JUDAS PRIEST Working On New Material

According to a posting on JUDAS PRIEST's official web site, the legendary British heavy metal band is currently working on new material. The message adds that "all is going really well" and promises that more details will be made available at a later date.

A separate posting on JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Glenn Tipton's official web site reads, "As you may already be aware, PRIEST have announced a fair well world tour beginning this summer.

"We are all excited about the tour and are currently having meetings to discuss the stage production, but above all the set list. We intend to include some classic PRIEST songs that we haven't played before and of course the old favorites that everybody will want to hear.

"To put everyone's mind at rest, this is by no means the end of the band. In fact, we are presently writing new material, but we do intend this to be the last major world tour."

JUDAS PRIEST's most recent double-disc concept album, "Nostradamus", sold 42,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 11 on The Billboard 200 chart. This marked the band's highest-ever chart position in the U.S. In Canada, the CD opened at position No. 9 after shifting close to 4,000 units.

JUDAS PRIEST's previous studio CD, "Angel of Retribution", premiered with 58,000 copies in the U.S. back in March 2005 to debut at No. 13.

When asked about the varied reaction from JUDAS PRIEST fans to "Nostradamus", singer Rob Halford stated in a 2008 interview, "The reaction has been very kind of mixed and diverse — very passionate responses. There are some PRIEST fans that only want 'Painkiller', 'Painkiller', 'Painkiller', which is fine. If you want to listen to 'Painkiller', throw it in your CD player. But I think, in terms of achievement, this is something we've always wanted to do. We've often talked about making a concept record, but it took until now to personally have the strong structure of an idea — in Nostradamus — and secondly have enough time to disappear into the recording/writing realm through almost a two-year period. But it's done now, and we feel very satisfied — we're proud of what we've achieved — and it's out there around the world settling into the psyche of everyone. My gut feeling tells me that in two, three, five years from now, the light will go on and people will go, 'Oh yeah. I've got it. I understand what this is all about now.' We're all about music. Some of it is instant; some of it takes awhile [to connect with the listener] . That's the joy of listening to music in all the ways that we do."

JUDAS PRIEST's "A Touch of Evil: Live" live album sold around 5,300 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 87 on The Billboard 200 chart.

PRIEST chose 10 songs not previously released in live album form for "A Touch of Evil: Live", which was released in July 2009, in the midst of the band's U.S. summer tour.

"A Touch of Evil" included live renderings of longtime fan favorites such as "Painkiller", "Dissident Aggressor", "Riding on the Wind", "Between the Hammer & the Anvil" and "Eat Me Alive", as well as "Hellrider" from "Angel of Retribution", the group's 2004 reunion album with frontman Rob Halford, and two tracks — "Death" and "Prophecy" — from 2008's rock opera "Nostradamus".

Recorded by Martin Walker and Brian Thorene during JUDAS PRIEST's mammoth 2005 and 2008 world tours, "A Touch Of Evil: Live" marked the first PRIEST album that producer Tom Allom has worked on since 1988 (co-producing along with the band). It was such Allom-produced albums as "Unleashed In The East", as well as "British Steel" and "Screaming For Vengeance" (among others) that made PRIEST not only one of the premier metal acts, but one of the leading global rock acts.

JUDAS PRIEST announced in December that it will head out on its farewell world tour beginning in 2011. The band intends to hit all major cities across the globe as they sign off on a career that has lasted for nearly 40 years. The "Epitaph" tour will launch on June 9 at the Sweden Rock Festival and hit a number of European festivals throughout the summer, with more dates yet to be confirmed.

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