Home Read Classic Album Review: Judas Priest | Painkiller: The Remasters

Classic Album Review: Judas Priest | Painkiller: The Remasters

The metal gods' Rob Halford-fronted lineup goes out with a bang, not a whimper.

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This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


I will say this for Judas Priest: They don’t do things halfway. Take their recent series of remastered re-releases. Some bands would put out a best-of album or a box set. Others might put out their best three or four discs. Not these metal gods. In true amps-on-11 fashion, the Priest have spent the last few months remastering and reissuing their entire Columbia catalog — 12 albums recorded from 1977 to 1990. The final four just landed in stores, complete with bonus tracks, lyrics and other goodies. Here’s one of them:

 


Judas Priest
Painkiller

The Year: 1990.

Call It: The last blast. Drummer Dave Holland had already left the fold and singer Rob Halford fled the ranks shortly after this album. At least he went out on a high note — literally and figuratively — with this aggressively heavy scream-fest of adrenalized power-metal.

The Essentials: Metal Meltdown and the title track are some of the band’s most crushingly heavy tracks ever.

The Extras: A bombastic power ballad called Living Bad Dreams; a servicable live version of Leather Rebel.

Most Metallic Moment: “Heat is rising, blazing fast / Hot and evil, feel the blast,” Robbie squeals on Metal Meltdown — or, as I prefer to call it, Heavy Heartburn.

Reason to Buy It: ’Cause it’s kinda cool to hear a band go out with a bang instead of a whimper for once.