Judas Priest now own the distinction as being the very first heavy metal band to release studio albums 50 years apart.

The achievement is marked by the release of Invincible Shield, the band's 19th studio album and successor to 2018's Firepower.

Judas Priest, 'Invincible Shield'

Within its 11 new songs (and three absolutely killer bonus tracks), Judas Priest demonstrate a breadth of musicality, with material ranging from adrenalized Painkiller-esque molten metal to bluesy emotion to anthemic rock 'n' roll. Invincible Shield calls to mind familiar elements from across the band's half-century history, while sounding convincingly relevant in the modern metal era.

Pre-release tracks "Panic Attack," "Trial By Fire," "Crown of Horns" and "The Serpent and The King" served as a fair, overarching appetizer for fans eager to hear more from our beloved Metal Gods. And the remaining seven songs that occupy the standard edition of Invincible Shield are no less formidably potent.

Judas Priest, "Panic Attack" Music Video

Rob Halford, who turned 72 last summer, delivers the goods with another career highlight performance. To still possess this much power and range is not something many ever imagined would be possible. Surely time would catch up with a septuagenerian and take the top end off those piercing screams, but, mercifully, that is not the case. Not even remotely close.

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While Judas Priest have collected generations of fans, it's those who have been with the band since the very beginning who must be the most floored to have witnessed such an evolution and the legends' enduring strength.

From the early semi-psyched out, hard-driving blues rock of Priest 1974 debut Rocka Rolla all the way through 2024's invincible Shield is one of heavy metal's greatest, most triumphant success stories.

To have a band — who has remained active the entire time — for 50 years is such a rarity. So do not take this for granted, Judas Priest fans. You may be experiencing something that may only happen again in metal not even a handful of times. This very well could be the only time a metal band puts out an album 50 or more years removed from their debut.

Thanks for 50 years of metal, Metal Gods!

Judas Priest on Tour

Judas Priest's world tour kicks off on March 11 in the U.K. with a North American tour leg with Sabaton launching on April 18.

Click to see all of Judas Priest's tour dates.

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