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Judas Priest - Painkiller



9.3 | 2142 votes |
Release date: 3 September 1990
Style: Heavy metal

Owners:

2732 have it
150 want it
3 trade it


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: 3

Line-up
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
Rating:
10
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.

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published 20.12.2003 | Comments (59)

Guest review by
Valentin B
Rating:
9.2
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.

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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: 149   Visited by: 2700 users
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.
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03.09.2020 - 22:38
Rating: 9
Redel

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.
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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.
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28.09.2020 - 04:09
Tyrannical Hero
Super Normal
Not even best Judas Priest.
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Crackhead Megadeth reigns supreme.
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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.
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I thought the two primary purposes for the internet were cat memes and overreactions.
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31.10.2020 - 00:39
Rating: 10
Jope of Steele

Written by JoHn DoE on 28.09.2020 at 14:09

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.


Take some time off,; I was in this position, too much listens, the perception gets skewed, it's great an album but too much is too much, give it some rest. I would say it's best since Sad Wings
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31.10.2020 - 00:42
JoHn DoE

Written by Jope of Steele on 31.10.2020 at 00:39

Written by JoHn DoE on 28.09.2020 at 14:09

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.


Take some time off,; I was in this position, too much listens, the perception gets skewed, it's great an album but too much is too much, give it some rest. I would say it's second best since Sad Wings


WTF?! are you stalking me now , it's the third time you quote me in the last few days.
Give it a rest...
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I thought the two primary purposes for the internet were cat memes and overreactions.
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31.10.2020 - 00:45
Rating: 10
Jope of Steele

Written by JoHn DoE on 31.10.2020 at 00:42

Written by Jope of Steele on 31.10.2020 at 00:39

Written by JoHn DoE on 28.09.2020 at 14:09

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.


Take some time off,; I was in this position, too much listens, the perception gets skewed, it's great an album but too much is too much, give it some rest. I would say it's second best since Sad Wings


WTF?! are you stalking me now , it's the third time you quote me in the last few days.
Give it a rest...


Nope, this is one of the most popular metal albums ever and your comment is the most recent one so... no stalkin
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31.10.2020 - 01:25
nikarg
Mod
Judas Priest --> Night Crawler
Jope of Steele --> Night Stalker
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31.10.2020 - 01:26
Rating: 10
Jope of Steele

One of the most killer heavy metal album I've heard really. I remember when I was in upper secondary school and a lot of people were into this album and Judas Priest, and I was totally supporting their venture in further to metal -- I had of course, as true metaller of steele, heard the album already a couple of years ago -- encouraging people to listen to this music.

Whatever the result, I think the album is a masterpiece; I did kind of over-listen it in my early days and became indifferent towards it. But after some time the album sounds kicking ass as ever. I think all of the songs are essential and I do have some preferences as I've always been fond of the songs "Between The Hammer & The Anvil" and "One Shot At Glory", the whole album seems very consistent in quality. I can't but say that this is a return to form after Sad Wings of Destiny.
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31.10.2020 - 01:31
nikarg
Mod
Written by Jope of Steele on 31.10.2020 at 01:26

I've always been fond of the songs "Between The Hammer & The Anvil" and "One Shot At Glory"

I also mentioned this in the comment section of the article I wrote: have you noticed how these two songs share a very similar riff? "One Shot At Glory" is just slower. I love both tracks of course.
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31.10.2020 - 01:34
Rating: 10
Jope of Steele

Written by nikarg on 31.10.2020 at 01:25

Judas Priest --> Night Crawler
Jope of Steele --> Night Stalker



Jope Stalker --> Night of Priest
Jope + Priest = Night of Stalking , according to John Doe logic, that is
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31.10.2020 - 19:59
Rating: 10
Jope of Steele

Written by nikarg on 31.10.2020 at 01:31

Written by Jope of Steele on 31.10.2020 at 01:26

I've always been fond of the songs "Between The Hammer & The Anvil" and "One Shot At Glory"

I also mentioned this in the comment section of the article I wrote: have you noticed how these two songs share a very similar riff? "One Shot At Glory" is just slower. I love both tracks of course.


Nope and probably never would unless somebody (you) pointed it out or maybe if I would hear both of the songs played simultaneously and synced so that the riffs play at the same time. I prefer not to be too analytical about it though; I mainly just wanna listen to music and I rarely even think anything about it, most of the thinking happens so that I can write or say something about the albums. I do enjoy these riffs immensely and maybe there is indeed some similarity taking place that makes me prefer these songs, but as I'm not really a reductionist, I am holistic thinker, so I can only safely say that both of the songs are just damn good heavy metal in their entirety
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We're in Rockefeller Lock step: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCGO_0TC2AM. Cancel the plandemic!
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03.02.2021 - 23:39
Rating: 10
JavierPaper

I have no words to describe this incredible album
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04.02.2021 - 10:14
JoHn DoE

Written by Jope of Steele on 31.10.2020 at 01:34

Written by nikarg on 31.10.2020 at 01:25

Judas Priest --> Night Crawler
Jope of Steele --> Night Stalker



Jope Stalker --> Night of Priest
Jope + Priest = Night of Stalking , according to John Doe logic, that is


is that supposed to be an insult of some kind?
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I thought the two primary purposes for the internet were cat memes and overreactions.
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05.02.2021 - 09:10
Rating: 10
Jope of Steele

Written by JoHn DoE on 04.02.2021 at 10:14

Written by Jope of Steele on 31.10.2020 at 01:34

Jope Stalker --> Night of Priest
Jope + Priest = Night of Stalking , according to John Doe logic, that is


is that supposed to be an insult of some kind?


Negatory. I tried to continue from what nikarg was doing and convey the message that I wasn't indeed Night Stalking. I may fail at it, but I try to make some jokes here when I can instead of writing something to be taken offense from
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13.02.2021 - 00:58
Rating: 9
X-13

8.6 / 10

Just EPIC !
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07.05.2021 - 07:58
Rating: 10
AndyMetalFreak
Mr Nice Guy
The song Painkiller would be a beast of a song to start off any album with, it's possibly the heaviest and fastest song in heavy metal, and the rest of the songs here follow with such a high level of energy, keeping the fast pace, and making the album consistent.

Leather Rebal, Night Crawler and One Shot At Glory are almost as good as the opener IMO, and I really am struggling to find a single song I dislike, so perfect 10 for me.
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13.05.2021 - 22:08
Rating: 4
doez
Hallucigenia
Probably alone on this one, but after 4 years of trying to get into it, I still find it immensely boring
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26.05.2021 - 13:38
Rating: 10
Mehrad

The only problem I have with it is that there's no "breather" like a slower mellower song to tone it down from the ultra fast tempo and screams of other songs so I get it that some people might think it's boring and all the songs are the same ( not to me obviously )
it's also probably my introduction to metal
masterpiece classic album
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23.06.2021 - 08:10
Rating: 10
F3ynman2000

Written by doez on 13.05.2021 at 22:08

Probably alone on this one, but after 4 years of trying to get into it, I still find it immensely boring

I just checked your albums votes. It seems we can agree that Crimson, Storm of the Light's Bane, and Rust in Peace are awesome. But I find it interesting that you hate Judas Priest and Dio (those two I especially love because they were my introduction to metal ). Also, I would give Death's Symbolic and Megadeth's Peace Sells more love. Haha - it's funny how opinions can be so different. Why do you find Painkiller boring ? - I find it the opposite! (I suppose you might not like it because it's constantly fast and intense. That's the reason why I don't like Reign in Blood, for example. But Painkiller I find more nuanced, and, well, amazing in every way.) I'd be interested to hear your reasoning!
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23.06.2021 - 08:20
Rating: 10
F3ynman2000

Written by Jope of Steele on 31.10.2020 at 01:26

One of the most killer heavy metal album I've heard really. I remember when I was in upper secondary school and a lot of people were into this album and Judas Priest, and I was totally supporting their venture in further to metal -- I had of course, as true metaller of steele, heard the album already a couple of years ago -- encouraging people to listen to this music.

Whatever the result, I think the album is a masterpiece; I did kind of over-listen it in my early days and became indifferent towards it. But after some time the album sounds kicking ass as ever. I think all of the songs are essential and I do have some preferences as I've always been fond of the songs "Between The Hammer & The Anvil" and "One Shot At Glory", the whole album seems very consistent in quality. I can't but say that this is a return to form after Sad Wings of Destiny.

I agree! This album is heavy metal perfection - every song is a 10/10 with everything you could hope for: extremely impressive vocals from Halford; KK and Tipton with their classic dual attack creating some of the most badass riffs and most melodic solos ever; along with Travis Scott's insane drumming... this is why it's my favorite metal album of all time! "Cant stop the Painkiller!"
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23.06.2021 - 08:32
Rating: 10
F3ynman2000

Written by Mehrad on 26.05.2021 at 13:38

The only problem I have with it is that there's no "breather" like a slower mellower song to tone it down from the ultra fast tempo and screams of other songs so I get it that some people might think it's boring and all the songs are the same ( not to me obviously )
it's also probably my introduction to metal
masterpiece classic album

That's a good point. Usually I prefer albums that have a balance of faster and slower parts. The only exceptions for me are: Painkiller and Rust in Peace (although one could argue that the intro to Five Magics and Dawn Patrol are the slow parts)
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23.06.2021 - 14:57
Rating: 4
doez
Hallucigenia
Written by F3ynman2000 on 23.06.2021 at 08:10

I just checked your albums votes. It seems we can agree that Crimson, Storm of the Light's Bane, and Rust in Peace are awesome. But I find it interesting that you hate Judas Priest and Dio (those two I especially love because they were my introduction to metal ). Also, I would give Death's Symbolic and Megadeth's Peace Sells more love. Haha - it's funny how opinions can be so different. Why do you find Painkiller boring ? - I find it the opposite! (I suppose you might not like it because it's constantly fast and intense. That's the reason why I don't like Reign in Blood, for example. But Painkiller I find more nuanced, and, well, amazing in every way.) I'd be interested to hear your reasoning!

I think you misinterpreted some of my ratings, 6/10 is still a good grade in my books ! I enjoy Dio's Holy Diver, just not enough to give it a better grade, by no means do I hate it !
I have some troubles with symbolic, I really don't like the vocals and I find the song to not be as interesting as the rest of Death's discography, in fact I only really like 4 or 5 out of the 9, but these songs I REALLY enjoy them which justifies not rating the album any lower.
Peace sells has some of the same problems for me, not enough interesting songs, but th eones I like I really like.
The reason why I find Painkiller boring is because the songs pretty much all sound the same to me, apart from the title track, and I don't find them interesting at all. In the end, I just don't really get any pleasure listening to this album, even to the point of being pretty painful. I have listened to a few other Judas Priest songs that aren't from this release and I found most of them pretty boring as well, so I'm more than likely never gonna check them out any further.
I see you like a lot of bands that I like too ! Bolt Thrower, Death, Dissection, Edge Of Sanity, we have a lot in common just as we have a lot of differences, I find that pretty neat !
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23.06.2021 - 18:03
Rating: 10
F3ynman2000

Written by doez on 23.06.2021 at 14:57

The reason why I find Painkiller boring is because the songs pretty much all sound the same to me, apart from the title track, and I don't find them interesting at all. In the end, I just don't really get any pleasure listening to this album, even to the point of being pretty painful. I have listened to a few other Judas Priest songs that aren't from this release and I found most of them pretty boring as well, so I'm more than likely never gonna check them out any further.
I see you like a lot of bands that I like too ! Bolt Thrower, Death, Dissection, Edge Of Sanity, we have a lot in common just as we have a lot of differences, I find that pretty neat !

Yeah that is interesting. Since Judas Priest was my introduction to heavy metal, I'm probably biased in judging them... but I honestly can't find fault in them! Their songs are always catchy, the players are insanely talented, and Rob Halford's voice was so malleable in its prime (check out Dreamer Deceiver if you haven't already... his voice can go from super low to super high, and it always sounds effortless). Plus, they never get boring (in my opinion) because they have so much diversity throughout their discography. If you want slower songs, take Dreamer Deceiver, Beyond the Realms of Death, or Blood Red Skies. If you want fast epics, take Painkiller or The Sentinel. If you want catchy sing-alongs, take Living After Midnight, Breaking the Law, or Electric Eye! I respect your opinion, but I just love Judas Priest unconditionally!
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23.06.2021 - 18:22
Rating: 10
F3ynman2000

Written by doez on 23.06.2021 at 14:57

I think you misinterpreted some of my ratings, 6/10 is still a good grade in my books ! I enjoy Dio's Holy Diver, just not enough to give it a better grade, by no means do I hate it !
I have some troubles with symbolic, I really don't like the vocals and I find the song to not be as interesting as the rest of Death's discography, in fact I only really like 4 or 5 out of the 9, but these songs I REALLY enjoy them which justifies not rating the album any lower.
Peace sells has some of the same problems for me, not enough interesting songs, but th eones I like I really like.

I think I know what you mean. I have the same issue with The Number of the Beast and Reign in Blood, for example. I really love some of the songs (Hallowed be thy name, children of the damned, Raining Blood). But the rest I don't find that good. It hurts giving the album a low score because it has like one masterpiece song, but all the rest are average or below average. However, I don't have this problem with Symbolic or Peace Sells. By those two, all of the songs are great (maybe except "I Ain't Superstitious", which is just average). Symbolic is the perfect balance between melodic and thrash elements, while Peace Sells has a dark but fun tone with the jazzy style mixed in with the thrash metal.
Which songs do you not like on Peace Sells?
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23.06.2021 - 18:44
Rating: 4
doez
Hallucigenia
Written by F3ynman2000 on 23.06.2021 at 18:22

Which songs do you not like on Peace Sells?

I don't really dislike any song on Peace Sells, but I find Devils Island, Bad Omen and I Ain't Superstitious to be much less memorable than the rest. But now that I think of it, 7/10 might be a bit harsh, you made me reconsider my vote
And you didn't ask for Symbolic but I'm gonna answer anyways because why not, I find myself to not be particularly fond of the first 4 tracks. From 1000 Eyes onwards it's great but beforehand it's kinda eh for me, I never come back to these tracks
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26.06.2021 - 20:37
Rating: 10
WizardSlayer99

Best vocal performance ever, epic melodic speed metal, face melting pinch harmonics, machine drums, over the top lyrics, arguably best production and sound for it's time, masterclass in how to make a FUN, non pretentious metal album.
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26.06.2021 - 21:52
Rating: 10
F3ynman2000

Written by WizardSlayer99 on 26.06.2021 at 20:37

Best vocal performance ever, epic melodic speed metal, face melting pinch harmonics, machine drums, over the top lyrics, arguably best production and sound for it's time, masterclass in how to make a FUN, non pretentious metal album.

Couldn't agree more! This album showed that Judas Priest are capable of balancing epic, heavy elements with their signature fun and catchy style!
By the way, I looked at your album votes - it seems we have a lot of interests in common. Check out my lists of favorite albums and songs - I think you'll appreciate my choices
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150 Greatest Metal Songs: http://metalstorm.net/users/list.php?list_id=6721
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