Rob Halford and K.K. Downing have paid tribute to their former Judas Priest bandmate John Hinch, who drummed on the band's 1974 debut album Rocka Rolla and passed away at age 73 this past Thursday (4/29).

"His style was strong, direct and unique," Halford said to Loudwire. "I'll be blasting Rocka Rolla today!"

K.K. Downing added, "I am extremely saddened to hear that John has passed away as he played his part so well in the creation and the history of Judas Priest. There are so many memories of crazy and fun times we all shared together. John was always so dependable and did everything to the best of his ability, including his drumming which looking back can only be described as faultless. The fact that he continued to play to his very last day is testimony to his ability and dedication to his love of the drums. I wish to give my sincere condolences to John's family and loved ones from myself and all of you forever. Rest in peace, John."

Following his time in Judas Priest, Hinch continued his music career by working in management, having worked with Jameson Raid, Uli Jon Roth (of Scorpions), and more.

Rest in peace, John.

Watch Judas Priest perform "Rocka Rolla" for the BBC here and stream the album below...