Judas Priest or Iron Maiden - Who Do You Prefer?


Which band do you like better and why?


Judas Priest for me. I like Iron Maiden’s instrumentation but I just can’t stand Bruce Dickinson’s vocals. I don’t really like the Blaze era of Maiden and I’m not a fan of their early stuff.

Judas Priest were a lot more exciting musically and more consistent across their albums. Halford era JP is my favourite, although he can have the odd off night live, especially now he’s getting older.


I like different things about each band.

For studio records and overall musical output, Priest edges out Maiden slightly. They had a bit more variety and their streak from the 70s through the 80s is unreal. Also, Unleashed In The East is an unparalleled classic. Maiden of course had incredible albums in the 80’s and did some really ambitious stuff but I tend to get tired of them a little sooner.

Iron Maiden is the better live band I think. They’re all in great shape and they’ve always had fantastic stage sets. Judas Priest have some deadly live (US Fest 1983!!!) stuff but I feel Maiden has upheld a high standard of quality much longer.

In terms of attitude and vibe I really dig Maiden. I like their punk rock “fuck you we’re gonna do things our way and make a mockery of what you think we should be” ethos. And Bruce is an interesting character.


Maiden. Hands down. Dickinson is a monster.

…though, potential unpopular opinion, I think “The Chemical Wedding” is my favorite work of his.


This is a tough one.

I’ve only seen Maiden live. I was a casual fan before that show. Now I worship every album from the debut to Seventh Son. Adrian Smith’s guitar work in particular on Somewhere in Time is iconic. Maiden definitely has the more consistent output. They wouldn’t release a subpar album until Dickinson left in the 90s.
As for Priest. The main thing I like is how much their sound changed over time. On paper it wouldn’t seem possible for the same band to release Stained Class and Painkiller. Painkiller also brings one of metal’s greatest what ifs. If Halford hadn’t left it would have been interesting to see if the band could top their greatest album. Priest also has the more enjoyable recent output in my opinion. Maiden’s more recent work can drag from “chorusitis” as I call it with songs being too long due to overly repetitive choruses. However I think British Steel is the most overrated “classic” metal album of all time. I vastly prefer albums like Sad Wings of Destiny, Stained Class and Painkiller. Tipton and Downing’s growth as guitarists is astounding. Painkiller is a hands down top 3 contender for greatest metal guitar solo. I don’t think I can pick one.


Maiden!!! Definitely. But I am one of the few that prefers Diano’s vocals… but Bruce is still amazing though.

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I liked both bands a lot and have seen both several times. I just found Halford’s vocal ability so superior that Priest was my favorite. There was one guy in heavy metal whose vocals I’d say were on or close to the level of Halford’s vocals and that was Ronnie James Dio. Geoff Tate was excellent as well but he didn’t have the longevity of the other two.

Sad Wings Of Destiny is my favorite album by Judas Priest. I liked their musical style in the 70s much better than the music they made afterwards.

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Yeah, Geoff Tate’s vocal range went from super-human to mediocre. I assume, like many other metal singer’s, that he damaged his throat early-on.

Yeah, Dio (RIP) never lost his voice. There’s a few others that never lost their voice. The guy from Steel-heart can still sing quite well in his 50s. And B. Dickinson was still quite capable for many years… I know he had throat cancer though. Brian Johnson never lost his voice, but he recently had to stop after he caused just too much throat damage… but Axel Rose has done a good job as a replacement. Speaking of Axle, he was able to develop his scream again, but he still occasionally goes back to ‘mickey-mouse’ mode.

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Yeah, it’s disappointing what has happened to Geoff Tate’s voice. I was also disappointed in his change in the style of music he’s chosen to create since the Empire album.

I liked Paul D’ianno’s voice too. Remember Tomorrow and Strange World are two of my favorite Maiden songs. Do you know if Bruce has ever performed either of those songs live?

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Oh yes, quite a few times. You can search it on youtube.

in fact Bruce sang Remember Tomorrow as his audition song for the replacement. By the way, it’s an absolutely brilliant song.

By the way, Paul still can sing well… .but he had so many mental and substance abuse issues. He refused to sing the maiden songs properly… and tried to convert them all to ‘punk’ songs… which really did them a disservice.

However… I’ve seen him on youtube singing in Brazil… and he was sober, and wasn’t trying to be a punk singer… and he still sounded great.


Priest all the way, they had probably 15 songs that spoke to me where as maiden had 4ish.

They spoke to me in all the right ways back when I was a rebellious yooot.

Great songs, great riffs, vocal melody and feel.
The solos had a beginning, middle and end.
Blistering but still complimentary to the song.
The song within the song type deal that I love

They were technically clean but had the ability to tap into my inner savage.

The few songs maiden had that I loved had all the same but for me priest just had it more often.

I also dig pop music so take that into consideration


I never really liked Iron Maiden. Judas Priest is a pretty good band and their music has aged comparatively well.


both great bands. I listen to Priest way more than Maiden

2 of fave songs

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My legions faithful unto death I’ll summon to my court… and as you perish each of you shall scream as you are sought!


Have to say, never got into Judas Priest that much. Iron Maiden have much more interestibg and creative songs. Bruce’s vocals are also on a different level!


I like some early maiden stuff, pretty cool, but I always felt their material was redundant as far as rhythmic, tempos… guitars are good but nothing that memorable to me.

JP had dynamics and intensity. I don’t care much for th man but Halford has exceptional vocals.

Tipton is very underrated.

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By any chance are you referring to Heart’s “Barracuda” rhythm that Maiden used in almost every song? I was in a music store one day and I heard a couple guys talking about Iron Maiden and one said to the to the other “If you can play Barracuda” you can lay any Iron maiden song." I’m a big fan of Maiden but a much bigger fan of Judas Priest.

I recently got the Bruce Dickinson autobiography I hope he writes about helping composing “Rime Of The Ancient Mariner” - what an epic song that is! I read that song and To Tame A Land were two of Steve Harris’ favorites of the songs he has written.

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yeah, Glen Tipton was way underrated and was one of the rare pros who continued to improve and keep up with the times etc

gotta give IM the edge in the rhythm section…Steve Harris and Niko McBrain were pretty strong.

Comparing the vocals is a matter of taste. Bruce had the sort of opera thing going on and it fit their music but to me Rob was more of a universal rock voice.


Yiou’re right. He even learned sweep picking. He and KK were two of very. very few 70s guitarists that kept up with the times to that degree.

Interesting that you bring up opera. There was a drummer who had a music degree from The University Of Maryland who had tried out for our band. He was a Neil Peart style drummer and could play along to the Rush albums. He really was very good. We were talking about Judas priest one day and he said about Rob Halford “He could have gotten into The London School Of Opera easily.” I’m not university trained about vocals like this drummer was, but I believed him. I’ve seen Judas Priest live twice and I got the feeling there was absolutely nothing the guy couldn’t do with his voice

This drummer was quite a character… He’d say stuff like “I’m one of the top 200 drummers on the planet.” We’d go to a restaurant and he’d say to the waiter “Can I see your pizza”? He had to actually look at it so he could decide if it was up to his standards! I took it with a grain of salt and just laughed. My bass player couldn’t stand hm though. He really irritated her so we didn’t hire him.

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