Judas Priest - Painkiller
Columbia
Heavy Metal !!!
10 songs (46:11)
Release year: 1990
Judas Priest
Reviewed by Mike

Culminating in what would sadly be the end of the Rob Halford-led Judas Priest era, Painkiller is the band's best album in my opinion. After releasing several influential albums throughout the 70's and 80's, the Priest would leave a substantial mark on the metal genre during the 90's also with this 1990 release. There is no doubt this album is a major influence on many of today's metal acts. Listen to any Primal Fear album, Iron Savior, or Gamma Ray's No World Order, or countless other power metal albums and you will quickly see the mark Painkiller has left behind. Painkiller would not be such an influential album had it not been such a damn good album. Of course, any metal fan surely already owns this album and knows what a killer it is!

From a musical standpoint, this album is a feast for fans of tight and articulate guitar work, furious guitar soling (the solos throughout the title track are amazing to this day), and intense, bombastic drumming. Glen Tipton and K.K. Downing steal the show throughout the album with some ferocious dual guitar work and brutal solos. New drummer Scott Travis fits in perfectly with the group as his tight and fast drumming elevates the Priest sound into the speed/power metal territory. Let's not foget The Metal God, Rob Halford who delivers a stellar vocal performance kicked up a notch in intenstity due to the sheer heaviness of this album. The steady diet of intense wails from Halford combined with the pounding drumming of Travis and screaming guitars are the recipe for a metal masterpiece!

Each song is instantly recognizable as there is no filler material or dull track to be found on this album. Painkiller delivers nine songs (plus one instrumental, Battle Hymn) that are all standouts in their own rite. While the entire album is relentless in power and intensity, each song has the ability to drive itself into your mind and not leave for a very long time. The only respite from the heart pounding speed is the album's first single, A Touch Of Evil. This track opens with an eerie intro and develops into a mid tempo, evil sounding track dominated by Halford's piercing vocal effort and a long, intricate guitar solo beginning just after the three minute mark which allow this track to fit nicely within this album. Aside from this lone track, the frantic speed of Painkiller is non stop.

It is impossible to pick a couple of standout tracks as the best of the album. The fact is that each of the songs maintain the same high level of quality: superb vocals that we have come to expect from the Metal God himself, intense drum work, and an energetic, very tight performance from Tipton and Downing. Folks, this is heavy metal. I can't imagine a metal collection complete without this album. I do not routinely hand out perfect quotes, but then again, Painkiller is no "routine" metal album either...

Killing Songs :
They are all gems!
Mike quoted 100 / 100
Other albums by Judas Priest that we have reviewed:
Judas Priest - Redeemer of Souls reviewed by Thomas and quoted 70 / 100
Judas Priest - Killing Machine / Hell Bent for Leather reviewed by Goat and quoted CLASSIC
Judas Priest - Screaming For Vengeance reviewed by Goat and quoted CLASSIC
Judas Priest - Stained Class reviewed by Goat and quoted CLASSIC
Judas Priest - Sin After Sin reviewed by Phil and quoted CLASSIC
To see all 20 reviews click here
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