Rob Halford sings about fighting evil in the name of freedom in “Firepower,” the charging title track of Judas Priest‘s upcoming 18th studio album. The rest of the band, led by guitarists Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner, commands the sort of chugging riffs that made the group metal avatars in the early Eighties, all leading up to emotive, dueling six-string solos as drummer Scott Travis kicks up the tempo.
The album, due March 9th, marks the second album since Faulkner replaced original guitarist K.K. Downing and the return of co-producer Tom Allom, who’d worked on the band’s Eighties victories, including “Breaking the Law,” “Screaming for Vengeance” and “Heading Out to the Highway.”It was co-produced by Andy Sneap, who has worked on records by Obituary, Testament and Opeth, among others.
“Tom Allom has got this classic metal thing,” Halford said in a statement. “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.”
In addition to releasing the song today, the band also announced it would be putting out an extremely limited-edition run of 300 metallic silver–colored cassette versions of the album. The tape is available via the group’s Pledge Music website.
The band is also gearing up for a North American spring tour in support of Firepower. It will kick off in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on March 13th and wrap in San Antonio, Texas on May 1st.