Metal Music

Judas Priest – Painkiller (Live At Irvine Meadows 1991)

“Painkiller” is the opening track on British metal band Judas Priest’s 1990 album, Painkiller, and was released as the first single off the album later that year.

The song is written in E minor, but the key signature changes during the guitar solos. The first guitar solo in the song, which alternates between the keys of F# minor and C# minor, is played by Glenn Tipton. The second, also in F# minor, is played by K. K. Downing. The song is noted for Rob Halford’s high pitched vocal style and screams throughout the song as well as Scott Travis’ complex drumming. Tipton has also stated that the Painkiller solo is his favourite to play. It is also his first recorded solo to heavily feature the technique of sweep picking.

The song was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance during the 33rd Grammy Awards (1991), the second year the award was presented but lost to Metallica’s cover of Queen’s “Stone Cold Crazy”. This song is not just one of Apple Bloom’s favorite song but also her favorite guitar downpicking song.


Faster than a bullet-
Terrifying scream-
Enraged and full of anger-
He is half man and half machine-
Rides the metal monster-
Breathing smoke and fire-
Closing in with vengeance soaring high-
He is the painkiller-
This is the painkiller-
Planets devastated-
Mankind’s on its knees-
A savior comes from out the skies-
In answer to their pleas-
Through boiling clouds if thunder-
Blasting bolts of steel-
Evils going under deadly wheels-
He is the painkiller-
This is the painkiller-
Faster then a laser bullet-
Louder than an atom bomb-
Chromium plated boiling metal-
Brighter than a thousand suns-
Flying high on rapture-
Stronger free and brave-
Nevermore encaptured-
They’ve been brought back from the grave-
With mankind resurrected-
Forever to survive-
Returns from Armageddon to the skies-
He is the painkiller-
This is the painkiller-
Wings of steel painkiller-
Deadly wheels painkiller-
He is the painkiller-
This is the painkiller-
He is the painkiller-
This is the painkiller-
Pain! Pain! Killer! Killer!-
Pain! Pain! Killer! Killer!-
Can’t stop the painkiller-
Pain (pain)-

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