We're all pumped that Judas Priest have continued on following the departure of longtime guitarist K.K. Downing. Having released the solid album 'Redeemer of Souls,' Priest will finally hit the road once again in October for a U.S. tour. Despite Priest's active and rejuvenated status, guitarist Glenn Tipton reveals that he truly thought the band was dead after Downing's exit.

Tipton now plays alongside guitarist Richie Faulkner, creating a true powerhouse duo of both classic and modern styles. In a new interview with Metalholic, Tipton calls Faulkner "a small miracle" while speaking of Judas Priest's near-end.

"I really, truly thought the band were finished," says Tipton. "We were poised to do a farewell tour and, of course, Ken [K.K.] decided he'd had enough of that. I respect his decision. It must have been a big decision to make. I think we've all been through that phase. We've been around for 35, 40 years. But we found Richie, and Richie is a small miracle, because the guy is such a great guitar player and he blended in so well first on stage. And then, of course, he's worked so hard and contributed so much to the album ['Redeemer Of Souls'] that it's just a miracle."

As for what fans may hear on Judas Priest's upcoming tour with Steel Panther, Tipton ponders about what may come. “I think ‘Dragonaut’ will certainly be heard live; ‘Redeemer of Souls,’ ‘Halls of Valhalla,’ maybe ‘Hell and Back,’ ‘Crossfire.’ So there’s going to be quite a few numbers off the new album in there, and you never know, we might throw in ‘Snakebite.’ The extra tracks are quite interesting because they’re not weak tracks by any means."

For the full list of Judas Priest's upcoming 2014 U.S. tour dates, click here.

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