Category Archives: Megadeth

Megadeth – Dystopia [Album Review]

megadethdystopiacover.jpg

Megadeth – Dystopia
2016, Universal Music Enterprises

Buy the album

1. “The Threat Is Real”
2. “Dystopia”
3. “Fatal Illusion”
4. “Death from Within”
5. “Bullet to the Brain”
6. “Post American World”
7. “Poisonous Shadows”
8. “Conquer or Die!”
9. “Lying in State”
10. “The Emperor”
11. “Foreign Policy”
Digital Bonus Track:
12. “Melt the Ice Away”

Band:
Dave Mustaine – Lead Vocals, Guitar
David Ellefson – Bass, Backing Vocals
Kiko Loureiro – Guitar, Backing Vocals, Piano
Chris Adler – Drums

Producer: Dave Mustaine & Chris Rakestraw

Wow! What a surprise! A new line-up of Megadeth! Joining the two Daves are Brazilian guitarist Kiko Loureiro and Lamb of God drummer Chris Adler. I had no issue with Chris Broderick and Shawn Drover being in the band but I guess when it comes to Megadeth, everyone Dave Mustaine is on borrowed time.

On to the music at hand, Dystopia is easily the band’s best release since 2004’s The System Has Failed. For the record (no pun intended), I thought Super Collider (2013) had some enjoyable moments but was a little lost on direction. Going a few years further back to Th13teen and Endgame, the band was trying to get heavy again but they completely forgot about melody. Both of those albums were frenetic, forgettable messes and I was starting to think Mega Dave had lost his touch.

It’s interesting that Dystopia has the band sounding as tight as a ever as a new producer has come on board in the form of Chris Rakestraw. Perhaps he helped breathed some new life into the band. I never thought Andy Sneap and especially Johnny K ever truly delivered. I hope Dave never uses either of them again.

12604926_10153847341647346_4069734540257010321_o

Signed vinyl copy

As with any album these days, there are multiple editions of it. I ordered my signed vinyl copy through the band’s PledgeMusic page and it came with a digital download of the album as well. The digital download and Spotify editions both include a cover of Budgie’s “Melt the Ice Away” as a bonus track. Japan gets “Me Hate You” while iTunes & Best Buy get “Last Dying Wish” and “Look Who’s Talking”. I’d love to hear those three songs but they haven’t hit YouTube yet!

It’s the album’s two cover songs that do absolutely nothing for me. The Budgie song and Fear’s “Foreign Policy”. The funny thing is, I’ve read people knocking Megadeth for having a punk song and some people saying it’s the worst Megadeth song ever… apparently they don’t realize it’s a cover song.

Everything else is top notch. “The Threat Is Real” and “Dystopia” are classic Megadeth and a great one-two combo to open the album. “Poisonous Shadows” is a moody number that sounds like it’s from The System Has Failed. “Lying In State” has a The System Has Failed vibe as well. “Conquer Or Die” is a fantastic instrumental that gives Kiko a co-writing credit.

I haven’t listened to a new Megadeth release this much since United Abominations but Dystopia easily trumps that release. It’s hard to say where I would rank this in the band’s catalog. They have tons of great album and you can now included Dystopia in that long list.

Highlights: “The Threat Is Real”, “Dystopia”, “Fatal Illusion”, “Poisonous Shadows”, “Lying In State”, “The Emperor”

The Decline of the Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years [Album Review]

MI0003161230

The Decline of the Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
2011, Capitol Records
Originally Released: 1988, Capitol Records
Buy the album at Amazon

1. “Under My Wheels” – Alice Cooper w/ Guns N’ Roses
2. “Bathroom Wall” – Faster Pussycat
3. “Cradle to the Grave” – Motörhead
4. “You Can Run But You Can’t Hide” – Armored Saint
5. “Born to Be Wild” – Lizzy Borden
6. “In My Darkest Hour” – Megadeth
7. “Prophecy” – Queensrÿche
8. “The Brave” – Metal Church
9. “Foaming at the Mouth” – Rigor Mortis
10. “Colleen” – Seduce

Any metal-head worth their weight in steel is well aware of this documentary that was released in 1988. It’s a truly fascinating look at life as rocker in the 1980s. For better or worse, warts and all, it absolutely captures a time and a vibe & scene that can never truly be replicated no matter how “retro” a band may act.

As it stands, the soundtrack to The Decline of the Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years is a solid compilation. Sure, bands like Seduce and Rigor Mortis didn’t stand the test of time but when it comes to the ’80s metal scene, you can’t really argue against the inclusion of bands like Motorhead, Lizzy Borden, Megadeth, Alice Cooper, Guns N’ Roses, Metal Church or even Faster Pussycat. It was all metal one way or another.

The documentary itself was actually what turned me on to Megadeth as they performed “In My Darkest Hour” in the film and it certainly made an impression on me.

The lack of Ozzy Osbourne, Aerosmith, Poison, KISS or W.A.S.P. is a bit odd given how their stature and appearances in the documentary but the soundtrack isn’t meant to be all encompassing. If it was, we’d be putting up with having to listen to the likes of London, Tuff and Odin, too. A few tracks either start or end with audio clips from the film.

We could argue for hours over who truly deserves to be included on a compilation of ’80s metal but this soundtrack is just a taste of what that era had to offer and is meant to tie in most closely with bands featured in the documentary. Keep that in mind and what you’ve got is a good collection of ’80s rock & metal that will fit right in with your retro denim vest.

Highlights: “Under My Wheels”, “Bathroom Wall”, “Born to Be Wild”, “In My Darkest Hour”, “Prophecy”

Megadeth – The System Has Failed [Review]

TheSystemHasFailed_zps6d1bf1bc

Megadeth – The System Has Failed
2004, Sanctuary Records

1. “Blackmail the Universe”
2. “Die Dead Enough”
3. “Kick the Chair”
4. “The Scorpion”
5. “Tears in a Vial”
6. “I Know Jack”
7. “Back in the Day”
8. “Something That I’m Not”
9. “Truth Be Told”
10. “Of Mice and Men”
11. “Shadow of Deth”
12. “My Kingdom”

Musicians:
Dave Mustaine – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Chris Poland – Lead Guitar
Jimmie Lee Sloas – Bass
Vinnie Colaiuta – Drums

Produced by Dave Mustaine and Jeff Balding

The System Has Failed is one of those situations where it was originally intended to be a solo album for Dave Mustaine but contractual obligations got in the way so it was released as a Megadeth album. This was a part of a very weird time in the band’s history. In 2002, Mustaine abruptly ended Megadeth, citing an arm injury that left him unable to play guitar. He was able to rehab himself to where he could play guitar again but instead of re-starting Megadeth, he set out to do a solo record and recruited ex-Megadeth lead guitar Chris Poland along with Jimmie Lee Sloas and Vinnie Colaiuta to do the session work. I know some people like to say Seventh Star isn’t a Black Sabbath release because that was recorded as Tony Iommi’s solo album but you don’t hear people saying that The System Has Failed is NOT Megadeth. When you’ve got Dave Mustaine playing/singing/writing a heavy metal album (not to mention original Megadeth guitarist Chris Poland contributing guitar solos) — that’s Megadeth. Unlike with Dave’s side-project MD.45, there was no attempt here, conscious or not, to not sound like Megadeth.

After the critical failure of 199’s Risk, Megadeth returned in 2001 with The World Needs A Hero, which was an honest attempt to right the ship and return Megadeth back to its metal roots. The System Has Failed is even faster and heavier and was pretty much well-received from everyone, including me. In fact, I was in love with this album when it first came out and it’s still one of my favorite Megadeth albums. It’s like Rust In Peace, Countdown to Extinction and Youthanasia all rolled into one. The album went a long way to restoring some of Dave and the band’s credibility in the realm of heavy metal. The band just gets heavier and faster from here into the 2010s and it wouldn’t be until 2013’s Super Collider that Mustaine took the foot off the gas pedal a bit.

This one is still a classic Megadeth album for me. There’s so many great tracks here. “Blackmail the Universe” is a powerful way to kick off the album. Nonstop aggression and then “Die Dead Enough” sounds like Youthanasia. “The Scorpion” is another great track and I love the lyrics. Then you’ve got “Back in the Day” which is a lyrical nod to old school metal. “My Kingdom” is the only true filler here.

Of course, Megadeth was back full-force on tour with this album but the official new Megadeth line-up was Dave Mustaine along with bassist James MacDonough, drummer Shawn Drover and drummer Shawn Drover. Mustaine had tried to recruit Nick Menza, Marty Friedman, Chris Poland and David Ellefson back into the group at various points before the tour kicked off. Nick signed on but was reportedly not up to performing and sent packing just 5 days before the tour started and no deals could be reached with the other three ex-bandmates.

Highlights: “Blackmail the Universe”, “Die Dead Enough”, “Kick the Chair”, “The Scorpion”, “Back in the Day”, “Something That I’m Not”, “Of Mice and Men”

www.megadeth.com
www.facebook.com/megadeth

Buy it at Amazon.com

Megadeth – Risk [Review]

51DLwCTwDQL

Megadeth – Risk
1999, Capitol Records

1. “Insomnia”
2. “Prince of Darkness”
3. “Enter the Arena”
4. “Crush ‘Em”
5. “Breadline”
6. “The Doctor Is Calling”
7. “I’ll Be There”
8. “Wanderlust”
9. “Ecstasy”
10. “Seven”
11. “Time: The Beginning”
12. “Time: The End”

Band:
Dave Mustaine – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Marty Friedman – Guitar, Backing Vocals
David Ellefson – Bass, Backing Vocals
Jimmy DeGrasso – Drums

Produced by Dan Huff and Dave Mustaine

Okay, Risk is what most Megadeth fans will agree to be the band’s worst album. I’m not too sure if I agree with that. There’s a number of tracks here that I like a lot. It was definitely something else though, even further removed from Megadeth’s roots than the commercial Countdown to Extinction or Youthanasia albums were. The album is different, that’s for sure. Different doesn’t necessarily mean bad though.

I’m not really sure how you’d describe this album. There are elements of metal, hard rock, alternative rock and, yes, even pop music. The album is certainly an oddity in the band’s catalog but it does have its charms.

“Crush ‘Em” is the song I remember getting the most push from this album. Megadeth performed the song live once on WCW Monday Nitro and then WCW pro wrestler Goldberg used it as his entrance music for a while. The song was also featured on the soundtrack to Universal Soldier: The Return, which Goldberg also had a role in. I think it was even used at sporting events for awhile. I guess it served its purpose. Mustaine has since called the song “dumb” and says he doesn’t like it. Of course it’s dumb, it’s a sports anthem! It’s dumb, but dumb fun.

If I’m remembering correctly, this album was the source of a lot of strife in the life of Mustaine and the band. Dave still wanted to one-up Metallica but wasn’t totally sure if this alternative rock/pop direction was the way to go, but the label was insisting. Meanwhile, Marty Friedman was becoming disgruntled working within the confines of Megadeth. You’d think he’d have been happier than ever in Megadeth consider this was a light album and he went on to recording pop songs once quitting the band and relocating to Japan.

There’s definitely some off-the-wall sounding songs here when you consider this is Megadeth. “Breadline” is a very good rock/pop song while “The Doctor Is Calling”, “Wanderlust”, “Ecstasy”, “Time: The Beginning” are semi-ballads with a strange almost trippy vibe to them.

Though sales were disappointing at the time, given everyone thought this was going to be the big “breakthrough” mainstream album for Megadeth, the album went on to sell over 500,000 copies. That puts it on level with 1997’s Cryptic Writings so I don’t consider Risk to be a commercial failure when looking strictly at the numbers. And despite negative reviews, it’s actually the last Megadeth album to be certified gold.

Listening to the album now, it’s not as bad as everyone makes it out to be. But I never thought it was bad even when I first heard it. Again, it’s just different. In the Megadeth catalog, I might actually rank it above the hard, fast & bland Thirteen and Endgame albums. Those two album had a handful of really good songs but I daresay Risk is more consistent.

Highlights:  “Insomnia”, “Crush ‘Em”, “Breadline”, “The Doctor Is Calling”, “I’ll Be There”, “Wanderlust”, “Ecstasy”, “Time: The Beginning”

www.megadeth.com
www.facebook.com/megadeth

Buy the album at Amazon.com

Megadeth – Youthanasia [Review]

Youthanasia

Megadeth – Youthanasia
1994, Capitol Records

1. “Reckoning Day”
2. “Train of Consequences”
3. “Addicted to Chaos”
4. “A Tout le Monde”
5. “Elysian Fields”
6. “The Killing Road”
7. “Blood of Heroes”
8. “Family Tree”
9. “Youthanasia”
10. “I Thought I Knew It All”
11. “Black Curtains”
12. “Victory”

Produced by Max Norman and Dave Mustaine

Yes, I know there are many, many Megadeth fans out there who will say that Megadeth was at their best during the 1980’s with 1990’s Rust In Peace serving as their magnum opus. As great as those years and all of those albums were, I disagree in regards to that era being the “best”. 1992’s Countdown to Extinction began Dave Mustaine’s quest to become accepted in the mainstream and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Youthansia continued down the same road. If Countdown… was the blueprint, Youthansia was the finished masterpiece.

Honestly, “Black Curtains” is the only weak link in the bunch. The rest is 11 tracks of hooks, melody and rock/metal greatness: the hammering “Reckoning Day”, the chugging “Train of Consequences”, the dark “Family Tree”, the popular semi-ballad “A Tout le Monde”, “Victory” name-checks previous Megadeth songs and “I Thought I Knew It All and mythology-fueled “Elysian Fields” are two of my favorite ‘deth songs of all time.

See, this is the Megadeth I first became exposed to, so it’s my preference over their ’80s thrash/speed sound. I love the thrash/speed metal they previously had used but I think Megadeth is at their best when Dave is writing accessible catchy hard rock songs with just a bit of metal to them. Youthanasia isn’t a soft album. I still wouldn’t say it’s only hard rock but it’s definitely the most commercial and most polished album they ever released. Yes, even more so than Risk, I think. That album was just… different. Youthanasia is lighter than Countdown to Extinction, the solos aren’t as prolific but the album still retains a metal quality.

I may not be saying enough about an album that easily makes my Top 10 of All-Time, but what else do I have say other than it’s in my Top 10 of All-Time and receives frequent spins over 10 years after I first heard the album?

www.megadeth.com
www.facebook.com/megadeth

Buy the album at Amazon.com!

Megadeth – Countdown to Extinction [Review]

668

Megadeth – Countdown to Extinction
1992, Capitol Records

1. “Skin o’ My Teeth”
2. “Symphony of Destruction”
3. “Architecture of Aggression”
4. “Foreclosure of a Dream”
5. “Sweating Bullets”
6. “This Was My Life”
7. “Countdown to Extinction”
8. “High Speed Dirt”
9. “Psychotron”
10. “Captive Honour”
11. “Ashes in Your Mouth”

Band:
Dave Mustaine – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Marty Friedman – Guitar, Backing Vocals
David Ellefson – Bass, Backing Vocals
Nick Menza – Drums, Backing Vocals

Produced by Max Norman and Dave Mustaine

I’m dating myself as a fairly recent Megadeth fan but my first exposure to Countdown to Extinction was back in the late ’90s or early 2000s when I picked it up from a local pawn shop, along with a few other Megadeth albums.

Following the classic Rust In Peace, I can understand why there would be some backlash in regards to Countdown to Extinction at the time of its release. Countdown is still heavy metal, but it features a bit more polish and hooks than they have previously used. No doubt this slicker sound was achieved with by enlisting the aid of producer Max Norman but Dave Mustaine was also on a quest to prove he could outsell Metallica at any cost. I’m sure his former band’s massive success with 1991’s “The Black Album” convinced Dave that it was time to adopt a slightly more commercial sound. While Countdown to Extinction didn’t reach the insane commercial heights of “The Black Album” but it still managed to go double platinum and that’s something to still be extremely pleased with.

Over time, the album has become generally regarded as one of the band’s best. I agree and that opinion is given merit thanks to stone cold classics like “Symphony of Destruction”, “Sweating Bullets” and “Countdown to Extinction”. But this is not a perfect collection of polished heavy metal. There are a few tracks that are nothing more than filler to my ears such as “Captive Honour”, “Architecture of Aggression” and “High Speed Dirt”.

With a bit of a change in sound, Countdown to Extinction is a great album and another high point for what many consider to be the classic Megadeth line-up. This is the album that put the band on the path to deliver in 1994 what I think is their best album yet: Youthanasia.

Highlights: “Skin O’ My Teeth”, “Symphony of Destruction”, “Foreclosure of a Dream”, “Sweating Bullets”, “This Was My Life”, “Countdown to Extinction”

http://www.megadeth.com
http://www.facebook.com/Megadeth

Buy the album at Amazon.com!

Megadeth – Super Collider [Review]

h7RVn

Megadeth – Super Collider [Best Buy Exclusive Edition]
2013, Universal Music Enterprises/Tradecraft/T-Boy Records

1. “Kingmaker”
2. “Super Collider”
3. “Burn!”
4. “Built for War”
5. “Off the Edge”
6. “Dance in the Rain”
7. “The Beginning of Sorrow”
8. “The Blackest Crow”
9. “Forget to Remember”
10. “Don’t Turn Your Back…”
11. “Cold Sweat”
Bonus Tracks:
12. “All I Want”
13. “A House Divided”
Best Buy Exclusive:
14. “Countdown to Extinction” (live)

Band:
Dave Mustaine – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Chris Broderick – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Dave Ellefson – Bass, Backing Vocals
Shawn Drover – Drums

Produced by: Johnny K

What’s in a name? Nitpicking here, because it’s the music that matters most, but I find the title of Super Collider to be lackluster and fairly generic (the same way I felt about Thirteeneven with its alternate alpha-numeric spelling). Yes, I know that’s the Large Hadron Collider on the cover (with Vic Rattlehead barely visible in the back there) but it’s all a bit “off” for Megadeth album, in my opinion. Especially with the picture being so bright and colorful. I will say the cover is made a bit cooler with the lenticular insert that comes with the album. I’m not sure if that’s a Best Buy exclusive as well or given to all releases.

So, for a long time, Megadeth has been one of my favorite bands. For a period of time, it wouldn’t have been out of line to say they were my favorite. But, with each passing album, I find myself becoming less thrilled with them. Endgame and Thirteen were both disappointments to me with few bright spots and a lot of filler. So I certainly was not hyped up for Super Collider (and the uninspired album title & cover art only made matters worse). Based off the lead single, “Super Collider”, I figured I had this album already pegged as yet another disappointment.

However, two more songs were released online that really piqued my interest: “Built for War”, which sounds like something that could’ve been on United Abominations. Then there’s “The Blackest Crow”, which is a very unusual Megadeth track that could’ve come from Risk and it has a creepy country/bluegrass vibe to it complete with banjo and slide guitar. Both of these songs got me excited for the album.

And then I kept reading reviews online going “oh, this is a hard rock album, this isn’t heavy metal!” My response? “GOOD!” I’ve always felt Megadeth’s best albums came from the nineties, a time when they were blurring the line on whether they were metal or rock. With the last few albums, Dave seemed to be going in a direction that was heavier and faster than Megadeth had ever been. That’s quite an impressive and commendable feat, even if it didn’t lead to too many memorable songs, but it really isn’t what I wanted from the band. It seems like on Super Collider that Mustaine and lessened the intensity and added a much needed dose of melody & hooks that harkens back to Youthanasia and Countdown to Extinction.

“Kingmaker” – Solid Megadeth metal to kick off the album.

“Super Collider” – I found this one to be disappointing upon first hearing it (as did most people). It’s not a particularly heavy song. Probably about as radio-friendly as Megadeth can get. Sounds like it should’ve been on Risk. It’s actually grown on me with repeated listens but it was a poor choice to be the first released song from the album.

“Burn!” and “Off the Edge” come off like filler to me.

“Built For War” – Great track! This one is a modern Megadeth heavy metal classic right alongside “Gears of War”, “This Day We Fight!” and “Sudden Death”. This song is most definitely heavy metal.

“Dance In The Rain” –  I love the way this song starts off, with that somewhat creepy vibe Megadeth songs can have. This is actually Dave as a motivational speaker though (somewhat) — “you better learn to dance in the rain/instead of wait for the sun/dance in the rain/the sun will never come”. Disturbed/Device vocalist David Draiman appears on this track as well. Is that a selling point for you? It’s not for me.

“The Blackest Crow” – Like I said, an unusual Megadeth track but I’m loving it. It’s bluegrass meets heavy metal!

“Cold Sweat” – Pretty cool to hear Megadeth cover Thin Lizzy. Of course, it’s much more powerful than the Thin Lizzy version but it’s a faithful cover.

As far as the three bonus tracks go, “All I Want” and “A House Divided” are decent. “All I Want” is a fairly good headbanger that is about girl — “all I want in a girl…”. Simple, but a cool tune. I would’ve been fine with this replacing “Burn!”. “A House Divided” is another unique song (horns!), coming off like something that could’ve been on Risk or The World Needs A Hero. Both of these tracks are growing on me more and more with each listen. The third and final bonus track (and a Best Buy exclusive) is a live version of “Countdown to Extinction” that was recorded in 2012 at a show in Ponoma, California.

megasupersingle

The artwork for the “Super Collider” single. I would’ve much preferred this as the actual album cover. Has a bit of a ’90s Megadeth vibe, I think. Maybe that’s because it reminds me of the alien ship in ‘Independence Day’.

Megadeth-Supercollider

This artwork popped up online with claims that it was the album cover. I guess it was a rejected album cover/single artwork? It’s a bit goofy, reminds me of Overkill. Probably for the best that this one didn’t make it into production but I love how the Megadeth logo is breaking up.

Overall, I think Dave & Co. have delivered the best Megadeth album since at least 2007’s United Abominations. Don’t let the people fool you — this is NOT Risk. You can’t categorize this album as solely hard rock, but it’s not a full-blast trash/speed metal album like the last two have been either. It’s a rock/metal album and that is completely what I want from Megadeth. Megadeth’s stock was dropping with me after Endgame and Thirteen but Super Collider has started to set things right once again.

Highlights: “Kingmaker”, “Super Collider”, “Built for War”, “The Blackest Crow”, “Forget to Remember”, “Don’t Turn Your Back…”, “Cold Sweat”, “A House Divided”

http://www.megadeth.com
http://www.facebook.com/Megadeth

Buy the album at Amazon.com

Megadeth – Thirteen

Megadeth – Thirteen (2011, Roadrunner Records)

1. “Sudden Death” … 5:09
2. “Public Enemy No. 1” … 4:15
3. “Whose Life (Is It Anyways?)” … 3:50
4. “We the People” … 4:33
5. “Guns, Drugs, & Money” … 4:19
6. “Never Dead” … 4:32
7. “New World Order” … 3:56
8. “Fast Lane” … 4:04
9. “Black Swan” … 4:10
10. “Wrecker” … 3:51
11. “Millennium of the Blind” … 4:15
12. “Deadly Nightshade” … 4:55
13. “13” … 5:53

Band:
Dave Mustaine – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Chris Broderick – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Dave Ellefson – Bass, Backing Vocals
Shawn Drover – Drums, Percussion

Producer: Johnny K

Thirteen is Megadeth’s 13th album. It’s become cliched to title your album based on its chronological order in your catalog just as much as its become lame to stylize an album title or song as something like Th1rt3en. It’s just unimaginative and lame (to me anyways) but I suppose I’m just nit-picking.

Of course, lack of imagination could be argued for this album because five of the thirteen tracks on this album have appeared elsewhere in various forms. “Sudden Death” was originally recorded in 2010 exclusively for the Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock video game. “Black Swan” was an exclusive to Megadeth fan club members who pre-ordered United Abominations. “Millennium of the Blind” was originally demoed for Youthanasia and in that form found its way onto the 2004 re-issue as a bonus track. “New World Order” is from the Countdown for Extinction era and was also included in demo form on the re-issue of Youthanasia (a completed version appeared on 1999’s Duke Nukem: Music to Score By soundtrack). Lastly, the main riff from “Deadly Nightshade” is something that’s “been around for a while” since the mid-90s according to returning original bassist David Ellefson (this is Ellefson’s first Megadeth studio since 2001’s The World Needs a Hero) . It should be noted though that all of these songs have been completed, reworked and/or re-recorded for this album so it’s not a total cut & paste job.

In comparison to Endgame, Thirteen is an improvement. Endgame had some good tracks but left me cold for the most part. It was thrash & speed just for the sake of it and I’m happy Andy Sneap wasn’t able to return to produce this album (scheduling conflicts) because otherwise we probably would’ve ended up with Endgame Part 2. In the quest for speed & aggression, it seemed like Mustaine forgot all about melody and hooks on the last album. Thankfully Thirteen does not suffer this problem as the nature of this album is more melodic and songs like “13” and “Guns, Drugs & Money” prove the point.

There is still enough thrash & speed to go around though. “Sudden Death” (slightly different than the Guitar Hero version) is one of the best songs Dave has written in years and should be included on any future “best of” compilations. “Wrecker” is another track sure to have you headbanging. Much of the album finds a great middle ground between being heavy while still having the hooks that will dig into your brain and keep you coming back for me.

Personally, I prefer a melodically metal Megadeth over a thrashy Megadeth any day of the week so this album has worked out well for me and has restored my faith in the band (not that it ever really faltered). Those that were enamored with the audio assault of Endgame may be slightly disappointed with Thirteen but those that liked the melodic shift in sound the band took on starting with Countdown to Extinction should find plenty here that will entertain.

Highlights: “Sudden Death”, “Public Enemy No. 1”, “Whose Life (Is It Anyways?)”, “Guns, Drugs & Money”, “Never Dead”, “Millennium of the Blind”, “13”

http://www.megadeth.com
http://www.facebook.com/Megadeth
http://www.twitter.com/megadeth

Buy ‘Th1rt3en’ at Amazon.com

MEGADETH – Rust In Peace Live

Megadeth – Rust In Peace Live (2010, Shout! Factory)

1. “Holy Wars… The Punishment Due” … 7:03
2. “Hangar 18” … 5:06
3. “Take No Prisoners” … 3:25
4. “Five Magics” … 6:01
5. “Poison Was The Cure” … 3:36
6. “Lucretia” … 3:59
7. “Tornado of Souls” … 5:29
8. “Dawn Patrol” … 1:53
9. “Rust In Peace… Polaris” … 6:10
10. “Holy Wars – Reprise” … 4:16
11. “Skin O’ My Teeth” … 3:20
12. “In My Darkest Hour” … 6:12
13. “She-Wolf” … 3:37
14. “Trust” … 5:10
15. “Symphony of Destruction” … 4:01
16. “Peace Sells” … 4:47

Band:
Dave Mustaine – Vocals, Guitar
Chris Broderick – Guitar
David Ellefson – Bass
Shawn Drover – Drums

Producer: Bart Peters

Pretty odd that Shout! Factory would release this as I thought Megadeth still had a deal in place with Roadrunner Records, owing them one more album, but maybe that only applies to studio albums? Anyway, this show was recorded on March 31, 2010 at the historic Hollywood Palladium and is notable for being the first recording to feature David Ellefson back on bass after an 8 year absence from the band.

My feelings are mixed on Megadeth’s past live releases. I was totally unimpressed initially by 2001’s Rude Awakening. Looking back, it was an okay live album but it’s inferior compared to 2007’s That One Night: Live in Buenos Aires. Due to me liking That One Night so much, I wanted to pick this album up. I’m actually surprised very little marketing has been done for it, I only knew it existed because I was browsing through Amazon.com a few weeks ago and it popped up as a recommendation.

As you can tell by the title of the album, the band plays the entire Rust In Peace album. This was being done on the entire tour to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the album. The “encore” is a number of Megadeth’s biggest hits and crowd favorites and every song on this album sounds fantastic. Megadeth has never had a problem performing in a live setting, Dave always has the cream of the crop in his band. It’s absolutely amazing the number of extremely talented co-guitarists he’s had over the years.

Though I’ve always thought Rust In Peace was overrated (very good, but still overrated), fans who are absolutely in love with that album should be absolutely in love with this live disc. The packaging is kinda low-budget though. You’d think there’d be some liner notes from Dave about the original album, or this tour or this one particular show, but nope, just some album credits and photos from this concert. Maybe such extra content is being saved for a special edition of Rust In Peace.

Still, Megadeth fans should be just as pleased with this release as the crowd was that night!

Highlights: “Holy Wars… The Punishment Due”, “Hangar 18”, “Take No Prisoners”, “Rust In Peace… Polaris”, “In My Darkest Hour”, “Trust”, “Symphony of Destruction”, “Peace Sells”

www.megadeth.com
www.myspace.com/megadeth

MEGADETH – Rust In Peace

Megadeth – Rust In Peace (1990, Capitol Records)

1.”Holy Wars…The Punishment Due” … 6:34
2.”Hangar 18″ … 5:12
3.”Take No Prisoners” … 3:27
4.”Five Magics” … 5:41
5.”Poison Was the Cure” … 2:57
6.”Lucretia” … 3:57
7.”Tornado of Souls” … 5:21
8.”Dawn Patrol” … 1:49
9.”Rust In Peace…Polaris” … 5:37

Band:
Dave Mustaine – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Marty Friedman – Guitar
David Ellefson – Bass, Backing Vocals
Nick Menza – Drums

Producer: Dave Mustaine and Mike Clink

I figure it’s time I finally comment on Megadeth’s “greatest” album and the beginning of what is acknowledged to be the classic Megadeth line-up. At least, this is the album most people consider to be their greatest. I’m not one of those people. I see it more as a connecting piece for their 1980s and 1990s works but I personally feel it is extremely overrated. When the time comes, I’d take a Youthansia 20th anniversary set list/tour over a Rust In Peace show any day!

It’s definitely a good album, I just think they have done better. I remember being less than impressed with this album when I first heard it but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. It wasn’t until later when I read another review talking about the progressive elements of this album that it clicked. I’m not a big fan of progressive rock & metal which would explain why I don’t believe the hype about this album.

I know I’m committing heresy by not saying this is a five-star album but it’s the way I’ve always felt. “Holy Wars”, “Take No Prisoners” and “Hangar 18” (one of my favorite Megadeth tunes) are certainly classics but “Five Magics”, “Poison Was the Cure” and “Tornado of Souls” are filler to me. Short as it is, I think “Dawn Patrol” is pretty cool but couldn’t exactly call it an album highlight. So basically I like six of the nine songs from this album which definitely shows I don’t think this album is garbage but there are other Megadeth albums I reach for before even thinking about spinning this one.

Highlights: “Holy Wars… The Punishment Due”, “Hangar 18”, “Take No Prisoners”, “Lucretia”, “Rust In Peace…Polaris”

www.megadeth.com
www.myspace.com/megadeth

%d bloggers like this: