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Richie Faulkner is back in the studio following his life-saving heart surgery

Jeremiah Scott and Richie Faulkner
(Image credit: Demon Hunter)

Richie Faulkner recently invited Demon Hunter to his home studio to record a guest electric guitar solo for the Christian metal band’s upcoming album, Exile.

The band’s official Instagram page posted a brief clip, which shows a healthy-looking Faulkner track the solo at The Falcon’s Nest studio with the support of Demon Hunter’s Jeremiah Scott, who built the studio for Faulkner after he moved to Tennessee in 2019.

“Richie Faulkner of the mighty Judas Priest laying down a guest solo on our next album, Exile, coming in 2022,” an accompanying caption read.

And, if the quick-fire clip is anything to go by, it’s going to be a cracking guest effort, loaded with wah-tinged bends and tasty melodic musings aplenty.

It’s believed to be Faulkner's first piece of studio action since the Judas Priest guitarist suffered an onstage aortic aneurysm and had to undergo life-saving open-heart surgery.

And, though he did say in a recent update that he hoped to be playing guitar as soon as possible – and that his physiotherapy comprised lots of shredding – his transition from recovery bed to recording studio is nothing short of miraculous.

The appearance comes only nine days after Faulkner streamed an hour-and-a-half live video of himself shredding on Instagram, itself just 10 weeks after his surgery. This, paired with the stint in the studio, shows that Faulkner’s recovery is headed in the right direction.

Faulkner’s medical emergency occurred in the midst of Judas Priest’s set at Kentucky’s Louder Than Life festival on September 26, following which Faulkner was rushed to Rudd Heart & Lung Center – only four miles from the festival site – for surgery.

At the time, doctors informed Faulkner that “people with this don’t usually make it to the hospital alive”, with the guitarist promptly commenting that “just being able to type this [update] to you all is the biggest gift of all”.

In a following update, Faulkner wrote, “My incisions have healed very well and I can definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm walking well and moving freely, I'm pretty active and I'm starting cardiac therapy very soon.

“I'm playing guitar everyday and with the love and support of my family, the continued support from you guys and the inspiration that I get from the guitar, I'll be back on stage in no time!" he added. "My surgeons are very pleased with my progress and have all reserved front row tickets for the next Priest show.”

Judas Priest postponed the remainder of their 50 Heavy Metal Years Tour following Faulkner’s medical emergency, though they plan to play the remaining dates from March 2022. 

Though there has been no official word whether Faulkner will be fit enough to play, the guitarist looks to have well and truly placed himself in contention for returning to the stage alongside his bandmates when the time comes.

Matt Owen

Matt is a News Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.