When you're looking at being a multi platinum rock band, a dark album is normally where things start to go a little bit off the rails. Since everyone is looking for the traditional song to rock out to on their way to work, hearing their favorite rock band talk about the darker side of life is when most people stop listening. If you have the right tunes to back it up though, you can sometimes cross over to the mainstream anyway.
Throughout the careers of these bands, there have been periods when things started to get a lot more morose than before, with some fans even concerned for the group's well being. Before we start though, getting dark doesn't always have to be about writing heavier sounding material. Sometimes the darkest songs ever written can be about the lyrics that you write, and these artists went from the kind of care free songs you sing along to to making you feel a lot more disturbed when you get done listening to it.
While it might have seemed like a gamble at the time, each of these seemed to have paid off in the long run, with the darker songs still finding their way into these acts' live sets to this day. This might not have been the career trajectory that many were expecting, but it did make for one hell of a ride once it got going.
10. Judas Priest
It's time that Judas Priest get the mantle that they deserve for creating heavy metal. Yes, Black Sabbath may have given birth to the idea of heavy music, but the Priest were the first ones that identified as heavy metal and were damn proud to fly the flag. And thank God they did if you look at where they started out.
Before Rob Halford was even in the band, Judas Priest were still one of the more forgettable acts in the English rock scene, having a sound that felt more in line with the hippy movement of the late '60s than anything remotely called heavy metal. Once the metal Pavarotti got behind the mic, the entire thing started to shift, with Sad Wings of Destiny marking the beginning of Priest's classic sound on the song Victim of Changes.
As the years went on, Priest also deserve credit for getting heavier with the times, adopting the more hard edged sound of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal on albums like Screaming for Vengeance and going for something that could tear your face on Painkiller. Along the way, Halford has even kept up his dark streak in projects like Two, which went for a much more industrial sound than what we were used to hearing from him. Since the band is still firing on all cylinders after the album Firepower, Priest seem just as devoted to heaviness as they were in the beginning and are doing their best to preach it to the faithful across the land.