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Eight years after its concept album "Nostradamus," Judas Priest unleashes a follow-up today (July 8) with "Redeemer of Souls." The set marks the recording debut of new guitarist Richie Faulkner -- who replaced co-founder K.K. Downing in 2011 -- and frontman Rob Halford tells us that after breaking Faulkner in on the 2011-12 Epitaph World Tour the Metal Gods made a concerted effort to "reinvestigate the roots of (Judas) Priest" on the new album: "We played a little bit of everything (on tour) from our recordings over the past decades, and I think that spirit kind of seeped back into our musical consciousness somehow. So when we got together to start writing the music for 'Redeemer of Souls," particularly from Glenn (Tipton) and my perspective, we were just kind of carrying a lot of eternal stuff from the beginning of the band. I think the general consensus is that most of this music is very classic Priest; there are textures and atmospheres and things from the 70s and 80s, maybe even the 90s to this music. In the studio I kept chanting 'Heavy metal! Heavy metal! Heavy metal!' like a mantra. And heavy metal to me has always been about the riffs, the melodies, the hooks and the intensity. I kept saying 'Energy! Energy! Energy! Let's try and keep the energy up as much as we can through this recording. As a result of that, right from the initial clap of thunder all the way through to 'Battle Cry,' it's pretty relentless." Judas Priest has previewed several songs from the album, including the title track and the single "Dragonaut." The group starts a North American tour on October 1 in Rochester, N.Y., with plans to hit Europe during 2015 and tour the rest of the world into 2016, Halford says.
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