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Judas Priest's Rob Halford Talks New "Epitaph" Concert Video, Band's Future Plans

Image courtesy of Legacy Recordings (via ABC News Radio)
Image courtesy of Legacy Recordings (via ABC News Radio)

Judas Priest 's latest concert video, Epitaph , hits stores on DVD and Blu-ray today.  The release documents the final show of the heavy-metal legends' Epitaph World Tour, purportedly the last full-fledged global trek the band will undertake.

The disc captures a career-spanning, 23-song set from London's HMV Hammersmith Apollo in May 2012 that featured at least one tune from each of the band's major studio albums -- from classics like "Breaking the Law," "You've Got Another Thing Comin'" and "Living After Midnight" to lesser-known gems such as "Never Satisfied" and "Victim of Changes."

"It's a celebration of all of the things that Priest has achieved over the last almost four decades," frontman Rob Halford tells ABC News Radio.  "When you play a song from [1974's] Rocka Rolla album…and put it into the same set list as something from Nostradamus from 2008, and you…see it working, it's a real affirmation, I think, of the things that we've tried to do in metal."

The singer says that each tune during the two-and-a-half-hour concert is like a little trip through the band's history.  "The lighting cues and the costume changes and any of the other effects that we have in [the] production work from track to track," he explains.  "So, you're literally having, like, little mini vignettes of 'this is that song from that time and this presentation.'"

Halford says that watching footage from the concert, he was impressed to find out just how well Priest fans know the band's music.

"I had no idea that the crowd knows every single word of the songs.  It's mind-blowing," he declares.  "So, when those songs push forward…and the crowd is singing [all the lyrics], it's wonderful for me.  Any moment where there's a real connection with the audience, the fans, is just really special."

Although the Epitaph trek will be Priest's last major world tour, the band is by no means calling it quits in part due to the addition of new guitarist Richie Faulkner -- who joined the group after founding member K.K. Downing retired in 2011.

"The desire and the hunger and the attitude and the passion to do what you do, that hasn't diminished one iota," explains the 61-year-old rocker.  "In fact, to some extent it's fair to say that what Richie has brought into mix has given all of those attributes a boost."

While Priest won't be mounting any new treks as extensive as the Epitaph tour, which lasted for more than a year, Halford says the band definitely will be hitting the road again, likely in support of a brand-new studio album that the band is working on.  Halford tells ABC News Radio that the follow-up to 2008's  Nostradamus will be less conceptual, more classic Priest, with "all the riffs, all the intensity, all the drama that come from the tradition and the heritage of Priest."

As for how far along Priest is with the project, Rob says, "It's bubbling under, about to erupt.  It'll be ready when it's ready but we feel pretty confident that we should have everything wrapped up by the end of the year."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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