Metal Motiv: Metal Motivation Monday | Painkiller
Design of inspirational heavy metal lyrics.
metal, heavy metal, thrash, rock, punk, death, music, guitar, bass, drums, design, illustration, typography
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About This Song

From my observations, many old school hard rock and metal fans were either a Judas Priest fan or an Iron Maiden fan. Many people liked both but a lot of people I knew liked one over the other. I was in the Priest camp. They began in the early 1970’s, but since the 80’s, they have been the epitome of what heavy metal looked and sounded like. Judas Priest introduced the “heavy metal biker look” to the masses, had one (if not the best) high-pitched-singing metal front-men of all time in Rob Halford, and they featured some of the best duel-guitar-attack-playing by virtuoso guitarists K. K. Downing and Glenn Tipton.

Painkiller (the first track on the same-titled album), which debuted September of 1990, was one of the bands heaviest songs in its 45+ year career. This track flat out makes you want to get out of your seat and move, starting with the in-your-face drums to introduce the song. Rob hits a mind-blowing full range of vocals in the song from screeching to baritone at the end. And the guitar playing and soloing is on another level.

I wanted to make a poster that was over the top as much as Judas Priest is and thought an homage to the popular 1970’s and 80’s “Wacky Packs” could help make the metaphor. Those sticker cards were a rip on classic everyday items but they were amazing. Similarly, Judas Priest is an outstanding band but they’ve never been known as “Shakespearean” lyric-wise. This is a goofy track, describing a heavy metal monster that’s “half man and half machine”. Take the narrative for what it’s worth but there’s no doubt it’s a killer song. As a nod to this classic “New Way Of British Heavy Metal” pioneering band, I added in a few other song title references to the Painkiller “wacky pack” poster art.



Faster than a bullet
Terrifying scream
Enraged and full of anger
He’s 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 of thunder
Blasting bolts of steel
Evils going under deadly wheels

He is the Painkiller
This is the Painkiller

Faster than 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

Can’t stop the Painkiller!