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Judas Priest digs deep for "Evil" live album

 Judas Priest singer Rob Halford performs during the B
Judas Priest singer Rob Halford performs during the B'estfest music festival in Bucharest July 11, 2008. REUTERS/Mihai Barbu
— image credit: Reuters

By Gary Graff

DETROIT (Billboard) - Judas Priest has chosen 10 songs not previously released in live album form for its next concert set -- "A Touch of Evil: Live," which is due out July 14, in the midst of the band's U.S. summer tour.

"A Touch of Evil" includes live renderings of longtime fan favorites such as "Painkiller," "Dissident Aggressor, "Riding on the Wind," "Between the Hammer & the Anvil" and "Eat Me Alive," as well as "Hellrider" from "Angel of Retribution," the group's 2004 reunion album with frontman Rob Halford, and two tracks -- "Death" and "Prophecy" -- from last year's rock opera "Nostradamus."

"I love those songs," Halford told Billboard.com. "All of those songs just crush. Because they've never been recorded live in this way, it's just something fresh to put out. And when you listen to it and think this band has been around for three decades, with a combined age of 250-something years...I mean, how cool is that? It's a very fierce record and just captures the band's attitude and feeling in a very strong, determined way.

"I mean, we could've put 'Living After Midnight' or 'You've Got Another Thing Coming' out -- again. But why? This is just something great to give our fans."

Judas Priest, meanwhile, is preparing for its summer tour, during which the band will play its 1980 album "British Steel" -- which includes "Living After Midnight" -- in its entirety from front to back.

"All of us around the world have our respective headphones on, ready to dive into the deep end together," Halford said of preparations for the tour. "It's very bare-bones in terms of production, which in essence makes it a lot easier to re-learn in rehearsals.

"We're all very excited about it. 'British Steel' means a lot to everybody in Priest. I listened to it for the first time recently and I thought, 'Man, this is gonna be so cool to play this stuff live.'"

The Priest tour, with Whitesnake opening, kicks off June 29 in Indianapolis and wraps up August 23 in Gilford, N.H. Halford says the band still plans to play "Nostradamus" in its entirety later this year or in 2010.

(Editing by Dean Goodman)

(please visit our entertainment blog via www.reuters.com or on http://blogs.reuters.com/fanfare/)

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