JUDAS PRIEST announce new album 'Invincible Shield', in March 2024
British heavy metal legends JUDAS PRIEST will release their new studio album, “Invincible Shield”, on March 8, 2024 via Sony Music.
The release date for PRIEST‘s follow-up to 2018’s “Firepower” was announced this weekend (Saturday, October 7) 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 “The Invincible Shield”.
The cover artwork for the CD and vinyl versions of “Invincible Shield” can be found below.
To pre-order “Invincible Shield”, visit shop.judaspriest.com.
This past June, PRIEST guitarist Richie Faulkner told Anne Erickson of Audio Ink Radio that the band’s new album was “sounding great. I was in Phoenix with producer and touring guitarist Andy Sneap and Rob a few weeks ago, putting the vocals down,” he said. “And it’s always exciting to hear new PRIEST tracks, because they become PRIEST tracks when Rob sings them. It’s, like, the world hasn’t heard them yet, but there’s new PRIEST tracks that we’re hearing for the first time. It’s really exciting, hearing that characteristic voice that we’ve heard for decades singing new stuff. It’s an incredibly exciting thing, so I can’t wait for the world to hear it all.”
Elaborating on the musical direction of the new PRIEST material, Faulkner said: “There are definitely a few more twists and turns on this record. There are a few more musical parts. So, there might be a bit of… As I said, there are twists and turns. I’ve used the word ‘progressive’ before, and the Internet ripped me a new asshole. But it is progressive in the sense that it’s not like verse-chorus-verse-chorus-solo-chorus-finish. It’s musical part-verse-musical part. It might do a few twists and turns, musically. It veers from the path of it, a bit like ‘Sinner’ or ‘Tyrant’ or something like that. So, it’s a bit more ’70s PRIEST, which I welcome as a guitar player… It’s ’70s PRIEST, but it’s not a retro album, by any means. It’s the influence of ’70s PRIEST in the progressive sense, but it sounds ike PRIEST in 2023.”
He added: “Every PRIEST album has kind of stood on its own, stylistically. It’s had that DNA of JUDAS PRIEST, because the characters are so strong. But it’s always been a little bit different — retaining that DNA but having its own character. So, this one’s no different, really, in the sense that it’s obviously JUDAS PRIEST, but it’s its own animal; it stands on its own two legs.”
Last November, Faulkner told Robert Cavuoto of Metal Rules that some PRIEST fans misconstrued his previous comments about the musical direction of the band’s upcoming LP. He said: “I think we’ve used the word ‘progressive’, and everyone thinks it’s gonna become ‘Nostradamus’ (PRIEST‘s controversial 2008 symphonic heavy metal concept double album about Nostradamus), or RUSH, which is two different things. I’ve definitely used the word ‘progressive’ to describe the new PRIEST material in previous interviews, purely because it’s got a few musical turnarounds that ‘Firepower’ doesn’t have. But that doesn’t make it a RUSH record. It just makes it — instead of, like, a verse into a bridge into a chorus, there might be a couple of more musical passages in there to make it a bit more… interesting; might be the wrong word. I don’t know. You’ve gotta be careful with the words you use these days. So it’s not ‘Firepower 2’, but it’s the same band a few years later, so there’s obvious connections to the last record. But it’s not ‘Firepower 2’ by any means.”
Richie continued: “No PRIEST records have sounded the same, but it’s got a common DNA. And you always try and make the next one sound a bit better — or whatever ‘better’ may be; ‘better’ is subjective. So, is it better written? Are the lyrics better? Does it sound better? And ‘better’ is always subjective. So it’s hard to pinpoint, really. But it’s a bit more of a musical adventure than the last one, I’d say. But then again someone might listen to it, when it does come out, and have a totally different interpretation of what it is. So it’s always tough to sum up your own music without sounding up your own butt.”
In February 2022, Halford was asked by Remy Maxwell of Audacy Check In if he agreed with Faulkner‘s comment that the band’s upcoming album will be more musically “progressive” than “Firepower”. He responded: “Yeah, the metal is there. But here’s the thing: we’ve tried our best not to replicate anything that we’ve done. From ‘Rocka Rolla’ all the way through to ‘Firepower’, each record has had a distinctive character. And it’s tough because fans go, ‘We want another ‘Painkiller’,’ ‘We want another ‘British Steel’.’ And it’s, like, ‘Dude, we’ve already done that.’
“Fans know that we’re a band that is always full of adventure and trying new stuff,” he continued. “And so, yeah, this has got probably some more progressive elements that we’ve never really delved into before. And that’s exciting, because, again, it gives us and our fans another opportunity to see a different side of PRIEST. But it’s still metal. There’s just more of it. There are more notes than there were before.”
Also in February 2022, Faulkner told Canada’s The Metal Voice about the overall sound of the new PRIEST music: “Whenever you start a record, you never know how it’s gonna turn out. So you might start with an idea of what it’s gonna be, and as it kind of rolls on, it comes out something different. So you don’t quite know. And also it’s really hard to sum up your own music, I find, without sounding really pretentious. But I think this one — it’s not ‘Firepower 2’, I don’t think. It’s its own thing, it’s its own animal. If anything, I would say it’s a bit more progressive in places, and in places it’s got a bit more of that ‘Killing Machine’ swagger.”
Faulkner added: “I know everyone says, ‘Oh, is it the next ‘Painkiller’?’ or ‘Is it the next…?’ whatever… I don’t know if they’d ever done it, but I know we’ve never done it when I’ve been in the band; we’ve never tried to recreate an album. It’s always we try to create an album that stands on its own legs. So I think it’s definitely a little bit more progressive than ‘Firepower’ and, as I said, in places it’s got a little bit of that ‘Killing Machine’ angry swagger attitude going on.”
Bassist Ian Hill is the sole remaining original member of PRIEST, which formed in 1969. Halford joined the group in 1973 and guitarist Glenn 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.