Jugulator is the 13th studio album by British heavy metal band Judas Priest. It was released in Japan on October 16, 1997 and the rest of the world on October 28, 1997. It was the first of two studio albums featuring vocalist Tim 'Ripper' Owens. The album was a departure from their older style, referencing late 80s thrash reminiscent of Exodus, post-thrash, and groove metal. The lyrics dealt with harsher themes than previous releases, including the eponymous mechanized beast which disembowels its prey, and the end of the world in the song "Cathedral Spires". The guitars were also tuned down as low as C# and C.
The entire album seems to describe the end of the world, from the coming of the Jugulator ("Jugulator") to the actual ending of it ("Cathedral Spires"). The Jugulator itself seems to be a metaphor for the evil that is done in the world. Songs like "Dead Meat", "Decapitate" and "Burn in Hell" all describe the evils that humans do. In the end, the evil deeds are so great in number that it consumes and destroys the world.
Reaction to the album was roughly divided among those who enjoyed the album on its own terms, those who liked the music but preferred that Rob Halford would sing it, and those who disliked it on all counts. Glenn Tipton defended the musical changes: "You must remember that two albums went missing between 1990 and "Jugulator". To us, it's not the huge leap some people see it as". However, "Bullet Train" and "Cathedral Spires" are generally regarded as classics, even by some critics who disliked the rest of the album.
A music video was put into circulation for the song "Burn in Hell", though over 2 minutes of the song was removed in the final video. "Jugulator" and "Blood Stained" were also included on Judas Priest's box set Metalogy.
Bullet Train was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance in 1998 but lost to Metallica's "Better than You".