Judas Priest Just Made Heavy Metal History—50 Years in the Making

Judas Priest is still rocking on 50 years later. It’s been half a century since the band debuted with Rocka Rolla. Now, they’ve launched Invincible Shield for fans. The album features 11 new songs as well as three bonus tracks. As highlighted by Loudwire, Judas Priest is the first heavy metal band to release studio albums five decades apart.

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In an interview with Forbes, Rob Halford opened up about the first album that the band recorded. He said the band had to deal with less-than-ideal conditions.

“We had to record on the cheapest rates available for the studio, which was from 9:00 or 10:00 in the evening till 7:00 or 8:00 in the morning,” Halford said. “So we slept in the van during the day, and then went to work at night. I can remember that like it was yesterday. But if you’d have told me that 50 years later I’d be talking about a new album, I’d have said, ‘What are you smoking? Give me one of those pills.’ It’s insane.”

Halford said the pandemic and also a 50th-anniversary tour delayed progress on the new album. However, the singer believes in the value of waiting to get things right.

Judas Priest Singer Talks New Album

“I think that you should take the necessary time it takes to create your art,” Halford says. “And there are no rules because rock and roll is all about no rules. It’s disorganized chaos as it should be. So you take all of those parameters into the idea, and here it is. Priest has always been about quality over quantity. Having said that, back in the ’80s, we were making an album a year and then touring. But that was then. The industry now, in the business sense, is completely different to where we were in the ’80s.”

Halford believes that the new album is as representative of the band as any other album they made. It was important for the band not to try to copy anything they did previously.

“We’ve said for as long as I can remember that we make these records to truly represent who we are and what we’re about at this specific moment in time. Invincible Shield is in its own lane on the heavy metal highway. And much like a lot of us, we avoid replication. We’re not a formula band. With Priest, we blew the doors off the rules of heavy metal,” he continued

[Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame]

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