Nostradamus is the sixteenth studio album by English heavy metal band Judas Priest, focusing on the 16th-century writer Nostradamus. 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 marks the band's highest-ever chart position in the U.S. 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.
Nostradamus centres on the life and times of the seer. The first disc details various forecasts he has about the future and the end of the world. This leads to him being exiled. Later on, after his death, the world realizes just how right he was.