“I’ve never been a shredder. I’m never going to out-do Yngwie Malmsteen. I’m more from the Schenker and Blackmore school”: Judas Priest’s Richie Faulkner on the secret to headbanger riffs, and half-nailing, half-blagging the Painkiller solo

Richie Faulkner live onstage with Judas Priest, playing his signature GIbson Flying V
(Image credit: Kieran Frost/Redferns)

There are certain things to be expected from a Judas Priest album. When it comes to mid-tempo, palm-muted minor riffing, screaming harmonised leads and distorted tones that feel hotter than the sun, you know you’re in safe hands. 

But even by their own standards, the heavy metal pioneers are truly going for gold on this year’s 19th studio album Invincible Shield – rammed with explosive fretwork, from the rapid-fire brilliance of opening track Panic Attack to the biker blues of finale Giants In The Sky.

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Amit Sharma

Amit has been writing for titles like Total GuitarMusicRadar and Guitar World for over a decade and counts Richie Kotzen, Guthrie Govan and Jeff Beck among his primary influences as a guitar player. He's worked for magazines like Kerrang!Metal HammerClassic RockProgRecord CollectorPlanet RockRhythm and Bass Player, as well as newspapers like Metro and The Independent, interviewing everyone from Ozzy Osbourne and Lemmy to Slash and Jimmy Page, and once even traded solos with a member of Slayer on a track released internationally. As a session guitarist, he's played alongside members of Judas Priest and Uriah Heep in London ensemble Metalworks, as well as handled lead guitars for legends like Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols, The Faces) and Stu Hamm (Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, G3).