British heavy metal icons Judas Priest have announced that KK Downing, one of the founding members of the band, has decided to retire from the band and as a result, will not be taking part in the group’s forthcoming, Epitath tour. A press release from the band reads as follows:
“It is with regret that Judas Priest announce that K.K. Downing has formally retired from the band and will therefore not be joining them on their forthcoming Epitath Tour.
“The band respect his decision and naturally all wish him well.
“Having thought long and hard about how to proceed, Rob, Glenn, Ian and Scott uninimously agreed that they should go ahead with the tour and not let the fans down around the world.
“Fate also stepped in and delivered the perfect replacement – 31 year old British guitarist Richie Faulkner – he has blended into the band perfectly and is a great talent who is going to set the stage on fire!
“The Epitath tour will include songs from every Judas Priest album and also tracks they have never performed on stage, plus all the old favourites!
“With a new album due to be released next year, the Metal Gods are preparing to tour the planet once more – Heavy metal at it’s best with lasers, lights, bikes and hellfire! It’s a show not to be missed!”