Judas Priest’s Rob Halford to Release ‘Celestial’ Christmas Album
Rob Halford is ready to make your Christmas more metal.
The Judas Priest singer has assembled a lineup of family and friends for Celestial, his second album of holiday tunes, due for release Oct. 18. "Metal maniacs -- as we call ourselves -- are just as ready for the holidays as everybody else," he explained in a press release. "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 LP features heavy metal versions of holiday classics such as "Deck the Halls," "Away in a Manger" and "Joy to the World." There are also four original compositions: the title track, "Donner and Blitzen," "Morning Star" and "Protected by the Light." And it is truly a family affair. Halford's brother Nigel plays drums, his nephew Alex (son of Judas Priest's Ian Hill) plays bass and his sister Sue plays bells. Guitarists Robert Jones and Jon Blakely round out the lineup.
You can hear the lead track, "Donner and Blitzen," below. The album is available for pre-order on CD, on vinyl and as a digital download, complete with a line of complementary merchandise including puzzles, Christmas sweaters and prayer candles.
Watch Rob Halford Perform 'Donner and Blitzen'
Celestial marks the first Halford solo effort since 2010's Halford IV: Made of Metal. He has released two albums with Judas Priest since that time, 2014's Redeemer of Souls and 2018's Firepower.
The Judas Priest singer previously released the holiday-themed Halford III: Winter Songs in 2009. That album featured a mix of original songs, along with holiday standards like “We Three Kings,” “What Child is This?” and “Oh Holy Night.”
Halford also contributed his voice to the tale of Fronsty the Snowman, a 2015 holiday podcast that told the story of Frosty’s lesser-known “idiot cousin.”
The singer will rejoin his Judas Priest bandmates for a 2020 European tour alongside Ozzy Osbourne beginning Jan. 31. The dates, part of Osbourne’s No More Tours 2 tour, were originally scheduled for this year but had to be postponed due to the Black Sabbath singer’s continuing health issues.
Rob Halford, 'Celestial' Track Listing
2. "Donner and Blitzen"
3. "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"
4. "Away in a Manger"
5. “Morning Star”
6. "Deck the Halls"
7. "Joy to the World"
8. "O Little Town of Bethlehem"
9. “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing"
10. “The First Noel"
11. “Good King Wenceslas”
12. "Protected by the Light"