Richie Faulkner (Judas Priest, Elegant Weapons)


The incendiary opus of musical mastery, stands as the pinnacle achievement where guitar virtuoso Richie Faulkner unveils his majestic prowess within the hallowed ranks of the legendary Birmingham ensemble known as Judas Priest. For an illustrious era spanning over a decade, Richie, a luminary hailing from the British shores, has been an integral force in the very heart of this sonic behemoth.

Yet, the saga continues to unfold, heralding the advent of Elegant Weapons—an extraordinary convergence of musical destiny. Here, Faulkner finds himself fortified and emboldened by the regal presence of the inimitable Ronnie Romero, a titan who has lent his mesmerizing voice to the realms of Rainbow, Vandenberg, and Michael Schenker. Further bolstering this formidable assembly are the rhythmic sorcery of Dave Rimmer, heralding from the revered Uriah Heep, and the thunderous percussive might of Christopher Williams, hailing from the hallowed German metal stalwarts, Accept.

Ah, but why the epithet Elegant Weapons, you may wonder? In any noble pursuit, a true artisan requires a befitting arsenal of instruments to sculpt their sonic odyssey. For the musician, those coveted tools manifest as ethereal embodiments—their instruments, their voices, and the profound emotions they conjure. Consider it an homage to these sacred conduits of sound, steeped in antiquity. It pays tribute to the venerable instruments that grace our hands, while also embracing the very essence of this extraordinary genre—a harmonious tapestry interwoven with the traditions of metal's luminaries like Sabbath, Dio, Rainbow, Pantera, and the immortal Priest.

In a testament to his indomitable spirit, Richie Faulkner summons forth this supergroup, his fervor undeterred by the abyss of adversity. Cast your mind back to that fateful night—September 26, 2021—when the stage was cloaked in ominous shadows, as Faulkner himself was assailed by an aortic aneurysm amidst the fervent rendition of the band's magnum opus, "Painkiller." Against insurmountable odds, he forged ahead, resolute, and concluded the set before being hastily whisked away to undergo a perilous ten-hour surgical ordeal. The surgeon's grim prognosis whispered despair, foretelling an uncertain fate. Yet, he defied the very jaws of death, for the cosmos had orchestrated an extraordinary symphony—a fortuitous convergence where the last chords resonated, a mere stone's throw from the eminent Rudd Heart and Lung Center at the University of Louisville. Thus, destiny granted Richie a miraculous reprieve, snatching him from the abyss, and gifting him the precious opportunity to grace us with his words today. A true testament to the alignment of celestial forces, choreographing his triumphant return from the precipice of eternity. As he so aptly states, "They say I'll be 100% by Christmas."

And now, we stand witness to the grand unveiling of Elegant Weapons—a finished opus that yearns to be unshackled and traverse the expanse of this world, enrapturing the hearts of traditional heavy metal devotees.

Amidst this ensemble of thunderous artistry, we find Rex Brown, a paragon of bass mastery and a trusted comrade whose friendship with Richie spans the aeons. When the relentless pursuit of perfection demanded an ethereal low-end foundation, it was Rex's resounding bass lines that answered the clarion call. His distinctive sonic palette, an auditory revelation, resonates with unparalleled recognition. Yet, beyond the mere music, their bond transcends the realm of sound, woven through the tapestry of friendship. In Richie's own words, "Rex and I have a telepathic connection. There's a cosmic synergy."

Behold the percussive maestro, Scott Travis, a rhythm conjurer whose percussive sorcery has graced the sacred annals of Priest for over three decades. His beats, like a thunderous tempest, ignite the primal fire within the souls of those who bear witness. The alliance between Faulkner and Travis is nothing short of symbiotic brilliance—a melding of minds that births percussive symphonies of unparalleled magnificence.

Christopher Williams, the rhythmic titan hailing from the renowned German metal bastion known as Accept, stands as the unsung hero, the silent guardian of Elegant Weapons. With deft precision and a supernatural metronomic pulse, he provides the foundation upon which this musical leviathan stands.

But the grand tapestry of Elegant Weapons finds its true apotheosis in the guiding hand of the master alchemist, producer Andy Sneap. A luminary in his own right, his name etched alongside the likes of Megadeth, Testament, and Exodus. With the keenness of an alchemist, he deciphers Richie's artistic vision, distilling it into a sonic elixir that defies the very limits of human comprehension. Armed with his discerning ear, Sneap carefully crafts a soundscape that transcends time, blending the mystique of the '70s and '80s metal pioneers with a contemporary flair.

And oh, the magic that transpires when Richie wields his signature Gibson Flying V, with the power of a thousand suns coursing through his fingers. A testament to the gods of rock, he summons forth a torrential storm, his fingers dancing across the fretboard, conjuring a hybrid of Hendrixian wizardry, the timeless melodies of Priest, the earth-shattering riffs of Sabbath, the haunting echoes of Ozzy, and the fervor of Black Label Society. Every note, every blistering solo, a testament to his mastery.

The album, a sonic tapestry of metal transcendence, showcases a relentless barrage of sonorous might. Each track, a molten crucible of raw power and poetic lyricism, holds within it the very essence of what it means to be human. And amidst this maelstrom of unyielding force, two songs stand as profound departures from the tempestuous norm. "Ghost of You," a tender introspection, unfurls its delicate wings, evoking ethereal emotions that caress the soul. And then, as if whisked away to the psychedelic realms of the '60s, "Rose Girl" emerges, weaving a tapestry of kaleidoscopic sounds that intoxicates the senses.

Elegant Weapons, in their noble quest, strive to uphold the sacred lineage of traditional power metal, tracing its roots to the timeless icons of '70s and '80s heavy metal. They carry the torch, embraced by the fervent embrace of traditional heavy metal aficionados worldwide. With hearts aflame and the wind at their backs, they embark upon a voyage to preserve and perpetuate the sanctity of a genre that reverberates through the very essence of human existence.

And so, we stand in awe, bearing witness to the birth of Elegant Weapons—a symphony of souls, united in their unwavering devotion to the ancient code of rock 'n' roll. A journey that transcends time and space, where the spirit of metal finds its eternal sanctuary.