Judas Priest fans, rejoice: the band's new album is in the can.

More than 18 months after frontman Rob Halford began talking about new material, the group's publicist said that "the album is done and the band is looking forward to releasing it soon."

Though he didn't divulge many details, Halford did say in a Billboard interview last year that the new songs are "hard," "heavy" and "strong and solid."

The as-yet-untitled collection will be Judas Priest's first album since their 2009 live set, A Touch of Evil: Live, which won a Grammy award for Best Metal Performance.

Though many artists especially rockers say they don't care about awards, Halford said that he's definitely not of that mindset: "I love awards because in your career as a musician or an actor or whatever, you always kind of see these things going to other people, and you wonder what it would feel like if you got it yourself."

The Grammy was the first for the group, and came roughly 40 years after Judas Priest was formed.  Halford doesn't care that the recognition took so long to arrive.  "I think it's a sweeter moment...the longer you wait for it."

Perhaps most importantly, Halford says the Grammy served as inspiration when working on the band's new material.  "I think awards are not only exciting, but I think they're inspiring as well," he says.  "I think they kind of make you think about what you've done, what you do, and what's left to be completed."

Stay tuned for more information on the new Judas Priest material, including the album's title and release date.

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