Judas Priest are currently in the midst of their 50 Heavy Metal Years tour, which was postponed last fall after their guitarist, Richie Faulkner, suffered an aortic aneurysm onstage while performing with the band at the 2021 Louder Than Life festival.
Aside from the tour, Priest have also been working on their as-yet-untitled 19th studio album, which would be their first since 2018's Firepower.
Though he retired from full-time touring with the band in 2018 due to his battle with Parkinson’s disease, Glenn Tipton remains an integral part of Judas Priest's creative process, and still makes occasional onstage cameos with the group.
In a recent interview with Consequence of Sound, Tipton offered some insight into the band's forthcoming album, saying that fans should expect the unexpected.
"We’re fortunate – or unfortunate, whichever way you want to look at it – that we’ve created a niche for ourself, and I think the fans would be disappointed if we strayed too far away from it," Tipton said. "But we’ve always wanted to try and go down new paths. So really, it’s a bit experimental.
"There will be some tracks on there that people will either like or – I wouldn’t say 'hate,' but they might not be their favorite tracks. We haven’t finished it yet. We did some before the pandemic, then that put a halt to that, and then we’ve continued – and will continue – since. But it’s very strong, very good material. I think that all in all, the kids are really going to like it."
Tipton also cited the strength of the still-in-the-works album in a recent interview with Guitar World, saying, "I’m really happy with what we’ve done. The riffs are very strong and I think it will be a great album. If you went back and listened to the last two albums, you can feel the creativity there, and there’s a lot more to come.”
Aside from the tour, Judas Priest celebrated their 50th anniversary last fall with 50 Heavy Metal Years of Music, an immense 42-disc box set that includes every album from their catalog as well as 13 previously unreleased discs of live material spanning from 1979 to 1991.
A single-disc sampler from the box set called Reflections: 50 Heavy Metal Years of Music – featuring a mixture of album tracks and live cuts from the box set – is also available.
Fans can pick up physical copies of either set at Judas Priest's website.