Judas Priest’s new album Firepower has made its Billboard 200 debut at No. 5, making it the highest-charting release in the veteran metal band’s history.

The follow-up to 2014’s Redeemer of Souls sold 49,000 units in the week ending March 15, which was their best sales figure since 2005’s Angel of Retribution moved 54,000 copies in its first week.

The Firepower stats were assisted by a ticket and album deal tied in with their latest tour and helped Judas Priest lodge their second-ever Top 10 album after Redeemer of Souls. Lead single “Lightning Strike,” which reached No. 21 in the Mainstream Rock Songs chart, has become their highest-charting single since “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” reached No. 4 in 1982.

“There’s always an element of hope within the chaos,” said singer Rob Halford in a recent interview with Guitar World. “It’s like with most great, passionate art. Whether you’re talking about Star Wars or Priest, in the end, hope wins. Love wins. In the end, the true core and essence of humanity survives, no matter how much shit you throw at it or how much you think it’s been destroyed. We emerge triumphant. The mantra we had was ‘classic heavy fucking metal.’ There’d be days when the guys would go, ‘Oh, this is a great riff,’ and I’d say, ‘No, it’s not heavy enough.’ With every song, we had to keep coming back to that pillar of dedication.”

Guitarist Glenn Tipton, who appears on the album, won’t take part in the band's just-launched world tour as a result of his struggle with Parkinson’s disease. However, he stated that he was capable of making short guest appearances and planned to continue working with the band. “With new medication and advances being made, who knows what the future holds," he noted. "But one thing's for sure, it will certainly involve Priest!”

Watch Judas Priest's 'Lightning Strike' Video

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