Album cover: To me this sleeve represents Judas Priest in every way. Be it their music, spirit, live shows and overall attitude. There is so much of detail and vivid coloring packed in here. It's one of the most iconic album artworks ever produced and for many fans arguably the first you think of from there extensive discography.
Overall album: While I had reviewed another Priest album (see Defenders Of The Faith) a while back, the Painkiller album to me at least, is the ultimate Judas Priest album out there. Many would cite quite a few others as their most seminal work, but this is the album that showcases the band as the true Gods of speed metal as well as cements their position as stellar representatives of the Heavy Metal world. Plus, the sheer ferocity and boldness of this album continue to inspire a variety of rock and metal acts alike!
Painkiller: The first thing that hits you is the sheer awesomeness of drumming by Scott Travis. That double bass intro has become legendary. Following his solo the sheer onslaught by the rest of the band layered with Rob's screeching vocals send you on a dizzy but freakishly amazing wild ride. You can't seem to get enough and the razor sharp solos by Glenn and K.K. leave you spinning. Easily the best of the album
Hell Patrol: A mid paced track that brings the tempo down a bit from the previous track but one that feels like a warning of the coming attack. It's solid and rumbles along like a battle ready army tank.
All Guns Blazing: Starts with Rob screeching and delivers on just what the title implies. This is a real call to arms and one where the speed of delivery and potent lyrics make you feel this could easily be the soundtrack to a battle taking place somewhere.
Leather Rebel: A fairly catchy tune that is a popular favorite with many fans. But it packs in quite a punch and doesn't lean too far as to become a very commercial piece.
Metal Meltdown: Wow! This really does feel like the metal meltdown is occurring. The kind of solos and way in which Glenn and K.K. take turns on this track is spellbinding. It's one you just have to hear to really appreciate how great their partnership was (note: K.K. retired from the band in 2011)
Night Crawler: This song is straight out of a horror motion picture. The chilling bell tolling and the mid section discourse delivered by Halford would have the faint-hearted looking over their shoulder for the creature he describes.
Between The Hammer And The Anvil: A heavy track that easily merits multiple listens. It sounds like the band really means business on this one and like quite a few others on this album demands your attention from start to finish.
A Touch Of Evil: The dark melodic track from the album. Rob shines here with the way he is calling you into a world of dark pleasure. The music itself swirls and surrounds you and conjures up a myriad of images.
Battle Hymn: A nice instrumental that make you feel that it's playing out in the early hours of the morning across a foreign field of conflict somewhere. A good prelude to the next track.
One Shot At Glory: I liken this track to how Hell Patrol is. It's got a fairly catchy chorus and plods along at a comfortable pace that feels a little more easy going than the other eight you would have heard on the album.
Living Bad Dreams: Another 'Wow' moment on the album. This seems like a sister track to A Touch Of Evil. It's got a mid-paced and more laid back feel to it. But oh those guitar tones and the sheer way this song flows through your mind and concludes the album is epic. But it's only available on post 2001 presses of the record. It's a real mystery as to why this wasn't on the original release.
Ultimate Album Song: Painkiller
The Band: Ian Hill (Bass), K.K. Downing (Guitars), Scott Travis (Drums), Rob Halford (Vocals), Glenn Tipton (Guitars)