Nostradamus is the sixteenth studio album by English heavy metal band Judas Priest, focusing on the 16th-century writer Nostradamus. It is a double album. The band's first concept album, it was originally intended to be released in late 2006 before being pushed back to a 2007 release, and was finally released in June 2008 on Epic Records. It is the band's final album to feature K.K. Downing, before his retirement.
Guitarist K. K. Downing revealed in a February 2007 interview with Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles that 18 tracks had been recorded with a total length of more than 90 minutes and that there was not much he would like to cut down. Musically, the album contains symphonic orchestrations including the use of keyboards and choirs which is unlike anything the band has previously attempted. In November 2007, the band began mixing the album.
In November 2007, singer Rob Halford indicated that it was still undecided whether it would be a double-disc set or not. In April 2008, it was confirmed that the album would be released as a double-CD/triple vinyl LP.
"Nostradamus" sold 42,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 11 on The Billboard 200 chart. This was the band's highest-ever chart position in the U.S. before being surpassed by Redeemer of Souls in 2014, when it took the No. 6 position. According to Billboard.com, the album was released in Europe on 16 June 2008 and 17 June in United States. Three configurations of Nostradamus have been issued. The most common is a regular jewel-cased double CD, but there is also a "CD deluxe hardbound version," which features a 48-page booklet, while a "super deluxe version" includes three vinyl records (in addition to the CD deluxe packaging, plus a poster).
The title track was released on 12 April 2008 as a free download on Judas Priest's website through Epic Records. The second single "Visions" was released on 4 May 2008.
The band has repeatedly made mention of a desire to perform the album in full, as part of a theatrical production, but the idea was scrapped, possibly due to the album's lukewarm reception by fans.
Sputnik Music said that with Nostradamus the band "has cast away both speed metal and hard rock in favour of a more symphonic metal approach", with the album having a "greater emphasis" on synthesizers, but not in the unsatisfying manner of their 1986 album Turbo. The reviewer said he thought it was "painfully obvious" that the band had been struggling to work in an unfamiliar style. Allmusic said that the album represented "epic metal" of the sort previously produced by Iron Maiden in 1988's Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. The album was seen to contain Spinal Tap-style clichés such as "melodramatic spoken interludes". "Dated" synthesizer string sounds added to the sense that the band was seeking filler material to make a double album, which "should have been" trimmed down to a single album.