JUDAS PRIEST — Painkiller (review)

JUDAS PRIEST — Painkiller album cover Album · 1990 · Power Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
This is my favorite Judas Priest album if I don't count the compilation "Metal Works '73-'93" which is the best representation of the band and one of the only three compilation albums that I own!

After completely alienating their Heavy Metal fans with the disastrous "Turbo" and the very generic sounding "Ram It Down", Judas Priest got their act together and delivered one of their best, if not the best, albums with "Painkiller". Gone were the '80s-sounding anthems and instead we got some of the heaviest metal albums, boosted by the heavy-hitting drums courtesy of the newly recruited Scott Travis.

I really like the fact that the band decided not to include a single ballad on "Painkiller", even though "A Touch Of Evil" is pretty close to being one. This is one of the two Judas Priest albums, together with "British Steel", that I played to death in my teens. This might explain why I don't really enjoy any of the bigger hits from either of these releases. Although unlike "British Steel", "Painkiller" has a very exquisite array of hidden gems to compliment the hits. Songs like "Hell Patrol", "Between The Hammer & The Anvil" and "One Shot At Glory" are in my opinion just as great as any of the other classics that have been penned by the trio of Halford/Downing/Tipton over the years!

The album also features my all time favorite Judas Priest composition "Night Crawler" with its killer-riffs and top notch vocal delivery from Rob Halford. I used to get goosebumps whenever I heard the guitar riff that's performed in the chorus section, wonder why I don't get the same reaction from it today?

Whichever way you twist and turn it there's just no denying that "Painkiller" is a landmark release and will remain an important part of the Judas Priest legacy!

***** star songs: Painkiller (6:06) Hell Patrol (3:37) Night Crawler (5:45) Between The Hammer & The Anvil (4:49) Battle Hymn (0:58)

**** star songs: All Guns Blazing (3:58) Leather Rebel (3:35) Metal Meltdown (4:48) A Touch Of Evil (5:45) One Shot At Glory (6:49)
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