After 42 years, guitarist KK Downing is hanging it up. Does this mean that Judas Priest has been issued their last rites?

A statement posted on the Judas Priest website confirms that legendary guitarist KK Downing is quitting the band.

Downing has been around since Priest's inception in 1969 and has spent most of those years playing with Judas Priest. The only time he did not play for the group was during the band's three year hiatus in the 90's.

The rest of the band says that they respect his decision and wish him well. A guy named Richie Faulkner will replace him on their upcoming European tour.

Downing is 59 years old.