Judas Priest - Painkiller

9.2 | 2122 votes |
Release date: 3 September 1990
Style: Heavy metal


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01. Painkiller
02. Hell Patrol
03. All Guns Blazing
04. Leather Rebel
05. Metal Meltdown
06. Night Crawler
07. Between The Hammer & The Anvil
08. A Touch Of Evil
09. Battle Hymn
10. One Shot At Glory
11. Living Bad Dreams [Recorded during the 1990 Painkiller sessions] [2001 re-release bonus]
12. Leather Rebel [Live at Foundation's Forum, Los Angeles, California, USA in 13 September 1990] [2001 re-release bonus]

Top 20 albums of 1990: 2
Top 200 albums of all time: 6

Robert John Arthur "Rob" Halford - vocals
Kenneth "K.K." Downing - guitar
Glenn Raymond Tipton - guitar
Scott Travis - drums
Ian Frank Hill - bass

Guest musicians
Donald "Don" Airey - keyboards

Additional info
Produced by Chris Tsangarides.

Staff review by
Pierre Tombale
The most wicked, crass, screaming guitars, heaviestů album in Judas Priest's discography with Rob Halford. There are simply not enough attributes to describe it. To many if not most of the fans say it's the best album they ever recorded. For me, it's the second best (pointing at the Screaming For Vengeance review). Of course, this is a perfect production, incredible songwriting, a brand new sound you would not have imagined before 1990, but everybody can have his own view on that.

published 20.12.2003 | Comments (59)

Guest review by
Valentin B
The year is 1990 and after 2-3 softer releases like Turbo or Ram it down, Rob Halford, KK Downing, Glenn Tipton, Ian Hill and new drummer Scott Travis (the five members of Judas Priest) decide to do something so brutal, even by death metal standards of the day. It's so heavy, so fast and shredding, yet so catchy and melodic that no-one has ever heard anything like it before.

published 02.11.2006 | Comments (30)

30 years ago, on September 3, 1990, Judas Priest released the perfect heavy metal album. Not A perfect heavy metal album - THE perfect heavy metal album, a nonstop death machine bristling with power and speed that puts all competition to shame. The title track really says it all: it's iconic from head to toe, opening with Scott Travis's merciless drum volley and closing with Rob's peremptory shriek of "PAIN!!", with some of the greatest shredding ever committed to wax in between. But the album doesn't end there; for 47 minutes, Painkiller holds its listeners captive with stratospheric screeching, face-melting guitar solos, and the sleekest, heaviest, most brutally effective solution of thrash-laced heavy metal that the world has ever heard. The snarling evil of "Night Crawler," the pummeling metallic frenzy of "Metal Meltdown," the epic and intimidating groove of "Hell Patrol" - every track is a guaranteed killer from one of the most legendary bands ever to give meaning to the phrase "heavy metal." I love the myriad styles of metal music and I embrace it in all its deathly, blackened, doomy, thrashy, folksy, grindy, djenty extremity, but when it comes to the grand tradition, the classic sound, the stuff that "heavy metal" in its purest form is made of, there is nothing better than Painkiller.

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Comments: 126   Visited by: 2566 users
03.09.2020 - 16:27
Rating: 9
Troy Killjoy
Written by RaduP on 03.09.2020 at 15:14

Crazy how 30 years later no heavy metal album even came close.

Agreed. I can't name a single other purely heavy metal album that I enjoy nearly as much as this.
I have no memory of this place.
03.09.2020 - 16:28
Rating: 10
Metal Rambo
30 years since this masterpiece was released and it still feels like it could have been made just yesterday. I wish every newer records sounded this fresh and exciting.
You've got a lot of guts. Let's see what they look like.
03.09.2020 - 22:38
Rating: 9
Written by Troy Killjoy on 03.09.2020 at 16:27

Written by RaduP on 03.09.2020 at 15:14

Crazy how 30 years later no heavy metal album even came close.

Agreed. I can't name a single other purely heavy metal album that I enjoy nearly as much as this.

An album that was released exactly 6 years earlier than this rivals it: Powerslave.
19.09.2020 - 10:49
Rating: 9
After a very lackluster 80's they finally released a consistent album focusing on speed and heavyness. And this time as well with a excellent drummer. Feels like a meaner follow up to Thundersteel and Privilege of Power by Riot. Really good stuff all around!

Sadly we never got to hear what a follow up to this album would have sounded like.
And what do you call assassins who accuse assassins anyway, my friend?
28.09.2020 - 04:09
Not even best Judas Priest.
Never trust a junkie.
28.09.2020 - 14:09
JoHn DoE
I rarely listen to this, I guess I overplayed it back in the day. But them again I can say the same about other Priest albums... they still get more listens than Painkiller.

I've never shared the enthusiasm that surrounds this album although I do understand it.
70s Priest has remained my favorite since first listen.
I thought the two primary purposes for the internet were cat memes and overreactions.

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