If you are a metal band and want to impress a very large group of Judas Priest fans (as well as your own fans), pick a track off of 1990's Painkiller and cover it as electrically as possible. And make it as ear-piercing as the nitro bombshells shaking the ground Rob Halford sings about in "Metal Meltdown." A track that the band hasn't performed live since the release of Painkiller 32 years ago. 1990 was a difficult time for Judas Priest as you may recall. After completing the recording of Painkiller in Brignoles, France in March at Studio Miraval–the same studio that recorded Pink Floyd's opus, The Wall (1982), its release would be delayed due to the start of the well-documented subliminal messages trial in July of 1990 which ended in dismissal on August 24th, 1990. Priest didn't waste any time once they were exonerated and Painkiller would hit the shelves on September 3rd.
The album was nominated for a Grammy for Best Metal Performance in 1991, but lost to Metallica's straight-up cover of Queen's "Stone Cold Crazy." And, though it wasn't clear yet, this would be the last Judas Priest album with Rob Halford on vocals as he departed Priest in 1992 after touring in support of Painkiller, not to return until 2003. All of these things make Exmortus' selection of "Metal Meltdown" a very nice almost deep-dive selection for their contribution to Bow to your Masters III: Judas Priest. And this isn't the first time the California band has dug into Judas Priest's catalog, specifically the album Painkiller. In 2006 Exmortus covered the title track from the album on their 2004 EP Reign of the War Gods. Then for their 2013 7" Immortality Made Flesh (Prosthetic Records), they recorded a cover of "Freewheel Burning" from Defenders of the Faith (1984).
This time around Exmortus vocalist Jadran "Conan" Gonzalez stepped aside and Jake Nunn of Hell Fire stepped in to supply the vocals for the track channeling Halford’s piercing screams. Pre-orders are happening now with the record shipping out in mid-November via the Glory or Death Bandcamp page. You can listen to Exmortus' cover of "Metal Meltdown" below.