The Painkiller - one of the best Heavy Metal albums of all time
Too bad soon we will say good bye to one of the greatest heavy metal bands in the world, the Judas Priest. Not only they made a new way to make Metal (making the mix of the Heavy Metal created by the Black Sabbath and the 70’ hard rock) but also they were an inspiration for others great bands like Iron Maiden or Saxon. Last year they announced their farewell tour, named Epitaph World Tour, which will start this year. Another bad thing is that the fans won’t be able to see K.K. on stage, he retired for some personal reason, and was replaced by Richie Faulkner… yeah I know, who the **** is this guy?
But if you think about it, let’s just remember when the yet unknown Scott Travis entered the band... and now he is not only one of the best drummers of Heavy Metal, but also of all Rock in general.
And there is just where I want to go, the first album recorded of the Priest with Mr. Travis on the drums. The album was recorded in the beginning of the 90’, and as we all know, that was a bad time for heavy metal and hard rock. Even with the legend status, the Priest was facing a bad moment of their carrier, talking about the commercial point of view. They needed to do something to address the situation, and they got only two options to choose from.
First, they could just go on with the mainstream and get the commercial success like others bands do it, like Metallica, or they could just stay in the underground and try to make the same thing that they did in the beginning, i.e. creating a new way to make Heavy Metal. To do so, the first thing they needed was new blood on the band, and Scott Travis was the man. With the new drummer, the Priest recorded one of the best Heavy Metal albums of all time, the PAINKILLER.
Painkiller is a great mark on the history of metal. Here we have something much more brutal and fast than the traditional heavy metal which was traditionally made. It was some kind of mixture of heavy metal, hard rock and thrash metal, which founded a new style - the Speed Metal.
Best Judas Priest album: Painkiller album breakdown
The first track, “Painkiller”, shows that they made a wise decision on replacing the other drummer (yeah I don’t know his name) for Scott. Travis made one of the best drum’s intro of all time, he strikes his kit without mercy during the whole song. After the drum intro, the twin guitars of K.K. Dowing and Glenn Tipton, enter with their killer riff that will blow your mind and will make you almost break your neck. Rob Halford, I mean the Metal God, shows that at its best, singing in a near impossible tone – no wonder it ****** up his voice. Glenn gets the spotlight again on his solo, that is not just awesome, but unbelievable at the same time. He solos for almost 2 minutes, and it does not sound like a boring thing, a true masterpiece, made by true genius.
Best Judas Priest album: other tracks in the album
Of course Painkiller is not an album about only one song; actually, they could make a “Best of…” only by songs of this album. After the title song, we have “Hell Patrol”, this one reminds a little of the classical Judas. “All Gun’s Blazing”, just go back to the new proposal, really heavy song. “Leather Rebel” like the other, reminds of the classical Priest albums like “Defenders of faith” or “Screaming for Vengeance”. This song has a pretty cool riff, and Rob (as always) gives us a lesson of “how to sing heavy metal”.
“Metal Meltdown”, maybe is the heaviest song after “Painkiller”, but be warned, your brain will probably meltdown after listening to this song intro. Again K.K. and Glenn give us one of their best – an amazing guitar duet. “Night Crawler’ is just the simple song of the album, but still, is one of the best. “Between the Hammer and the Envil” is another good song, and it ends with the intro of the next song “Touch of Evil”, a great power ballad, this song is just perfect, lyrics and instrumental are awesome, no wonder this song is included in every show they made. “Battle Hymn” is just an instrumental song, that is used just for the intro of the next song “One shoot at Glory” that finishes the album just the way as it started, awesome.
Well, Painkiller is a must have in the collection of not only Priest fans but any Heavy Metal fan also.
I just hope Richie Faulkner does a great job alongside with the Priest, and I will definitely be on this tour so this guy better do his work right!