Review by Luka on June 20, 2001.
This album is so powerful and groundbreaking it can only be branded as a true heavy metal classic. This time Judas Priest aren’t out to fool anyone, after all the fame and pain and tragedy and lawsuit and musical experimentation, they’ve gotten hard and mean, and "Painkiller" is the result. This is a heavy, fast, razor-sharp, skull-crushing, ear-splitting, bone-crunching thrashterpiece!
Tipton and K.K’s awesome riffs have never been faster or heavier or this precise. The guitars roar furiously over the relentless precision and double bass pounding of the new drummer. The solos are more than plentiful, fast, complex, and absolutely amazing, the job divided among the two guitar legends. Halford’s love ‘em/hate ‘em ear-splitting screams could break glass.
The guys have nothing to hide, the production is crystal clear and the distorted riffs and wailing solos jump at you, going right for the throat. The title track is pure six minute thrash fury, never taking a break, filling in all the cracks with ripping solos, always enhanced with eerie feedback for more effect. Songs like "Hell Patrol", "Leather Rebel", and especially "A Touch of Evil" are more groove oriented and slightly slower than the rest, going for more heaviness. And the fast tracks that just rip your brains out like "All Guns Blazing" (with two of the best solos I’ve probably heard in my life! Tipton just burns the strings!), "Metal Meltdown" and the atmospheric "Night Crawler" don’t take a second off the relentless speed and fury. Every singly song is amazing and that’s what makes a great album!
Halford’s screams break the windows, the double bass rumble shakes the ground, the guitars tear town the walls as "Painkiller", going "faster than a laser bullet and louder than an atom bomb" shreds anything in it’s path! One of my favorite albums ever!
Bottom Line: Whoever said that you get mellower as you age needs this ruthless album’s heavy metal fury to rip their head off!! THIS ABSOLUTELY RULES!!!
Rating: 10 out of 10