In celebration of Megadeth’s latest album, Endgame being a fairly decent output, Tickets There has decided to do a double review feature of two of their strongest albums, Rust In Peace and Countdown to Extinction. I’ll also probably do another double review including Peace Sells and Cryptic Writings tomorrow.
Megadeth – Rust In Peace (1990)
So let’s start in chronological order today. Rust In Peace is probably the bands defining record. Although Peace Sells had been a massive, massive hit for the band, it was only when RIP came out that they were truly elevated to the gods of metal status they enjoy today. It marked a shift from their classic Thrash metal roots while still retaining an aggressive, onslaught styled sound. In comparison to Dave Mustaines previous band Metallica, RIP is Megadeth’s ‘Black Album’ and it probably would have brought them much more fame than it did if Metallica hadn’t released the aforementioned metal devoid opus just a year after RIP came out. (ok, so it had Sad But True, Holier Than Thou, Don’t Thread on Me, Of Wolf and Man, The Struggle Within..ok enough, it’s a good album).
Kicking things off is Holy Wars…The Punishment Due. Very little you can say about this song except….it’s fucking crazy mental metal madness. How could you not pull your back out doing those massive head banging moments during the bridges. Amazing stuff from Mustaine and the boys. Next up, the equally incredible Hangar 18. Now, if by any chance you’re reading this and you’re a metal fan but you’ve never heard of Hangar 18, that just means you are a total douche!. Hangar 18 is metal. Like one of those songs that comes out and instantly owns a genre. I couldn’t be bothered looking up the net but I think there’s something like 18 solo’s on this one song. It’s a total Romper Stomper of a tune that would be very difficult for any band to match on follow up records. Full on drums, full on guitars, full on vocals n aggression, full on every mother fucking thing. This is Megadeth, welcome!!
How the hell can anyone top two tracks like that? Well they can’t fully, but Take No Prisoners gives it a damn good try. Full on Thrash metal riffs, thrash metal drums, thrash metal everything up the wazoo. I’m sitting down listening to this on head phones and you have no idea how hard it is resisting the temptation of throwing my computer out the window and setting off on a mayhem fuelled rampage. Maybe if I do, I could arrange a TT presents job of it and Take No Prisoners will be our theme song. Five Magic’s is another classic track (yes, this is just one of those albums). Slowed down intro, but things don’t take long to kick into gear. The pounding of the drums and guitars picking up pace leads the listener to think ‘ah, here we go’ but don’t get too excited., it’s not happening yet and then….out of nowhere Dave’s snarling, hate filled vocals rasp their way in destroying all the songs goodness and purity. In short, it becomes Megadeth Sound sad? Yeah, well you’re faceJ
Poison Was the Cure is yet another classic from this album. Not played too often live but it’s a damn fine wee number. I won’t ramble on too much because I have to finish Rust In Peace and move onto Countdown next. Great song, just listen to it. Same with Lucretia which sounds much happier than most Megadeth stuff until you get down to the full depth of it off course. Megadeth knows no humor. They’re like Radiohead, but ya know, not gay. Now, this next song is the one I’ve been driving towards. Tornado of Souls. I know, before you ask ‘How can a song called Tornado of Souls not get you arrested, beat up your wife and steal your car?’ well honestly, it does all of that and even insults your mother while it’s at it. This is Megadeth baby, what else did you expect?
Dawn patrol and Rust In Peace are fine songs. Good clean cut, sell your children to Turkish importers clean songs. If you don’t have this album, if you’re just starting to like Heavy metal, if you’re a human being I implore you to go buy this record. It will show you exactly how f**king amazing Megadeth were, are and always have been.
Megadeth – Countdown to Extinction (1992)
So you think most metal bands that were big in the eighties fizzled out and faded away under Metallica’s growing dominance over the scene after their black album? Unfortunately for any Met heads out there and possibly the band themselves, Megadeth released one of their finest recorded moments just a year after the Met had conquered all with their Black Album (and only two years after the incredible Rust in Peace). Why waste time with an intro when Skin O’ My Teeth is blaring through the headphones?
First of all, Skin O’ My Teeth does not sound in anyway Irish, don’t be fooled by the O’ (bad joke there TT – Ed)…..(Up yours Ed and stop interrupting my posts Biotch! – TT). Skin O’ My Teeth is without a single doubt one of the ten best songs Megadeth ever recorded in TT’s books. I mean this baby live is like a monster screaming at you from Mordor! Go find the find Frodo and don’t let Dave catch ya. Yes he’s that scary, haven’t you heard? I know he’s a born again Christian and all but that’s like Marilyn Manson becoming a born again….Christian….just shut up. But no matter how good SOMT is, no matter how much we love it, we love the next one even more. My girlfriend’s brother asked me once, ‘what’s the definitive Megadeth song?’ and there is only one answer when someone asks you that question, Symphony of Destruction. This is the song you play when anyone asks you what Megadeth are like. No, it’s not their heaviest and no, it’s not their lightest, this is 100%, full metal jacket Megadeth. A snarling, spitting beast of a track with guitars so militant they’ll drag your ass through boot camp before they hang, draw and quarter you. On par with anything else they’ve ever released and probably one of the greatest riffs/songs in heavy metal history.
Now that those two are out of the way, let’s move onto the other songs that make Countdown to Extinction so loveable and well, so damn good. Architecture of Aggression could be compared to Metallica’s One with its war styled intro but two seconds later it explodes into everything the title promises. War driven fury that Megadeth do best. Foreclosure of a Dream is one I never really liked the first few times I heard this record but god, give this baby a few listens and it’s some job. Now, I don’t mean to be rude to FOAD but the next song deserves urgent attention (partially because I got distracted and heard FOAD about 6 times on repeat and I want to move on). Sweating Bullets is a Megadeth standard. Can you imagine how kick ass this track is? No, you can’t. Not unless you’ve heard it. I’ll admit it’s no Hanger 18, Symphony of Destruction or Holy Wars but it’s bloody mental all the same. One of the Deth tracks you have to see live.
This Was My Life is much similar to a Megadeth album track that most of the others I’ve discussed today but when it comes to an album of this quality, that’s a good thing. The albums’ title track is another thriller of a piece, real full on one again. More melody than a lot of earlier Megadeth but hey, this was the nineties babe (hence why I’m saying babe every three seconds). There’s such a great flow to this tune and it shows the Deth can write more than Thrash. Also, the chorus sounds like it could have been netter produced but it’s still catchy as hell. High Speed Dirt is another album track of the highest order, I mean, what does that even mean? Who cares, if Dave said it, it’s gotta mean something. Great, fast, energetic and vicious! Psychotron is more like an older Megadeth song. Hard, fast, dirty and brutally brutal for brutals sake…to put it simply. Captive Honour has more in common with their In My Darkest Hour style (well actually more like Risk and Cryptic Writings) and final track Ashes in Your Mouth is an okish finisher.
So that’s it. Two of Megadeths greatest albums done and dusted. Now I’ll leave you fine people to head out and grab these babies form the official Tickets There reviews send a shit storm HMV’s way. More than likely sales of the band will pick up 50% over the next three days. The band will pass this off as sales of the new album but we’ll all know better, wont we J.
Click Here to read Tickets There’s review of Megadeth’s new album Endgame
All the best,