JUDAS PRIEST — Painkiller (review)

JUDAS PRIEST — Painkiller album cover Album · 1990 · Power Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
metalmillennium
The leather, the motorcycles...Ah, yes, it could only be Judas Priest. Sadly this would be Rob Halford's last outing with Priest, and damned if it weren't a good one. After a successful commercial run in the 80s, what were Priest up to as the new decade emerged? One thing is for sure: This is the heaviest sound they have achieved up to this point!

The sound has intensified quite a bit, and there are a number of songs to show you just that. The vocals are less straight-forward than before and they carry more of a sinister, raspy tone. The guitars blaze in full fury with no holding back. Just listen to the crunching opener "Painkiller" and you can sense the bitterness. Rob's vocals are haunting, the twin-guitar guitar act is near flawless--frightening solo, that deserves a bang of the head or two. "Hell Patrol," "All Guns Blazing," and "Leather Rebel" continute right where "Painkiller" left off, and contain speedy, precise riffage throughout, accompained by high, melodic choruses that are worth checking out. Check out the intro to "Metal Meltdown" : thoughts of Van Halen come to mind..but the song kicks in, and it could be none other than Priest! A metal meltdown indeed! The spoken vocals in "Night Crawler" are creepy and worth checking out. Be sure not to miss "Battle Hymn," an instrumental that leads into the final track. The first half of this disc is raw Priest at their finest. Rob left in good fashion, if I must say so. ..And Priest only begins to get heavier. Get the leather clothes out of the closet, start up your motorcycle, and let's take a trip to Hell together.
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