The Sinner Rides Again

The Sinner Rides Again

For his second album under the KK’s Priest banner, former Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing re-teams with former Priest vocalist Tim “Ripper” Owens, guitarist A.J. Mills, bassist Tony Newton, and drummer Sean Elg. Much like 2021’s Sermons of the Sinner, the record reprises many themes and titles—not to mention the classic heavy metal sound—from Downing’s former band. The titular Sinner, for example, appeared as a song on Judas Priest’s 1977 album, Sin After Sin. “I think a lot of people probably think of me as a sinner,” Downing tells Apple Music. “When I departed from the band back in 2010, I think a lot of the fans thought that I was the guy that jumped ship and deserted them. Little do they know that we all agreed to retire, but I just decided not to do the farewell tour. And then, the band continued on. I came back with Sermons, which basically laid out quite a lot of my side of everything that was going on. But the main thing is to continue to rejoice in the music that we know and love, and for me to extend my heritage and legacy. I put it out there for the world, hopefully, to enjoy, hence The Sinner Rides Again.” Below, he discusses each track. “Sons of the Sentinel” “When I wasn’t allowed to return to Judas Priest, I decided not to leave my heritage, my legacy, my life’s work in the dust and start again. I’m very proud of some of these entities that I’ve been a big part of creating, whether it’s the Painkiller, the Night Crawler, or the Sentinel. So, I did a sequel to ‘The Sentinel’ on the first KK’s Priest album—‘Return of the Sentinel.’ Unfortunately, he dies at the end, but he passed his sword on to whoever else might feel they can accomplish the deed—hence, ‘Sons of the Sentinel.’ It seemed to be very fitting for us, as we’re protecting this wonderful genre of metal.” “Strike of the Viper” “This is about another fictional being that feeds on people’s bodies and minds. It’s not just something that stalks the dark alleys and grabs hold of you and worms its way through your body. It’s also about things that can get you in real life. If you put the garbage out late at night, be careful. The Viper could strike and rip your mind and soul out. But also, it could be alcohol. It could be drugs. It could be pressure from a third party that gets into you and plays with your mind. We have to defend ourselves as best we can because there’s evil out there.” “Reap the Whirlwind” “My grandmother used to say, ‘Now, be careful what you’re doing because if you sow the wind, you’ll reap the whirlwind!’ What I didn’t realize at the time is that it’s an ancient biblical saying. So, I’ve embraced that saying and brought it into the metal world. We’ve got a video for the song that has a Reaper character in it, and I play the part in a cloak. The message is essentially to all the wrongdoers, the ill-doers, and anybody out there who wants to do anything bad to me, the band, the fans, or any of the good people out there on the planet. Be careful what you do because it can come back on you in a much bigger way.” “One More Shot at Glory” “In 1990, I co-wrote a song with my former bandmates called ‘One Shot at Glory.’ As I said before, I’m going to take some of what I’ve created and bring it with me. Maybe KK’s Priest is my one more shot at glory, and why shouldn’t it be? But the other way I look at the song is that nearly everybody in the world is potentially waiting for their one more shot at glory. Maybe it’s one more chance at a relationship or being able to enjoy activities that you enjoyed once, but, through illness or injury, you haven’t been able to do.” “Hymn 66” “There’s a character in Greek mythology called Deimos, and he’s the god of all turmoil, fear, and dread. In this song, there’s a sect, and they’re pretty monastic. They’re at the altar, and they use this hymn—Hymn 66—to summon Deimos. They want to harness him and do something that’s not very nice. They manage to capture him, and they embed a crucifix into his face to make him change his ways. You can see the image on the album cover. It’s pretty gruesome, but it doesn’t deter him.” “The Sinner Rides Again” “The Judas Priest song ‘The Sinner’ was written in 1976. I played it for years and years. Call me the black sheep of the family, however you want to think of me, but you’re never going to harness me. The sinner is going to ride again. If you listen to the lyrics carefully, it’s about me. And I’m back.” “Keeper of the Graves” “In the old days, bodies were dug up for lots of different reasons—medical experiments, grave robbery, where thieves would take the jewelry from the dead and things like this. So, you had to have a keeper, somebody who walks the graveyards at night. In this instance, there’s more at work than just people. There’re also beings that are not exactly flesh and blood. This grave keeper is an old guy, but he can deal with humans. He can fight them off. What he’s dealing with here is not human.” “Pledge Your Souls” “It’s anthemic. Will you join with us? Will you sing with us? Will you pledge your souls to this wonderful thing that we do, this great music that we all know and love and we're a part of? When we get together, we play you this song. We want to hear you singing. Will you sing out loud? We want to hear you saying yes. Will you pledge yourselves? We want to hear you say yes. So, it’s a metal anthem. I can’t wait to play it live.” “Wash Away Your Sins” “At some point in your life, somebody has fucked you over. Somebody’s hit you hard. Or it may not be you. It might be they’ve done bad things to people you know and love. And of course, we all want to get back. Give me the knife, give me the gun, give me the baseball bat—whatever. But far too often, we have to bear the cross of frustration. We have to carry the hatred with us. Do I feel I’ve been kicked hard? Do I want to avenge? Fuck, yes. But there’s another way of doing it. If these people have a mind to repent and regret and feel sorry, if they are prepared to wash away their sins, then maybe we just put that weapon back in the drawer.”

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