Judas Priest, the heavy metal legends whose influence on generations of musicians and metalheads is incalculable, celebrate their 40th year as recording artists this year with the release of the live concert Epitaph. A unique live career retrospective, Epitaph will be released on Blu-ray and separate DVD on May 27th through Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment. This release precedes a new studio album by Judas Priest which the band are working on now.
Judas Priest's current lineup comprises lead singer Rob Halford, lead guitarists Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner, bassist Ian Hill, and drummer Scott Travis.
Heavy metal historians will regard Epitaph as the most far-reaching live concert recording in the band's career. The set revisits the climactic closing date of the 50-week "Epitaph World Tour," captured live at London’s HMV Hammersmith Apollo on May 26, 2012. Adding to the drama is the fact that this was Judas Priest’s final large-scale world tour ever. Epitaph ’s 23 tracks represent at least one song from every one of the band’s 14 studio albums, from 1974’sRocka Rolla (“Never Satisfied”) to 2008’s Nostradamus (“Prophecy”).
In the special case of British Steel, four songs are featured: “Rapid Fire,” “Metal Gods,” “Breaking The Law,” and perennial set closer, “Living After Midnight.” Others exempted from the one-song-quota are the LPs which appeared before and after British Steel. The first of these is 1979’s Hell Bent For Leather (UK title: Killing Machine) which lends the title song as well as “The Green Manalishi (With The Two-Pronged Crown).” The other LP is 1982’s Screaming For Vengeance, source of “The Hellion,” “Electric Eye,” and “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming.”
“They have epitomized the genre with their Harley riding frontman, rapid-fire guitar assaults, and spectacular stage shows,” wrote journalist Bryan Reesman in his liner notes for 2004's leather-bound, metal-spiked Metalogy box set. “Influential, innovative, and exuberant in expression,” he wrote, “they are the true Metal Gods who have been as unwavering in their desire to expand the boundaries of their music as they have been in crossing international borders to deliver it to their disciples.”
“Unabashedly committed to their cause, and unrepentant in proclaiming themselves a true heavy metal band even when others have shied away from the term, Judas Priest have forever been defenders of the faith.”
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