Rob Halford Announces ‘Celestial’ Holiday Album, Debuts New Song
Has it really been a decade since Judas Priest's Rob Halford released a holiday album? We got Winter Songs back in 2009 and now the Metal God has recruited his closest friends and family members to help him out with Celestial. Fill your ears with Christmas cheer with the new song "Donner and Blitzen" below.
Priest fans will pick up on some familiar elements in the song, which repurpose some riffs from songs such as "Lightning Strike" and "Judas Rising."
"The great thing about heavy metal is it’s got these kinds of multiple dimensions," explains Halford. "I think when you look at it from an outside point of view - if you’re not really familiar with the metal scene - it can look pretty intimidating. And it is a very strong, powerful experience," he said, adding, "But it comes at different levels. I think the music that we’ve made on Celestial, for example, gives a display of that. Metal maniacs - as we call ourselves - are just as ready for the holidays as everybody else. And what we’ve tried to do with this music is to reach out to as many of those metal dimensions as we possibly can."
The album is a mix of four original recordings and eight classic holiday cover versions and will arrive on Oct. 18 through Legacy Recordings. Assisting the Metal God is his brother Nigel (drums), his nephew Alex (bass, also son of Priest bassist Ian Hill) his sister Sue (bells) as well as Robert Jones (guitar) and Jon Blakey (guitar).
To prepare for the work on the record, the singer said he "went away and listened to a lot holiday music and Christmas carols. Traditional stuff. Twelve tracks - including original tracks that I’m particularly excited about. And in that way, because of the dimensions of each song and the messages of each song, I think we cover a really broad platform. To me, more than anything, I wanted it to have its own characteristics and be a little bit more different than the regular rock 'n' roll Christmas album."
Expressing the joy the season brings, Halford mused, "I think the holidays for any family are a mixture of fun and excitement and apprehension of the whole event. The magic of it more than anything else. It’s just a beautiful time of year - which a lot of us wish would be for every day of the year. It’s a beautiful thing as far as bringing families together. So, what better way to celebrate it than with your family, friends...and music. You must have music at Christmas time."
Pre-order Celestial here and view the album art and track listing beneath the video. Fans near the Arizona area will also have a chance to meet Rob Halford at a special FYE in-store event on Oct. 19 at the Arizona Mills shopping center in Tempe, Arizona.
Rob Halford, "Donner and Blitzen"
Rob Halford With Family & Friends, Celestial Album Art + Track Listing
1. "Celestial" [new song]
2. "Donner and Blitzen" [new song]
3. "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"
4. "Away in a Manger"
5. "Morning Star" [new song]
6. "Deck the Halls"
1. "Joy to the World"
2. "O Little Town of Bethlehem"
3. "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing"
4. "The First Noel"
5. "Good King Wenceslas"
6. "Protected By the Light" [new song]
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