Megadeth were one of those Metal bands that I bought some stuff and other releases by them I just didn’t bother with. I first came across Dave Mustaine with his snarl and loud guitar sometime in late 1986 or so watching the good Ol Pepsi Power Hour (MuchMusic)in the safe confines of my house while Megadeth tore apart the audio on the family television with Peace Sells,Who’s Buying? The video was crazy all the flashing images of World Leaders and such but for some reason I passed….until…
1988 I bought So Far So Good ….So What(great title) on cassette tape and again nothing clicked. When I wanted metal in 1988 it was Iron Maidens 7th Son album for me and actually to this day in the year of 2015 it is as well! Ha!
1990 rolls around and my younger brother Todd whose pushing 14 years at the time is learning guitar, reading guitar magazines (I used to buy him guitar magazine subscriptions for Christmas. Guitar World and Guitar For The Practicing Musician) the little bugger in no time became a real good six string bender and to this day Todd still jams with his buddies once or twice a week…..
Todd bought Deths 1990 release Rust In Peace album and he loved it especially Guitar hero Marty Friedman’s playing. I borrowed it listened to it on my Walkman(ha!) on my bike rides to and from work. So I figured since Todd had a copy ….good enough!
1992 and in the magazines I seen the adds for the soon to be released Deth album Countdown To Extinction. I thought the cover was a slick affair with the colours being used (grey and purple) and the old dude fizzling out. It didn’t make me wanna go and buy it right away that’s until….
Back to The Power Hour this time Megadeth sold me big time once I seen the video to Symphony Of Destruction! Whoah ……I Likey this Metal and for myself this is the best Megadeth album in my book……
Dave Mustaine(vocals/guitar),David Ellefson(bass)Marty Friedman(guitar) and Nick Menza(drums) stream line there Metallic Sound and I’m onboard……
Peace Sells…..Is DeKEs buying?
SKIN O MY TEETH-Menza rolls out of the gate with a quick snap a roo of the drums and Mustaine and Friedman launch in to metal riff 101! “I Had Wrists Donning Slits” slams Mustaine in to the mic. It’s very apparent that this Deth record is gonna cook and not in happy place that Bon Jovi and especially Poison had led us to a place of happiness. A happy place of Hookers Strippers, Blow,Groupies. In its place is Megadeth taking us across the street from those two bands to a burned out apartment with Needles,Heroin,Syringes,Booze! 1992, gone is happy go lucky rock! Mustaine and crew dial up a musical speedball and shove it down our senses! This has to be one of my fav Deth tunes! Menza and Ellefson play a straight ahead Metal Pace with the guitars a rocking! The chorus is a Metal Delight ! “No escaping pain,You Belong To Me!” Snarls Mustaine ” Clinging On To Life,By The Skin O My Teeth” Friedman nails off the solo and Menza slams the ride cymbal hard and what a opener!
SYMPHONY OF DESTRUCTION-The track that hooked me line and sinker in buying Countdown! Not only did they have a ass kicking great video to go with the song but Menza and Ellefson roll the beat forward down Deth Avenue with super duper solid bass and drums. While we’re at it great production on this record by Max Norman(Ozzy/Coney Hatch) and Mustaine as well! The guitars are wickedly crystal clear and the chorus is reeeaaaaaal good! MegaCatchy is Megadeth on Symphony! Friedman nails off another classic solo! The lyrics as well send the message of what can go hairy when you put Mortal Man in control!
ARCHITECTURE OF AGGRESSION-Machine gun blasts off the start of this track. I must say a great title for a song! Ha! Swooping axe chops from Mustaine and Friedman lead the charge. Menza and Ellefson drop the anchor on the bass and drums .
FORCLOSURE OF A DREAM- “After All Is Lost Personal Holocaust…Foreclosure Of a Dream,” snipes Dave. Great track and its a different kind of metal! Menza rolls down some cool double bass machine like drums during the shredding guitar solos and the boys lock and roll and its a well written piece of Hard Rock!
SWEATING BULLETS-Wowzers! This in my book is a absolute classic! Dig the slam of the drums and Mustaine and the boys do the rest! I dig Dave’s half chat half talk vocal! “Hello Me … Meet The Real Me!” The video is one of the best a Metal videos ever! Love the part in the cell where Dave is kicking himself! The video is dark real dark but a classic kinda dark! Bravo Deth Boys! Watch the vid!
THIS WAS MY LIFE-Cool Metal track here kinda a more laid back sound but a sound that will crush your skull! Dave wrote some good melodies I mean he tosses in the ever so catchy ‘Hey Hey This Was My Life!” You cannot go wrong with Hey Heys…ask Simmons the rich banker/part time bass player from Kiss who wrote the infectious Love It Loud and that song features about 400 Hey Hey and a ton of Yeahs tossed in! Megadeth here push the pedal to limit almost and I’m ok with it as Thrash is not my deal and guys ripping there throats apart screaming stuff like……”Aaaaaaaaaarggggggggghhhhhhh,bllllllllllllllllaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrgh!” Just isn’t my deal but if it’s yours ..I salute You!
COUNTDOWN TO EXTINCTION-The title track. Countdown starts of MegaChill and as the song progresses it picks up the pace with a pretty heavy metal poppy kind of chorus until Mustaine himself snarls his vocal with “This is the Countdown To Extinction!” Friedman and Mustaine can play that’s a fact! They can rip metal guitar when needed they can play at reduced metal clip when called upon. Countdown is one of those songs! All things Metal and some parts not so Metal! Great track…..!
HIGH SPEED DIRT-Is a tune about Sky Diving! Yep no dope,pills,hookers here it’s a tune about the adrenaline rush of free falling in the sky! It’s a quick little heavy metal number and as they do Mustaine and Friedman shred some solos but these two do with class as they don’t overplay like a bunch of Yngiwes where your head spins almost in a nauseous way! Jump Or Die screams Dave in the tune ! I will I will …I will jump off of my couch but not a airplane silly Metal Man!
PSYCHOTRON-Dig this tune. Not only by name but the song is robotic as well! Drums push this track and Mustaine throws down another real good chorus! I mean sing along kids with Uncle Dave “Part Bionic,Part Organic,Not A Cyborg,Call Him Psychotron!” So by the chorus you can tell that you are up for Termination! This is Proto Metal 1992!
CAPTIVE HONOUR-Crazy heavy opening with drums,bass and guitars all smashing up and than the beat lays back and again picks up the pace. This tune best shows us that Megadeth are not just gonna play it by the rules but there own as in they don’t care about radio or video play. Captive Honour is played to please the hardcore!
ASHES IN YOUR MOUTH-Megadeth ramp it up right out the door with this full out audio assault! Tons of time changes,fast guitars,fast bass and even faster drums! This tune I guess you could say is a tune that would please the hardcore Megaheads. Quick pace this tune is actually it may be more metal than anything that was on Metallica’s Black Album from a year earlier.
IN CONCLUSION-Megadeth released a solid album here and it’s a just a great heavy piece of work. Mustaine and Crew rolled up there sleeves and got down to some serious business and the leadoff track Skin Of My Teeth sets the pace for the album! Great Metal is Great Metal and this is the deal folks!
So Much so that when Megadeth released the deluxe 20th Anniversary edition of Countdown To Extinction(2012) I was all over it as the Megaboys added a second disc which includes a full unreleased show from 1993(recorded in San Fran) and these dudes smoke these tracks live and shows what great live act they were becoming but a few years later after the pretty good followup Youthanasia they hit the skids by changing there sound and putting out Risk…I submitted my resignation to Dave but Countdown is still a classic….
Drop by Arena Rock next Tuesday when I feature another one of my all time Fav Deth Tracks!