Painkiller review by Judas Priest

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  • Released: Sep 3, 1990
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.7 (90 votes)
Judas Priest: Painkiller

Sound — 9
This is one of Judas Priest's best sounding albums yet. The insane drumming (Scott Travis of Racer X), with extreme double-bass action and Glenn and KK's shred style solos. All the songs are good, although many sound very similar to each other, which happens to lots of bands. Another problem is that you can't hear Ian Hill (on bass) almost at all. Some words on some of the songs: 01. Painkiller: the title track and the heaviest song on the album. This song features double bass drums at their loudest, harmonizing guitars at thier fastest and Rob Halford screaming about the messiah for 6 insane minutes. This is my favourite song ever. 02. A Touch Of Evil: ahh, a Judas Priest power ballad. Something sort of new that of course, turned out awesome. The guitars sound haunting and Rob Halford delivers high pitched screams and whatnot...amazing. 03. Battle Hymn/one Shot At Glory: the best Judas Priest album wouldn't be complete without a combo like this. Just like on Screaming for Vengeance, once the beautiful instrumental intro is over, a kick-ass heavy metal song begins!

Lyrics — 9
Rob Halford delivers better than ever on Painkiller. He can still do the screams and he's still got the growl, and he makes every song an amazing experience. Some hardcore Judas Priest fans have complained about the substance of the lyrics, saying that a man that's half man and half machine and that rides a metal monster hardly fits in with other, older JP records. I can't say I agree, because a leather rebel and a touch of evil, sound pretty metal to me.

Overall Impression — 10
Overall, I am very proud to own this record. If it were stolen, I'd probably cry and buy it again immediately. What I love about it the most is its pure heavy metal feel. This album really shows that the guys from Judas Priest aren't posers and really care about the music they make. Yes, it is differs quite a bit compared to other Judas Priest records, but the direction they take with Painkiller is undoubtedly the right one. Note: It probably looks biased to give this album such good scores, but if one album deserves it, this is the one.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Priest were in the doldrums, having released some truly execrable albums. So, they decided to bring in a new drummer who could show Dave Lombardo a thing or two, give the guitarists a Yngwie "Hot Licks" video on how to sweep pick in a pentatonic stylee, and let Rob Halford get taken up the khyber by a raging gorilla whilst he sang every song. The result is an album that just about rips your head off and shits down your neck, which is A Good Thing. 10/10.