Dutch online magazine Lords of Metal is reporting that JUDAS PRIEST are rumored to be talking to the organizers of the Waldrock festival about headlining next year's installment of the annual event, set to be held on June 19, 2004 in Bergum, Holland. PRIEST frontman Rob Halford confirmed in a recent interview that the group are planning on taking part in several festivals next summer, regardless of whether the band's much-anticipated new studio album is ready for release to coincide with the dates.

JUDAS PRIEST are believed to be on the verge of signing a new major-label deal with Sony Music following their split with the Atlantic label last year. The band's forthcoming CD will be the group's first to feature Halford since 1990's RIAA gold-certified "Painkiller".

JUDAS PRIEST's last two studio albums (neither one of which featured Halford), "Jugulator" (1997) and "Demolition" (2001), received mediocre reviews and disappointing sales — 109,000 and 50,000, respectively, according to Nielsen SoundScan.


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