In so many ways, Judas Priest’s career has been defined by comeback moments. This is the band that followed up their 1980 breakthrough, British Steel, with the lackluster Point of Entry, from which they rebounded on the defiant Screaming for Vengeance. Then there’s the triumphant Painkiller that came in the wake of the experimental and synth-laden Turbo and Ram it Down. But the biggest challenge of all was mounting the metal summit once more after a long-awaited reunion with frontman Rob Halford was marked by Priest’s first album with the Metal God since 1990, Angel of Retribution.
Released on Feb. 28, 2005, Angel of Retribution arrived adorned with the chromium-plated metal monster fans saw tearing through the sky 15 years earlier on the cover of Painkiller. This instantly established the reunion album as a natural successor to where Halford and the band had last left off while the digitized render also asserted the notion that Priest’s vision was equally entrenched in the modern day.
After all, they had just finished up a run on Ozzfest prior to the album’s release and were armed with a new generation of fans who might not be so easily convinced by a band imitating past glories. Of that experience, the Metal God told Loudwire, “We always take the energy and reaction from the set as something of a focus to remind us about the journey we are on. Those feelings live inside you and you utilize them when you return to the studio. Knowing where to go next is instinctive for us.”