When Judas Priest announced on July 11, 2003, that they had reunited with singer Rob Halford, they'd somehow spent more than a decade apart.

Halford joined Judas Priest in 1973 and helped them become one of the most important names in heavy-metal history over the next two decades with his writing and singing on classic albums such as British Steel and Screaming for Vengeance.

He left in 1992 amid rumors of internal tensions within the group, launching a new career by forming the thrash band Fight and then the more experimental 2wo. The '00s found Halford returning to his roots with two more traditionally Priest-sounding albums (including the 2000 LP Resurrection) that he released under the Halford moniker.

At about that same time, Halford and his former bandmates in Judas Priest started repairing their personal relationships and eventually decided to reunite in time for a 30th-anniversary tour. It was such a logical and welcome move that even Halford's replacement, Tim "Ripper" Owens, had little objection.

As guitarist Glenn Tipton told CNN at the time: "He sent us an e-mail yesterday, saying he agrees with the decision, you know, because he is a big Priest fan as well."

The reunited Judas Priest's first order of business was a 2004 European tour, followed by a co-headlining spot on the Ozzfest tour. They quickly returned to the studio, releasing the well-regarded Angel of Retribution album in 2005, and then the double-disc concept album Nostradamus in 2008.

Two further albums would arrive in the years to come: Redeemer of Souls (2014) and Firepower (2018). In 2022, Judas Priest were announced as Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees.

Top 50 Classic Heavy Metal Albums

We take a look at some of the heaviest, loudest and most awesome records ever made.

Why Building Judas Priest's Setlists Can Be 'Frustrating'

More From 100.7 KOOL FM