Classic Rock has reported the news that JUDAS PRIEST have announced that they will return to the road as “an even more powerful, relentless four piece heavy metal band” as touring guitarist Andy Sneap, who co-produced the band’s 2018 album “Firepower” alongside Tom Allom, steps away to refocus on his much-acclaimed studio work.
The British metal gods have also declared that guitarist Glenn Tipton, who was forced to step back from intensive touring after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2018, will be “coming out on stage with us here and there as before.”
JUDAS PRIEST were forced off the road in September, after guitarist Richie Faulkner suffered an acute cardiac aortic dissection onstage during the band’s set at the Louder Than Life festival in Kentucky. The English guitarist spent 10 hours undergoing emergency heart surgery before being discharged from a Louisville hospital. Back to full health, Faulkner will assume guitar duties once more when Priest resume touring on March 4, when they’ll relaunch their US tour in Peoria, Illinois.
The band’s statement reads: “Hello maniacs! We are chomping at the British Steel bit to return to world touring… celebrating 50 years of Judas Priest as an an even more powerful, relentless four piece heavy metal band – with Glenn coming out on stage with us here and there as before. Big thanks to Andy for all you’ve done and continuing to be in the production team for our new album… See you all soon headbangers!”
Last November, JUDAS PRIEST announced the rescheduled “50 Heavy Metal Years” North American tour dates for March-April 2022. Support on the trek will come from QUEENSRŸCHE. The band will play a lengthy European tour following the completion of their North American tour commitments.
Bassist Ian Hill is the sole remaining original member of PRIEST, which formed in 1969. Singer Rob 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. Founding guitarist K.K. Downing parted ways with the band in 2011, and was replaced by Richie Faulkner.