Nostradamus (album)

Last updated

Judas Priest Nostradamus.jpg
Studio album by
Released17 June 2008
Recorded2006 –2007 at The Old Smithy Studio, Kempsey, Worcester, UK
Genre Heavy metal, speed metal, [1] [2] symphonic metal, power metal
Label Epic
Producer Glenn Tipton and K. K. Downing
Judas Priest chronology
Angel of Retribution
Redeemer of Souls

Nostradamus is the sixteenth studio album by English heavy metal band Judas Priest, focusing on the 16th-century writer Nostradamus. [3] It is a double album. The band's first concept album with Rob Halford, [4] it was originally intended to be released in late 2006 before being pushed back to a 2007 release, [5] and was finally released in June 2008 on Epic Records. It is the band's final album to feature K. K. Downing, before his retirement. [6]

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

Judas Priest British heavy metal band

Judas Priest are an English heavy metal band formed in West Bromwich in 1969. The band has sold over 50 million copies of their albums to date. They are frequently ranked as one of the greatest metal bands of all time. Despite an innovative and pioneering body of work in the latter half of the 1970s, the band struggled with indifferent record production and lack of major commercial success or attention until 1980, when they adopted a more simplified sound on the album British Steel, which helped shoot them to rock superstar status.

Nostradamus 16th-century French apothecary and reputed seer

Michel de Nostredame, usually Latinised as Nostradamus, was a French astrologer, physician and reputed seer, who is best known for his book Les Prophéties, a collection of 942 poetic quatrains allegedly predicting future events. The book was first published in 1555 and has rarely been out of print since his death.


Judas Priest toured with Motörhead, Heaven & Hell, and Testament on the Metal Masters Tour to promote Nostradamus. The band also performed a world tour in 2008 and 2009 in support of the album.

Motörhead English rock band

Motörhead were an English rock band formed in June 1975 by bassist, singer, and songwriter Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister, who was the sole constant member, guitarist Larry Wallis and drummer Lucas Fox. The band are often considered a precursor to the new wave of British heavy metal, which re-energised heavy metal in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Though several guitarists and drummers have played in Motörhead, most of their best-selling albums and singles feature the work of Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor on drums and "Fast" Eddie Clarke on guitars.

Heaven & Hell (band) American band

Heaven & Hell were an English-American heavy metal band active from 2006 to 2010. The band was a collaboration featuring Black Sabbath founding members Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler along with former Black Sabbath and Dio members Ronnie James Dio and Vinny Appice.

Testament (band) American metal band

Testament is an American thrash metal band from Berkeley, California. Formed in 1982 under the name Legacy, the band's current lineup comprises guitarists Eric Peterson and Alex Skolnick, lead vocalist Chuck Billy, drummer Gene Hoglan, and bassist Steve Di Giorgio. Since its inception, Testament has had numerous lineup changes, leaving Peterson as the only constant member. Billy replaced original singer Steve "Zetro" Souza in 1986, prior to the recording of their first studio album, The Legacy, and has been a member of the band since. He and Peterson are the only members to appear on all of Testament's studio albums.

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [1]
Blabbermouth 5/10 [7]
PopMatters 5/10 [8]
Rock Hard (de)6/10 [9]
Record Collector Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [10]


The Nostradamus concept idea originated from manager Bill Curbishley [11] and was pitched to the band while on tour in Estonia in 2005. Guitarist K. K. Downing revealed in a February 2007 interview with Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles that 18 tracks had been recorded with a total length of more than 90 minutes and that there was not much he would like to cut down. Musically, the album contains symphonic orchestrations, including the use of keyboards and choirs, which is unlike anything the band has previously attempted. [5] In November 2007, the band began mixing the album. [12]

William George "Bill" Curbishley is an English music and film producer and band manager. He has managed English rock groups The Who and Judas Priest, as well as artists Jimmy Page and Robert Plant.

K. K. Downing British musician

Kenneth "K. K." Downing Jr. is a retired British guitarist and songwriter, co-founder of the heavy metal band Judas Priest, and an author.

<i>Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles</i>

Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles is a Canadian heavy metal magazine. Although based in Canada, BW&BK features writers from the USA, Germany and the UK, allowing the magazine to represent metal music from an international prospective. Covering many facets of extreme music, BW&BK features a reviews section which reports on current records circulating through the underground metal world, a Metal Forecast section which tracks the release date of upcoming recordings, and a website which reports current metal news. Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles was founded by former M.E.A.T. magazine staffer Tim Henderson and author Martin Popoff in 1994.


In November 2007, singer Rob Halford indicated that it was still undecided whether it would be a double-disc set or not. In April 2008, it was confirmed that the album would be released as a double-CD/triple vinyl LP. [13]

Rob Halford English rock singer

Robert John Arthur Halford is an English singer and songwriter. He is best known as the lead vocalist for the Grammy Award-winning heavy metal band Judas Priest. He is famous for his powerful wide-ranging voice and his trademark leather-and-studs image, both of which became iconic in heavy metal. In addition to his work with Judas Priest, he has been involved with several side projects, including Fight, Two, and Halford.

"Nostradamus" sold 42,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 11 on The Billboard 200 chart. This was the band's highest-ever chart position in the US before being surpassed by Redeemer of Souls in 2014, when it took the No. 6 position. According to, the album was released in Europe on 16 June 2008 and 17 June in United States. Three configurations of Nostradamus have been issued. The most common is a regular jewel-cased double CD, but there is also a "CD deluxe hardbound version", which features a 48-page booklet, while a "super deluxe version" includes three vinyl records (in addition to the CD deluxe packaging, plus a poster). [14]

<i>Redeemer of Souls</i> 2014 studio album by Judas Priest

Redeemer of Souls is the seventeenth studio album by the English heavy metal band Judas Priest, which was released on 8 July 2014. It is their first album without founding guitarist K. K. Downing, who quit the band in 2011 and was replaced by new guitarist Richie Faulkner. It also marks the band’s last album to be produced by Glenn Tipton. The album sold around 32,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 6 on the Billboard 200 chart, the band's second highest charting position in the US. This marks the band's first top 10 album debut in the US. It has sold 110,000 copies in the US as of February 2016.

<i>Billboard</i> (magazine) American music magazine

Billboard is an American entertainment media brand owned by the Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Media Group, a division of Eldridge Industries. It publishes pieces involving news, video, opinion, reviews, events, and style, and is also known for its music charts, including the Hot 100 and Billboard 200, tracking the most popular songs and albums in different genres. It also hosts events, owns a publishing firm, and operates several TV shows.

The title track was released on 12 April 2008 as a free download on Judas Priest's website through Epic Records. [15] The second single "Visions" was released on 4 May 2008.

The title track was nominated for Best Metal Performance at the 51st Grammy Awards. [16] The song "Visions" was also nominated for a Grammy in the category Best Hard Rock Performance. [16]

The band has repeatedly made mention of a desire to perform the album in full, as part of a theatrical production, but the idea was scrapped, possibly due to the album's lukewarm reception by fans. [17] Only two of the albums songs were performed live on the subsequent tour, "Prophecy" and "Death", with the former reappearing in the setlist in 2011-12.


Sputnikmusic said that with Nostradamus the band "has cast away both speed metal and hard rock in favour of a more symphonic metal approach", with the album having a "greater emphasis" on synthesizers, but not in the unsatisfying manner of their 1986 album Turbo. The reviewer said he thought it was "painfully obvious" that the band had been struggling to work in an unfamiliar style. [18] Allmusic said that the album represented "epic metal" of the sort previously produced by Iron Maiden in 1988's Seventh Son of a Seventh Son . The album was seen to contain Spinal Tap-style clichés such as "melodramatic spoken interludes". "Dated" synthesizer string sounds added to the sense that the band was seeking filler material to make a double album, which "should have been" trimmed down to a single album. [1] The album has sold over 100,000 copies in the US and 500,000 copies worldwide as of 2009. [19]

Story line

Nostradamus centres on the life and times of the seer. The first disc details various forecasts he has about the future and the end of the world.

Track listing

All tracks written by K. K. Downing, Glenn Tipton and Rob Halford.

Disc one
1."Dawn of Creation"2:32
5."The Four Horsemen"1:35
7."Sands of Time"2:37
8."Pestilence and Plague"5:09
12."Lost Love"4:28
Disc two
4."Shadows in the Flame"1:10
7."New Beginnings"4:57
8."Calm Before the Storm"2:05
10."Future of Mankind"8:30



Credits adapted from liner notes: [20]

Judas Priest
Additional musicians


Chart (2008)Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA) [21] 17
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria) [22] 13
Canadian Albums Chart [23] 9
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders) [24] 79
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia) [25] 50
Danish Albums (Hitlisten) [26] 17
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100) [27] 38
French Albums (SNEP) [28] 38
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista) [29] 3
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100) [30] 5
Italian Albums (FIMI) [31] 26
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ) [32] 31
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista) [33] 12
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE) [34] 26
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan) [35] 5
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade) [36] 12
UK Albums (OCC) [37] 30
US Billboard 200 [38] 11

Release history

Germany 13 June 2008
Australia 14 June 2008
United Kingdom 16 June 2008
Canada 17 June 2008
United States
Japan 25 June 2008

Related Research Articles

<i>Defenders of the Faith</i> 1984 studio album by Judas Priest

Defenders of the Faith is the ninth studio album by British heavy metal band Judas Priest. Three tracks were released as singles: "Freewheel Burning", "Some Heads Are Gonna Roll" and "Love Bites". The album was certified Platinum by the RIAA.

Glenn Tipton British musician

Glenn Raymond Tipton is an English Grammy Award-winning guitar player and songwriter. Often noted for his complex playing style and classically influenced solos, he is best known as one of the lead guitarists for heavy metal band Judas Priest.

Tim "Ripper" Owens American singer

Timothy S. "Ripper" Owens is an American heavy metal singer who currently performs with Spirits of Fire, the Three Tremors and A New Revenge. He first gained attention as the lead singer of Judas Priest, and then Iced Earth. He took the nickname "Ripper" from the Judas Priest song "The Ripper" during his time in the tribute band "British Steel".

<i>Screaming for Vengeance</i> 1982 studio album by Judas Priest

Screaming for Vengeance is the eighth studio album by British heavy metal band Judas Priest. The album, considered the band's commercial breakthrough, sold in excess of 5 million units worldwide and has been certified double platinum in the United States of America as well as platinum in Canada. The album includes the hit single "You've Got Another Thing Comin'", which became one of the band's signature songs and a perennial radio favourite.

<i>Turbo</i> (Judas Priest album) 1986 studio album by Judas Priest

Turbo is the tenth studio album by British heavy metal band Judas Priest, released by Columbia on 14 April 1986. A remastered CD was released in 2001, including two bonus tracks. A 30th anniversary edition, released on 3 February 2017 titled Turbo 30, contains 3 CDs which features the album plus 2 CDs of a live recorded performance at Sandstone Amphitheater near Kansas City, Missouri, on 22 May 1986. The album marked the band's first use of guitar synthesizers.

<i>Painkiller</i> (Judas Priest album) 1990 studio album by Judas Priest

Painkiller is the twelfth studio album by British heavy metal band Judas Priest, released in September 1990. It is the last Judas Priest album to feature lead singer Rob Halford until his return for the 2005 album Angel of Retribution and the first to feature drummer Scott Travis.

<i>Point of Entry</i> 1981 studio album by Judas Priest

Point of Entry is the seventh studio album from the British heavy metal band Judas Priest. It was released on 26 February 1981.

<i>Angel of Retribution</i> 2005 studio album by Judas Priest

Angel of Retribution is the fifteenth studio album by British heavy metal band Judas Priest, released in 2005. It is the band's first album since 1990's Painkiller to feature Rob Halford. The album debuted at No. 13 on the US Billboard 200 chart, which makes it the fourth highest chart of a Judas Priest album. The album was produced by Roy Z, who co-wrote the song "Deal with the Devil". It won a 2005 Metal Hammer award for Best Album. In the 2005 Burrn! magazine Readers' Pop Poll, it was voted Best Album of the Year and Best Album Cover.

<i>Ram It Down</i> 1988 studio album by Judas Priest

Ram It Down is the eleventh studio album by Judas Priest, released in 1988 through Columbia Records; a remastered edition containing two bonus tracks was reissued in 2001. The album earned gold certification on 18 July 1988. The band toured in Europe and North America to support the release of the album. This is the last album to feature long-time drummer Dave Holland.

<i>British Steel</i> (album) 1980 studio album by Judas Priest

British Steel is the sixth studio album by the British heavy metal band Judas Priest, released on 14 April 1980. It is also the band's first album with Dave Holland on drums.

<i>Jugulator</i> 1997 studio album by Judas Priest

Jugulator is the thirteenth studio album by British heavy metal band Judas Priest. It was released in Japan on 16 October 1997 and the rest of the world on 28 October 1997. It was their first studio album since Painkiller in 1990 and the first of two studio albums the band recorded without Rob Halford and with vocalist Tim "Ripper" Owens.

<i>Demolition</i> (Judas Priest album) 2001 studio album by Judas Priest

Demolition is the fourteenth studio album by British heavy metal band Judas Priest, the first in the decade of the 2000s. It is the second and final studio album to feature Tim 'Ripper' Owens on vocals. It is the only Judas Priest studio album to feature a Parental Advisory label due to some songs featuring profanity: "Machine Man," "Hell Is Home" and "Metal Messiah" all carry explicit markings on the album's iTunes page.

Fight (band) American heavy metal band

Fight were an English-American heavy metal band assembled by frontman Rob Halford after his departure from Judas Priest in 1992. He took with him from Judas Priest and Racer X drummer Scott Travis, though Travis also continued to drum for Judas Priest. The line-up was completed by Russ Parrish on guitar, Brian Tilse on guitar and keyboards and Jack "Jay Jay" Brown on bass guitar, the latter of the two former members of Cyanide.

Two was an English industrial metal band, formed by former Judas Priest lead singer Rob Halford as a side project, after the break-up of his first post-Judas Priest band, Fight.

Richie Faulkner British guitarist

Richard Ian Faulkner, is an English musician best known as one of the lead guitarists for the heavy metal band Judas Priest since 2011, replacing original member K. K. Downing. Faulkner has also performed with Lauren Harris, Christopher Lee, Voodoo Six, Dirty Deeds, and Ace Mafia.

<i>Epitaph</i> (Judas Priest DVD) 2013 video by Judas Priest

Epitaph is a live video released by Judas Priest on DVD and Blu-Ray on 28 May 2013. It was filmed at the Hammersmith Apollo on 26 May 2012, which was the last date of the Epitaph World Tour, where they performed songs from each Halford-era album from Rocka Rolla to Nostradamus. The show was first seen in cinemas in New York City on 14 May and in London on 15 May with special screenings around the world on 16 May. It then premiered on VH1 Classic in the United States on 25 May.

<i>Firepower</i> (album) 2018 studio album by Judas Priest

Firepower is the eighteenth studio album by British heavy metal band Judas Priest. It is the first studio album since 1988's Ram It Down to be produced by Tom Allom, and the first one with Andy Sneap as co-producer. The album sold around 49,000 copies in the United States within its first week of release, debuting at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 chart, making it the band's highest-charting album in the US. Music videos were made for "Lightning Strike", "Spectre" and "No Surrender". A lyric video was made for "Never the Heroes".


  1. 1 2 3 James Christopher Monger (17 June 2008). "Nostradamus - Judas Priest | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 4 August 2012. Retrieved 19 May 2014.
  2. Wiederhorn, Jon (29 June 2006). "Judas Priest's Nostradamus Concept LP: A Heavy-Metal 'Phantom Of The Opera'". MTV News. Archived from the original on 11 October 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
  3. "Judas Priest Confirmed For Denmark's Roskilde Festival",, 10 March 2008.
  4. "Judas Priest Meets Nostradamus On New CD" Archived 23 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine , Greg Prato, Billboard , 12 April 2006.
  5. 1 2 Archived 13 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  6. "News - Judas Priest announce farewell EPITAPH World Tour!!". Archived from the original on 28 January 2011. Retrieved 19 May 2014.
  7. Bergman, Keith. "Review: Nostradamus". Archived from the original on 5 January 2010. Retrieved 16 March 2010.
  8. Begrand, Adrien. "Judas Priest: Nostradamus". PopMatters. Archived from the original on 9 August 2008. Retrieved 19 May 2014.
  9. Kaiser, Boris. "Rock Hard review". issue 255. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  10. Geesin, Joe. "Nostradamus - Record Collector Magazine". Record Collector . Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  11. "{title}". Archived from the original on 11 October 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
  12. "Judas Priest Mixing 'Nostradamus'". 19 November 2007. Archived from the original on 2 February 2010. Retrieved 22 October 2010.
  13. "Judas Priest Begins Mixing 'Nostradamus' -". 18 November 2007. Archived from the original on 21 April 2008. Retrieved 19 May 2014.
  14. "Judas Priest Finally Takes On 'Nostradamus'". Billboard. 16 April 2008. Archived from the original on 5 October 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2014.
  15. Archived 22 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  16. 1 2 "Grammy 2009 Winners List". MTV. 8 February 2009. Archived from the original on 15 February 2009. Retrieved 6 February 2012.
  17. Saulnier, Jason (16 April 2011). "Rob Halford Interview, Judas Priest Singer talks Rare Recordings". Music Legends. Archived from the original on 4 August 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
  18. Stagno, Mike (14 June 2008). "Judas Priest – Nostradamus". Sputnik Music. Archived from the original on 3 November 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
  19. Browne, Nichola (10 January 2009). "Precious Metal". Billboard. Archived from the original on 28 April 2018. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  20. 1 2 Nostradamus Liner notes. Epic Records. 2008. pp. 3, 23.
  21. " – Judas Priest – Nostradamus". Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  22. " – Judas Priest – Nostradamus" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  23. "Judas Priest's 'Nostradamus' Is Band's Highest Charting U.S. Album To Date". 25 June 2008. Archived from the original on 16 April 2014. Retrieved 19 May 2014.
  24. " – Judas Priest – Nostradamus" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  25. " – Judas Priest – Nostradamus" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  26. " – Judas Priest – Nostradamus". Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  27. " – Judas Priest – Nostradamus" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  28. " – Judas Priest – Nostradamus". Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  29. "Judas Priest: Nostradamus" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  30. " – Judas Priest – Nostradamus". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  31. " – Judas Priest – Nostradamus". Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  32. " – Judas Priest – Nostradamus". Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  33. " – Judas Priest – Nostradamus". Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  34. " – Judas Priest – Nostradamus". Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  35. " – Judas Priest – Nostradamus". Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  36. " – Judas Priest – Nostradamus". Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  37. "Judas Priest | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  38. "Judas Priest Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 23 March 2015.