In my opinion, yes.
Ok, I have been listening to metal for about 18 years, in all its forms.I have a 40gb ipod full to the brim with metal.Entire catalogues of Black Sabbath,Ozzy,Megadeth,Metallica,Slayer,Priest,AC/DC….you get the picture.
The opening track Painkiller on this album stands on the shoulders of everything on my ipod!In my opinion it is EASILY the best heavy metal song I have ever heard.It has everything,and I mean everything! insane drum intro, awesome guitar riffs, the most insane screaming vocals from Rob Halford, utterly absurd lyrics that fit perfectly.Everytime I hear this song I fall to my knees playing an imaginary flying V, pulling a face like someone has just stuck a red hot poker up my ****
The rest of the album is irrelevant because you MUST own this album for the title track alone.
Like I said before, I love all metal, JP is not my favourite band, and this is not my favourite album.But the song Painkiller stands alone as THE song to define all that is great about this genre of music.
Incidentally, Rob’s back and they are touring with the Scorpions, I’ll be at the front in leathers, cut off denim jacket, Maiden patch (Piece of Mind), arms raised to the heavens.See you there!!