RECORDS): There is no doubt that both albums are cornerstones of heavy as they will never be topped or even challenged. They both captured the zeitgeist of the time.

Judas Priest had come from the 'Golden Age of Heavy Metal' into the NWOBHM that was now coming to an end around 1982. Iron Maiden was part of the beginning of the NWOBHM and led it into the 80's. Both bands together created the 'Silver Age of Heavy Metal' and both albums, Screaming for Vengeance and The Number of the Beast, would raise the bar higher than it had ever been before – some might say it still has not been reached.

Both albums would place Heavy Metal on the map. I think it can be argued that Heavy Metal was truly defined with these two albums.

A. J. Spiegel (JACK THE RIPPER): Even to this very day, Screaming for Vengeance and the songs contained with have stood the test of time and maintained their charm. It is a hard-driving album that digs into your subconscious with its memorable lyrics, rhythm, and lead work.

On that tour, myself and singer "Mad Max" Hernandez had the great fortune to break bread and converse with Halford and the guys in Augusta, Georgia after a skull-splitting performance. It was amazing remembering the lively discussion we had about the difference between American and British Heavy Metal. Priest was class all the way and showed great respect and appreciation for their fans. The band wished Jack the Ripper the best of luck and told us to give 100% with every performance; I took that to heart. And that encounter will always be cherished.

Nicholas Leptos (ARRAYAN PATH): Well for Iron Maiden it was definitely the arrival of Dickinson in the band that took the band to a whole new level, in combination with the songs. This band has no rules and no boundaries and does not give a shit what people think. That's why they became who they are. As for Screaming, I think Priest was at their best and the songs were all destined to be classics. 1982 was a good year for Metal!

Elliot Madre (SALVACIÓN): Killer songs... Killer performances. And the production that captures that.

Luxi: How much of you becoming a musician do you attribute to Maiden and Priest? 

Markus Makkonen (SADISTIK FOREST): They are there, in my musical genome, both of them. You just got to love the chugging riffs and through and through Metal attitude of Priest, or the epic, skillful songwriting of Iron Maiden. These bands and these particular albums are a crucial part of my musical upbringing. Things would be quite different without them.

King Fowley (DECEASED/OCTOBER 31): A shitload!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rob Urbinati (SACRIFICE): Tons. Learning their songs helped teach me how to play guitar. Inspiring and influential.

Dave Harvey (MILLENNIAL REIGN): I was already playing in one of my early bands so that tells you how old I am ha ha. But both of those albums had a major effect on my musical direction. Up till then, my heaviest influences were bands like Kiss and Rush.

Chris Church (DÄNG): I wish I was talented enough to really assess that question!

Chris Reifert (AUTOPSY): I was already an aspiring musician before I heard them, but I do remember trying to figure out how to play The Number of the Beast on drums and being stumped by the weird upbeat snare hit that Clive Burr threw in on the verses. Haha! And man, those drum rolls he did were fantastic, crazy and tasteful at the same time. I'm sure that had an influence on me. Clive was the best!

Cederick Forsberg (ROCKA ROLLAS): Glenn Tipton has been a great influence on my guitar solo playing, for sure! His ability to 'write a song within a song' with his solos, was something I really took to heart early on. Soloing has become less and less important for me with time; I'm more into riffing and stuff now. Adrian Smith is also a big influence on my playing.

Alec Firicano (RAVAGE): Those are the two bands that inspired me most, so I probably have to give them all the credit. I think everyone in the band Ravage is inspired by those two bands...

Danny Lilker (NUCLEAR ASSAULT): A fuckload. Steve Harris's bold basslines were a huge influence on me as well as Priest's masterful songwriting. By the time I got into Thrash I had most of my influences for playing bass...

Lassi Landström (CRIMSON DAY): As a singer I owe everything to these two. I wouldn't be a singer without these bands and without the high notes of "Run to the Hills" and "The Number of the Beast" my style could be very different than what it is today. I've molded my own singing style after these bands. As a songwriter I look up to Dickinson and Harris more than anyone in the world, and the sound of Maiden is forever melted into my brain and everything I do, I compare to these bands. Judas Priest and Iron Maiden are my favourite bands in the world, so obviously I owe everything to them.

John Kevill (WARBRINGER): A good deal indeed. Both of these were (and are) among my very favorite bands for the years when I formed my musical taste, and leading into starting a band. These bands were the foundation of everything I liked when I began writing songs.

Stu Marshall (DEATH DEALER): 90% of why I did it in the first place.

Anthony Lopez (SATAN'S HOST): I love Judas Priest but am a huge Iron Maiden fan. Everyone in my family is a die-hard Maiden fan. I've seen the band 12 times, my wife 10, and my two daughters five times each. Maiden was the first concert experience for everyone in my family. Nicko has been one of my all-time influences as a drummer and Steve Harris an influence as a song writer, so I have very high respect and admiration for Maiden. I think I owe a lot to both bands.

Zel (ANCIENT): I would have to say quite a lot, I started playing guitar around 1987 and was very much inspired by guitar solos of the Heavy Metal bands, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest were definitely not low on the list of bands that inspired me, I remember I was especially touched by the opening of "Wasted Years" the twin solos of "Freewheel Burning." It's maybe too much to say that I would not have played guitar if it wasn't for these two bands, but they were definitely among my favourites. Even today, people keep telling me they can hear influences from the 80's (and especially classic bands like Priest and Maiden) in my guitar solos, even though we play extreme Metal, those feelings are still in my blood and it comes out in my music, naturally.

Tyler Satterlee (BLESSED CURSE): I cannot put into words how much Maiden and Priest have taught and influenced my band and myself in terms of musicianship and songwriting. They're two of the kings of that and what became the true blueprint for real Heavy Metal. For me, Dave Murray with the left hand legato (he can play whole solos with only his left hand), Adrian Smith balancing him with his melodic and more structured leads, then you have Priest with KK Downing being wild and crazy with key notes and the whammy then Glen Tipton's insane shredding are just in our blood stream by this point guitar-wise. Don't forget the riffing. The riffing on both of those records is head-fucking. We cannot escape it even if we wanted to! It's too godly and amazing, we're not worthy!!!

Jacques Serrano (CULTURAL WARFARE): I don't know one musician that is my peer or otherwise that would deny the influence these two bands and two albums have had on them. Personally, in my early stages of singing I gravitated to Halford and I always thought Priest the heavier of the two and I for some reason always wanted the heavy whether it was to prepare for a wrestling match in high school or to warm up my vocal chords when I became a singer. Although I was a Priest fanatic, I still did search out all great singers and bands and was influenced by them and their singers. If it was not for Halford/Priest, and Maiden I would not be the singer I am today!! In fact I probably would not be the PERSON I am today if it was not for those great musicians that influenced me.

Hard fact: EVERY METAL BAND FROM THEN TILL NOW IS STILL MEASURED to their (i.e. Priest/Maiden) standards!!!

Johnny Hagel (SORCERER): A lot I think. Without Maiden and Priest and some other bands like Saxon, Accept and Black Sabbath I could have ended up not playing at all.

Mitchell Allred (DOGBANE): I certainly owe them a lot, but the same could be said for others as well. I'm influenced by a great many people. I think most musicians are and I think one should be. I guess to fully appreciate the scope of what we owe I would look at Dogbane as a whole. When we were putting the band together our prerequisites were that we wanted a classic 5-piece line-up. We wanted dual guitars and a classic-sounding front man with a long range who was capable of hitting high notes. I would say that's a familiar blueprint, but one I hope we're able to put our own stamp on. You can certainly hear the influence of both bands in our music and given the style of traditional Metal we play you should.

Jeff Neal (DOGBANE): If I owe them it's for showing me the path of the style of singer that I wanted to become. I never knew people could sing like that. They were groundbreaking and took singing to another level like I'd never heard before and for an aspiring young singer like myself it was life changing.

John Ricci (EXCITER): Well, I am so old (ha ha!) that my inspiration to become a musician came way before Priest or Maiden!

Jadran "Conan" Gonzalez (EXMORTUS): I owe them so very much. They were the first bands to truly set the standards of how I perform and write songs, dual lead guitar attack and all. I can always go back to Maiden and Priest for inspiration, they have the attitude and talent that any and all Hard Rock/Metal bands should have.

Dan Todd (SALVACIÓN): 666%. Seriously though, a lot. Maiden especially has been a huge influence in shaping my songwriting style.

Bob Simonson (TAKASHI): Well, after KISS took off their makeup I needed a new favorite band and Priest fit the bill perfectly!

Actually, Unleashed in the East had such a huge impact on me before Screaming... It was the first time it occurred to me "there could possibly be a band better than KISS!" Soon after, Priest became the template that we based Takashi on. The duel lead guitars and 16th note picking were in full effect! The photo on the back of Kamikaze Killers shows Craig K brandishing a Flying V (like K.K. played at the time) and I had a black Strat with the double-coil humbucker (like Glenn). Kerrang! actually compared us to Priest so that was a huge honor!

Jeremy Golden (HEAVEN AND HELL RECORDS): When I first heard Geoff Tate and Kai Hansen I thought these guys sound like Bruce Dickinson. I wanted to front a band and sing like Tate. So I guess by extension I owe something to Maiden. Of course this is when I was much younger and in bands.

Now as a Metal fan and being in the business I'm in, of course, I owe a lot to them in the regard that there may have been no Metal without those two bands. Without them the Heavy Metal landscape would be majorly different and there is no way to dispute that. People talk about how there would be no Heavy Metal without Black Sabbath; well I tend to disagree, there would be no Heavy Metal with Judas Priest. They brought way more to the table than Sabbath did; Sabbath merely provided the tools, Priest sculpted the art and Iron Maiden added to it.

A. J. Spiegel (JACK THE RIPPER): As far as I am concerned, Judas Priest set the template or mold for all Metal bands that have come after them. The two-guitar attack is a classic format that even today's Metal bands emulate. The heavy drum and base blend sets the foundation for all the today's Metal bands and the studs and leather look is copied by many. Priest set the standard for all others to follow Iron Maiden even copied the format minus the leather.

All Metal bands owe Priest and Maiden, their sound look, professionalism and dedication that all true Metal bands have.

Nicholas Leptos (ARRAYAN PATH): I owe them a lot. Especially Maiden and in particular Bruce...

Elliot Madre (SALVACIÓN): I'll owe them more when they take me out on tour. *wink**wink**nudge**nudge*

Luxi: OK, lastly, the classic Maiden vs. Priest question: Which of these two albums is more appealing, meaningful and important to you personally, and why (and please, no ties)?

Markus Makkonen (SADISTIK FOREST): This is almost an unfair question as they both are really, really important albums for me. Just like if you were forced to choose over your own kids, or something. Heheheh. Even though Screaming for Vengeance is probably my all-time favourite from Judas Priest, I will have to choose The Number of the Beast from these two still. The Number of the Beast is THE iconic 80's Heavy Metal record, simple as that. Perfect combination of speed, melody and epicness, cutting through generations and generations of metal heads to be.

King Fowley (DECEASED/OCTOBER 31): Iron Maiden. The epic depth to their songwriting was unreal. Stuff like "Hallowed..." is beyond words and very well written!!

And as time went on Judas Priest became a joke to me. They lost their way and became followers instead of leaders while Iron Maiden just kept on being themselves and doing their thing not worrying what was 'hip' or in trend. That leaves a sour taste in my mouth. No denying either band for the two records of the time but Iron Maiden is the one for me when choosing one.

Rob Urbinati (SACRIFICE): Without hesitation: Screaming for Vengeance. Seeing Priest that year remains the #1 show of my life. Some songs of my youth I have heard enough times now, but I never get sick of "Electric Eye", "Screaming for Vengeance", "Bloodstone" and "Riding on the Wind."

Dave Harvey (MILLENNIAL REIGN): OK, as I said earlier, both were iconic to everything I am musically. But if I had to make a choice it would be Maiden. Their style spoke to me the most. In practically all of the Millennial Reign's Carry the Fire reviews, one constant stood out, and that was the comparison of us to Iron Maiden. I don't intentionally write music to make that influence heard in the songs, it just comes naturally. They have always been my heaviest influence beginning with The Number of the Beast album.

Chris Church (DÄNG): Love 'em both, but definitely Judas Priest's SFV wins for me. Iron Maiden's NOTB is an amazing all-time classic album, but I am drawn less to the galloping Power Metal aspects of Maiden, and more to the razor-sharp, slightly more sinewy riffs Priest delivers. It's so tight it's almost claustrophobic... In a very good way, of course. Also, Halford actually says, "I'm made of Metal" on the album... Kind of hard to forget that. Both of these amazing records will live on forever in the hearts and minds of lovers of important, significant popular music.

Chris Reifert (AUTOPSY): No ties, no fair! OK then, if I MUST pick one, it would have to be 666. The drumming might have something to do with it. And the bass too, come to think of it. And let's not forget that album cover! Derek Riggs really brought the music to life with his insanely cool artwork. It's an exciting album in all ways, really. Not to take away from Priest, but you made me pick, damn it!

Cederick Forsberg (ROCKA ROLLAS): I think since I listened to The Number of the Beast a lot as a kid I should say that one, but with time I've grown to think that Screaming for Vengeance is a better album overall.

Alec Firicano (RAVAGE): I am going to have to say Iron Maiden, because I think Judas Priest's best album was Defenders of the Faith or maybe Painkiller – but Screaming is definitely in their top five. Both bands have so many great albums and songs, but I don't think Maiden will ever top Number of the Beast. It will always be special to me because it was the first Maiden album I heard. It introduced me to the more European Metal/British Heavy Metal/NWOBHM type sound and it has a lot of my favorite Maiden songs on it.

Danny Lilker (NUCLEAR ASSAULT): Number of the Beast for the occult references. Obviously these guys were just doing a Metal horror movie thing and were certainly not into Satanism, but then again the same is true for many black metal bands that have to try to convince people otherwise.

Lassi Landström (CRIMSON DAY): This question is impossible to answer, but I'll try. Iron Maiden was the first Heavy Metal band I ever listened to, so it will always hold a special place in my heart. Bruce Dickinson is also my biggest idol, so I think I have to answer Iron Maiden. BUT there are times I find Judas Priest more appealing, times when I cannot get enough of some record, lately that record has been Painkiller and sometime before that it was, surprise, surprise, Screaming for Vengeance. I do listen to Priest more regularly these days than Iron Maiden, but if these two were to come to town and I'd have to choose which one I'd rather go see live, I'd always choose Maiden. So there you go...

John Kevill (WARBRINGER): Gotta go with Screaming for Vengeance. It is 100 percent start to finish, and you can't match the highway cruisin' feel of this record. Halford just rules, especially on "Ridin' on the Wind" and the title track, where he just goes nuts. Screaaaamiiiiiingggg!!!!! (you know the part)

The Number of the Beast I think has a track or two that aren't as on fire as the rest, though it closes with the spectacular "Hallowed Be Thy Name", which Vengeance doesn't really have an answer to as an individual song, I think. So it is very hard to say. For me, my favorite Maiden was usually Powerslave (and I really like Seventh Son as well) and if it was that one against Screaming for Vengeance I might have to give it to that record. Who knows?

Stu Marshall (DEATH DEALER): For me, Screaming, as the songs overall are a strong album – I think 666 had some poor songs like "Gangland."

Anthony Lopez (SATAN'S HOST): Iron Maiden, hands down. Like I said, I love Judas Priest, but Iron Maiden is my all-time favorite band. Both albums are immensely incredible and I love both, but I'd have to say The Number of the Beast over Screaming for Vengeance. The Maiden release is more dark and musical, the lyrical content a bit more robust, plus it had Eddie How can you go wrong?

Zel (ANCIENT): Tough one, but OK. If you asked me 20 years ago I would maybe have said Maiden, but over the last years I have been listening more often to Judas Priest again and also saw them live several times, in Belgium, Norway, Greece..., and I have started to get into albums like Screaming and Defenders even more than before. It's an amazing feeling to hear "Hellion/Electric Eye" live... Maybe I just feel that Judas Priest deserved a lot more respect than Iron Maiden, especially these days, I am not so much fan of what Iron Maiden have been doing the last years and their last album was disappointing and quite overrated I think. I have lost a lot of respect for Iron Maiden now in 2017; they just seem to have gotten tired and have lost a lot of inspiration and mainly live off the name they built over the years. There is something admirable about Judas Priest, they never made a bad album and they never disappointed me in anything they did. They are less commercial than Iron Maiden today, but that's a lot of what respect by them, they are still giving us 100% quality Metal. I just appreciate Screaming a lot more than 666 today. It's very hard to say which one I actually think is 'better' musically, but I enjoy Screaming more...

Tyler Satterlee (BLESSED CURSE): The question of questions, so beyond difficult. I fucking love Screaming to its absolute core, but, if I had heard Priest's effort first, maybe I would be more swayed to them, but in this case, Iron Maiden I think just stole the show on The Number of the BeastNumber is such an unbelievably heavy yet still raw album, debuting Bruce "The Air-raid Siren's" voice and them playing faster, more melodic, better songs, than anything they had ever done before. The Number of The Beast never gets old and I think even Maiden would like to think of it as a sort of time-capsule period where they really started to get truly noticed before obtaining legendary status with later releases Piece of Mind and my all-time fave Maiden release, Powerslave. To the world it's like "We're Iron Fucking Maiden, so get ready to headbang and rock!" I think that was their vibe in that early period before they just started dominating planet Earth and now are like deity status. UP THE FUCKING IRONS!!!!!

Jacques Serrano (CULTURAL WARFARE): As you can probably tell from my answers above... I vote Priest. I think every vote on this matter has been a tie but personally it is Priest and Halford. I would never have become a metal vocalist if it wasn't for them. I don't know why I tried to sing when I was young. I don't know why I tried to copy every note they sang. I don't know why their music just made life better? I had no idea I was going to become a singer but I did... And it has to be because of those bands. It is that exclusive club of fans we all call HEAVY METAL FANS!! WE are all something unique and special and damn do we have a whole lot of fun listening to music. But still, after I would listen and sing to Priest for weeks on end in my bedroom pretending to be a rock star, I still put on Maiden for a change up and I was always blown away by Maiden and wanted to love them more than Priest but I never could, ha ha!! We are all blessed to have such great bands that are still putting out great Metal today. I think I still am trying to attain and copy things they did that were just so cool... Don't all of us fans or vocalists wish you could just be in one of those bands for a day? Lol!

Johnny Hagel (SORCERER): Screaming for Vengeance is my number one, maybe out of all Metal albums released so far. It has everything: the songs, the performance and the cover!! I love The Number of the Beast as well but I had to choose...

Mitchell Allred (DOGBANE): If I have to make a choice I must go with Iron Maiden's The Number of the Beast. The reason is the production. When it comes to my favorite Metal albums Martin Birch is unbeatable. This has nothing to do with a dislike for Tom Allom, as he has produced some great Metal albums in his own right. I just like Martin Birch more. There's no doubt about the metallic sheen of Screaming for Vengeance and oddly enough that's my problem with it. My only issue with Priest is when they get too mechanical or modern sounding. A metal cyborg complete with synthesizers and laser beams. It's not too overbearing here unlike the Turbo album or when they used drum machines on Ram It Down but this is when they start going down that path. Granted this is me splitting hairs trying to find a bone of contention, but I do prefer the production of earlier records. A prime example of this would be 1977's Sin After Sin.

Jeff Neal (DOGBANE): Although I love The Number of the Beast album, the vocals and music are incredible on that record, if I'm going to have to choose between the two, I'd have to pick Screaming for Vengeance. From the opening track, "The Hellion", to the final track, "Devil's Child", this to me was Priest reaching a new level in their already impressive career, and it stands as one of the all-time great Metal albums.

John Ricci (EXCITER): Well, I am going to say Screaming for Vengeance because I prefer listening to Rob Halford's vocals.

Jadran "Conan" Gonzalez (EXMORTUS): If I really have to choose, I'm gonna have to go with 666. This decision is based on the bass and drums actually. We can all agree that at this point in time both guitar duos are equal in technique and expression (unless we compared with Painkiller!). You can really hear and feel Steve Harris' bass playing without it taking away from the guitars or the rest of the band while Ian Hill's bass mix isn't ever up front and in your face. And lastly, I find Clive Burr's style more interesting than Holland's straightforward approach on the albums. It was hard for me to choose but again, I might have chosen differently between the two bands if they were different albums...

Dan Todd (SALVACIÓN): Shit... This is worse than Sophie's Choice. That's a really tough call; both those albums hold a special place for me. I have to go with Maiden though. I heard The Number of the Beast first. That album was much more instrumental in paving my way into the world of classic Heavy Metal. For that, I have to give it the edge.

Bob Simonson (TAKASHI): This is an easy one for me. With all due respect to Maiden, Screaming for Vengeance is the winner in my book. I find the songs to be more accessible and concise... And once Halford gets started on the title cut, it's all over!

Jeremy Golden (HEAVEN AND HELL RECORDS): I would say Iron Maiden and The Number of the Beast. I have always been more of an Iron Maiden fan. They seemed to have brought a more intellectual aspect to their writing.

Although as I get older I sometimes see this as pretentious and that causes me to go back to something like Judas Priest who has a different appeal to them. Where Iron Maiden has always seemed like this larger-than-life band than looks down on their fans like an arrogant god, Judas Priest are more a band of the people, 'united' with the people... If that makes any sense.

Don't get me wrong though; songs like "Breaking the Law" are total meathead anthems, but when Judas Priest are at their most poetic best they can't be touched. So I guess I did not answer you (*laughs*)

Dammit now I want to change my answer to Priest and Screaming for Vengeance. To hell with it I would just pick up The Carpenters and go home in shame.

A. J. Spiegel (Lead Guitar Jack The Ripper): To me and the other members of Jack the Ripper, Priest is the more appealing of the bands. Iron Maiden is great but Priest embodies a heavy, hammering, relentless sound that is right on the verge of explosion with its riveting intensity.

Both bands will go down in Metal history as pioneers in their own right – true classic Heavy Metal.

Nicholas Leptos (ARRAYAN PATH): From my previous answers you must have concluded that for me the Maiden album was more important and meaningful. For Maiden it was a turning point. It was the important moment when they were becoming big. Judas Priest added one more great album to their discography and turned people's heads to Metal music but for me it will always be Maiden, Maiden, Maiden!

Elliot Madre (SALVACIÓN): Priest is for rockers. Maiden is for dreamers. I'm more of a rocker, myself.

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