Judas Priest guitarist Glenn Tipton won’t be joining the band on its massive “Firepower 2018” world tour because his case of Parkinson’s disease is progressing.

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Photo: Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP, File

Glenn Tipton - Judas Priest's Glenn Tipton plays Knotfest 2015 in San Bernardino, Calif., in this file photo.

A statement from the band explains Tipton was diagnosed with early onset of Parkinson’s disease 10 years ago and until recently, has continued a “standard of quality and performance that is incredibly important.”

However, the progression of the disease and how it affects his performance of the band’s more challenging material led Tipton to decide not to go on this tour. He asked Andy Sneap to fill in for him.

“I want everyone to know that it’s vital that the Judas Priest tour go ahead and that I am not leaving the band. It’s simply that my role has changed,” Tipton said in the statement. “I don’t rule out the chance to go onstage … when I feel able to blast out some Priest!”

Rob Halford, Richie Faulkner, Ian Hill and Scott Travis said in a joint statement that Tipton is “a true metal hero!”

“We are not surprised by Glenn’s insistence that we complete the “Firepower” tour and thank Andy for joining us to make Glenn’s wishes become real. As Glenn said, we also can’t wait to have him with us at any time, any place on the road.”

Pollstar box office reports for the past three years show Judas Priest with average tickets sold per show of 3.923 and average gross of $197,805.

The “Firepower 2018” tour, with Saxon and Black Star Riders as support, kicks off March 13 at Mohegan Sun Arena At Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.