JUDAS PRIEST bassist Ian Hill has issued a statement via the group's official web site commenting on their reunion with vocalist Rob Halford and thanking former singer Tim "Ripper" Owens for his contributions to the band.
Hill's statement reads as follows:
"Greetings Metalions, the long awaited event has happened! After twelve years, the Metal Gods are as one once again!! Rob's return to the band promises exciting times ahead for us all as the magic spells of PRIEST's earlier years with Rob are cast once more!
"The growing voice for a reunion from fans and media alike was getting so loud, that it made it increasingly impossible for us to ignore, and as it's our thirty-year anniversary of our first album release, the timing now is perfect.
"It will be a special time, not just for our long-term fans, but also for our newer fans who may have been too young to witness the trademark line-up of JUDAS PRIEST in the flesh! With tours being planned to start next spring, you won't have to wait much longer!!
"Of course, I'd like to pass on my deep and heartfelt regard to Ripper, without whom the band would probably have been dormant for all this time. Over the last six years or so, we have all become very fond of Ripper and his family and I'm sure our friendship will endure. With his undoubtedly superior vocal talents, he is destined for a great future and I wish him all the best — he deserves it!
"KEEP THE FAITH!!