JUDAS PRIEST — Painkiller (review)

JUDAS PRIEST — Painkiller album cover Album · 1990 · Power Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
The Angry Scotsman
This was the first Judas Priest album I bought. Before "Painkiller" I only knew songs like "Breaking the Law", "Living After Midnight", and "You've Got Another Thing Comin". So I was quite surprised when I listened to this album.

I was mainly surprised at how fast the album was and crazy it's solo's. This album is the textbook definition of speed metal. I was particularly struck with the drumming...long, (and I mean long) sections of fairly quick double bass, powerful beats and fills, really drives the album but is not over the top.

Of course Rob's vocals are blazing like guns. His high pitched, shrill vocals pierce the heavens just as we've come to love and expect. However, he also makes fairly frequent use of deeper vocals on the album. Dark feeling it gives.

The album starts off with Painkiller, and awesome song. Kicks right in with a sweet drum break and continues on with awesome riffing and speed. The dueling solo's are truly insane and Rob's vocals can send a shiver down you.

Hell Patrol. Awesome and straightforward song, more melodic solos.

All Guns Blazing. Solo filled song!

Leather Rebel. Damn, that is one hell of an opening riff. Good song, but a bit uninspired.

Metal Meltdown. Wait, THAT is a hell of an intro! The song is pretty quick paced and does not let up. Awesome solos and powerful ending.

Night Crawler. Album takes a turn here. A slower more traditional heavy metal song. Interesting middle section.

Between the Hammer & the Anvil. Along the same lines, slower and heavier. Sweet solos.

A Touch of Evil. Now we're really mixing it up. Song has a heavy, more staccato riff (opposed to he albums non stop, no break riffing). Slower, heavy and interesting song. Does drag a bit, but pretty cool.

Battle Hymn. Melodic interlude.

One Shot at Glory. Mid paced song, with awesome riffing, soloing, and guitar work. In fact some of the best riffs and guitar work on the album. Of course topped off with thundering drums and Rob's vocals.

The Metal Gods have come back to Earth, and they delivered onto us this awesome album. An overall mid to fast paced album with everything we want: Great riffing, dualing shred guitar solos, and high pitched vocals. Maybe this is its fatal flaw, a bit too much of what we'd expect. While the music is great, the songwriting is uninspired. Some parts drag, some is just unimaginative. While the second half does let up from the first half's intensity even in these the songs sound like traditional heavy metal. Which is not bad at all.

Overall, very good album! Four Stars
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