JUDAS PRIEST’s ‘Invincible Shield’ Is Band’s Highest-Charting Album Ever In U.K.

JUDAS PRIEST has landed its highest-ever U.K. chart position with its latest album, “Invincible Shield”.

The British heavy metal legends’ 19th studio LP entered the official U.K. chart at No. 2, just behind Ariana Grande‘s “Eternal Sunshine”.

Prior to “Invincible Shield”‘s arrival, PRIEST‘s highest U.K. chart achievement was with 1980’s “British Steel”, which reached No. 4.

PRIEST‘s 2018 album “Firepower” entered the chart at No. 5.

“Invincible Shield” is JUDAS PRIEST‘s fifth Top 10 album, after the aforementioned “British Steel” and “Firepower”, as well as 2014’s “Redeemer Of Souls” (No. 6) and the 1979 live album “Unleashed In The East” (No. 10).

“Invincible Shield” has already landed at No. 1 in Germany and Sweden, with other European countries to follow.

The release date for PRIEST‘s follow-up to 2018’s “Firepower” was announced last October during the band’s performance at the Power Trip festival in Indio, California.

After BLACK SABBATH‘s “War Pigs” played as the intro to PRIEST‘s set, a graphic was displayed on the video screens announcing “Invincible Shield”.

In a recent interview with Meltdown of Detroit’s WRIF radio station, JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Richie Faulkner spoke about “Invincible Shield”. Asked about his previous comment that the follow-up to 2018’s “Firepower” would be “a little bit more progressive”, he clarified: “I think ‘progressive’ means different things to different people, so it’s not super, super complex DREAM THEATER magic, but I think it’s complex and progressive in the way that there’s some twists and turns and it doesn’t really follow any scripts if it doesn’t have to. There’s two solos in [the LP’s first single, ‘Panic Attack’]. There’s a part in it that’s 7/8 time [signature]. There’s two kind of bridges. So it just goes out of the box a little bit, without being unaccessible, that’s what I mean. So I think compared with ‘Firepower’, it’s a little bit more progressive, a few more twists and turns along the journey of the song.”

Asked what the inspiration was to make the music a bit more progressive this time around, Richie said: “That was the stuff we were coming up with. When I come up with music, it’s usually the riffs first. I sit down with the guitar and the guitar kind of pulls it out of me, really, wherever it comes from. And it just so happened that some of those parts were a bit more unorthodox, time-changey stuff or different time signatures. And the record takes on its own character by itself. As you write a record, you might have an idea of where you wanna go, but the record takes on its own flavor by itself, and you go with that — you recognize where it’s going and go with that. So, that’s what we were coming up with, and sort of went with that mindset, really.”

Regarding his own personal contributions to the songwriting process on “Invincible Shield”, Faulkner said: “Well, it’s a fairly shared thing. I’m not a lyricist, and obviously Rob [Halford, PRIEST singer] is, for example. Me and Glenn [Tipton, PRIEST guitarist] write a lot of the guitar parts and musical parts and Rob writes a lot of the vocals and vocal melodies. And Rob‘s got a great sense of phrasing as well. He might come in one day with an idea for a song and it’s got some melody and it’s got some timing and you can attach yourself to that timing and come out with a riff. So it’s kind of — we get in a room, like me and you put a band together, and ‘what have you got?’ and ‘what have I got?’ and we put them together and come up with new songs. And it’s fairly organic like that.”

Richie also addressed the fact that the main “Invincible Shield” album contains 11 songs, with three additional tracks being made available on various versions of the album. He said: “We wanted to keep it around 10, 11 tracks on the main record. But the bonus tracks, we didn’t wanna put them on the shelf never to see the light of day. We wanted to get them out. We wanted people to hear those as well without being part of the standard release. So we released everything we had in different formats.”

Faulkner then elaborated on the musical direction of “Invincible Shield”, saying: “It’s a pretty intense record. There’s no real moment where there’s a ballad or something like that. It stays up there.

“When you release a record, it’s exciting,” he explained. “It’s also scary at the same time, ’cause is it gonna be well received or not? You never quite know when you let it out in the world. So it’s an exciting time, for sure.”

Bassist Ian Hill is the sole remaining original member of PRIEST, which formed in 1969. Halford joined the group in 1973 and Tipton signed on in 1974. Rob left PRIEST in the early 1990s to form his own band, then came back to PRIEST in 2003. Original guitarist K.K. Downing parted ways with the band in 2011, and was replaced by Faulkner.


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