Judas Priest have come out with all guns blazing for their latest album, Firepower, which has given the metal legends their career highest debut on the charts, landing at No. 5 on the Billboard 200. The LP, the 18th for the group, was released earlier this month (Mar. 9) and with it's top five slot has eclipsed their previous high spot, Redeemer of Souls, which checked in at No. 6 back in 2014.

According to Billboard, Firepower moved 49,000 units in the weekend ending March 15, based on a Nielsen Music report. Traditional albums clocked in at 48,000, which fell a bit short of their last best sales frame in 2005 when Angel of Retribution sold 54,000. Priest was helped along in units sold by combining Firepower in a ticket/album sales package in conjunction with their tour which kicked off March 13. Check out our review and photo gallery from the New York show from over the weekend (Mar. 17) here.

It was announced last month that longtime guitarist Glenn Tipton, who joined Priest in 1974, wouldn't be touring with the band as he battles Parkinson's disease, which he was diagnosed as having a decade ago. Replaced by Andy Sneap, who co-produced Firepower, Tipton hasn't ruled out joining the group onstage at some point in the future.

"I want everyone to know that it’s vital that the Judas Priest tour go ahead and that I am not leaving the band - it’s simply that my role has changed," he said in a statement. "I don’t rule out the chance to go on stage as and when I feel able to blast out some Priest!"

The tour to support Firepower continues tomorrow night (Mar. 20) at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. and continues through late summer with shows across the States and Europe. For the full run of dates, click here.

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