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Judas Priest - Invincible Shield (Album Review)

Thursday, 21 March 2024 Written by Jack Butler-Terry

Photo: James Hodges

More than 50 years in the game have established Judas Priest as one of the UK’s most important bands, metal or otherwise. It would take something truly risible to tarnish that legacy at this point and their 19th album certainly isn’t that. On ‘Invincible Shield’ the quintet prove the value of experience with another rock solid record.

The long and short of it is that 'Invincible Shield’ is Judas Priest doing what Judas Priest do best: there are ripping guitar solos, there is high drama and there are singalongs so big you fear your lungs will burst. 

Kicking off with lead single Panic Attack, they waste no time in establishing their business as usual approach.

What's astounding, though, is that even though most members of the band are in their 60s and 70s, they rock harder than most metal groups a third of their age.

Frontman Rob Halford puts in an incredible performance — perhaps his strongest since 1981’s ‘British Steel’ — while 76-year-old guitarist Glenn Tipton continues to dispatch mind-melting solos with ease. From the high flying belter that is The Serpent And The King, to the gravelly and dangerous Gates of Hell, this record proves that age is simply a number.

Their stamina is admirable, too, but at 52 minutes (63 on the deluxe edition) ‘Invincible Shield’ runs a little too long. While there are no outright contenders for songs that should have been cut, the back half of the record does start to overstay its welcome. Trimming a couple of minutes here and there, particularly from the gargantuan title track, may have made repeated listens easier to stomach.

Nevertheless, ‘Invincible Shield’ is yet another accomplished chapter in the fascinating life and times of Judas Priest. While they sound as youthful as ever, it's important to remember this band won't be around forever. They're just making sure they leave a legacy that will be.

Judas Priest Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Thu March 21 2024 - LONDON OVO Arena Wembley

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