Painkiller Songs Ranked

Painkiller is the twelfth studio album by English heavy metal band Judas Priest, released in September 1990. It is the last Judas Priest album to feature lead singer Rob Halford until his return for the 2005 album Angel of Retribution and the first to feature drummer Scott Travis. Painkiller is the first Judas Priest album to feature drummer Scott Travis, who replaced long-time drummer Dave Holland in 1989. Travis was previously a member of Los Angeles band Racer X and with his heavy use of double kicks Travis gave Judas Priest a new sound and heavier edge. The album was recorded at Miraval Studios, Brignoles, France in early 1990 and mixed at Wisseloord Studios, Hilversum, the Netherlands later that year. It was produced by the band and Chris Tsangarides, marking the first time since 1978’s Killing Machine that Judas Priest had not worked with Tom Allom and the first time since 1976’s Sad Wings of Destiny that Judas Priest and Tsangarides worked together. Don Airey was brought in to play keyboards on “A Touch of Evil”. In a 2020 interview, Airey revealed that he also played most of the album’s bass parts on a Minimoog synthesizer, as Ian Hill was ill during the time of recording. Here are all of Painkiller songs ranked.

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10. Hell Patrol

“Hell patrol is slightly more melodic and slower, the drums are less crazy and the guitars seem to chill down a bit. That doesn’t mean it’s worth listening to. The groovy guitars are without a doubt, the best part of the song but the drums are also pretty nice. Rob’s vocals are also very solid. Overall a very great track. It is a bit slower than the title track, though.”

9. Between the Hammer & the Anvil

“Between The Hammer and The Anvil manages to get my blood pumping everytime I listen to the song. It’s just so fun and listen to and also makes a really good workout song. The drums and guitar sound absolutely perfect and Rob’s vocals are quite fun to listen to.”

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8. Leather Rebel

“How do I explain Leather Rebel? it’s just such a good track! it’s so intense that it would make Justin Bieber cry like a little baby. The guitars are really fast and the drums fit perfectly. Rob’s vocals are also near perfection. Really fantastic song overall.”

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7. Battle Hymn

“Despite me not liking instrumentals in the middle of my albums, Battle Hymn still manages to be the perfect intro to One Shot At Glory. Despite the absence of drums and Rob’s vocals. It’s still a really intense opener and gets the blood pumping a lot.”

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6. All Guns Blazing

“All Guns Blazing is pretty cheesy, rob’s vocals at the start used to make me quite embarrassed to listen to the song at first. But then they grew on me. Even though it’s cheesy, it’s a good kind of cheesy. The guitar work is really good and the drums are fantastic as well. Even the bass is really good and that’s saying something because you can’t really hear the bass. Cheesy, but very underrated as well.”

5. Metal Meltdown

“Metal Meltdown is the song that got me into the genre of heavy metal. It’s just describes what my music taste is: Fantastic, superb, good, great, and most importantly epic! I love the drums on this one. They’re really, really fun to listen to and so are the guitars. Rob’s vocals also feel really intense and I love intense vocals. A pretty awesome track.”

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See more: Judas Priest Songs Ranked

4. Night Crawler

“Night Crawler is probably the catchiest one on the album. I dare you listen to this song and headbang. Trust me, it’s a really hard task. I also really enjoy the lyrics on this one, as it tells a story. It’s a very interesting story, just look up the lyrics on Genius or whatever and tell me those aren’t amazing lyrics! Also, the guitar and drums are great like always and So are rob’s vocals.”

3. One Shot at Glory

“One Shot At Glory is a pretty great song to end on. Because it’s not too heavy and not too slow. It’s just right! The guitar is absolutely beautiful on this track and the drums are fascinating. Rob’s vocals are also really cool.”

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2. Painkiller

“Painkiller is one of the greatest opening tracks of all-time. Period. Everything about it is so, so intense! the drums are probably the best part of the entire thing, because they are so crazy. The guitar work is also superb and rob’s vocals are at their best here. Definitely a masterpiece and should be loved by all metalheads.”

1. A Touch of Evil

“A Touch Of Evil feels like a hard rock song more than heavy metal because it’s pretty much the slowest song on the album. Nevertheless, this song proves that heavy metal bands like Judas Priest can do slow songs perfectly and still be heavy as balls. The guitar sounds thick on this one and the drums sound on time with the music. This song is also home to some of Rob’s most beautiful vocals.”