Judas Priest's 18th studio album, FIREPOWER began under inauspicious circumstances. First, guitarist Glenn Tipton, diagnosed with Parkinson's disease a decade ago, found it necessary to retire from the road; second, they lost out to Bon Jovi for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; and finally, former drummer Dave Holland passed on before this set's issue. But the sound of FIREPOWER remains unbowed. Its undiminished power and assaultive mayhem are somewhat tempered in its slower moments by slowly unfurling rage, loss, and menace. It was begun in 2016 by Rob Halford, Tipton, and new guitarist Richie Faulkner. They chose two veteran producers to bring it home: Tom Allom, who helmed every JP album between 1979's Unleashed in the East (Live in Japan) and 1988's Ram It Down, and Andy Sneap, master producer/engineer of modern metal. He began his career in 1994 and has worked with everyone from Accept and Exodus to Megadeth, Masterplan, and Testament. He is also a formidable guitarist who is replacing Tipton on the road.

FIREPOWER is meaner and leaner than Redeemer of Souls; the songwriting is .....

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