Judas Priest - Painkiller
3 September 1990

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]

The most wicked, crass, screaming guitars, heaviest… 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.

Devastating drums and screaming guitars, a sound that has influenced many bands since the release of Painkiller, the most famous album among Priest's works. The guitars remind me at times of a chainsaw, incredible, lightspeed solos, this album gives you all that you may desire, but it is a complete breakaway from the sound the metal legends were famous for. A sign of the beginning of the end? Soon after Painkiller Rob Halford left the band to start a solo carreer, which should reach the height of the Painkiller-times a whole decade later.

To me the cover artwork already shows what kind of a furious monster of metal was unleashed with the release of Painkiller, the pure metal massacre… here comes the 'Metal Meltdown', run for your lives! My favorites on this album are definetely 'Night Crawler', a real metal-nightmare, 'Between The Hammer & The Anvil' and 'A Touch Of Evil', the latter using keyboards. The bonus track 'Living Bad Dreams' fits this record perfectly and the 'Leather Rebel' live is unnecessary but what the heck… this record could not be ruined even if the song had a bad quality.

Once again Priest have proven that they can make a record without a single weakness, leaving you the choice of loving or hating it. As I said I prefer the classic sound, but worship this of course as a masterpiece, just as it deserves.

Band profile: Judas Priest
Album: Painkiller


written by Pierre Tombale | 20.12.2003

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)

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Unna Med - 01.07.2012 at 21:09  
One of my first heavy metal albums. An amazing album of the amazing band
ThunderAxe1989 - 23.12.2012 at 02:45  

Alcobia - 05.10.2013 at 01:21  
Not like most of the crap that they do nowadays in heavy metal.
Here have my ears been, this is amazing.
A BIG 10
IH8Hipsters - 15.10.2013 at 04:41  
I agree 100% this album is a 10/10. It is one of the best albums ever made in my opinion. It is absolutely perfect IMO. I wouldn't have them change a thing other than going back in time, staying together and making more albums this awesome. Angel of Retribution was a good reunion album but they missed out. They could have been the biggest metal band ever, bigger than Metallica.
pkillerjp - 18.02.2014 at 17:44  
Best metal band of all time and one of their best albums, surely a classic, I only take off a point because I don't think it's perfect like some do. I could never stand Metal Meltdown and All Guns Blazing is kind of annoying as well. I'm also amazed at the number of people who call it Priest's best...Stained Class is way better, and I'd probably put Hellbent for Leather over it as well, Screaming for Vengeance is probably better as well.. I could even put up an argument for Defenders and Sad Wings...Priest rules..

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