Judas Priest is having an eventful year that will see the band mount a lengthy, new European leg of its ongoing 50 Heavy Metal Years tour and will culminate with the veteran British rockers getting inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this November.

Beyond that, frontman Rob Halford reports that the band is continuing to work on a new album that will be a follow-up to their 2018 studio effort, Firepower.

“We’ve stopped kicking the tires and now we’re in tracking,” Halford tells ABC Audio about the status of the record.

He also reveals that he’s planning to add some new material to the project that, judging by his comments, will be based around unfinished archival recordings.

“You can never have enough songs when you’re making an album,” he notes. “Songs that you didn’t even know you had bits and pieces and fragments of, suddenly they become an incredibly important part of your record.”

Regarding the sound of the album, Rob notes, “The music that we’re making now is representative of where Priest is at this probably sixth decade of our existence when it comes out…It sounds great. I’m really pleased.”

He adds, “I’m really, really happy that…we’re not dropping the ball. Not that we ever have. But it’s good, because there are some elements in there that we’ve never…kind of discovered before.”

Asked if he thinks the album may be ready for release sometime next year, Halford responds cagily, “He raises his hands, he shrugs his shoulders and he goes, ‘Meh."”

Judas Priest launches its 2022 European trek on May 31 in Berlin.

As previously reported, the band will be inducted into the Rock Hall in conjunction with receiving the Musical Excellence Award. The ceremony takes place November 5 in Los Angeles.

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