Not as good as Naked City, but still very, very good.
Brian | Pennsylvania | 08/12/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Take one of the loud manic sections off of a Naked City album, expand it to fit an entire album, give it a metallic bass line, and faster drums, and what you have is Painkiller, the band voted most likely to annoy parents or other elders.Painkiller, a trio consisting John Zorn, Bill Laswell, and Mick Harris, is Zorn's venture into the world of death metal / grindcore. In attempting this, he succeeds. The album's opener, "Scud Attack" is one of the most intense tracks I have ever heard, with Zorn's saxophone sounding alternately like a (perishing) cat and a generator powering up, one is forced to wonder if they will be able to keep up this intensity throughout the entire album.And they somehow manage to. This however, is as much, is as a curse as a blessing. In Naked City, Zorn knew how to balance this manic tendency with quiet peices. Here, there is no such thing, no let up whatsoever, making for an amazing, but also at times annoying and repetive listening.Considering that, I recommend this album to everyone, but I must also make a further recommendation that if you want Zorn at his best try the Naked City self-titled or Radio. Painkiller is an experiment and, while the experiment is successful, it is this success that holds the band and the album from its full potential."
Ear-bleeding deathmetal jazz
T. Klaase | 06/20/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Trio consisting of postmodern saxophonist John Zorn, ambient/bass master Bill Laswell, and the drummer of Napalm Death (forgot his name, oops), this is improvisational death metal. Its often as ferocious as music can get as their improvisations seem to build more force than you would get from a pre-written song. Still, its too much to listen to for more than 3 or 4 songs"
WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO ME? OH MY GOD!!!
directions | Space Time Foam | 03/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was the first rock cd I bought (after years of new age pabalum) and after hearing good things about John Zorn (who at the time was the premier catalyst in the avant-rock scene), picked Guts of a Virgin (now neatly packaged with Buried Secrets) and the aforementioned screaming (sung by lead Boredoms vocalist Yamatsuka Eye)on the first track and John Zorn's skronk turned me on to the whole Knitting Factory scene. I can't say this would be the first cd to buy in the John Zorn cadre because his different projects (Masada, Naked City, Cobra) are so markedly different. However, if you like noise but with some structure then this head splitting, gut wrenching blast will be to your taste. What has turned off some John Zorn listeners is his genre jumping music such as Cobra which changes character sometimes from one minute to another and can be irritating is not in evidence here. Though the pieces are short (sometimes a few seconds)they are all in character. Death metal fans might find Painkiller too avant-garde and free jazz fans might find it too rockist but anyone who appreciated the downtown scene (this includes members of Sonic Youth)at a time when Williamsburg was just another train stop will find this to be most rewarding."
Not as good as Execution Ground, but I'd still buy it!
T. Klaase | Orange Park, Florida United States | 08/29/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Great album that will grow on you overtime. Not for the faint hearted though... If you're not into Naked City's "Torture Garden" this may not be the CD for you... Quite different from the other Pain Killer "Execution Ground." I enjoy it - although I don't listen to it all that often..."