News Segment


February 4, 2005

Judas Priest is hell-bent on making a comeback.

After patching up their relationship with headbanging frontman Rob Halford in 2003, the British metal mavens will unleash their first album of new material in 15 years followed by a world tour.

Angel of Retribution, featuring such ditties as “Deal with the Devil,” “Demonizer,” “Judas Rising” and “Hellrider,” is scheduled to invade stores March 1 on Epic Records.

This is the the first time the original lineup of Halford, guitarists Glen Tipton and K.K. Downing, bassist Ian Hill, and drummer Scott Travis has been in a studio together since recording 1990’s Painkiller.

“The decade that we were out of each other’s company just seems to have vanished in smoke,” said Halford, who at the youthful age of 53, still has a thing for leather and chains. “When we got together to begin writing the new material, it was really a continuation of where we would have been had we made the next record after Painkiller. All the pieces were already in place.”

Added Tipton: “Years from now, I really feel that this album is going to be viewed as an absolute classic metal masterpiece. We’re firing on all cylinders.”

Coproduced by the band and Roy Z, the new album will be available as a dual-disc set featuring the Angel CD along with a documentary DVD of behind-the-scenes footage, music videos, photo galleries and live performances of songs like “Breaking the Law,” “Hell Bent For Leather” and “Living After Midnight” culled from two shows performed in a bullring in Spain last year. The second version will be a limited-edition double-disc set that will include the CD/DVD combo bundled in a special hardcover package.

Angel of Retribution follows the 2004 release of Judas Priest’s career-spanning boxed set, Metalogy, as well as a berth on last summer’s Ozzfest tour.

To support the new album, the quintet will kick off a global trek in Copenhagen on Feb. 23. After a swing through Europe, the band will move to Japan then North America by year’s end.

Priest shot to fame in the U.S. with the release of 1982’s Screaming With Vengeance, which spawned the hit “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’ ” and helped the record go platinum.

While the band went on to sell 25 million albums worldwide, it has never been far from controversy. In 1990, Judas Priest and label CBS Records were sued by the families of two fans who committed suicide. The families alleged subliminal messages in the band’s music contributed to the deaths. By the time Judas Priest was found not guilty in 1993, Halford had left the band after coming out of the closet.

He subsequently collaborated with the then Ozzy-less Black Sabbath before forming the electronic metal act Two in 1996 and later Halford.

The Priest-hood continued, meanwhile, as the remaining band recruited Tim “Ripper” Owens, the lead singer of a Judas Priest tribute band called British Steel, to take Halford’s place. Owens’ Priest years produced three disappointing albums and served as the inspiration for the equally forgettable 2001 Mark Wahlberg-Jennifer Aniston movie, Rock Star.

Courtesy of