Judas Priest reach top 20

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Judas Priest have reached the UK album top 20 with 17th studio release Redeemer Of Souls.

The number 12 position is the third-best chart placing in their career after classic work British Steel reached number 4 in 1980 and Screaming For Vengeance made number 11 two years later.

Redeemer Of Souls was released on Monday, and marks their first studio album following the retirement of guitarist KK Downing, whose 2011 departure turned the band’s thoughts towards splitting up. That changed when they hired Richie Faulkner in his place, and Priest have since said that, even though large-scale world tours are behind them, they’ll keep going as long as they can.

Frontman Rob Halford has confirmed their 17th album won’t be their last. Speaking in a Q&A for Nikki Sixx’s Sixx Sense radio show, the singer says: “No – absolutely not.”

He reveals the title track is his favourite at the moment, explaining: “It’s very precise, articulate song and it carries all the classic vibe of Judas Priest.”

One track that could make an appearance on a future release is entitled Keep The Faith, which the band discussed in an interview a few years ago. Halford reports: “We were working on it and it wasn’t quite going the way we anticipated, so we put it back in the box for now.”

And he hints his harmonica skills could be put to use for the first time since 1974 debut album_ Rocka Rolla_, saying: “It’s a great instrument. It might make a reappearance.”

Last week the frontman admitted having a “diva moment” when he heard Metallica had been confirmed to headline Glastonbury and insisted it should have been his band instead, stating: “If people are finally going to accept metal, it should at least be British.”