Think â€œDouble vinyl, gatefold sleeve concept album,â€ and some of rockâ€™s all-time classic recordings come to mind. But in the realm of heavy metal, there has never been a double vinyl (now disc!) concept album that has managed to balance a thought-provoking storyline with metallic thunder. That was, until now. Metal legends JUDAS PRIEST will be releasing their sprawling double disc concept album, Nostradamus via Columbia Records on Monday, June 16th in the UK/Europe, and a day later in the US on Epic Records.
Long in the works, Nostradamus takes epic storytelling to a whole new level, as it recounts the life of this mysterious, world-known 16th Century French prophet. Some of the events that Nostradamus experts have interpreted as his predictions include the great fire of London in 1666, the rise of Adolf Hitler, and most recently, 9-11, among countless other renowned events.
â€œAs in any concept piece, the lifeline needs to be of a solid source, taking the music over many levels of interest and perception,â€ points out singer Rob Halford. â€œNostradamus contains new frontiers explored and defined. The sense of adventure and the journey we undertook bringing the manâ€™s life alive with metal was a real labour of love.â€
As with all new PRIEST releases, the group – singer Rob Halford, guitarists Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing, bassist Ian Hill, and drummer Scott Travis – will embark on a mammoth worldwide tour in support of Nostradamus. PRIEST will be performing at the 2008 Download Festival – on a bill also featuring KISS – which will serve as a homecoming of sorts for the group, as they performed at the first-ever Monsters of Rock Festival at Donington Park in 1980.
â€œThe Nostradamus album – above all others – is perhaps the one I’m most proud of,â€ says Tipton. â€œWhilst in essence and character still very much JUDAS PRIEST, it has afforded the opportunity to explore areas of classical and operatic dimensions that the band normally wouldn’t. As a guitarist and writer it has inspired me to greater heights and opened new doors to intrigue and passion. From start to finish, it will take you through a magical experience filled with light, shade, drama, melody and emotion that reflects this unique man and his life.â€
â€œFor me, Nostradamus has been a musical journey without comparison,â€ adds Downing. â€œThe intrigue and mystery that surrounds this revered man has expanded my perception of heavy metal to the highest plateau and enabled me to reach the outer limits of my imagination and transport unique feelings and emotions to the instrument that allows me to express myself.â€
In addition to the regular jewel case double CD version of the album, collectors will undoubtedly be interested in hunting down a copy of a Deluxe Double CD housed in a 48 page hardbound book package. But thatâ€™s not all – a Super Deluxe Box-set version will also be available with triple vinyl, the double CD, an expanded booklet & a poster.
As to why they chose to make a concept album about Nostradamus, Tipton explains: â€œWe didn’t – he chose us. We feel it was meant to be!â€
To get a taste of what awaits for you within Nostradamus, go to livenation.com/JUDASPRIEST to download exclusive free mp3 of the albumâ€™s title track, as well as view the world premiere of the album cover art.