5 Reasons to Be Excited for the New Judas Priest Album


Image of Judas Priest singer Rob Halford and guitarist Richie Faulkner performing live.

Judas Priest singer Rob Halford and guitarist Richie Faulkner – Story and photo by Anne Erickson

There are plenty of reasons to be excited for the 19th studio album from Judas Priest, “Invincible Shield”

Ozzy Osbourne was supposed to make an appearance at the inaugural Power Trip festival in Indio, California, this weekend. However, the Prince of Darkness had to cancel his appearance due to heath issues, and Judas Priest stepped up in his place. Well, Judas Priest came with a real treat for fans, as the legendary British metal band used the appearance to announce the details of the new Judas Priest album.

Rob Halford and company will release their much-anticipated 19th studio album, “Invincible Shield,” on March 8. The record will mark their first album in six years and followed up their 2018 release, “Firepower.” The first single off the new record will be titled “Panic Attack” and arrive on Friday (Oct. 13). A Friday the 13th release is just perfect for a metal band.

If you, for whatever reason, aren’t totally stoked for this record, then read on for five reasons to be stoked for the new Judas Priest album.

This album is a long time in the making

Judas Priest never “punch in” their albums. That said, the band has been toiling away for years on “Invincible Shield.” It’s been five years since their last release dropped, and a lot has happened, both with the band and in the world. The pandemic, of course, happened, which changed the music world, and greater world, forever. Plus, longtime guitarist Glenn Tipton hasn’t been able to tour regularly with the band since 2018, due to his battle with Parkinson’s disease. Tipton was at Power Trip this year, which was an extra special thing for the audience.

Judas Priest are still releasing new music 50 years after forming

Not many bands are still releasing new full-length records more than five decades after forming. But, Judas Priest are one of those bands. It’s crazy to think about, but the band formed in 1969. Today, they’re still not only releasing new music, but new music that resonates with fans. Their last release, “Firepower,” proved to be a fan favorite, with some of the band’s most imaginative songwriting to date. The fact Judas Priest are still putting out full-length records at this point in their career is reason enough to be excited for new music.

Guitarist Richie Faulkner says this new album is like 1970s-style Priest

Speaking with Audio Ink Radio in an interview last year, guitarist Richie Faulkner says this record packs some “twists and turns.” Even better, he said of the new music that “it’s a bit more ’70s Priest, which I welcome as a guitar player.” Most Judas Priest fans love that ’70s era, so this is good news. Faulkner, however, also added, “It’s ’70s Priest, but it’s not a retro album, by any means. It’s the influence of ’70s Priest in the progressive sense, but it sounds like Priest in 2023.”

The new album is a bit progressive

Also during that interview with Faulkner, he said that the new album is a bit more “progressive.” To elaborate, he added that, “it’s not verse-chorus-verse-chorus-solo-chorus-finish. It’s musical part-verse-musical part.” So, it’s not your typical, cookie-cutter metal song after metal song. Not that Judas Priest ever had a cookie-cutter vibe, but you get it. Faulkner also compared the new album to the classic Judas Priest releases “Sinner” or “Tyrant,” so expect it to be a tad like that.

You never know when it might be Judas Priest’s last album

Judas Priest seem to have lots of life left in them. But, whenever a band turns 50, fans start to wonder how much longer this good thing can last. Halford is seemingly healthy and as creative as ever, and he hasn’t hinted at this being Priest’s last album. But, even in Audio Ink Radio’s interview with Faulkner, he explained that the reason he started a new band, Elegant Weapons, is because he knows Judas Priest won’t be around forever. So, what next? Who knows, but for now, let’s enjoy and appreciate the latest Priest offering, “Invincible Shield.”

Anne Erickson
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Posted by Anne Erickson | Features, Metal, Music

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