Judas Priest’s 18th studio album, “Firepower” (read Live Metal’s review), released March 9, has debuted at number 5 on the Billboard 200 chart—its highest chart placement ever in the United States.
“This is incredible news, that our band Judas Priest—of nearly 50 years standing, can stay popular and relevant enough to gain our highest first week Billboard Top 200 chart position ever! Good news for us, and good news for metal in general!” the band said in a statement.
“Firepower” comprises 14 tracks of pure metal. And to mark the occasion, Priest (singer Rob Halford, guitarists Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner, bassist Ian Hill and drummer Scott Travis) reunited with producer Tom Allom (the man behind the board for all of the band’s releases from 1979 to 1988) and with Grammy Award-winning producer Andy Sneap also helping to raise the sonic bar even higher.
“Tom Allom has got this classic metal thing,” Halford said. “And Andy is a bit more of a ‘modern metal producer,’ but his thinking is a little bit different to Tom’s. And I think to get this balance between that classic old school metal to what Andy’s world is was just a remarkable coalescence.”
Currently touring the U.S. to large crowds on a bill that is shaping up to be the metal bill of the year (Judas Priest, Saxon and Black Star Riders), metalheads will be receiving plenty of “Firepower” throughout 2018.