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Painkiller [EP, Live, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered]

Judas Priest Audio CD


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Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine & Greg Prato
Judas Priest was one of the most influential heavy metal bands of the '70s, spearheading the New Wave of British Heavy Metal late in the decade. Decked out in leather and chains, the band fused the gothic doom of Black Sabbath with the riffs and speed of Led Zeppelin, as well as adding a vicious two-lead guitar attack; in doing so, ... Read more in Amazon's Judas Priest Store

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Product details


1. Painkiller
2. Hell Patrol
3. All Guns Blazing
4. Leather Rebel
5. Metal Meltdown
6. Night Crawler
7. Between The Hammer & The Anvil
8. A Touch Of Evil
9. Battle Hymn
10. One Shot At Glory
11. Living Bad Dreams
12. Leather Rebel (Live)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  158 reviews
38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The quintessential speed metal album? 4 Nov 2005
By A. Stutheit - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Following the poor record sales of 1988's attempted but largely unsuccessful comeback, "Ram It Down," Judas Priest tried to win their fans back with their twelfth studio effort, 1990's "Painkiller." Frontman Rob Halford, axemen K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton, bassist Ian Hill, and drummer Scott Travis went about this task by returning to their classic, 1970's style of metal while simultaneously intermixing some techniques from modern, contemporary speed metal bands. The result was a masterful new disc, the heaviest and most musically complex of Judas Priest's career, which successfully won all of the band's fans back, and even gained them many new fans. "Painkiller" is not only the definition of a Nineties' classic; it's a truly wonderful comeback, and easily the best release of Priest's long and storied career. Plus--since it's saturated with fast riffs, scorching leads, extended, technical solos, quick drumming, and Rob's shrieking vocals--many music fans think (justifably so) that "Painkiller" is the epitome of speed metal. It's also one of the most famous and important albums on heavy metal's timeline. Motorhead may have given birth to speed metal, but "Painkiller" has spawned a generation of imitators, so it's equally as influential as anything by, well, any other band. The opening title track sets the mood well for the rest of the songs. It has a fast drum beat and fast churning riffs, as well as Rob's standard, very high pitched vocals, and two sweet guitar solos (the first of which is well over a minute long!) The appropriately titled "All Guns Blazing," has a spectacular, wailing solo which has several different parts to it. The next song, "Leather Rebel," is a very speedy track with an almost buzzsaw rhythm, and track five ("Metal Meltdown") features three back-to-back guitar solos. Other highlights include the memorable chug and churn guitars and thumping drums of "Night Crawler," "Between The Hammer & The Anvil," which is highlighted by yet another lengthy, winding, mazey, three part solo, and, the catchy, mid-paced, stop-start rhythm behind "A Touch Of Evil." Finally, if you buy the remastered version of this album, you get two bonus tracks--"Living Bad Dreams," and a rare, live version of "Leather Rebel"--which are both excellent inclusions in your collection. "Painkiller" is, from front to back, an eargasm. If you're a speed/thrash/classical metal fan, there's almost no record you need more than this one, and if you weren't a Judas Priest fan before, you'll definitely be one now! This has got to be one of the finest metal albums ever recorded, and it is nothing short of being a flawless, genre defining, standard bearing classic.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Judas Priest doing speed & thrash metal - their last essential album 17 May 2007
By R. Gorham - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
THE BAND: Rob Halford (vocals), K.K. Downing (guitar), Glenn Tipton (guitar), Ian Hill (bass), Scott Travis (drums & percussion).

THE DISC: (1990) 10 tracks clocking in at approximately 46 minutes. Included with the disc is a 10-page booklet containing song titles/credits, song lyrics and one black & white band photo. All songs written by Halford/Tipton/Downing. Remastered with bonus tracks and expanded liner notes in 2001 (55 total minutes). Recorded at Miraval Studios (Brignoles, France). Label - Columbia Records.

COMMENTS: "Painkiller" is an ultra large dose of traditional Judas Priest sounds with some speed & thrash metal mixed in. In other words... compared to their previous two albums, the metal messiahs have returned to form! Nothing can compare to the band's early releases ("Stained Glass" though "Screaming For Vengeance") in the late 1970's and early 80's... but "Painkiller" comes close. For me, "Turbo" (1986) and "Ram It Down" (1988) were way to pop, to tame, too much bubblegum - way to happy. "Painkiller" showed the band still had the balls to bang their heads the old school way. Looking back now, "Painkiller" is still a bittersweet album. Rob Halford would officially leave the band in 1991, and Judas Priest was pronounced dead from '91-95... only to resurge in '96 with replacement scab singer, Tim "Ripper" Owens. To me, this was like David Lee Roth leaving Van Halen, or Bruce Dickinson leaving Iron Maiden... maintaining that ANY replacement would simply be unacceptable. Also note long time drummer Dave Holland was out and new skin pounder Scott Travis (from Racer-X) was in - bringing extremely quick feet and lots of heavy double bass. This is an album filled with anger, attitude, shredding guitars, pounding drums, and happily very little keyboards (only on "A Touch Of Evil"). From the 6-minute opening title track to the album closer, "Painkiller" just doesn't let up - no filler to be found. Highlights include the title track, "Metal Meltdown", "Night Crawler" and "A Touch Of Evil" (as it happens, all 4 of these songs were featured on the band's 2-disc '93 compilation "Metal Works"). This may well be Judas Priest's heaviest album - as well as their last essential release (4.5 stars).
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rob Halford's grandest farwell. 27 July 2006
By Alex A. Fintonis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
1990 was another great year for the world of heavy metal, "Razor's Edge", "No Prayer for the Dying", "Rust in Peace", and who could forget "Painkiller". Alas, the last album Rob Halford would do with Judas Priest. It wouldn't be until another 15 years that he would reunite with his former mates and produce "Angel of Retribution". I must say that Halford left with one heck of a bang. Painkiller is in my opinion Priest heaviest and fastest album to date.

Throughout most of the mid 80s Priest was in a way, was put down a notch by bands such as Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, and Slayer. Up until the debut of bands such as these nobody could touch Priest's speed and aggression, well maybe Iron Maiden comes close. But Judas Priest's albums got a bit more laid back. Don't get me wrong, I do think "Turbo", and "Ram it Down" shred, but the release of "Painkiller" showed the bands of thrash that Priest weren't done yet. This album turned a lot of heads. It gave the reaction like "Wow, who the heck is this?"

Listening to this whole album feels like one is on a motorcycle going 300 miles an hour. All I can say is that my neck hurts for days after I've been head banging to this album. The title track being the opener on the record lets the listener know what they're getting into. There is just not any time to rest. Tracks such as "All Guns Blazing", "Metal Meltdown", "Between the Hammer and the Anvil", and "Night Crawler" are relentless in pounding one's head into submission. Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing's guitar work is top-notch just pure heavy metal greatness. Rob Halford's vocals get so high that ears bleed and windows break.

The only real shocker was that after the release of this phenomenal album Rob Halford would be leaving a couple of years later. Maybe the band wasn't getting along very well at that time, but there was certainly great musical chemistry because there is the release of "Painkiller" to prove it. Almost everything Halford and Judas Priest have released since "Painkiller" has been in my opinion very good. However, I have always yearned for return to the ferocity of "Painkiller".
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best opening track of all time?? 3 Dec 2004
By Yo Punk! - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
In my opinion, yes.

Ok, I have been listening to metal for about 18 years, in all its forms.I have a 40gb ipod full to the brim with metal.Entire catalogues of Black Sabbath,Ozzy,Megadeth,Metallica,Slayer,Priest,AC/DC....you get the picture.

The opening track Painkiller on this album stands on the shoulders of everything on my ipod!In my opinion it is EASILY the best heavy metal song I have ever heard.It has everything,and I mean everything! insane drum intro, awesome guitar riffs, the most insane screaming vocals from Rob Halford, utterly absurd lyrics that fit perfectly.Everytime I hear this song I fall to my knees playing an imaginary flying V, pulling a face like someone has just stuck a red hot poker up my ****

The rest of the album is irrelevant because you MUST own this album for the title track alone.

Like I said before, I love all metal, JP is not my favourite band, and this is not my favourite album.But the song Painkiller stands alone as THE song to define all that is great about this genre of music.

Incidentally, Rob's back and they are touring with the Scorpions, I'll be at the front in leathers, cut off denim jacket, Maiden patch (Piece of Mind), arms raised to the heavens.See you there!!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Painkiller Review 29 Jun 2006
By Louie A. Rosales - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I really enjoyed this album, to me it's as if Rob Halford left us something to remember him by when he left Judas Priest. This is one of the fastest and heaviest album they produced in the 90s, if you are a newcomer to heavy metal then this is the album you should definetly check out. Whenever I am tired, I listen to this album and it fills me up with adreneline.
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