Posts Tagged “Nostradamus”

British heavy metal legends JUDAS PRIEST have completed work on their brand new studio album, to be released later in the year.

Speaking to Artisan News at last night’s (Monday, March 17) VIP listening party for the Ronnie James Dio tribute album “This Is Your Life” and awards gala at the Avalon in Hollywood, California, JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford stated about the band’s new CD (see video below): “The record is finished; it’s absolutely finished as of today.” He added: “It’s a relief. It’s a relief because whenever PRIEST makes an album, like any band, you put your heart and soul into it; it is that typical ‘blood, sweat and tears.’ It’s not an easy thing to do 40 years later. But PRIEST has always been up for the challenge of that, and it’s one of things that we love to do more than anything else as we move on through our metal years. So this is a great time for PRIEST: 40th anniversary, a brand new record. Life couldn’t be better.”

In a 2013 interview with Billboard.com, Halford described the new PRIEST CD’s sound as “hard. It’s heavy. It’s something we think our PRIEST fans will be thrilled with. We know we have a reputation to maintain, and we know we have to deliver something really strong and solid. The album is going to be full of all the great things you love about JUDAS PRIEST — I don’t think I can say anything more than that without being hung, drawn and quartered.”

Speaking to VH1 Radio Network‘s Dave Basner, Halford said about what fans can expect from JUDAS PRIEST‘s next LP: “We felt it was very important to follow up [2008’s] ‘Nostradamus’, the last release, and that was a concept experiment and it was a real success for us and the fans loved it, but I think our fans and ourselves as a band, we want to get back to the side of PRIEST that we haven’t heard for a few years and reemphasize and remake those big, heavy metal statements again.”

PRIEST‘s next album will mark the band’s first release with Richie Faulkner, most recently guitarist in the backing band for Lauren Harris (daughter of IRON MAIDEN bassist Steve Harris).

Faulkner joined PRIEST as the replacement for original PRIEST guitarist Kenneth “K.K.” Downing, who announced his retirement from the band in April 2011.

Asked how it has been collaborating on new music with Faulkner, Halford told Guitar World in a 2012 interview: “Really, really strong. Exciting. He’s riffing and saying, ‘Robby, I’m thinking of this and this and this.’ It’s really exciting to have that kind of energy, because you feed off of it.”

He added: “[Richie] went through the ritual on [the ‘Epitaph’] tour, did great work on stage, the fans embraced him, so it’s now time to see what we’re capable of, the writing trio of Glenn [Tipton] and Richie and myself.”

Regarding whether technology has changed JUDAS PRIEST‘s songwriting process at all, Halford said: “It’s dangerous to walk around with a flash drive on a bunch of keys. [Laughs] To a great extent, it doesn’t really change. The technology is amazing in terms of the advantages it brings to music now, some of it good, some of it very bad. It’s all about discipline and self-belief, determination, wanting to do the best you can do and not accepting anything that’s below par. We’ve always had that attitude in PRIEST. We’ve always felt really strongly about any track that goes out for our fans. We’re still doing it like we always have: firing up the riffs and finding a vocal melody to go with it, me going into me wonderful world of the Roget’s Thesaurus and trying to come up with a new lyric and a new idea. And that’s what we’ve been doing for four decades.”

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With Judas Priest's 2008 Nostradamus record still leaving a sour taste in fans' mouths, Rob Halford says the new one will be much better. Apparently so much so that we'll be "thrilled" with it. Speaking to Billboard magazine, Halford offered this take on the new Judas Priest record: "The writing process is complete. Now it’s …

The post ROB HALFORD Says New JUDAS PRIEST Album Is Happening, Fans Will "Be Thrilled" appeared first on Metal Injection.

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Rob Halford: Metal God

Metal legends Judas Priest have finished writing their brand new album.

“The writing process is complete,” Rob Halford tells Billboard. “Now it’s the painstaking work of making sure that you get every single note, every single nuance of the vocal, every tiny aspect…right. We’re still tracking (instruments). It’s just a very laborious but enjoyable part of making the record.

“[It’s] hard. It’s heavy. It’s something we think our Priest fans will be thrilled with. We know we have a reputation to maintain, and we know we have to deliver something really strong and solid. The album is going to be full of all the great things you love about Judas Priest — I don’t think I can say anything more than that without being hung, drawn and quartered.”

Expect that to drop early next year, with the album serving as the band’s first new material since 2008′s Nostradamus double-disc epic, and their first since founding member K K Downing left the fold in 2011.

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Singer Rob Halford of British heavy metal legends JUDAS PRIEST spoke to Billboard.com about the progress of the songwriting and recording sessions for the band’s long-awaited follow-up to 2008’s “Nostradamus”.

“The writing process is complete,” he said. “Now it’s the painstaking work of making sure that you get every single note, every single nuance of the vocal, every tiny aspect…right. We’re still tracking (instruments). It’s just a very laborious but enjoyable part of making the record.”

Regarding the sound of the new PRIEST material, Halford said, “[It’s] hard. It’s heavy. It’s something we think our PRIEST fans will be thrilled with. We know we have a reputation to maintain, and we know we have to deliver something really strong and solid. The album is going to be full of all the great things you love about JUDAS PRIEST — I don’t think I can say anything more than that without being hung, drawn and quartered.”

In an interview with VH1 Radio Network‘s Dave Basner, Halford spoke about what fans can expect from JUDAS PRIEST‘s next release: “We felt it was very important to follow up ‘Nostradamus’, the last release, and that was a concept experiment and it was a real success for us and the fans loved it, but I think our fans and ourselves as a band, we want to get back to the side of PRIEST that we haven’t heard for a few years and reemphasize and remake those big, heavy metal statements again.” ]

As for when fans can expect to get the new PRIEST album, Halford explained that he and his bandmates aren’t going to set dates for themselves. “I think that’s the best way to approach it, because it would be wrong to say, ‘On this date, at this moment, the record is coming out.’ But where we’re at now, we’re very, very confident. We’re forging ahead and everything’s looking good, and yeah, it’s looking right. So in the not-too-distant metal future, there will be new PRIEST to listen to.”

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ALL HAIL THE PRIEST

Every so often, we look back over some of the classic Metal Hammer stories from issues gone by. This normally means that Web Ed Merl is on holiday. Today, we look back to August 2008, finding Judas Priest in fine form as they prepare to release a rather epic-looking, two-disc concept album. Crumbs.

Words: Malcome Dome

Overblown. Ludicrous. Camp. No metal band in history has ever had such qualities in such vast abundance as Judas Priest – and that’s meant as a huge compliment. Nearly 40 years into their illustrious career, the Birmingham Barons of Bombast are still among the genre’s elite – at once both inspirational and challenging. Never afraid to take risks, both musical and personal, Priest have embraced changing times, yet always remained a steadfast reminder of great traditions. But their new album, Nostradamus… a metal opera? Surely, they’ve stepped off the precipice, and are about to try walking on air? A plummet is inevitable… Or is it? “We never think that we’re gonna fail,” insists guitarist KK Downing. “After finishing the Angel Of Retribution tour, there were those who said to us, ‘So what are you gonna do now?’ As if they thought we had nothing left to offer. So, what have we done? A concept album. It’s over 100 minutes long, on two CDs and three vinyl records… A ‘fuck you’ to all those who thought Priest were past it!”

Nostradamus is an exhaustive metal adventure, based on the life and works of the legendary 16th-century astrologer and alleged seer (Nostradamus never referred to himself as a prophet), a man whose fame rings down through the centuries, because of supposed predictions such as the rise of Adolf Hitler, the 9/11 attack and even the death of Diana, Princess Of Wales. In terms of subject matter and the musical approach, Priest’s 16th studio album is so grandiose and portentous it makes Queensryche’s Operation: Mindcrime seem like a quick grope behind the bushes. “Anyone who knows us is aware that we’ve wanted to do a concept album for years, but could never get it nailed,” reveals vocalist Rob Halford. “You could say that Painkiller had sonically connected songs. So did Sad Wings Of Destiny and Screaming For Vengeance. But in no way could you call any of these concept pieces. What we needed was a subject that triggered the band to do something very different. This is it!” The idea was suggested by manager Bill Curbishley, a man not unused to conceptual pieces as he also represents The Who of Tommy and Quadrophenia fame. And Nostradamus appealed mightily to KK, Rob, guitarist Glenn Tipton, bassist Ian Hill and drummer Scott Travis.

“I don’t pretend it’s an original concept,” admits Glenn. “There have been records done before around him. But these have been about his prophecies. What we’ve done here is to concentrate on this man’s life. That of itself is very interesting, and not as well known as his predictions. But he had tragedy, losing his wife and daughter to the plague. And the more we found out, the more we thought this was the way we should go. “Nostradamus is an amazing figure in history. The man’s been dead for 500 years, and yet everyone knows his name. It doesn’t matter if you believe in his prophecies, the fact is that he’s a major figure. “When you actually look into his personal history – and we did this through books and the internet – you come to the realisation that he had so much in common with metal bands of today. He was rejected by society, was hounded by the religious authorities and had problems with his family – does all that sound familiar? How many times have you heard that sort of thing from musicians in metal? But he always stuck to his guns, and kicked back at everyone. That’s the way we’ve always felt, and so we could easily relate to him.”

Priest didn’t set out to make this a massive project, but rather to capture the essence of the man and his works. However, the serendipity of the moment, and the breadth of the project, created its own time warp. “The first day that Glenn, KK and myself got together to write at Glenn’s house, everything just flowed. It was incredible,” recalls Rob. “The ideas and music literally poured out. We got locked into our own little world.” “What we’ve done is to move beyond metal,” surprises Glenn. “There are so many musical ideas here that expand our horizons. That’s not to say we’ve abandoned metal, because Judas Priest would never do that. However, as we get older, so we embrace new, different ideas. There are actually a lot of tracks here which are musical interludes, holding the songs together. They give this an ebb and flow which is an important part of the whole journey.” Listening closely to the album, one assumes that the band brought in an orchestra, or at least a string section, such are the intricacies of the arrangements. Not so, insists KK – it’s all the band’s own work.

“Everything you hear and believe to be an orchestra is actually Glenn and/or me on guitar and keyboards. But you think about it: take a metal guitar riff and play it on cello, it sounds classical, right? So that’s the mood we tried to invest in the album, to get as close as possible to the sort of sounds which Nostradamus himself would have heard when he was alive. “People have always put us down, called us a one-trick pony, claimed that if we took off the studs, all you’d be left with is a very ordinary band with a few bad riffs. Ha! I think on Nostradamus we’ve shown there’s so much more to Priest and what we do.” It has to be admitted that, while Judas Priest are among the cornerstones of the metal world as we know it today – the band who virtually invented the genre, in fact – they have never received the same attention as others.

People often ignore the fact that this is a five-piece who never stood still, but always stared down the norm of any era. The reality is that, while Nostradamus is perhaps their most extreme album to date, nonetheless it fits into their unique vision and approach, one they’ve employed since their second album, the aforementioned Sad Wings Of Destiny in 1976.

“You think about the Turbo album from 1986 [when the band brought synthesizers into their world], that got panned at the time,” says Glenn. “Everyone thought it was a huge mistake. But now, when we play songs from that record live, they go down so well. Everyone just needed time to realise what we were doing. It would be so easy to go out and make Painkiller again and again, but is there any point? We have to keep moving on.” Of course, Priest have been constantly cited by young bands as crucially infl uential. Yet anyone who feels that this is a band who look at the current scene and adapt accordingly is likely to get a good verbal kicking. They never follow… “Everything comes from within,” remarks Glenn. “We’ve never taken notice of others and thought, ‘This is the direction we should be taking.’ I’m delighted there are a lot of metal bands now playing long songs, more power to Machine Head and their like. But we’d be doing this sort of thing whatever the prevailing trend.”

“I’ll admit there are now bands who sell more records and tickets than us,” sighs KK. “But you know what? We are the originals. We’ve stuck to Priest principles throughout our career, and never wavered. We are the true pioneers of metal. That’s not me saying it, I get told this all the time. And look at our audiences – there are so many kids out there who sing along to even the guitar parts of songs like Dissident Aggressor. But they weren’t even born when we recorded these! It gives us a kick to know that each generation getting into metal discovers Judas Priest. We might now be in our 50s, but put us on a stage and we still have the energy to run around like teenagers.” Right now, Priest are on a lengthy world tour, one that takes them through to the end of the year, with ideas in place for a major British trek in 2009 when they’ll be doing eight to 10 shows. However, there’s a greater dream currently fuelling the fi res, namely to perform the whole of the new album onstage.

“It’s a plan, not a certainty,” claims Glenn. “And it will depend on how well the record goes down. In this day and age, when attention spans are so low, we’ve dared to make a genuine album, one that you have to listen to from start to finish – you can’t just dip in and out, otherwise you miss the subtlety and depth present throughout. That of itself is a brave move – or even a stupid one. You can imagine the shock our label had when they realised this was such a big project. Do we want to do it live? Yes.” “I’d say it’s almost defi nite that we will take this further,” believes Rob. “You have to appreciate this is more than a record. We want the chance to create something special onstage, to turn Nostradamus into an event, the like of which nobody in the metal world has ever seen. If things fi t in as they should, then we will do this next year at some stage.” For Priest, a band who always strive to be different, the opportunity of doing an authentically artistic presentation is one that drives them forward. Nostradamus has seemingly taken over their lives, and they wouldn’t have it any other way. “Listen to Rob’s lyrics – they should win a Grammy,” bellows a clearly emotional KK. “Listen to the music – isn’t it stunning? How could you expect us to just slot it into a two-year touring cycle, and then move on? So, we want the chance to put this onstage, with a massive theatrical production, to do the sort of thing that the metal world will talk about for years. The idea would be to do it in the sort of prestigious venues where you wouldn’t expect to see a band like us: the Royal Albert Hall, Sydney Opera House and Carnegie Hall in New York. We might use an orchestra for some dates, and anyone who’s seen our massive stage sets will appreciate how much we put into the visuals. And to do Nostradamus might be our ultimate challenge. It could be anything we want: a musical, a movie – or,” laughs KK, “this is all a dream, and the record just falls on its arse. The beauty of it is, anything could happen.”
So determined were the band to give the groundbreaking album a genuine chance of making an impact that they shrouded the recording process in total secrecy, protecting their ‘newborn’ to a degree that bordered on paranoia. Glenn, though, sees this as a logical step to take in an era when internet leaks are almost unavoidable. “We didn’t want bits to come out before we were ready. Sure, we posted the title track up for fans to get a taste. But we tried to avoid the whole album getting out before everyone could see how lavish everything connected with the project actually is – even the packaging on the record is important to us. Some might say it’s paranoia, I’d say it’s artists being proud of their art. People who leak records and allow others to get their music for free are doing no service to the bands or fans. We’re all losers in the long run. You may disagree, but they’re sounding the death of new music. In the end, bands will just give up on recording and creating.”

All of which leaves one final question: did Nostradamus predict that the Priest would make an album about him? “Ha! Not sure about that,” concludes KK. “But if he did, perhaps he also predicted how well it would sell. If so, someone let us know what he said. Ultimately though, we’re proud of this achievement; I believe it will bring people who’ve grown disillusioned with metal back to the cause.”

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Converge: definitely not stadium rock

Converge lay the London Koko to waste, we send Metal Hammer Podcast host Steve Hill to see it all happen. He came back in one piece and sent us this review….

Even Nostradamus could never have predicted a band with such a fiercely independent spirit, so used to the grim, glamour-less grind of punk rock touring, raised on DIY Hardcore ethics and tiny basement shows in vile, crust filled clubs as Converge would ever sell out a pristine, vaudeville music hall like Camden’s Koko. That they have is a testament to a constant commitment to making their thrilling and visceral music so difficult to ignore.

First though Storm Of Light wow the early birds with an assault on the senses, both visually and aurally. A huge screen at the back of the stage dwarfs them and fills the venue with dizzying Technicolor images to accompany their sludgy post-rock. They take all the bits that you love from The Melvins, Mastodon, Today Is The Day and Neurosis and bang it out with eye-ball popping intensity. Well worth checking out.

Touche Amore receive a welcome that would befit the headline band and do an admiral job of warming up the crowd for what is to come, but they lack the depth and weight of SOL and seem fairly lightweight in comparison. Not that there is anything wrong with any of the set per-se; all the elements are in place, it’s just that it seems a bit anaemic. Bands like Propagandhi and Strike Anywhere perfected this style of super intense Melodic Hardcore over a decade ago and Touche Amore strain for, but never quite reach, their standard. That said, the crowd go nuts and they leave to a deafening cheer. So they’re obviously doing something right.

You could count on no fingers the things that Converge have done wrong in their career. The most original, surprising and consistent band to emerge from the hardcore scene in the last twenty years, possibly ever, are on supreme form tonight. Despite the grandiose surroundings, Jacob Bannon and Co wander on and plug in as if it’s just another day in the rehearsal room and plough straight into a teeth rattling opening double of Concubine and Dead Horse. When this band are in full flow it is quite something to behold, undoubtedly punk but far more spiteful and intense than any Green Day or Clash clone could ever dream of. Whether it’s the slower, more brooding numbers like Worms Will Feed or their thrashier, more brutal cuts such as Hellbound, the quality never drops and it rapidly becomes clear that Converge have a back catalogue to rival almost any scene veterans you would care to mention. The standard of musicianship is quite something, too – not something you would usually associate with punk pock – in particular drummer Ben Koller, who puts in a powerhouse performance of brute force and dexterity, but also from Nate Newton’s rumbling low-end bass and Kurt Ballou’s shredding, screaming guitar. They leave for the first time with an extended and savage version of You Fail Me, which would be enough to satisfy most people.

That they then return and close the night with an incredible rendition of Last Light that is so heavy, so powerful and so dizzying that it terrifies even the most rabid fan and then walk off as if nothing has even happened is all the evidence you need to know Converge are a genuinely life-changing force of nature. Twenty years into their career they are peerless. It may be a surprise to see them become as big as they have but, good god, what a lovely surprise it is. Next time they come back you really should be there, be it smelly club or gleaming arena, it will be fucking epic. Quite frankly you don’t need to be Nostradamus to predict that.

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JUDAS PRIEST frontman Rob Halford recently spoke to Loudwire about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the band’s follow-up to their 2008 concept album “Nostradamus”.

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Judas Priest plans to be screaming again soon — not necessarily for vengeance, but with some new music to follow up its 2008 concept album ‘Nostradamus’

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JUDAS PRIEST frontman Rob Halford recently spoke to Billboard.com about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the band’s follow-up to their 2008 concept album “Nostradamus”.

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Legendary U.K. metal band Judas Priest announced that the band will release yet another compilation album later this year. The compilation is entitled “Nostradamus Predicted This: The Best Of Judas Priest” is scheduled for release on December 22, 2012. The release contains many other rarities that hadn’t made it on any of the band’s previous compilation albums or studio album reissues.

Vocalist Rob Halford commented on the release: “When we threw out the idea of another compilation, I was initially against it. I said to Glen [Tipton], we have done this many times in the past. However, I don’t think anyone but Nostradamus could have predicted what we were able to present with this one. After 27 compilation albums, we finally got it right.”

The following is the track list of the timeless treasures to be included on the release. The stunning renditions of the following Priest classics were remastered from the original remastered editions:

1. Breaking the Law
2. Tyrant
3. The Ripper
4. Hot Rockin’
5. Living After Midnight
6. Freewheel Burning
7. Hell Bent for Leather
8. Turbo Lover
9. Painkiller
10. Victim of Changes

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