Saturday, January 22, 2005

JUDAS PRIEST - Angel of Retribution February 28th 2005

Angel of Retribution - Tracklisting

1.Judas Rising
2.Deal With The Devil
4.Worth Fighting For
6.Wheels Of Fire
10.Lochness (...13.29 min.!!)

The definitive lineup of Judas Priest -- vocalist Rob Halford, lead guitarists Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing, bass guitarist Ian Hill and drummer Scott Travis -- returns in 2005 with the astonishing new album 'Angel Of Retribution'. It was worth the wait. More than 30 years after forming in the tough, gritty, English steel town of Birmingham, Judas Priest remains at the forefront of the global heavy metal scene. 'Angel Of Retribution,' which was co-produced by Roy Z and Judas Priest, will be released February 28, 2005, in Europe and March 1, 2005, in North America. This album is the first new music from the quintet in 15 years, and it exceeds all expectations. 'Angel Of Retribution' stands proudly alongside Judas Priest's previous heavy metal milestones like 'Sad Wings Of Destiny,' 'British Steel,' 'Screaming For Vengeance' and 'Painkiller.' Ten new Judas Priest classics make up 'Angel Of Retribution.' Songs include "Judas Rising," "Deal With The Devil," "Revolution," "Worth Fighting For" and "Hellrider." The first radio single is "Revolution." "We've got a lot of energy, we're firing on all cylinders and it's obvious on this album. I think it's the most natural Judas Priest album. A lot of people who have listened to the album have said it's timeless. You couldn't really date it," Tipton says.

Halford says, "We don't have a cut on the record called 'Angel Of Retribution' but what we do have is an amazing piece of artwork that once people see it all the pieces will connect. The artwork really has a way of connecting the past with the present and the future. It's just a great display of the power of Priest as we feel it should be appearing in 2005. Beyond that, I think we live in a time of retribution. I think we live in a time of accountability." The band members knew expectations were high, but they weren't fazed by it and they did not allow that pressure to affect the way they wrote and recorded 'Angel Of Retribution.' They worked exactly the same way they did in the past."I think that pressure is not a bad thing, really, because it just pushes you and forces you to do your best," says Downing.

The foundation for 'Angel Of Retribution' was laid in 2003 when Halford returned to Judas Priest after nearly 12 years away. After rekindling their friendship over the previous couple of years, the band members worked together to assemble Sony Music/Legacy Recordings' career-spanning box set 'Metalogy.' Not only that, they realized that the only way to slake their creative thirst was to reunite permanently. Judas Priest was eager to make new music together, but first the members decided to go on tour and remind fans around the world -- and themselves -- just what heavy metal had been missing for more than a decade. "I think the remarkable thing that's happened in these last few months of being back in each other's lives is as if the time we were apart had not taken place. That decade that we were out of each other's company just seems to have vanished in smoke," says Halford. "When we got together to begin writing the new material for 'Angel Of Retribution,' 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."

"I have to say that I never thought I would ever be here, all these years on, doing what we do now. In some ways it seems like a brand new start for us," says Downing. "We're really looking forward to the future. We're back at full strength and having a lot of fun." By summer 2004, the bulk of 'Angel Of Retribution' was completed and 'Metalogy' was released to critical acclaim and strong sales. Judas Priest returned to the stage with several triumphant concerts in Europe and then stormed through North America with headline-grabbing performances on the Ozzfest tour and select headlining shows. Downing says that first live performance in Hannover, Germany, was a crucial step in finalizing the reunion. "It was the one thing that had to happen to really cement us back together. We'd done some songwriting, we'd done some recording, we'd had a few drinks together, but actually putting on the leather and studs and going out there and doing that first performance was something that needed to be done," says Downing.

Heavy metal fans had been clamouring for a Judas Priest reunion from the moment Halford left. Quite simply, the band is responsible for creating the sound of pure heavy metal. Countless others have received credit for providing the sonic groundwork, but only Judas Priest had the vision and willpower to forge a new style of rock 'n' roll and thus influence every single disciple to follow. What made Judas Priest stand out in addition to the raw power of Halford's voice and the dual-guitar attack of Tipton and Downing was the quality of the songs; they were rife with instantly memorable melodies and hooks. Judas Priest also invented the look of heavy metal; any combination of leather, studs, chains and denim is a uniform worn proudly by heavy metal fans all over the world, and they got it from Judas Priest.

"The reunification of Priest is part of the love affair we've had with our fans around the world for countless decades from the past to the present time. All different generations love Judas Priest. We represent heavy metal music. We're very proud to be the leaders of this force, this genre of rock 'n' roll called heavy metal," Halford says. "We're just so re-energized now. We're so glad to be back together again, and to get that power from the fans -- that passion, that love of the band, that driving force. We are here because the fans want us to be here. Without the fans that support Judas Priest, we don't mean anything."
'Angel Of Retribution' is just the beginning of Judas Priest's rebirth. "I really feel that 'Angel Of Retribution' is going to be viewed years from now as an absolute classic metal masterpiece. I think what we've created on 'Angel Of Retribution,' and what we create from this point on, will be the absolute pinnacle of our ability as writers. It achieves a new level," Halford says. "Everything that we do is from the gut. It's very real. We feel that we have something special here."