Judas Priest
Painkiller


5.0
classic

Review

by sonictheplumber STAFF USER (107 Reviews)
June 20th, 2008 | 19 replies | 4,843 views


Release Date: 1990 | Tracklist


3 of 3 thought this review was well written

Pounding drums...

Over-the-top riff...

High-pitched vocals...

'Faster than a bullet
Terrifying scream
Enraged and full of anger
He's half man and half machine'


And so begins the title track of Judas Priest's speed metal masterpiece, Painkiller. This album is the epitome of all things metal. It doesn't get more over-the-top than this. Dragonforce? Nah, those guys are wimps. Judas Priest could be insane and ridiculous all they wanted, and they could, unlike many other metal groups, make it sound good. Not just good. Amazing.

Painkiller is a heavy metal classic, through and through. It's definitely the most extreme of all of Priest's studio albums. It takes the raw agression and power found on albums like Screaming for Vengeance and Stained Class and multiplies that tenfold. Rob Halford is at his very best here. His shrieks and shouts are second to none on this album. For some Priest fans, his voice is just too high-pitched. They preferred his lower, yet still great voice found on previous albums. On Painkiller, he seems to be shouting more than anything, but regardless, his voice sounds stellar and he sounds more pissed off than ever before. He reaches his highest notes of all-time on this album. The title track and others have Halford at his loudest ever, reaching notes not even achieved by some opera singers. On some songs, like Hell Patrol and Night Crawler, his voice is slightly more tamed and less over-the-top. No matter how he's singing on this album, Rob Halford's vocals are top-notch.

Glenn Tipton and KK Downing are two of metal's finest guitarists ever. The solos found on Painkiller are flourishing with absolute virtuosity. The duo is best at playing fast, reckless riffs and solos, yet they also hold their own at slower, more sinister riffs, like the ones found in the aforementioned Night Crawler, and Between The Hammer and The Anvil. Are any of you familiar with the video game F-Zero X for the Nintendo 64? Every level of this game has a soundtrack filled with melodic and cheesy guitar-playing. The solos in Painkiller are similar to those found in F-Zero X. Endless shredding and melody fused with brutality dominate the title track. Painkiller is definitely the duo of Tipton and Downing's finest hour.

Until I heard Scott Travis, I was under the impression that Priest was all guitar and vocals and no one was good in the rhythm section of the band. I was wrong. Although previous Priest drummers ranged from average to bland, Scott Travis was truly special. He is an outstanding drummer, especially for the genre. Speed metal is not exactly known for having incredibly talented drummers. The finest men behind the kit in the metal world are usually found in the genres of progressive metal and thrash (sometimes). Scott Travis, however, is certainly an exception. The first thing you hear on this album is Travis' ferocious and chaotic drumming. He plays incredibly fast and throws in plenty of fills, yet he keeps the beat and refrains from sounding too crazy. The title track is definitely his best performance. The entire first twenty seconds of the song consists of nothing but Scott banging away on his drumkit. He's definitely one of the best metal drummers out there, and the best drummer Priest has ever had.

Painkiller is almost flawless. However, there are a few negative aspects. There is no filler aside from track eight, A Touch of Evil, which is absolutely bland, uninspired, and simply boring. Also, while Rob Halford's vocals are top-notch, they can get irritating at times, but this is very rare. The lyrics are awful, but at the same time, they are hilarious. The only metal band that I can think of that has worse lyrics than Judas Priest is Dethklok, and they aren't a real band. The lyrics on this album may be terrible, but I just love 'em. They fit the music, definitely. If Painkiller had thought-provoking lyrics, it wouldn't be as fun.

'Twisting the strangle grip
Wont give no mercy
Feeling those tendons rip
Torn up and mean'


-All Guns Blazing

Pretty silly, huh?

Painkiller is a metal masterpiece. If you want to get into Judas Priest, buy this album and download/ignore the rest of their material. This was, without a shadow of a doubt, worth the one dollar and forty-five cents I paid for it. Although there is one lackluster song (A Touch of Evil), Painkiller is definitely worth buying if you're into Judas Priest or just heavy metal in general. It is a classic, through and through. If you like metal and have avoided this album, buy it now. It's not for everyone, but if you want to retreat from the serious and complex sounds of Opeth and other bands, then buy Painkiller. It's fifty-five minutes of speed metal bliss.

5/5



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Yazz_Flute
June 20th 2008



18770 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nice review man, this is an awesome album.

Digging: Eskaton - 4 Visions

SHOOTME
June 20th 2008



2393 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

On the lyrics comment, what about Anthrax?

Anyways good review, yet completely unnecessary.This Message Edited On 06.20.08

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
June 20th 2008



15732 Comments


how is anything unnecessary at all?

Erratic
June 20th 2008



1120 Comments


Wow, three Priest reviews on the front page. They sure are popular right now.

SHOOTME
June 20th 2008



2393 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

My bad, edited the "at all" part out.

ToWhatEnd
June 20th 2008



3172 Comments


Wow that's a lot of 5s for this record. I'm surprised no one has given this a 2 or lower for attention purposes. Altmer pick up the slack.

Poet
June 20th 2008



5922 Comments


This was, without a shadow of a doubt, worth the one dollar and forty-five cents I paid for it


Wow what a bargain!!!

SHOOTME
June 20th 2008



2393 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Wow that's a lot of 5s for this record. I'm surprised no one has given this a 2 or lower for attention purposes. Altmer pick up the slack.


Here is a bad idea: How about getting hybercoleking back on the site and making him write the review!


ToWhatEnd
June 20th 2008



3172 Comments


I don't remember him. You should link some of his stuff. In return for my spam I am tossing you a vote Mr. Hedgehog Plumber.

SHOOTME
June 20th 2008



2393 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

http://www.sputnikmusic.com/album.php?reviewid=12945

This is some of the "magnificent" work of Hybercoleking.

Essence
June 20th 2008



3583 Comments


lol bt his riViews war so gud

ToWhatEnd
June 20th 2008



3172 Comments


ROLMFAO. I say leave the humorous t-b-t's to chan since he can actually write.

Edit: But thanks for posting that link. It certainly gave me a laugh.This Message Edited On 06.20.08

Si1v3RfaNg
August 18th 2008



815 Comments


yeah despite the fact you insulted my review sonic, pretty damn good review

DeathGrinder
October 19th 2008



152 Comments


Twisting the strangle grip wont give no mercy!!!


dannyboy89
February 18th 2012



11955 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Nice work Sonic. Pos.

KILL
February 18th 2012



71482 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

lol

Digging: Invisible - El jardin de los presentes

facupm
February 26th 2012



7455 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"A touch of Evil" boring???? you gotta be kidding...

KILL
February 26th 2012



71482 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

no kidding bro!

facupm
March 13th 2012



7455 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yes you must be kiddin, it's an awesome song, and a perfect change for the album



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