Metal Music

Judas Priest – Painkiller

“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.

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