Still Whining... About Being Fired From... Metallica!
*special introductory paragraph!
*Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good!
*Peace Sells... But Who's Buying?
*So Far, So Good... So What!
*Rust In Peace
*Countdown To Extinction
*Hidden Treasures EP
*Cryptic Writings
*The World Needs A Hero
*Rude Awakening
*The System Has Failed
*That One Night: Live In Buenos Aires
*United Abominations
*Rust In Peace Live

When astonishingly talented guitarist Dave Mustaine was fired from Metallica in April 1983 for excessive drinking and assholishness, he decided to put together his own band and call it "Megadeth" so their records would show up in the thrash bins right before Metallica (and right after Meg Ryan). The sad truth is that neither Metallica nor Meg Ryan would ever again lay claim to such an incredibly lightning-speeded Guitar God. But the good news (for Metallica) is that Dave Mustaine, possibly due to his heroin addiction, also wasn't the world's most consistent songwriter. Then when he finally got clean, he only made one phenomenal record (Rust In Peace) before opting to go commercial and stink. After several albums in this vein, he finally brought back the aggression (while still stinking), then became a Born Again Christian and published an autobiography -- all while bearing the pain of missing his little Dutch friend.

Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good! - Combat 1985
Rating = 7

Infamous for its hilariously botched production job (they spent their advance on drugs, so the producer quit and they mixed it themselves -- in the process rendering the tightly executed high-speed note runs almost impossible to hear under the overloud drums and noisily reverbed vocals), the debut Megadeth LP is an impressive but frustrating mix of jaw-dropping speed riffing and corny 'tuff' midtempo chord changes.

Before going any further, I should really warn you about Dave Mustaine's voice. Although buried in enough reverb here to conceal its intrinsic weaknesses, subsequent records would reveal it to be a high-pitched raspy whine prone to wandering all over the music with no melody in sight. Many people hate this voice, including a younger version of me. I still don't particularly *like* it, but have learned to tolerate it for the greater good of enjoying ass-thrashing sass-trashers like "Loved To Death," "Rattlehead" and the sleazy rewrite of "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'."

From the getgo, it's easy to understand why Megadeth is considered the most technically proficient of thrash's Big Four (Metallica is considered the most melodic, Slayer the most aggressive, and Anthrax the most undeserving of being included). The ludicrously speedy, flawlessly executed riffs and solos of Mustaine and second guitarist Chris Poland mesh like industrial gears with the locomotive rhythms of bassist Dave Ellefson and drummer Gar Samuelson. Listen to how "Loved To Death" keeps alternating between head-ripping notey thrash and a herky-jerk broken machine lurch. Check out the shambolic but note-perfect bass/drum descension after each chorus of "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'." Note that the already fast-as-dick notes in the "Rattlehead" riff are being hit not once but twice with each pick-string connection. These guys can PLAY!

And not just football, but LIFE!

Furthermore, if you buy this album because you misread the band name as "Metallica," you're in luck because final track "Mechanix" is Dave's version of "Four Horsemen"! Faster and more frantic than James Hetfield's version, Dave's is stymied only by a set of particularly stupid lyrics about a mechanic having sex on the job. I mean hey I like to have sex with mechanics too, but I'm not going to write a song about it.

Final summation: Takin' Care Of Business... And Business As Usual! features some of the most excitingly speedy notey bits of any thrash album on the market, but several of its songs are hurt by questionable arrangements (are the ugly, awkward verses of "Skull Of The Skin" meant to sound 'funky'!?) and boring midtempo chord sequences (could "Looking Down The Cross" BE any more plodding? What a waste of a creepy Slayer-style intro!). Megadeth!? Yeah, more like a MegaDEARTH of good ideas!

Also check out this great song I wrote:

by Mark Prindle

I was screwing a mechanic
Just a-screwin' screwin' screwin'
He was about to "nut" in my "bolt" (butt) when t


Reader Comments

Great album, horrible production. It doesn’t even sound like thrash, blame it on the drugs. Even the new remastered version sounds tinny but it’s worth checking out for the unnecessary censorship in “These Boots.”

I believe Mechanix was an old Metallica song first, check out the old No Life 'til Leather demo.
So I got the jank copy of 'Killing' with 'These Boots' removed! So mine was a mere 27 minutes long. Agree, good thrash but did you notice how the title track sounds like polka when it gets fast since the bass is so damn loud! I thought "Mechanix" was pretty stupid without the melodic part that Metallica put in it. And, since my copy also had no lyric sheet, I couldn't understand anything except for a few swear words.
The copy I have has a terrible sound quality in the sense that there's like a thick wall of air between the music and the speaker. However, I sort of do like the indie-ness of the production.

What I always hated most about this record is the amazingly ugly and lame cover, which is not Megadeth-worthy. Not that I'm a big fan of the others either, but at least they fit the style. This is just a mess. The new cover for the remaster looks better, but clearly too flashy for something from 1985.

As for the songs, none of them are terrible. I used to like "Looking Down The Cross" as a teenager, but now I just find it boring. The rest are somewhat inconsistent, but I don't get the criticism of "The Skulle Beneath the Skin"... It's one of my favourites. "Rattlehead" is pretty hilarious in how it's both melodic and insanely speedy... The title track is also pretty good. The lyrics are of course ridicilous, but Megadeth was never about poetry anyway. Plus I still prefer some dumb shit like that than Dungeons and Dragons Metallica style.

My favourite is of course "Mechanix". The intro is lame and boring, but the rest is just classic. To add to the information about the song, it was called "The Mechanix" when Mustaine still was in Metallica. When they kicked him out they made it gay and called it Four Horsemen, and Dave for some reason took out the "The" and made it a bit faster than both previously existing versions.

The production of this album doesn't really bother me as much as everyone else. I have the remastered edition so that's probly why. None of these songs are bad (yes I even like this version of "These Boots") but it gets overshadowed by what was to come next (kind of). This album just seems a lot more messy and less well constructed than the next one. The title track and "Mechanix" are my favorites here. I'll give this a solid 8.

Add your thoughts?

Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? - Capitol 1986
Rating = 7

Much more strongly produced but less technically astonishing, Peace Sells... But Who's Bryan? is mostly built around chord sequences and arpeggios, rather than the high-speed note riffs that defined its predecessor. The solos are certainly speedy though, as well as melodic. Vocally, Mustaine is doing a lot of menacing growling, and lyrically he's progressed from sex, murder and rock'n'roll to witchcraft, the Occult and Satan worship. Also his last name sounds like "Mustang." Ha ha!

A notably more mature-sounding effort than Killing Is My Business, Peace Sells generally plugs along at a midtempo headbanging pace, with limited excursions into high-speed thrash (most notably in the album-closing "My Last Words," but also at the ends of otherwise medium-speed songs like "Bad Omen" and "I Ain't Superstitious"). Unfortunately, the record still isn't very consistent, with initially foreboding pieces like "The Conjuring" and "Bad Omen" soon degenerating into clunky boring collections of do-nothing chordwork. Even worse, they cover an old blues song -- and if you've never heard heavy metal musicians playing those lowdown boogie woogie blooze.... well, there's a reason for that.

On the upper side, the title track may be the quintessential Megadeth track -- an energizing mix of mosh-speed chord chugging, gravelly "What da ya mean....?" vocal concerns, and the MTV News commercial jingle, which Alan Hunter was kind enough to lend to the band free of charge. Other highlights include adultery headbanger "Wake Up Dead," chuggita-chuggita prisoner's lament "Devil's Island," and killer Russian Roulette thrasher "My Last Words."

Final summary: Peace In L.A.... But Who's Next? is a well-produced and mature '80s metal record with some classic Megadeth material, but is still bogged down by a number of bland passages and one terrible cover tune.

And now for some jokes!

Why did Dave Mustaine cross the road?
"Whaddaya mean I can't cross the road? I'm just following the chicken."

How many members of Megadeth does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Just one -- as long as it's not Chris "Poland"! Ha ha! Little Polack joke for all the WWII vets out there still clinging to life!

And now for some knock-knock jokes!

Knock knock!
Who's there?
Dave Must!
Dave Must who?
Dave Must be crazy to think we wanna hear a blues cover!

Knock knock!
Who's there?
David Ellef!
David Ellef who?
David, Ellef (hell if) I know why they did a blues cover!

Knock knock!
Who's there?
Chris Po!
Chris Po who?
Chris Policeman! You're under arrest for playing a blues cover!

Knock knock!
Who's there?
Gar who?
Gary Coleman! Whadju talkin' 'bout, blues cover!?

Reader Comments

In 8th or maybe 9th grade a friend of mine bought Master of Puppets and Peace Sells… I copied each one on a cassette tape with his dual tape deck. At that point Quite Riot and AC/DC were the fastest heaviest things we’d heard. This tape changed my life. I think Master of Puppets got cut off at the end but I eventually had both these albums as well as many more thrash classics on tape and (later) on cd.

Everybody seemed to know Metallica so I saw Megadeth as more of a true metal fan’s band. I bought a backpatch that had the album cover of Peace Sells and sewed it on a jean jacket I wore nearly every day of high school. Recently I pulled out the ol’ Peace Sells cd; yes some of these tracks got skipped on repeated listens but the good songs rank right up there with the best of the mid 80’s thrash. I haven’t heard the remix but there aren’t any rare demo tracks on it, just Randy Burns mixes, which I don’t care about at all.
My favorite of the early ones since it's the first I heard. "I Ain't Superstitious" is pretty stupid but I thought "Good Morning/Black Friday" was really cool because it was so violent. Have you seen the music video for "Peace Sells"? It's really cheesy.
Fair rating. I might have liked this one better if I wasn't put off by Dave's lame attempt at getting down with the black magic stuff. Still it has some good songs and is pretty consistent, "Peace Sells", "Devil's Island" and parts of "The Conjuring" being ones I like, but as "iconic" as the title track is, "My Last Words" is the standout track here. My impression is that it is sort of underrated, if you consider the status of some of their other songs. It's total rock 'n' roll and thank god the lyrics aren't about spirits, evil women etc.

Can't say a whole lot about this one, other than I really like it. This isn't a huge improvement over the last one (this is a 9 as opposed to an 8), but I can tell Dave's songwriting (not that I pay much attention to it in the first place) is improving. Even the band is playing better. Favorite here is "Wake Up Dead" (I especially love the part when it changes up) although I like every song (this includes "I Ain't Superstitious" - never heard the original). I liked this one a lot more than I thought I would.

Add your thoughts?

So Far, So Good... So What! - Capitol 1988
Rating = 6

Having fired Chris and Gar for stealing his equipment to buy heroin, Dave herein replaced them with guitarist Jeff Young and drummer Chuck Behler -- a pair so beloved that they'd be out the door by the time of the next album. This one features almost no thrash at all, instead concentrating on a Judas Priesty style of NWOBHM chockablock with macho headbanging chord riffs. Also the guitars all have this ridiculous chorusy sheen for some reason.

I've already taken a lot of "guff" (or "monkey shines") from the Facebook community for awarding this much-loathed release such a "high" grade. But let's be clear about something -- this one doesn't have a blues cover.

Highlights include the bombastic hammery instrumental "Into The Lungs Of Hell," Halford-ready nuclear warning "Set The World Afire" and thrashtastic PMRC jab "Hook In Mouth." The other tracks suffer from the same inconsistent songwriting decisions (being boring, not being any good) that haunted Killing Is My Business and Peace Sells, but even the worst songs feature at least one 'guilty pleasure' manly NWOBHM hook amongst their doldrums. Furthermore, the mixture of cleaned-up shimmer and guttural heaviness lends a truly weird feel to the more mean-spirited riffs.

Apparently Mustaine was at his most smack-addled during this period, which probably played a role in the dumbed-down songwriting and strange lyrical concerns, which include:

- A girl who (a) admits to her father that she practices the Occult, (b) is punished by him murdering her, and (c) winds up haunting the nearby forest ("Fingers gripped around my brain/No control, my mind is lame/I'm in the astral plane, and I'll never be the same/Never, never... never!")

- The joys of driving drunk ("Dirt roads to Interstates, I must have drove them all/Cigarettes and burgers, caffeine and alcohol")

- Former guitarist Chris Poland ("Your sister is a junkie/Gets it any way she can/Your brother's a gay singer/In a stud leather band/Your girlfriend's got herpes/To go with your Hep and AIDS")

- Cliff Burton's tragic death, as expressed in a song about wanting to die (!?) ("There's a better place for me/But it's far, far away/Everlasting life for me in a perfect world/But I gotta die first/Please God, send me on my way!")

But enough of this avoiding the Rhinoceros in the room: the "Anarchy In The UK" cover is terrible. Not quite as bad as a blues cover, but dangerously close. The faceless guitar approach converts the riff's hooky simplicity into joyless tedium, the lyrics are mangled ("I wanna destroy -- possibly"!?), and Dave Mustaine is simply no John "Lydon" Rotten "Vicious."

Final conclusion: So It Goes... So Long, Bannatyne... Soapapilla! is Megadeth's brain-wasted, chorus-guitared take on the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. Megadeth fans seem to hate its guts, but Judas Priest fans think it's the greatest album ever recorded!

Speaking of "making things up," check out these great jokes coming to a joke store near you soon:

What's the difference between Dave Mustaine and a guy who really loves waffles?
One has a huge ego, and the other just ate a huge Eggo!

What do Dave Mustaine and a victim of mythology's Minotaur have in common?
They can both be found crying in some kind of monster!

What do you get when you cross Dave Mustaine with Cliff Burton?
A guy that James Hetfield kicks out of Metallica by crushing him under a bus!

Enough jokes. Everything is sad, and so should you be.

Reader Comments
FYI, "Set the World Afire" was the first song Dave Mustaine wrote for Megadeth and it was in fact originally called "Megadeth". He for some reason saved it for the third album. "Anarchy in the UK" is severely botched due to Mustain's mishearing the original. Steve Jones is actually a guest on the Megadeth version even though it doesn't matter at all. "Hook in Mouth" is otherwise the only really good song on here. And it's the only really thrash song on this album as well. The songs "502" and "Liar" are juvenile and embarrassing.

Hossein N.
Although I know this is not the most popular Megadeth album, it comes to a surprise that people would nag about it getting 6 as a "high" rating. This is my favourite Megadeth album and the only reason I do have reservations about calling it their best work is that there's a lot of stuff that in a tighter album would be deemed as fillers. I still think as far as the overall sound of the album goes, this is the coolest thing Dave ever did. This may very well be because I've never been that much into the kind of metal that's rooted in Judas Priest and Maiden. Thrash metal being sort of the meeting point between that and the meaner kind, was a compromise. Back when I still listened to all this heavy stuff, I always prefered Megadeth to Metallica because no matter how much of an ass Dave made of himself, his stuff was a lot more rock 'n' roll than Metallica's uptight material, and I think this record - in its finest moments - proves that; Into the Lungs of Hell, Set The World Afire (also the not so relevant In My Darkest Hour).

Either way it's great that you finally reviewed Megadeth.

Kofe Babone
The album doesn't mark an improvement like Peace Sells... did, but it's got a very primal, out-of-control feel, that makes obvious the fact that Mustaine was thoroughly trashed whilst recording it. I certainly appreciate the bold addition of a shredding instrumental in the face of "Into the Lungs of Hell" and an emotional "ballad", if you can call 'In My Darkest Hour' that. Good effort on the catchy 'Set the World Afire' too. That one's a beast of a composition.

The songs aren't very accessible, though, except maybe for IMDH. So I would only suggest this album if you're a hardcore Megs fan.

otherwise, the botched production ruins the whole thing a bit, even if the "raw" feel complements the songs well. Definitely get the remaster here, it's one of the few cases where the remaster beats the original album mix

And @ edoslan:
yeah, 'Liar' is juvenile, so what? It's also fucking hilarious. The lyrics are pretty genius, unless you're a wimp who gets offended by the smallest things

So far... So good... SO WHAT!

Jeffrey Blake
What a terrific little EP. "Into the Lungs of Hell," "Set the World Afire," "In My Darkest Hour," and "Hook in Mouth" are great and should be played at every live show. So nice of Dave to include four bonus songs, too. They range from mediocre to downright bad, but it's the thought that counts.

Add your thoughts?

* Rust In Peace - Capitol 1990 *
Rating = 10

I would never recommend that a person spend the rest of his life going "Holy bejeezus!" but if you are determined to do so, you may want to consider making this album your soundtrack. As a result of (a) getting off heroin, (b) replacing Jeff and Chuck with the excruciatingly talented Marty Friedman and Nick Menza, and (c) bothering to put some effort into his songwriting, Mr. Mustaine has herein created the ultimate Megadeth release -- a technically impressive and hooky collection of multi-part thrash songs filled with tight rhythmic shifts and astonishingly fast, clean and melodic guitar solos and riffs. In fact, if I may use an analogy, comparing Rust In Peace to the rest of the Megadeth discography is almost like comparing a metal masterpiece to a bunch of albums that really aren't that good.

Lyrical matter this time out includes World War II, religious war, nuclear war, life after nuclear war and, obviously, a ghost living in Dave's attic. More personal tracks discuss Dave's heroin addiction, recent breakup with his fiancee, then-favorite comic book The Punisher and, of course, ghost living in his attic. But take it from trustable me -- you won't be paying any attention to the lyrics as chugging riff after hyperspeed drum break after harmonized solo after forboding bass line teach your ears how to love metal again. (They forgot after sitting through a Winds of Plague album)

Incidentally, the song about a ghost living in Dave's attic kinda blows. But the other eight songs (or nine if you treat "Holy Wars...The Punishment Due" as two different songs -- which you should, because it is) are expertly crafted, virtuosically performed pieces of technical thrash. As Facebook's own 'Chuck Afterburner' put it, "Metallica could not play any of the songs on this album without dropping dead of a heart attack." Obviously, later purveyors of death metal and whatever subgenre Dillinger Escape Plan plays have taken technicality to a whole new level, but generally at the expense of "catchiness." Rust In Peace isn't going to make your head explode the way an intricate math-metal record might -- it's simply melodic thrash. However, it's melodic thrash that happens to be performed by some of the most extraordinarily talented musicians in the genre.

Not that Dave Mustaine can sing at all, but do you care? Do any of us care? Just shaddapayouface and revel in the rat-a-tatting chugg-a-lugging doodly-doodlying of "Rust In Peace...Polaris," the Grammy-nominated Iron Maidener "Hangar 18," the Metallica-style thrasher "Poison Was The Cure," and all the other monster rockers on tap except the shitty one about the ghost in Dave's attic.

I mean, just look at these awful lyrics:

Hi, my name's Dave and there's a ghost in my attic
Don't give me no static 'bout that ghost in my attic!
One fine day I was shootin' a browner
When a ghost said "Hi! I'm in your attic, you frowner!"
So I went up there with a skippity-boo
And along came a ghost a-sayin' "Woo woo woo!"
I said, "Hi ghost! I'm Dave Mustaine!
I rap real good like a Pud'nin Tane!"
The ghost said, "Bam! I like your style!
Stay here and we'll tap dance for a while!"
So me and the ghost tap danced all good
Tap danced all night like ya knew we should!
Then the ghost said I wasn't as good as Metallica
So I pissed on it. Fuck you, ghost!

See? Can you believe a grown man wrote those lyrics? Why, he must be a regular asshole!

Final word: Rusty Warren's "Knockers Up For Peace!" is one of the greatest thrash albums I've ever heard, and I'd put it up there with anything Metallica ever did.

Not Slayer though, because I love Slayer.

Reader Comments
I know I used to own this CD - not really sure if I still do. In any case, I hadn't listened to it in 15 years. I remember always thinking - ah, it's okay. I remember the singing of the word "Polaris" being annoying though. Today when I played the 30 second song samples off the web. Didn't change my thoughts at all. A 7/10. If you said that's their best, I'm not going to check out any of the rest.... Although I do like the songs "Symphony of Destruction" and "Trust".
Agree completely. One of the best thrash metal albums ever, and almost the only Megadeth album that you really need. I'm quite fond of Peace sells... too, not as good as this one but a perfectly enjoyable album. A couple of the others are fun to listen to every once in a while, but these two are the only ones you NEED.
Agree, the best... a great musical album and a nice mix of lyrical ideas form personal to political and I guess sci fi/fantasy.
Call it blasphemy if you want, but I think this one is sort of overrated. It probably is their best work, I'm not really gonna argue against that but, even if it is the perfect thrash metal album, you have to look beyond that. Yes, it's great thrash, it's very tight and in general heavier than anything they ever did. But it also lacks a little diversity. Most other Megadeth albums had something more than just metal and in that sense RIP is somewhat predictable. Plus I'm not a huge fan of Marty Friedman's style, no matter how technically skilled he may be. The first two songs are of course brilliant. "Poison Was The Cure" rules and the title track at the end is also memorable. The rest have their moments, but I'd be lying if I said I could go through this album even one time without getting a bit bored at the end. In a sense it's sort of claustrophobic. Even if this is just set against the obvious quality.

Kofe Babone
wow, the guys before me really have no clue

If what you have to say about the album is "ah, it's okay" and "it's predictable", then I'm afraid that you are deaf to good music. Just go back to listening to "Enter Sandman" on repeat and keep thinking it's the best thing ever.

RIP is definitely NOT a predictable album; in fact, it just might be Megadeth's most diverse one. Think about it: You got the full-speed thrashers like 'Polaris' and 'Take No Prisoners', you got overwhelmingly melodic numbers like 'Hangar 18' and 'Tornado of Souls', you got the fun and upbeat 'Poison Was the Cure', the dark-fantasy-themed almost progressive-sounding 'Five Magics', and even the kinda random 'Dawn Patrol'. That enough diversity for you? Yeah, there's no ballad, I guess, but that's hardly a shortcoming.

For what it's worth, 'Tornado of Souls' is my favorite Megadeth song, and it's quite possibly the best heavy metal song of all time, even if I do brazenly say so myself.

p.s. Mark, what's that thing about 'Poison Was the Cure' being a "Metallica-style thrasher"? If James and Kirk tried playing that riff, they'd cut up their fingers. To show my point better, it's worth noting that even Dave himself simplifies the riff to chords when doing the song live, since he can't sing and play it at the same time. It's THAT complicated!

Add your thoughts?

Countdown To Extinction - Capitol 1992
Rating = 7

Yesterday I attended a free Public Enemy concert in Central Park. Although it was raining, I had a nifty time dancing to and fro as Chuck Woolery and Flavor Flavor went through their hits with friendliness and verve. As far as I could tell, here are the songs they performed on this, a fateful night:

Yo! Bum Rush the Show - Timebomb, Too Much Posse
It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back - Bring the Noise, Don't Believe the Hype, Cold Lampin with Flavor, Terminator X to the Edge of Panic, Rebel Without a Pause
Fear of a Black Planet - Brothers Gonna Work It Out, 911 is a Joke, Incident at 66.6 FM, Welcome to the Terrordome, Meet the G That Killed Me, Anti-Nigger Machine, Burn Hollywood Burn, Fight the Power
Apocalypse 91...The Enemy Strikes Black - By the Time I Get to Arizona, Shut Em Down
How You Sell Soul to a Soulless People Who Sold Their Soul? - Harder Than You Think
New song - Say It Like It Really Is

And who knew Flava Flav could drum? He totally-ass played the drums in "Timebomb"! And he invited all his children and grandchildren onstage to say "Hello, New York City"! And at the end of the concert, he spoke for about ten minutes about peace and racism! I thought he was just some crack burnout with a clock, but he seemed to totally have it together -- wit intact! Perhaps I would've been aware of this had I ever watched his reality show, but TV causes cancer of the AIDS.

Undoubtedly a response to the success of Metallica's Black Album, Countdown To Extinction is a collection of heavy but melodic midtempo metal songs specifically designed to break radio big. And big they radio broke! Heavy-as-dirt growl'n'singer "Symphony of Destruction" ("Just like the Pied Piper....") made it to #71 on the Billboard Hot 100, goofy novelty growler "Sweating Bullets" and sad evocative "Foreclosure of a Dream" both scored in the Top 30 of Mainstream Rock Tracks, and Ted Nugenty hard rock riffer "Skin O' My Teeth" made it all the way to #13 on the UK singles charts. To this day, Countdown remains the band's most successful album, reaching #2 on the Billboard 200 and moving over two million units in the U.S. alone.

Which isn't to say that it's anywhere near as good as Rust In Peace. Technicality and thrash energy have been exchanged for accessibility and commercial polish, and some of the melodies (particularly "This Was My Life" and the title track) are so calculated and radio-obvious that they're impossible to take seriously. Furthermore, "Sweating Bullets" appears to be a cynical attempt to rewrite "Peace Sells... But Who's Buying?" for a mainstream audience, prison rape lament "Captive Honour" is a disjointed mess, and the potentially heaviest song on the record, "Architecture of Aggression," is sabotaged by a terrible mix that buries the thick monster guitar under thumpy bass and machine gun drums.

Nevertheless, if it's radio-friendly Megadeth you're after, this is definitely the one you want. Just like the Black Album, the best songs here mix extremely loud and heavy guitars with singalong hooks. It may be simplified Megadeth, but it's really hard to complain about "pop" songs as headbangable as "Skin O' My Teeth," "Symphony of Destruction," chuggachugging Deathlok tribute "Psychotron," emotionless skydiving anthem "High Speed Dirt" (listen to the riff and vocal melody -- the song isn't happy, sad, angry, scared or any other emotion at all! How rare is that!?) or epic album-closer "Ashes In Your Mouth," the closest thing here to a Rust In Peace composition.

Final thoughts: Countdown To Ecstacy finds Megadeth going for the green, but with heaviness intact. Unfortunately, the consistency of the songwriting has returned to pre-Rust In Peace levels.

But now it's the time you've all been waiting for! JOKE time!

I can't think of any.

So instead, here are some concerts I attended in my youngerhood (as evidenced by the ticket stubs in my old scrapbook):

Pink Floyd - November 3, 1987 ($20)
Yes - February 12, 1988 ($17.50)
Aerosmith with White Lion - April 8, 1988 ($17.50)
AC/DC with Cinderella - October 21, 1988 ($17.50)
Moody Blues - November 3, 1988 ($18.75) - I went with my Dad!
Ramones with Dead Elvis - November 22, 1988 ($15.50)
Corrosion of Conformity, Dirt and Dark Overlord - November 26, 1988 ($8)
P.I.L. with Flesh for Lulu - November 24, 1989 ($17.50)
Ramones - January 30, 1990 ($15)
DRI with Nasty Savage - February 25, 1990 ($13.50)
Dead Milkmen with King Missile - September 9, 1990
Gwar, Impotent Sea Snakes and Agony Column - September 20, 1990 ($10)
Circle Jerks, The Weirdos and OCB - October 3, 1990 ($10)
Dead Milkmen, Mojo Nixon and the Cavedogs - November 28, 1990 ($10)
Tesco Vee's Hate Police, Impotent Sea Snakes and King-Kill/33 - February 15, 1991 ($7)
Butthole Surfers with Bad Livers - April 17, 1991 ($14)
Fugazi - May 12, 1991 ($5)
The Ramones with The Tombstones - June 11, 1991 ($15)
Crash Worship, King-Kill/33 and Rise - June 16, 1991 ($4)
Nirvana with Das Damen - October 6, 1991 ($7.50)
Dinosaur Jr. with My Bloody Valentine - February 26, 1992 ($10)
Cows, Clawhammer, Vertigo and Hammerhead - May 24, 1992 ($5)
"Weird Al" Yankovic - June 8, 1992 ($12.50) - I went with my Mom!
Ride with Pale Saints - June 11, 1992 ($7)
The Dwarves with Flipper and Elvis Hitler - July 2, 1992 ($5)
Bad Religion with All - July 25, 1992 ($7.50)
The Jesus Lizard - August 13, 1992 ($6)

And here are some shows I should have attended, but didn't:

Gaye Bykers on Acid with Impotent Sea Snakes - September 30, 1990 ($7)
Suicidal Tendencies - December 6, 1990 ($16.50) - At the time, this price just seemed ludicrously high
Alice Donut with Space Seed - February 5, 1991 ($5) - I wanted to attend this, but it was 21+ and I was only 17
Urge Overkill, Love Battery and Freak Magnet - June 21, 1991 ($5) - FIVE DOLLARS!!!
Judas Priest, Alice Cooper, Motorhead, Dangerous Toys and Metal Church - July 25, 1991 ($19.50) - Not that I would've enjoyed it at the time
Primus, Tad and Fracture - July 27, 1991 ($8.50) - I actually tried to attend this, but tickets sold out while I waited in line

What about you? Now it's YOUR turn! What great shows did you see in your youngerhood?

(Btw, I'm just being polite. I don't actually care.)

Reader Comments
I saw the Judas Priest, Alice Cooper, Motorhead, Dangerous Toys and Metal Church show you mention. That was "Operation Rock & Roll". I believe the brown camo Desert Storm-esque t-shirt still resides in a box somewhere. I remember being profoundly embarrassed by all the rah-rah flag waving EVERY band in the world was doing back then. I was way ahead of my time.
At the time I liked it just as much as Rust. It's more accessible but it I found every track catchy, even the corny "Sweating Bullets." Did you know Dave Mustaine won an award from an animal rights organization for the song "Countdown to Extinction"?

Add your thoughts?

Youthanasia - Capitol 1994
Rating = 6

Some time ago, I removed a light-hearted, heartwarming story from my web site due to concerns about ethics and privacy. I've decided that now is the perfect time to repost it. Enjoy!

"Last night was a real dozer. You should have been here. You'd have been all like, 'Dude, stop screaming at your wife at the top of your lungs. It's like 11:30 at night.' And then you'd have been all like, 'Dude, stop sawing across your throat with that sharp knife.' Then you'd have totally been like, 'Dude, your wife is beating the hell out of you because you're having a nervous breakdown.' Then you'd have been like, 'Dude, your wife called your parents and now your mom is on the phone crying and you're still screaming your lungs out that your wife is trying to kill you.' Then you'd have gone, 'Dude, your nose is bleeding all over the place. And don't step on that glass that fell and broke on the floor when your wife slammed the cabinet drawer to stop you from taking out another knife. And your wife wants to take you to the hospital to be put on suicide watch, but you just keep screaming.' That's what you would have done. Hell, if it were up to YOUR ass, I wouldn't have woken up this morning with a busted nose, black eye, fat lip, huge bloody gashes across my neck and what appears to be a bruised bite mark on my shoulder. And I'll have you know that NONE of the wild swings I took at my wife connected, though I did get my hands around her throat and strangle her for a few seconds at one point. The bottom line is that I thought my marriage was coming to an end, and when you have half a bottle of Ketel One in your tummy, that's tough to deal with. But alas, things are better today and my marriage appears all the stronger for its wear. Starlog Diary Entry 05.25.04 - Beam Me Up, Captain Funny-Ears!"

In retrospect, I suppose it shouldn't have come as such a surprise when she up and left me six years later. But hey! We can't all be Tim Conway!

(Also, FYI, I wasn't a wife beater. Just wanted to make that clear. She beat me up a few times though.)

Guitars tuned down to E-flat render Youthanasia Degameth's heaviest album ever, yet the songs retain the commercial aspirations of Countdown To Extinction. Its failure to repeat the success of that record can probably be attributed to the lumbering tempos, which cause several of the songs to drag something fierce, particularly in the disc's second half. Although their songwriting hadn't yet deteriorated into the cliched pop riffs and hookless metal passages that would so significantly mar their next few albums, there's no getting around the fact that the disc seems a lot longer than 50 minutes. Sludgey trudgers like "I Thought I Knew It All," "Addicted To Chaos," "Blood Of Heroes" "and "Youthanasia" certainly aren't bad, but man could they use an adrenaline shot in the arm (or, alternately, energy drink in the mouth). Who turns to Megadeth for doom metal? Nobody do, that's what!

The singles "Train Of Consequences" and "A Tout Le Monde" are clear standouts, driven by the former's strangely nagging vocal hook and the latter's sorrowful melodrama. Other highlights include the catchy-as-a-mousetrap "Elysian Fields" and the record's sole 'fast' songs, "The Killing Road" and "Victory."

On the lyrical jib, Mustaine tackles such important themes as gambling, suicide, war, incest, fate, the afterlife, and touring. On the singing jib, he sounds surprisingly good. On the 'what the fuck were you thinking!?' jib, here are the lyrics to "Victory":

Now, one day I started telling everyone
That "Killing Is My Business..."
And I was hung like a martyr
For "Looking Down the Cross"
My "Skull Beneath The Skin"
Prophesied "Last Rites/Loved To Death" my friends
Then I started seeing "Bad Omens" in my head
"Good Mourning/Black friday" will I "Wake up Dead"?
If I "Aint Superstitious" then this won't mean a thing
But some crazy shit has happened since "The Conjuring"

Not even close
Not even close
Not even close
To overdose

Had fingers in my eyes, had needles in my veins
A knife right through my heart, I am a Victory

Came "Anarchy" to "Set The World Afire"
Pain of "Hook In Mouth", "In My Darkest Hour"
Corruption of the world "Peace Sells...But Nobody's Buying"
Ignorant religion "Holy Wars" and the dying, yea
"Tornado" nearly got me
By the "Skin of My Teeth"
"This Was My Life","Forclosure of My Dreams"
May the past "Rust in Peace" in "Hangar 18"
And "Countdown to Extinction"
Just be a bad dream
"Lucretia" said... " he he he

In the interest of being a Helpful Delpful (RIP Brad Delp, you are missed), I've taken the Ron Liberti of writing a sequel based on the next three albums. Let me know what you think, Dave Mustaine, when you read these reviews!

by Megadeth

I betrayed my fans' loyal "Trust"
By recording a bunch of "FFF"ucking awful songs
I'm swirling down a "Vortex" of shit
It should be a "Sin" to release such wrongs

"I'll Be There" to induce your vomit
Bring me your dreams so I can "Crush 'Em"
Allow me to cure your "Insomnia"
"Enter The Arena" with these albums and flush 'em

I'm "Losing My Senses," along with my talent
"Disconnect" your stereo quickly - don't wait
I know you're viewing me with "Silent Scorn"
May I recommend Bad Religion's "Recipe For Hate"?

Not even close
Not even close
Not even close
To a decent album

Had fingers in my ears, had no riffs in my brain
A knife right through my career, I am a Complete Failure

To sum up, Youthoftoday is slow and heavy but still quite hooky -- at least in its first half. The second half gets quite turgid and soundalike.

Reader Comments
I pretty much gave up with this one. It came out two years before 'Load' and did the same thing yet that one got the most negative press. At least 'Load' didn't have a photo of Metallica jamming on 'air' instruments.

Kofe Babone
What a great album!

Yes, it's not thrash, yes, it sounds poppy, but the SONGS FUCKING WORK. Compared to 'Countdown to Extinction', which was still somewhat of a transitional album where the songs sounded hesitant and unsure, the stuff on 'Youthanasia' sounds really confident and effortless.

Lots of melody, lots of hooks, lots of power, lots of awesome solos. Yes, it's mostly mid-tempo, plodding metal, but it works! Overall, I think this album is even more suitable for introducing someone to Megadeth than 'Countdown' is.

Still, there are some rather unimpressive numbers like 'Reckoning Day', 'I Thought I Knew It All', 'Black Curtains', and 'Elysian Fields'.

And 'Victory' is amazing, btw.

Add your thoughts?

Hidden Treasures EP - Capitol 1995
Rating = 6

Here's a great joke I just constructed out of thin air and paper:

What do you call a business-oriented social network that is incapable of writing a decent song?

LinkedIn Park!

Whew! I'm exhausted after that great joke, so I'll let TV's "Flo" write the rest of the review.

Kiss my grits! This Megadeth compilation features six songs from movie soundtracks, one from a tribute album, and one b-side. Three are cover tunes and three were nominated for Grammies. Fuck my grits!

Hi, I'm Jim "Grit Fucker" McGee here to give you a few words about Megadeth's 29-minute Hidden Treasures CD. I was rubbin' my baloney pony through some ground hominy the other morning when it occurred to me that the disc features tracks from Shocker, Super Mario Bros., Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, The Last Action Hero, The Beavis & Butthead Experience and Tales From The Crypt Presents: Demon Knight. In fact, as my rocket ship blasted off into the alkalai-treated dried maize kernels, I queried my baby drops, "Has Megadeth simply never been offered a decent movie?" Its response is below.

Hi, I'm Johnny "Sperm Looking For An Egg In A Bowl Of Grits" McGee. I'm less interested in the terrible movies represented here than I am in the cover tunes. Apparently Alice "The Co-op" Cooper himself requested that Megadeth cover "No More Mr. Nice Guy," and a fine job they do! I particularly find my chromatin fibres chuckling at Dave's closing line, "Not to say I was ever nice in the first place, you know." They also do a fine job with the Sex Pistols' "Problems" -- in fact, you might say they encountered much fewer 'problems' than they had with "Anarchy In The UK," har har! Unfortunately, their cover of Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" is wrecked by Dave's hair metal delivery. You know what? There are no eggs in these grits. I'm going back in my Dad's penis.

Hi, this is Jim "Grit Fucker" McGee again, and GAAAAHHHHHHH!

Hi, this is Johnny "Sperm Who Grabbed A Fork As A Souvenir Of The Grits Bowl" McGee again. For some reason I'm now swimming in a puddle of blood on the floor. As such, I'll hand the review over to actor Mel Gibson:

Greetings, I'm Mel Gibson here to speak with you about Nigadeth's Hebrew Treasures EP. I was getting blown by a traffic cop the f

Hi, I'm the Mosque at Ground Zero here to tell you a bit about how there's only one good Megadeth original on this CD. It's entitled "Angry Again" and follows the pre-established growly spoken verse/singy chorus template that found such worldwide success in "Peace Sells... But Who's Buying?" and "Symphony Of Destruction." The other four Mustaine compositions are certainly heavy, but not particularly memorable -- aside from the memorably awful "99 Ways To Die," a corny macho Grammy nomination that sounds more like (bad) Guns N' Roses than Megadeth. Also, I'm not really a mosque -- I'm an airplane hangar. Shhh!

Thank you, Mosque at Ground Zero. This is Chris DeBurgh of "Don't Pay The Ferryman" fame. You know, the other day I was cashing my latest royalty check for "Don't Pay The Ferryman" when it suddenly hit me that Megadeth has never recorded a cover of "Don't Pay The Ferryman." It seems a perfect fit, particularly since they mention Charon -- the ferryman himself! -- in the dark chugging "Go To Hell" on this very CD. Perhaps I should offer them the opportunity to record the theme song for my upcoming shot-on-video pornography DVD Don't Lay The Ferryman. John Mellencamp has already written 15 songs for the film, but they're mostly about having sex on a farm that's being foreclosed on. Don't get me wrong -- "Ballin' The Banker Man" and "Haystack Full Of Pussy" are great songs. It's just they have nothing to do with the Ferryman. But he has his reasons, I'm sure. Here, I'll let him speak for himself.

Hi, I'm John Mellencamp. I am done being a rock star. I have no interest in that, in having the biggest concerts. I have only one interest: to have fun while we’re doing this and record lots of soundtracks for shot-on-video pornography DVDs. Most recently, I've been working with Chris DeBurgh on a DVD entitled Don't Lay The Scarecrowman, a harrowing and erotic tale of foreclosure and hot sex on a farm that's been in the Charon family for five generations.

Hi, this is Chris DeBurgh again. "Don't Lay The Scarecrowman"!? I never said "Don't Lay The Scarecrowman!"

Hi, this is John Mellencamp again. Perhaps I misheard you on the telephone. To be honest, I've been busy with several different shot-on-video pornography DVDs, including The Lonesome Boobilee, Uh-UHH!, Dance Nakeder and Nothin' Matters And What If I Fucked Your Wife. At any rate, I still expect my agreed-upon payment of $100.

Hi, this is Chris DeBurgh again. Fuck you!

Hi, this is John Mellencamp again. Fuck me!? Fuck YOU!

Hi, this is Mel Gibson. Why are these grits so salty?

Hi, this is Jim "Innocent Whistling" McGee. You might say there are some "hidden treasures" in those grits, Mel! Har har!

Hi, this is Lois.

Mort "Funny As Shit" Walker

Reader Comments

Andrew Moncrieff
Perhaps this isn't something I shouldn't admit on a public forum....but I really don't/didn't think Demon Knight was a bad film, in fact, I thought it was delightful. It had it all - decapitations, one liners, ridiculously (and enjoyably) convoluted in-movie mythology (one of the most well-thought out I've ever seen in a movie of this type), breasts, one liners, generally good soundtrack (and if the Megadeth and Machinehead songs weren't great, they actually tied directly lyrically into the plot of the film and expanded it's universe a little) and all round fun-time atmosphere. It came at a point in the nineties when all horror seemed to be dead and it was a much needed, and welcome, relief. Unfortunately, Scream and the broadly similar (but less well thought-out and written) From Dusk Till Dawn did the business it should have done.

Super Mario Bros, on the other hand, yes that one was shit.

Add your thoughts?

Cryptic Writings - Capitol 1997
Rating = 4

Good God! What is happening to Megadeth!? Do you hear this shit!? Look, here's me listening to this shit:

Granted, it's not one of the worst records I've ever heard, but it is the beginning of the band's losing streak, as well as a complete waste of four exceedingly talented musicians. Any idiots could play this dumbed-down shit! It's not even slow or heavy like Youthanasia; it's just an attempt to have radio hits. Like Countdown To Extinction but with much poorer songwriting, Cryptic Writings is filled tide to hide with obvious pop melodies and radio-friendly arrangements (including acoustic guitars and strings), with even initially hooky Black Album-style hard rockers inevitably degenerating into predictable commercial garbage. Trust me -- if you hear a catchy verse, it will be immediately followed by a humiliatingly cloying chorus.

Look, here's a picture of me listening to "Mastermind":

I'll give 'em this though: the album has two thrash songs on it! The first, "The Disintegrators," is a bit corny and cliched, but "FFF" (not a PIL cover) kicks the shit of life out of the ass of death! In fact, it's the only song on here that I enjoy all the way through. But enough about me; let's speak objectively about Cryptic Writings and its songs.

- At the time of its release, Cryptic Writings was by far the worst Megadeth CD. This would be short-lived.

- "Almost Honest" is catchy as hell until you realize they're just playing "Owner Of A Lonely Heart" with an extra note at the end.

- Dave considered it clever to begin a heroin-focused song with a sample of The Searchers' "Needles & Pins." A thirty-second sample. JUST BECAUSE IT HAS THE WORD "NEEDLES" IN IT!!! I know four-year-olds with a better grasp of metaphor.

- The bass intro to "I'll Get Even" sounds like Lou Reed's "Walk On The Wild Side," then the rest of the song sounds like Kiss's disco era. Say.... Did I mention that late-period Bad Company singer Brian Howe contributes some tasty licks?

- "Have Cool, Will Travel" is objectively the stupidest fucken song ever recorded. It says so in the Constitution.

Look, here's me not listening to the CD anymore:

Bottom Line: Cryptic Slaughter is Dave's attempt to repeat the mainstream success of Countdown To Extinction, but his muse is fading fast.

Uh oh......


















Reader Comments
If only your American Life review had pictures like this.

Add your thoughts?

Risk - Capitol 1999
Rating = 2

by Edgar Allan Poe

Once upon a Donut Dunkin', while I staggered weak and drunken,
Listening to an old and crackly copy of Led Zeppelin IV,
While I listened, head a-banging, suddenly there came a clanging,
As of some one deadly hanging, hanging right outside my door.
`'Tis some suicide,' I muttered, `hanging right outside my door -
Think I'll go and rent a whore.'

Just got home from being joggist; it was in the humid August,
I was eating beans and sawdust, reading tales of ancient lore
"Misty Mountain Hop" was playing, on my balls your wife was laying
Sorry, what was I just saying? - Thought I'd play some Megadeth
Countdown to Extinction would be quite a treat from Megadeth -
Then I'll rent another whore.

Then my face retreated hurtin'; something sharp flew in the curtain
Hit me - slit me with a pointy corner never felt before;
So that now, while feeling needy, wiped my face and ate a Wheatie
'Twas a copy of the CD Risk thrown through my bedroom door -
Megadeth's most infamously awful disc thrown through my door; -
Drat! It scared away the whore.

Presently my ears grew bolder; so I grabbed the CD holder,
`Sir,' said I, `or Madam Risk, I'll play you -- you shall wait no more;
But the fact is I was balling this guy's wife when you came calling
Now my boner's sadly falling, resting on my bedroom floor
So I hope you're not too awful' - here I closed the CD door; -
One last hope, then nothing more.

Deep into that first track hearing techno beats and dancey queering
Doubting that I'd heard such bad ideas since Milt Romney - uhh!
But the horror was unbroken, electronic squiggles croakin'
Surely Dave Mustaine was jokin' when he wrote 'Insomnia'
This I shouted, and an echo shouted back 'Insomnia'!
What is this abomnia!?

Then into the next track walking, Mustaine yet again just talking
Nearly two full minutes passed before the song went anywhere
"Surely," said I, "Surely Mike Ness wrote this lousy 'Prince of Darkness';
Let me say then, 'what a right mess!', and this chugging metal bear -
Such generic chords and Hetfield vocals, Christ it blows, I swear! -
Sounds like someone's derriere."

Open here I pressed Fast Forward, "Enter The Arena"? More turd
How long must my ears be tortured, by this imbecilic bore?
Not the least sense made this shit song; 50 seconds sucked my wong-dong
Just a shouting clapping sports throng, as an intro to track four -
Why assign a separate track to just an intro to track four!?
Dumb as dirt and quite a snore

Then this corny disco started, laughed so hard I nearly farted
"Crush 'Em"'s totally retarded; Gary Glitter to the core
`Blues-rock licks? That's awfully jock-y. And the rap is mighty schlocky
Wait! This song is praising hockey! What happened to tales of war!?
Tell me what the hell this band was thinking when they wrote this score!'
Quoth the CD, `Money - More!'

Then I marvelled as the CD played a riff like old B.O.C.,
I was rockin' hard until the poppy chorus shat the floor
Oh - and God, the awful lyrics further killed the atmospherics
Something 'bout a homeless person on the "Breadline" 'cuz he's poor
Driving beat and catchy verse, but hit that chorus with an oar
(Running out of rhymes for 'more')

Next song was another pooper, sounded like bad Alice Cooper
How could Mustaine think this super!? Listen to my vomit pour
Bells and sound effects and bawling, corny metal slow and stalling
Singing "The Doctor is Calling" - how'd this crap wash up to shore!?
Maybe new drummer Jimmy DeGrasso stole it from Mike Muir
Please pronounce that name as 'Moir'

Startled at the utter shitness of this album, rightly hitless
I called on the Gods to witness further misdeeds still in store
"I'll Be There" was a disaster; corny, earnest, play it faster!
Someone please get Mustaine plastered next time he goes out on tour
Tell him this commercial garbage renders him a sellout whore
But not the good kind of whore

"Wanderlust" deserves your laughter, Dave Mustaine the great songcrafter
Couldn't possibly sound dafter after penning this uproar
Listen to that lousy singer use the metaphor 'gunslinger'
Hear that metal-pop riff, Winger? That's Bon Jovi, I implore!
"Wanted Dead or Alive" - just rewritten by a bleeding sore
Quoth the CD, "Money - More!"

"Ecstasy" was bound to suck it, but I soldiered on, said 'Fuck it'
Got myself a vomit bucket and prepared to heave some gore
Then the melancholy chording hit my ears as worth affording
So I shouted 'Give me more, Bing!' but Bing Crosby died before
Then I grew sick of the song, especially its boring chor-
us. (Okay, that sucked. Up your!)

Then, methought, the stench grew lighter. "Seven" was both fast and tighter
'Was this by an outside writer?' I enquired, mining ore.
Then its happy hard rock lick gave way to same old sucking dick
So I called Dave Mustaine a prick for making listening such a chore
Why could he not write great riffs like former Cows guitarist Thor?
Blues of Nancy Cocaine Whore.

Winding down the lousy record, all my thoughts were grim and checkered
Wanted to hang out at Eckerd, for it was a fine drug store
But before the final inning, I pissed on "Time: The Beginning"
Melodrama, violinning, boring bitchy ballad bore
Is there - is there balm in Gilead? - tell me - tell me, I implore!
I need lip balm - see my sore?

`Album!' said I, `thing of evil! - Fouler than a big boll weevil!'
Then I saw Evel Knievel walking through my bedroom door
"Hello there, my song review friend," he said. "Just ignore 'Time: The End.'
Awful chugging metal riffs and nothing else and nothing more"
'Aren't you dead?' I asked the motorcycle hero and he swore,
"Yes, you ass. Now where's that whore?"

So the album reached cessation and I prayed to God and nation
That no heavy metal station picks up Risk and plays it more
But I guess they wouldn't settle; after all, it's pop - not metal
Lighter than a whistling kettle. Not for me, man - I'm hardcore!
Quoth the CD, `Wait, there's more.'

And the CD, like a rocket, reached into its left breast pocket
Said to try before I knock it -- something I could not ignore.
Smiling like a Little Nero, handed me a silver zero
Said 'The world needs a hero,' then retreated out my door
'Couldn't you have left a raven?' I complained and shut the door
Megadeth good? Nevermore!

(*House burns to the ground, killing Vincent Price*)

Reader Comments
You should retire. You will never top that fantastic review of Megadeth's "Risk."
This is the most brilliant review I've read by anyone, ever. Even if I don't hate the album half as much as everybody else. Pure Genius, Mr. Prindle.
I am firmly of the opinion that i have just read the single best review in the entire catalogue.
Hey Mark!

This is clearly one of the best reviews ever! Belongs in the greatest hits package that I hope you release one day.

Seems they are right when they say the best art comes from suffering. My favorite reviews of yours are always the ones in which you are clearly bored and offended by the album so you start creating games to amuse yourself like in the Miles Davis, Madonna and Pink pages. I really enjoyed reading the Joni Mitchell page only to see how you gradually got more and more bored with every new release and the laughs escalated.

I mean, really, look at those reviews. I sincerely think you should review more artists you despise now and again. They bring out the GENIUS!
I'm often accused of "liking everything".... some of my fav bands as a mid-teen included Pantera, NIN, black album-era Metallica and Tool after all. When it comes to Mustaine's former band which i wont mention the name of again, i even consider Load and Reload to be half-decent if i pretend they're ZZ Top albums instead, and think Death Magnetic was a mostly-OK attempt at making another "actual metal" album, just 20 years of total dickheadedness to their fans, themselves and metal itself too late.

but this Megadeth album, well, its just godawful. the crowning moment in the trilogy of zero quality that was Cryptic-Risk-Hero. The last 3 "return to metal" albums didnt quite do it for me either, but back to this. You cant just pretend it's ZZ Top like with Load/Reload, and you definitely can't blame Bob Rock cause he never had anything to do with Dave and co. This is just Mustaine trying to make a pop-rock album to capture a mainstream 90s audience.... you know, like his old band (mind you, he'd been trying to do that since Countdown and both Countdown and Youthanasia still had few good songs) and what else can you say, it didnt work.

great review though. almost made me glad the album came out just cause it led to the review in question. almost.

agreed with the earlier comment that Peace Sells and Rust In Peace are probably the only albums you really need, but get So Far So Good because it has Lungs of Hell/Set the World Afire, My Darkest Hour, Liar, and Hook In Mouth and those 4 songs make it worthwhile enough as the in-between album.

Add your thoughts?

The World Needs A Hero - Sanctuary 2001
Rating = 2

All day long my telephone and post office box ring with young people asking, "Mark, won't you share with us many of your recent and enjoyable Facebook status updates?" Well, the answer is no. Here you go:

Mark Prindle just watched "Troll 2," a terrifying horror film starring all of today's finest actors. It fully deserved all 17 of its earned Academy Awards.

Mark Prindle fully supports the Mosque at Ground Zero, as long as they name it "Edgar Allan Poe's 'Mosque of the Red Death.'"

Mark Prindle walked into a pizza place at 4 AM tonight wearing a shirt with a photo of a slice of pizza on it. The guy behind the counter found it far more amusing than necessary.

Mark Prindle, upon looking through his record collection today, was extremely confused about when and why he purchased five Rainbow LPs. Then he noticed the .99 price tag on each one of them.

Mark Prindle plans to award Megadeth's second double-live CD, "That One Night," a 7/10. That means the band has released two double-live CDs worth a 7/10 -- which, you have to admit, isn't even close to interesting.

Mark Prindle just watched "The Oblong Box" with Vincent Price, a film whose theme appears to be "If you have some blisters on your face, you are an unspeakable hideous beast who must keep your face covered or everybody will scream at you."

Mark Prindle If you'd told me two decades ago that I'd still be wearing Ramones t-shirts at age 37, I'd have laughed and laughed and then said, "No, silly. I'll be dead."

Mark Prindle thinks they should build the Mosque even CLOSER to Ground Zero. Then we should replace the WTC with buildings twice as high, knowing that no Muslim would dare destroy them and risk crushing their house of worship! Come on Republicans, think outside the box.

Mark Prindle dreamt last night that he somehow altered the past in a way that (accidentally) resulted in a different track listing for The Cars' "Candy-O" LP. Songs I'd never heard were suddenly there, and ones I grew up with were GONE! Somebody get Spielberg on the horn; this is the one.

Mark Prindle's diet over the past three days has consisted of: 1 oatmeal raisin cookie, 4 pieces of candy, and 13 pizzas from Alligator Lounge.

Mark Prindle is giving Megadeth's double-live CD "Rude Awakening" a 7/10. Please don't break Amazon by all going there at the same time to order it.

Mark Prindle is listening to the new Iron Maiden CD. It has this strange, indescribable "Iron Maideny" sound, the likes of which I've only heard fourteen times before.

Mark Prindle is all like "Yay, Helmet and Bad Religion have new CDs coming out next month!" (and considerably less like "Yay, Linkin Park has a new CD coming out next month.")

Mark Prindle absolutely loves the New Bomb Turks. And now that he's single again, he fully intends to marry them.

Mark Prindle just awoke from a dream in which thousands of people were lined up for miles to attend a Yes concert. I'm fairly certain this was no dream at all, but a premonition.

Mark Prindle demands that everybody watch a scary movie tonight in honor of Friday the 13th! And if not a scary movie, then a comedy or TV show of some sort. If that's impossible, do something else, or maybe go out with friends. Or just go to sleep early.

Mark Prindle just watched Stephen King's "Riding The Bullet." I think calling it "any good at all" would be a bit of a stretch, but I've certainly never seen David Arquette in a role quite like that one.

Mark Prindle has had it up to here with songs that aren't "Sausalito Summernite" by Diesel. Come on! Who's with me???

Mark Prindle is going jogging now, at 6:15 AM. "Early riser?" you ask. Nope! I never went to bed!

Mark Prindle can't help but notice that it's 8:18 AM and I still haven't gone to bed.

Mark Prindle is absolutely certain that now is the perfect time to finally go to bed, as it's 9:41 AM.

Mark Prindle has the stupidest song stuck in his head right now. Have any of you ever heard the Righteous Brothers b-side "There's A Woman"? Well, I love it. But it's STUPID. And it's stuck in my head.

Mark Prindle is absolutely astonished at how boring Megadeth's "The World Needs A Hero" is. It's getting a 2/10 - the same grade as "Risk." It's not as embarrassing, but it may be the least energetic and hooky metal album I've ever heard in my life. New guitarist Al Pitrelli doesn't bring much to the party, all the songs are slow-to-midtempo, the dynamic compression is out of control, and Dave himself sounds bored out of his mind. It's definitely a return to 'metal,' but really bland, faceless metal. Why does the entire band sound asleep!? I can honestly say I don't like a single song all the way through. The only thing I find interesting is that Dave's speaking voice now sounds identical to that of Alice Cooper. One of my Facebook friends alerted me to listen for this, and moon jiggings and horse squiggings was he correct! It doesn't make up for the abysmally drab songwriting though. Please understand -- when I say "slow," I don't mean like "doom metal." I mean like "do-nothing three-note/two-chord metal riffs played at a leisurely pace with relaxed vocals and NO HOOKS AT ALL." Maybe it's about time for Dave to sustain a hand injury and retire the band.

Mark Prindle figures he'll check out this "Karaoke Killed The Cat" thing at Union Hall tonight. Because if there's one thing he hasn't already done four times this week, it's certainly not sing karaoke.

Mark Prindle sang "Radar Love" and "God Save The Queen" to a largely uninterested karaoke crowd, but James Greene Jr. brought down the house with his kickass rendition of "Theme From 'The Facts of Life.'"

Mark Prindle is off to play Bingo at the Alligator Lounge in Williamsburg! (for some reason)

Mark Prindle keeps walking around in sunglasses to cover up his violent eye wound, even at like midnight. Why can't America's strangers love me for who I am, instead of pointing and yelling, "Gas him, he's a monster"?

Mark Prindle still can't figure out why the heck Tom Petty played "Honey Bee" last night. The odds on even a single person in the entire auditorium going, "Yeah! 'Honey Bee'!" are so slim as to be infinitesimal. Hey recording artists of today -- if you have 500 billion hits in your discography, don't play "Honey Bee."

Mark Prindle oozes transparency in this public announcement that Sonic Youth's "Dirty Boots" EP will receive a 7/10 on his web site, the very one you've seen about on television.

Mark Prindle is seeing The Flaming Lips live in Central Park tonight. And with the HEAT we've been having, I wouldn't be surprised if my lips suddenly DID (something something)

Mark Prindle is sick as a dog. What's your story?

Mark Prindle is going jogging now. In this weather. Am I out of my MIND!? No! Exercise is important! So are wheezing, passing out and dying of heat exhaustion.

Mark Prindle is sick again, as Led Zeppelin once so eloquently sang.

Mark Prindle just took Henry The Dog swimming, and is now getting ready to go see the Concert Of The Decade (Micky Dolenz, Mark Lindsay, Flo & Eddie, and Mike Love's Beach Boys) free of charge! With any luck, I'll be close enough to hit Mike Love in the face with a rock.

Mark Prindle is a lovely and charming fellow who will succeed where the whole world has failed: he will prove that John F. Kennedy died of gum disease.

Mark Prindle just woke up covered in sweat with his teeth clenched tightly together. Looks like the start of another great day!

Mark Prindle just watched Rob Zombie's "Halloween II." Had I known that "Weird Al" Yankovic had a cameo, I would have watched it much earlier. It's too bad he wasn't cast as "Michael Myers" because he would've been the funniest murderer ever, making his victims laugh and laugh.

Mark Prindle performed "Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon" and "Moving In Stereo" tonight at karaoke. Did you ever notice that every verse of "Moving In Stereo" is followed by like a minute and a half of instrumental playing? If not, you certainly would have noticed tonight! At one point I shut my eyes and rested on a couch mid-song.

Mark Prindle is back live now, writing to you on If you're sitting there saying, "I hate Mark Prindle and his stupidass Facebook updates," then get ready to party because here are twenty recent Facebook updates by Jon Wurster of Superchunk/Scharpling & Wurster fame. That man is FUN-GODDAMNED-NY!


I want to run a marathon but I don't want to train for it. Also, I want to wear long pants.

I'm up. The only thing that can keep me from doing great works today is that once again someone has stolen my clothes. And I don't know where I am. So, that's actually two things.

Please don't anyone steal "craigslust" --my screenplay idea about a guy who gets engaged to ten different women he met online and whose life goes horribly and hilariously awry.

Watching "Woodstock." Glad I wasn't a performer that weekend. Whatever fun I might've had would've been overshadowed by my worrying about where I could go to the bathroom.

I don't want to get too far into this but I need to find an acoustic guitar made of cheese by 5:00 pm EST or things are going to get very bad...and very violent.

I want to turn in a fugitive who's hiding in my apartment but I have like thirty pot plants in there. Will the cops work with me on this?

Customers in line at coffee place upon finding out it's the guy behind the counter's birthday: (singing) "Happy birthday to you...Happy birth-" Guy behind the counter: (interrupting) "I don't do that."

Oh man. Just had that thing where you get a whiff of cigarette smoke and it takes you back to when you were fifteen, hanging out on the corner with your friends, wondering in what direction President Taft was going to steer the country.

I'm not going outside until I find my leather pants. And also my bolo tie.

A friend of mine is dating a guy with very feminine features. I want to send her a funny e-mail with a link to a song about a man who resembles a woman. No luck so far. Are there any?

A teen just drove by and yelled that I "look just like Dr. Frankenstein's Monster." Painful, but hard not to be impressed by the thoroughness of the insult.

The second and third Superchunk LPs were re-released today on CD, digital download and 180 gram vinyl. I'm 90% sure that means the records are made with weed.

Meeting a friend for lunch. This will be the 53rd time this year I've pulled the old "damn, left my wallet at home" thing.

Need someone to pose as me for a court appearance next Tues afternoon. TBS is showing that "Quincy" where he goes heavy metal and I can't miss it.

To all my co-workers: before you judge me I think we need to agree on a definitive definition of "flagrant and willful embezzlement."

I'm sorry to announce that the town of Chapel Hill has denied me a permit to hold a drumming contest for local youth this fall. I have no idea why and I'm very depressed. To reiterate, there will be no Teenage Beat-Off this fall.

How long can I go without water? I ask because I don't want to get off this couch. (There is some food under the couch.)

Going to bed. Don't wake me if I start screaming about how the band Iron Maiden is going to get me.

Please cross your fingers for me. It's down to just me and another guy for the lead in this new diarrhea medicine commercial.

I went shirtless all day and now I'm in the hospital. Not because of sunburn but because I ate three sticks of butter on a bet. The bet was only for one but I kept going. I don't know why I did that.

Reader Comments
Up to this point, Megadeth's career has been an incidental affair. Their previous releases — 1994's Youthanasia, 1997's Cryptic Writings and 1999's Risk — were earnest, respectable efforts that offered their fair share of pleasures but did not establish a distinct or significant new musical identity for Megadeth. The World Needs A Hero finds Megadeth taking a giant step — not away from the shadow of Metallica but beyond what that understandably history-bound band has been able to achieve on record in recent times. In terms of consistency, craftsmanship and musical experimentation, The World Needs A Hero surpasses all their albums since Countdown To Extinction. It does so by returning to the dance beats, big grooves and modern edge that have characterized the best work of Megadeth. The key to all the Megadeth classics — from "Peace Sells" and "In My Darkest Hour" to "Holy Wars" and "Symphony Of Destruction" — is that they are built from the rhythm up: The World Needs A Hero, which was almost entirely constructed around Mustaine's rhythm guitar, is a return to that modus operandi.

Megadeth have poured their hearts into this album. The strongest songs — "Disconnect", "The World Needs A Hero", "Burning Bridges" and "When" — are also the most candidly personal. In the past, they have slipped into personae — Rattlehead, Prince Of Darkness, She-Wolf — but they let their guards down to an unprecedented degree on Hero; the beautiful ballads draw on feelings of loneliness, vulnerability, spiritual yearning and, as always, life with the ladies.

These gains in maturity have taken no toll on Megadeth's inner rock & roller. Rattlehead can still swagger at the top of his — or anybody else's — game. The World Needs A Hero resembles the best albums of Megadeth in that it's a varied yet cohesive collection of ballads, hard rockers and one country song. Megadeth head into edgy, danceable modern-rock territory with the throbbing electronic groove of "Losing My Senses" and the snarling, whip-crack assault of "Silent Scorn".

Making the most of this opportunity to stretch themself, Megadeth have recruited some outstanding guests, many of them younger artists whom they directly influenced. Al Pitrelli of Trans-Siberian Orchestra fame co-writes the pop-y, melodic track, "Promises," which boasts a soaring chorus. Bill Kennedy co-produces with Dave Mustaine.

On "1000 Times Goodbye," one of my favorite tracks, Megadeth burnish a subtle reggae- and hip-hop-inflected groove. Employing some of Mustaine's most moving and nuanced vocal phrasing, he confides, "The tides of change pulled us apart / I feel a familiar pain." The lyrics portray a guy who's got it all — fame, fortune and the means to indulge any materialistic and hedonistic impulse he might divine — but is wise enough in his late middle age to know there's something more out there.

The songs leave you hungry for more, and their masterful use of tension and restraint is part of what makes The World Needs A Hero so beguiling.

It may seem a truism, but it's worth noting that Dave Mustaine is — along with John Lennon, Van Morrison, Bob Dylan and Bono — one of the great male rock voices of this age. And he is in exceptional form on The World Needs A Hero. If anything, Mustaine's voice is rounder and warmer than ever, and he brings a new richness of phrasing to the heartbroken, confessional "Recipe for Hate... Warhorse" and the extraordinary closing tracks, "Return to Hangar" and "When".

After all of the excursions undertaken on The World Needs A Hero, Megadeth bring it all back home with these last two numbers, which are musically rich and lyrically reflective ballads in the grand tradition of such Megadeth pillars as "Wanderlust" and "Time: The Beginning." Megadeth offer unabashedly human, vulnerable sentiments on "When" : "I wish you death and suffering / Misery to spare / Time to release your pain / Face the last enemy"

It is a clear-eyed and inspired Megadeth who crafted The World Needs A Hero, an insuperably strong record that in time may well reveal itself to be a classic.


Jeffrey Blake
I actually like this one less than Risk. A single song on Risk has more energy and passion than the entirety of The World Needs a Hero. It's pretty sad when the best song on an album is a cheap and shameless rip-off of "Am I Evil?" This is why you should run away whenever a band brags about how they're "going back to their roots." It usually results in a forced and soulless copy of their earlier work. Heavier and faster, yes, but they sound like they would rather be playing something else, ANYTHING else. Risk blows, but at least they were playing what they wanted to be playing at that time instead of pandering to the assholes who wanted Countdown to Extinction Part II. This is even worse than St. Anger. That album may have been trying way too hard, but at least they were trying.

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Rude Awakening - Sanctuary 2002
Rating = 7

Alright! Megadeth totally got good again!

Just kidding, it's a live album.

Recorded in November 2001 at two Arizona concerts, this double-CD includes: five songs from The World Needs A Hero; three each from Peace Sells... But Who's Buying?, Rust in Peace, Countdown to Extinction, Youthanasia and Cryptic Writings; two from So Far... So Good... So What?; one each from Killing Is My Business... And Business is Good! and greatest hits compilation Capitol Punishment; and not one stone cold item from either Hidden Treasures or Risk.

Although it's reassuring to know that Dave recognized Risk's lack of quality so soon after its release, it's unfortunate that he hadn't had time for The World Needs a Hero to start stinking up the joint of his brain. This would be rectified by the time of their next double-live CD. Furthermore, what kind of asshole waits until Marty Friedman is no longer in the band to release a live album!? Were the fans screeching and wheezing for some live Pitrelli action? My doubts exist.

Sonically, it sounds like a live album. The guitars are distorted but not heavy, which leaves them open to occasional burial under the drums (particularly in the Capitol Punishment track "Kill The King," a chunkity tune annihilated by double-kicks). The performances are almost identical to the studio recordings, and Dave says almost nothing the entire concert. Aside from introducing the band at the end of "Trust," his longest soliloquy is the "Mechanix" intro, "There are two ways to hear this song. There's our way... and there's their way." This is unfortunate because I was hoping he'd recite some poems.

Aside from three horrendous The World Needs A Hero songs, the set list is about as good as you could hope for from a 2001 Megadeth concert. "wake Up Dead," "Angry Again," "Devil's Island," "A Tout Le Monde," "Train of Consequences," "Hangar 18," "Hook in Mouth," "Tornado of Souls," "Ashes in Your Mouth," "Mechanix," "Symphony of Destruction" and "Peace Sells" are all here, along with a vastly improved version of "Trust" (no corny string section!). Dave can't sing the high notes in "Mechanix" anymore, and "She-Wolf" is extended with lengthy guitar and drum solos, but otherwise these greatest hits are performed faithfully and accurately. Almost to a fault, actually. If you don't own these songs, you shouldn't buy them with second-rate live sound, and if you do own them, the only selling point is hearing DeGrasso and Pitrelli pull off the older, more challenging material.

Still, what's here is undeniably good. This review is boring as shit.

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The System Has Failed - Sanctuary 2004
Rating = 4

More like The BAND Has Failed, if you ask me!

In April 2002, a nation mourned when Dave Mustaine announced he was retiring Megadeth due to a bizarre case of Saturday Night Palsy (he fell asleep with his arm over the back of a chair, and woke up unable to close his hand!). A year later, a nation grieved as Mustaine announced that he'd overcome his injury through physical therapy and would soon be releasing a solo album. However, according to Megadeth expert Wichard "Wik" Ipedia, contractual obligations eventually forced him to release the CD under the name 'Megadeth.' Nonetheless, the featured musicians -- original Megadeth guitarist Chris Poland, bassist Jimmie Lee Sloas and drummer Vinnie Colaiuta -- were not official members of the band and did not take part in the subsequent tour.

The System Has Failed retains the heavy metal approach of its predecessor, but also tries to bring back the radio-ready melodic choruses of Youthanasia. It isn't anywhere near as slow and listless as The World Needs A Hero, but the songwriting remains extremely miss-or-missworse. Specifically, most of the songs suffer from the old 'clever verse/cliched chorus' disease (or its counterpart, the old 'boring verse/hooky chorus' ailment). Furthermore, Dave has become a Born Again Christian, a development detailed in the tracks "Of Mice and Men" and "Shadow of Deth" (the latter a Biblical quotation credited to "Paul"). So there you go - Megadeth is now a Christian Metal band. Like Stryper, but slightly less good.

Notent notables include:
- the ridiculously catchy Linkin Park-angsty chorus of revenge fantasy "Die Dead Enough"
- the enjoyably bizarre Hip Hop-style verse hook of mankind lament "Scorpion"
- the great speedy note riffing of 40-second Lloyd Bentsen tribute "I Know Jack"
- the darkly harmonized vocals in the chorus of Born Again religious pamphlet "Of Mice and Men"
- the awesome headbanging first half of thrash reminiscence "Back In The Day," which I could easily see Dayglo Abortions playing!

Particularly bad ideas include:
- Turning "Back in the Day" into a draggy pile of smelly garbage halfway through
- Thowing in traces of wispy keyboards
- Playing the notes of Aerosmith's "Dream On" as chords and calling it "Tears In A Vial"
- Slowing down Led Zeppelin's "Wanton Song" and calling it "Something That I'm Not"
- Creating the song "Truth Be Told" by randomly stapling together a phased prog-metal intro, melodramatic medieval ballad verses, an awful industrial-metal chorus, and a thrash part thrown in out of nowhere
- Everything about "Shadow of Deth." Everything. LISTEN TO IT!!! WHAT IN GOD'S NAME WAS HE THINKING!?
- Singing "My Kingdom" with raspy discordant vocal harmonies
- Bothering to fix his hand

Here's my impression of Megadeth after Youthanasia:

"Hay, we stink."

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That One Night: Live In Buenos Aires - Image 2007
Rating = 7

Because it's never too soon to put out another live double-CD (particularly if you've replaced the entire band), That One Night captures Dave Mustaine, guitarist Glen Drover (rhymes with "Bend Over" - har har!), bassist James MacDonough, and drummer Shawn Drover (rhymes with "Lawn Mower" - har hdfsa) at an October 9, 2005 concert in Buenos Aires, South Dakota -- performing 11 songs that you just heard on Rude Awakening, as well as ten others. Albumwise-focus, they perform: four from The System Has Failed; three from Rust In Peace; two each from Peace Sells... But Who's Buying?, So Far... So Good... So What?, Countdown to Extinction, Youthanasia and Cryptic Writings; one each from Risk, Hidden Treasures and The World Needs A Hero; one cheesecornball acoustic song for Argentina; and not one stold cane ox from Killing Is My Business... And Business is Good!

Now would be a good time to discuss what a prick Dave Mustaine is. He's a prick. Ask anybody in the world. The guy is extremely arrogant and condescending, seemingly unaware that he hasn't released a good album in nearly two decades. Fuck that guy! This is based on hearsay, but only first-hand hearsay. I know people who've had to deal with the prick, and believe me -- he was a prick. So was Alex Trebek. Gibby Haynes as well.

Once again, the guitars are loud but not heavy, but there's definitely a better guitars vs. drums mix here than on Rude Awakening (meaning the guitars never get drowned out the way they occasionally did on that recording). And it's extremely charming to hear the crowd, probably due to a language barrier, singing along not with their favorite lyrics but with their favorite riffs! Although a prick, Dave is very kind to the crowd, going so far as to sing a verse of "Trust" in their native tongue of 'Funny Language'.

But enough of this double-live album nonsense. Who do they think they are, Cheapeter Framptrick?

Check this out - I've been trying to come up with some riddles for Laffy Taffy. Those guys are genuses but I've got some good ones too. Look me:

What is a bottle of mouthwash's favorite metal band?

What is a chicken's favorite metal band?

What is an unwashed foreskin's favorite metal band?

What is a leg's favorite metal band?

Actually, that last one's too intellectual. Let's go with 'Legadeth'.

Also, I just thought of a fantastic idea for a rock and roll band. If you're in a rock and roll band, write this down. After you have a few hit records under your belt, announce that you're issuing a live concert album. Then when you release it, perhaps under the title Live Concert Album, have it be a recording of your band in the audience of some other band's concert. Just talking the whole time.

Am I right? Fantastic idea! Think of the units!

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United Abominations - Roadrunner 2007
Rating = 4

More like United ABOMINATIONS, if you ask -- oh.

Somewhere in the world there is a penis with another, smaller penis growing out of the top of it. This CD literally travelled all the way around the planet in order to find that penis and suck it.

But before we get to that, let's enjoy an original poem I recently penned, entitled "Eggs McSquiggle."

by Mark Prindle, Poet Lariat

Eggs McSquiggle
Was takin' a shit
In the middle of town
In the month of Autumn
When along came a fish
A marvelous fish
Well, sort of a fish
I mean, it looked like a fish
At least partly a fish
But not really a fish
More of a semi-fish
I'd call it a fish
But if you pictured a fish
It wouldn't look like this fish
Still it looked like a fish
If you squint, it's a fish
But it wasn't a fish
Though it seemed like a fish
It had qualities like a fish
Or at least a partial fish
Okay, it was a dog
Fuck you, I was drunk

United Abominations begins with two songs so awesome (midtempo Slayer "Sleepwalker" and harmonized Iron Maiden "Washington is Next!") that it's almost grounds for suicide when the rest of the CD turns out to be as inconsistent as its predecessor. Marked by bum riffs galore, choppy songs that don't flow for shit, paranoid post-9/11 right-wing rants, and far too much talking instead of singing, the disc continues the Megadeth Mudslide of Manure begun with Cryptic Writings a decade earlier.

Though it's nice that Megadeth is sticking to metal after the pop outhouse that was Risk, the band's legacy certainly isn't helped by this collection of hookless chuggling, endless solos, embarrassing funk-metal licks, and pasted-together pastiches of parts with no melodic relation to each other. Let me put it this way: on a CD with only 11 songs, four of the last five rank among the worst Megadeth compositions ever -- and the fifth is a re-recording of "A Tout Le Monde."

It's disappointing but not surprising that 9/11 and Christianity have driven Mustaine away from his previous anti-war stance and toward Nugent-worthy sentiments like "Only fools stand up and really lay down their arms" and "Hey, Jihad Joe? Guess what? We're coming to get you!" Yes, the world is a dangerous place but it always has been. Suddenly becoming a chicken hawk when the violence hits too close to home should be the foreskin of Dennis Miller, not America's top metalman Dave Mustaine.

I know there's an actual word that would fit where I put 'foreskin' but I can't think of it right now, so 'foreskin' it is!

Lyrical concerns include the Biblical prophecy of the End Times, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, pending Muslim takeover of the US, the failure of the UN to protect us from Muslims, and how much God loves you. Musical concerns include new bassist James Lemenzo. Artistic concerns include why doesn't Dave just give up on albums altogether? He could just release an annual single of his two best new songs and it'd probably be great!

FINAL THOUGHT: United Blood is like The System Has Failed without the melodic choruses. It definitely includes a handful of asskicking headbanging heavy metal riffs, but then it leaves your other hand and both feet smothered in carcinogenic diarrhea.

Jim Metaphor
The Best Metaphor Comer-Upper-Wither In The World

P.S. That poem "Trees" is about a guy with a big dick.

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Endgame - Roadrunner 2009
Rating = 5

Hey great, it's another Megadeth album. Whoopee.

New guitarist Chris Broderick joins the band for its finest work since 1992's Youthanasia, which isn't saying anything at all because that album wasn't very good. The guitars here are very loud and heavy, and the solos are even louder. It should be pointed out, and will be because I'm about to do so, that Mustaine is still capable of playing an extremely fast guitar solo. However, his songwriting remains in the toilet of life.

I might describe the CD as chugging metal with radio-friendly choruses. It includes several instances of harmonized guitar leads, and the guitar solos are both way too loud and way not at all melodic. And what's with all the speak-singing? There was a point about a decade ago when Dave's singing voice didn't sound half-bad. But now he hardly even bothers.

You know what? Fuck this. I was going to try to finish this page with a solid, thoughtful review but Megadeth is a terrible band. I love Slayer and Metallica, so you'd think I'd be really into Megadeth but the dude is just incapable of writing an entire album of decent songs. This album has like four really good ones -- a creepy dark nightmare about the U.S. as a fascist state, an aggressive thrasher that seems to be from the point of view of a Jihadist (possibly?), a mean chugger about the winner getting the spoils, and oh fuck this.

Here's my impression of Dave Mustaine: "I'm the biggest asshole in the world! No, hang on -- I'm a Christian now!"

I'm told that this album is based on a movie called Endgame, but he'd do better to EndSHAME this EndLAME fuck this. I can't afford to waste my limited wit on music this foul.

Reader Comments

About time someone said it. Mark, these are some of my favorite reviews you've done (although I think you were a bit too harsh with The World Needs A Hero: I'll agree on the rating for Risk, but I'd place Hero somewhere along 4-5: Mediocre, but not abysmal enough to be ranked lower than St. Anger).

Let it be known: I think Mustaine is talented as hell. I also really enjoy Megadeth's first four albums, and there are even a few good songs on the albums after that. But boy, have I never understood what makes faux-elitists in metal circles act like he's kept face his entire career. I laugh at all of Mustaine's fanboys who say "he never sold out like Metallica", "he'll outplay Hammett and King any day", "he has so much dignity", etc. He lived out his peak in the 80's being a junkie and now he makes generic commercial crap. Period. What does it matter how technically gifted you are if you can't even write a decent song? Never mind even the man's vocals (which sometimes have a nice raw charm to them): Although I've yet to hear Endgame and will give it the benefit of the doubt from what I've heard and read about it from metal fans and from the band itself, just about everything I've heard from this clown since the 90's has consisted of him lazily relying on his trademark shredding/spider/wall-of-sound riffs and assuming it will hold up if he makes the production heavy, the arrangements radio-friendly, and the riffs generic and following obvious bubblegum chord progressions (excluding Risk, which need not even be described). Instead of making music based around an idea (or, rather, a set of ideas) as he did in his prime, he now crafts his music around an image (sounding like Megadeth; generic, boring, and radio-friendly, but still having "Deth"-ish riffs and Mustaine's corny growl in the hopes that it will somehow count), all wrapped in a new family-friendly born-again package. It's annoying because he's clearly a talented guitar player and probably still a genuine artist when it all boils down. He put that to good use before, even when he was fried on the hardest drugs and even right after he quit them! But for some strange reason he chooses to waste his talent slopping together one album of boring radio-friendly self-imitations after another. Sure, Metallica also lost it and went MTV, but even they shit all over Risk and parts of Cryptic Writings. Anthrax also would've been great if not for their sporadic line-up changes (which is probably what led to their wild inconsistency). I just say fuck the rest of the "Big 4" and stick with Slayer.

Brian Briggs
I've never heard this album yet but I have seen the film Endgame. It's a documentary about how America (and the western world) is now under the power of a few elites at the heads of industry, banking and security/military corporations who have no concept of morality, justice, or freedom and are waging a perpetual war for profit against an enemy of their own design as they tighten their fascist stranglehold on the taxpayers with new invasive surveillance and security technology. Just like in that dead milkmen song

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Rust In Peace Live - Shout! Factory 2010
Rating = 8

Every band and its sister band is hopping onto the "single-album" concert bandwagon. Why, just in the past few years we've seen concerts comprised of Slayer playing Seasons In The Abyss in its entirety, the Pixies playing Doolittle, Devo giving the go to Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! and Freedom Of Choice, Sparks performing every single one of their albums, and probably lots of others too but let's get the hell on with it.

Apparently aware that Rust In Peace is by far the greatest album he's ever recorded, Dave Mustaine rehired founding bassist Dave Ellefson and dragged current guitarist Chris Broderick and drummer Shawn Drover onto the road to perform this thrash classic in its entirety -- along with (at this show anyway) two songs each from Countdown to Extinction and Cryptic Writings, and one each from Peace Sells...But Who's Buying? and So Far...So Good...So What? Recorded at the Hollywood Palladium on March 31, 2010, the performance is as tight as a tightass but the live sound is a bit bassy in places, making the technical playing seem a bit less clean than it should. Also they play some really weak songs in the encore, and Dave's voice is super-raspy and lower-pitched than it used to be, but hey that's life in the crazy "anything goes" world of rock and roll.

Stage patter is limited to an introductory "Good evening! You all know why we're here, right? Here we go." and a post-Rust In Peace band introduction. But Dave is nice enough to hold out his mic during "Peace Sells, But Who's Buying?" so the crowd can sing the bridge for him. So believe you me, if Robert Plant was out there in the audience that night, he sure wasn't asking, "Where's that confounded bridge?" Ha ha!

No, he was jamming a fish into a woman's vagina.

But don't think for a second that the Rust In Peace tour marks the end of the "single-album" trend. In fact, just LOOK at all these upcoming "single-album" concerts!

Ringo Starr's All-Starr Band brings you The Beatles Story! Hear the classic 1964 documentary album as voiced by Joe Walsh, Burton Cummings, Mark Farner, Todd Rundgren, Simon Kirke, Ian Hunter, Paul Carrack, Richard Marx, Colin Hay and "The Man Behind The Music" Rick Derringer!

Metallica presents the St. Anger Seventh Anniversary Tour. Please note: to create the appropriate ambiance for this special event, there will be no restrooms provided.

The Ramones bring you Road To Ruin -- For Bass and Three Drummers (Four If We Can Find Clem).

You can just KISS MY ASS if you ain't planning to shake your sweet poontang at Ted Nugent's "Cat Scratch Fever With All The Lyrics Changed To Be About Illegal Immigrants" Shenanigan!

Napalm Death Presents: Scum: An Acoustic Celebration.

Ticketmaster presents An Evening with Brian Eno's Neroli. Please note: Brian Eno will not actually be present, but we have a really nice Casio sampling keyboard that will perform the CD for you.

Join Neil Young for a full performance of Old Ways on his 2010 "Like I Give A Shit" Tour.

Get ready to "lick it up" as KISS hit the road for their "Music From The Elder: We Finally Figured Out What The Hell We Were Thinking" Tour!

Iron Maiden bring you the "Another Matter of Life and Death" Tour. Explains vocalist Bruce Dickinson, "When we performed the entire A Matter of Life and Death album on our 2006 tour, we couldn't believe all the ecstatic shouts of 'BRUUUUUUUUUUUUCE! BRUUUUUUUUUUUUCE!' we heard from the audience -- not just between songs, but while we were actually playing! As such, we know they'll enjoy hearing us perform the record again."

Peter Frampton presents his 2010 "Just Shout Out Whatever Album You Want To Hear. I'm So Lonely" Winter Tour.

Anal Cunt brings you Everybody Should Be Killed - In Its Entirety! Or, At Very Least, A Bunch Of Noise And Screaming.

Mike Love's Beach Boys present Mike Love's Pet Sounds Tour, With Special Guest JON STAMOS!

Join Black "Frank Black" Francis for his An Album I Just Made Up Tour, featuring a brand new album every night! (Opening Act: Black "Frank Black" Francis' Grand Duchy, performing an album he wrote during the previous night's Black "Frank Black" Francis performance)

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Th1rt3en - Roadrunner 2011
Rating = 7

50 1 wa5 tak1n9 a 5h1t 0n 808 C05ta5'5 fac3 th3 oth3r d

Th1rt3en!? More like 5373N, if you ask what would've been an excellent title for a Morgan Freeman movie!

But before we get to the best Megadeth album in 17 years, let's talk about that Scratch Acid reunion concert I saw the other day:

Songs performed:

Scratch Acid EP - All of them
Just Keep Eating - All except "Unlike A Baptist," "Spit A Kiss," "Cheese Plug" and the two untitled instrumentals
Berserker EP - All except "Flying Houses"

So, as you can see, they didn't play "Spit A Kiss." What the effing uck!? Otherwise, hoooeee! One thing you may not realize until seeing them perform live is that Rey Washam's ass-throttling drumbeats drive every single song they play; the songs simply wouldn't be the songs without his unique, instantly recognizable rhythmic riffing. Also, Brett Bradford is so bald he makes me look like I have a gigantic afro.

David Yow's stage patter consisted of the following phrase repeated in a dumb voice at various points throughout the set: "Ohhhhh, this next one's really good!" And guess who was standing next to me for the first 20 minutes of the set? Mr. Gibby Haynes of popular alternative rock band Gibby Haynes and His Problem! (His Problem = he sucks)

But on the infinitely less interesting subject of the new Megadeth album, I had a theory about why this thing is so surprisingly good but a few minutes ago realized that it's completely invalid. Nevertheless, it's rare that I develop a theory not involving poop, so I'm going to share it with you anyway, even though it's blatantly erroneous.

Let's remember together, you and I, why Megadeth initially turned into the Worst Band In The World(TM) to begin with. It was a two-step process: (1) they tried to go commercial and wound up just writing awful, simplistic alt-rock songs, and (B) Dave replaced everybody and returned to his metal roots, but completely forgot that songs are supposed to have memorable passages. Now, what has happened here is, in my estimation, a brand new four-step process: (I) Dave reunited with his founding bass player Dave Ellefson, (Two) the band embarked on the full-album Rust In Peace tour discussed in the previous review, (c) inspired by playing some good songs for a change, The Two Daves dug through the Megavaults for salvageable non-LP material, and (LBJ) Dave suddenly remembered how to write a song that didn't literally stick its hand up my ass to grab a poop.

Actually never mind, that theory did end up involving poop. Also, it was erroneous because Dave Ellefson wasn't fired until after Dave had already made his startlingly hookless return to metal with The World Needs A Hero. Nevertheless, I don't think it's beyond the scope of possibility that the Mustaine/Ellefson reunion struck a nostalgic chord within the Megadeth camp that led to a re-evaluation of what constitutes a "song" (as opposed to a "lump of faceless metal").

Th1rt3en is not going to change the face of music. But if you enjoyed the melodic radio-ready metal of Countdown to Extinction and have been flabbergasted by the band's inability to follow up on its (honestly pretty simple) pleasures, then it's time to return to the fold because that's the exact tone they're going for here. This is good, solid mainstream metal. The chord changes can feel a bit contrived at times, but when Dave plays note riffs (which is often), they sound really f-oldin' good.

The record is actually a mixture of new compositions and refurbished versions of (mostly) unused oldies, including:

- "Sudden Death" - A (terrible, boring, hookless) song written for a Guitar Hero video game that you play down at the arcade with a joystick, I think it's between Make Trax and Monaco GP
- "Never Dead" - A creepy, martial piece of chuggity meanness written for the NeverDead video game that you play down at the arcade with a rolly ball, I think it's the one between Qix and Ladybug
- "New World Order" - Not a Ministry cover, but in fact a re-recording of a prog-metal thrasher you may have encountered on Hidden Treasures lo these many years ago. I'd swear this version is like a billion times better though, or at least 999,999,998
- "Black Swan" - Not a Darren Aronofsky film, but in fact an Iron Maideny bonus track from United Abominations
- "Millennium of the Blind" - A re-recording of an Aerosmith/Nazareth arpeggio-creeper originally released on a reissue of Youthanasia
- "Deadly Nightshade" - A chug-chug-chuggin' riff written around the time of Youthanasia or Cryptic Writings

But the most interesting thing about this trip through the band's back pages is that most of the album's best songs are NEW ones. Yes, "Never Dead" and "New World Order" will pound your ears in the eye with a dick, but wait 'til you hear the melodic and powerful "Public Enemy No. 1," angry '80sy "Whose Life (Is It Anyways?)," machine gun note'n'licker "Guns, Drugs & Money" and idiotically catchy "Wrecker"! Yes, I insist that you wait until you hear those four songs.

Honestly, Deathrow's Deception Ignored kicks a lot more ass, but if you don't have forty dollars to waste on long-deleted thrash obscurities, you'd might as well give the refurbished MegaDandelion a chance.

Oh, also they changed their name to MegaDandelion.

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