JUDAS PRIEST — Painkiller (review)

JUDAS PRIEST — Painkiller album cover Album · 1990 · Power Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
SilentScream213
Painkiller. I don’t think anyone saw this coming from Judas Priest, one of the tamer metal bands, some 20 years into their career. I can’t imagine the insanity this caused when it dropped in 1990.

I can only look at it now. And now even now, it remains an absolute beast of melodic Speed Metal with more than a few of the genre’s most memorable riffs ever put to record. Halford’s iconic voice becomes a shredding cry here on a much different level than he had ever done before. The drumming flows into Power Metal territory with its constant double bass pummeling, and the guitars weave intense melodies that flirt with Thrash but lean more towards epic stylings rather than dark. And yet, the music and vocals are very aggressive, but almost upliftingly so. Perhaps triumphantly is a better word, as this album is a remarkable triumph of metal and indisputably Judas Priest’s finest hour.
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