Hell Bent for Metal Special #9 - Camp Classic: Judas Priest - Killing Machine

Hell Bent for Metal Special #9 - Camp Classic: Judas Priest - Killing Machine

- By Matt Rushton

In a special episode of the LGBTQ+ heavy metal podcast, Tom & Matt dive deep into the profoundly NSFW gay relevance of Judas Priest's classic album Killing Machine.

Hell Bent For Metal's ninth special episode is another Camp Classic special – where they take a look at a work of metal that spoke to them as queers and explain why – this time looking at Killing Machine, the 1978 classic album from the metal gods themselves, Judas Priest.

Tom and Matt start of the discussion briefly touching on their love of Priest throughout the eras, including their last two albums proving that they've very much still got it, before moving on to give a queer-perspective overview of the album as a whole. This includes things such as the fact the whole album sounds like an absolute gay-club party, and the fact that Rob Halford is all sorts of randy across the whole 35 minute run-time. There's also discussion on how he was hiding in plain sight at the time, confusing straight people whilst making his sexuality clear enough to other queer folks to be able to identify.

Following on from their recent Camp Classic discussion on the song 'Hell Bent for Leather' in episode 78, the guys take a song-by song approach to dissecting just how much gay relevance there is all across this album, and whilst their interpretations of a lot of songs in the Camp Classic feature on the main show are definitely not the real meaning, here, with Halford himself being gay (albeit still around 20 years away from coming out), they might be a little closer to the mark with their readings of these songs.

Plenty of themes are discussed relevant to queer life, including finding yourself and affirmation in gay clubs, solidarity and strength in numbers when having to deal with homophobic behaviour, falling for one night stands, and having the self-confidence to do your thing and be as fabulous as you want to be without anyone being able to stop you.

There is of course no escaping the frankly outrageous amount of euphemisms all across the album, and Tom and Matt delight in exploring them all, turning quickly into some very not safe for work discussions about the more intimate parts of queer life. This all in with the fact that basically every song here just sounds camp as hell, makes Killing Machine an easy choice for the latest in-depth Camp Classic.

Listen to Hell Bent For Metal on Spotify here, listen on iTunes here, or choose one of the other ways to listen here.

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