RICHIE FAULKER On Upcoming JUDAS PRIEST Album “Invincible Shield”: “It’s A Pretty Intense Record. It Stays Up There”

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Judas Priest is gearing up for their 19th studio album, “Invincible Shield,” and it sounds like they’re leaving the lighters behind for this one. Guitarist Richie Faulkner recently spoke about the record, and let’s just say, ballad lovers might want to sit this one out.

In a new interview with Meltdown of Detroit’s WRIF radio station, Faulkner said about the album’s sound: “It’s a pretty intense record. There’s no real moment where there’s a ballad or something like that. It stays up there.”

The guitarist went on to explain his previous statement about the “progressive” nature of the album: “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 inaccessible, 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.”

Elaborating about what inspired this musical direction, Faulkner 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.”

Faulkner also went on to describe his contributions to the album, and the band’s writing chemistry: “Well, it’s a fairly shared thing. I’m not a lyricist, and obviously, Rob is, for example. Me and Glenn 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.”

The “Invincible Shield” tracklist contains 11 songs, with three additional tracks available on various versions of the album. Regarding that decision, Faulkner clarified: “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.”

“When you release a record, it’s exciting,” Faulkner added. “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.”

“Invincible Shield” will arrive on March 8, 2024, via Sony Music. To pre-order “Invincible Shield”, visit


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