Judas Priest are back after four years with another inspired heavy metal record. 'Firepower' is set to arrive this Spring ahead of the North American leg of their world tour, and the epic first single from the album - 'Lightning Strike' - is out this week.

Judas Priest performing live in 2015Judas Priest performing live in 2015

The legendary Birmingham band; who are frontman Rob Halford, guitarists Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner, bassist Ian Hill and drummer Scott Travis; drop their eighteenth studio album 'Firepower' this March as they prepare to embark on their first tour in more than two years.

The 14-track collection has been helmed by their long-time producer Tom Allom, who reunites with them after three decades having previously worked with the band between 1979 and 1988 on records such as 'British Steel', 'Screaming for Vengeance' and 'Defenders of the Faith'.

Also on board is the Grammy-winning Andy Sneap; guitarist of Hell who has worked with various bands in production such as Megadeth, Opeth and Saxon. 

'Tom Allom has got this classic metal thing and Andy is a bit more of a 'modern metal producer' but his thinking is a little bit different to Tom's', said Rob. 'And I think to get this balance between that classic old school metal to what Andy's world is was just a remarkable coalescence.'

Ian Hill remarked that Tom's knowledge of Judas Priest's music is 'immense', while Scott revealed that making the new album saw them revert to their original way of working.

'We went back to the organic way of recording where it's all of us in a room and we got to play together', he said.

The video for the lead single 'Lightning Strike' is being released today (January 5th 2018), following the band's 17-second teaser clip yesterday.

On March 13th, Judas Priest will kick off their latest tour at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Their tour will also include an appearance at Las Vegas' Las Rageous Festival as well as a number of European events including Rockfest in Finland, Hellfest in France, and Bloodstock in the UK.

More: Judas Priest announced 'Firepower' tour

'Firepower' is set to be released on Friday 9th March 2018 through Columbia Records.