Here are all the metal bands Rob Halford loves, according to Rob Halford

Rob Halford
(Image credit: Travis Shinn/Epic)

There are few more vocal cheerleaders for metal than Rob Halford. The Judas Priest frontman has been repping the scene for years, bigging up everyone from Metallica and Slayer to Ghost and Babymetal via interviews, T-shirts and Instagram posts. We salute the Metal God’s commitment to the cause by rounding up all the bands he’s showered with love

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Rob on… Black Sabbath

“When the Black Sabbath album came out and like everybody else, their sound shook me to the core. I thought this is great being a local band getting attention, and I felt excited about the dream of singing for a famous band like them” (Metal Hammer, 2017)


Rob on… Metallica

“The first few albums are still my favourites, Kill ’Em All, Ride The Lightning, …And Justice For All. It was great: here was a band from America, on the West Coast, who are part of the world that… maybe this will sound ridiculous, but when I was growing up, San Francisco was this hippie place. Beads and sandals and all that kind of stuff, and then you get these metal maniacs making this incredible racket! Wow!” (Metal Hammer, 2021)

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Rob on… Pantera

“It can’t be stressed enough how important Pantera were in saving heavy metal in the 1990s. Things were getting a little mellow, especially in America. Then along came these four gentlemen from Texas who had captured the true spirit of heavy metal. It came from their hearts and their souls. Metal in the 90s needed Pantera. They were the springboard for so many other bands afterwards.” (Metal Hammer, 2020)

Rob on… Iron Maiden

“[The Iron Maiden album] felt like fresh UK blood from the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, and it was top of the heap.” (Rolling Stone, 2017)


Rob on… Slayer

“I think that Slayer sort of condensed the music coming from the thrash scene - whether it was Exodus or Testament or even the early Metallica - and made it into this sick, almost evil type of menacing [thing], which really put them on top of their game in terms of that style.” (The Quietus (opens in new tab), 2015)


Rob on… Tool

“I love to put my headphones on and get lost in their imagination. When I’m in the right kind of mood, I get lost in Tool’s Undertow.” (Spin (opens in new tab), 2022)


Rob on… Dio

“I love absolute everything that Ronnie did, from Elf to Sabbath, but it's his voice that drew me to [the Holy Diver album] because it's so magical and so unique.” (The Quietus, 2015)

Rob on… Ghost

“Ghost are an important band on a variety of levels. Tobias meticulously created and sought out, firstly, the strength of Ghost musically, and secondly, the crucial visual elements, and both have drawn us into his world of Emeritus mystery and intrigue” (Revolver (opens in new tab), 2022)

Rob on… Slipknot

“When [their debut album] came out, it was nu metal pent-up rage searing a whole new era.”  (Rolling Stone, 2015)

Rob on… Babymetal

“I first heard of them pretty much when they first started, I think. It was 2012 or 2010, but it wasn’t until the first album came along and I heard songs like Doki Doki Morning and they first started getting traction, that I was really captivated by them. The way they looked got into my mind and the music was something I had never experienced before.” (Metal Hammer, 2021)

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Rob on… Korn

‘When they came along they completely changed the direction that heavy music was heading. They're still pushing the boundaries and getting criticised for it, but really, fuck the critics.” (The Quietus, 2015)


Rob on… Five Finger Death Punch

“As soon as I heard [Lift Me Up] coming out the speakers, I went, ‘Man, I want in on this.’” (Full Metal Jackie (opens in new tab))


Rob on… Rage Against The Machine

“They were game changers. They came along at a time in Los Angeles when there was nobody else doing that style. I don't think anyone has done anything like that successfully” Rob on Rage Against The Machine.” (The Quietus, 2015)


Rob on… Emperor

 “I love [Emperor’s second album Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk] because it’s sonic blasphemy from the dark side.” (Rolling Stone, 2017)

Rob on… Alice In Chains

“To me it sounded like another style of music that was completely out of the leftfield. The incredible combination of Layne [Staley]'s voice and Jerry [Cantrell, guitarist] is just so cool.” (The Quietus, 2015)


Rob on… Nine Inch Nails

"Trent is almost a walking, talking musical encyclopedia,. He seems to know everything there is to know about music, starting from Beethoven to God-knows-who." (Circus, 1998)


Rob on… Power Trip, Electric Wizard and In This Moment

I’m listening to Power Trip, I really like what they’re doing, and even they reference the roots of metal in their work. I love Electric Wizard from the UK. It’s so diverse, and I love it all as well. I’m more of a classic metal guy, but I like what a band like In This Moment, who I worked with recently [on ITM track Black Wedding], are doing. (Metal Hammer (opens in new tab), 2018)

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And then there are the photos…

Trivium

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Carcass

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King Diamond

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Cannibal Corpse

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Cradle Of Filth

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Doro

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Halestorm

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Gojira

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Septicflesh

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Dave Everley

Dave Everley has been writing about and occasionally humming along to music since the early 90s. During that time, he has been Deputy Editor on Kerrang! and Classic Rock, Associate Editor on Q magazine and staff writer/tea boy on Raw, not necessarily in that order. He has written for Metal Hammer, Louder, Prog, the Observer, Select, Mojo, the Evening Standard and the totally legendary Ultrakill. He is still waiting for Billy Gibbons to send him a bottle of hot sauce he was promised several years ago.