Rejoice, metal fans! Judas Priest have officially begun writing sessions for their 19th album. Guitarist Richie Faulkner shared the news, tweeting a photo of himself with fellow axeman Glenn Tipton and singer Rob Halford in the studio.
“Giving birth to new metal babies. #judaspriest writing sessions 2020 with grand master Tipton and the Mg RHRF DOTF #forgingthesteel,” Faulkner captioned the photo. “Mg” refers to “The Metal God”, as Halford is called, while “RHRF DOTF” is how Faulkner signs off most of his tweets, referencing the Judas Priest song “Rock Hard Ride Free” and 1984 album Defenders of the Faith.
The upcoming album will be the follow-up to the legendary metal act’s critically acclaimed 2018 LP, Firepower, which recently landed on our list of the Top 25 Metal Albums of the 2010s.
When we asked Halford in the fall if there’s pressure to equal or top Firepower on the next album, he told us, “We start with the riff and a melody, some hooks, and we build it, as most bands do. Firepower is going to be quite difficult to top, but we’ll do everything we can to cut another great record.”
Tipton remains a very active member of Priest when it comes to writing and recording, despite taking leave from the road a couple years ago after he revealed he was battling Parkinson’s disease. Guitarist Andy Sneap has stepped in for Tipton as a touring member of the band.
As Halford told us, “Glenn is always noodling away, even though he doesn’t tour that much now. He’s always noodling away in the studio in the UK. He’s always putting riifs down.”
Priest have a few months to work on the new album before heading back on the road on May 30th for a European outing that includes headlining shows and festival dates. They’ll have some time off again in August and September before supporting Ozzy Osbourne on a fall European trek that has already been postponed twice due to the latter’s health issues, including his own battle with Parkinson’s disease.
— Richie Faulkner (@RichieFaulkner) February 3, 2020