Written By Braddon S. Williams
Judas Priest: Painkiller
Painkiller (1990) was a hugely influential album in European metal.
Judas Priest added the sensational Scott Travis as their new drummer for this one and his impact is felt immediately, as his fusillade of double kick drum frenzy kicks off the record’s title track in a glorious explosion of percussive fury.
The twin switchblade guitar attack of Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing drive the manic riffs and incinerating lead work under the unmistakable banshee wail of the metal god himself, Mr. Rob Halford, appearing for the last time as a member of Priest until his return in 2005.
Countless European metal bands across multiple sub-genres were influenced by the fury and fire of Painkiller (both the song and the entire album).
Other standouts included A Touch Of Evil, Between The Hammer And The Anvil, Hell Patrol, Metal Meltdown, and One Shot At Glory.
12 albums into their illustrious career, Judas Priest were still game changers and undisputed kings in their chosen field.
I was lucky to see them on this tour with support from Megadeth and Testament.
Both those upstart bands were crushing everything in their
path, but they had nothing on the mighty Priest that night.