Sound — 9
Megadeth is one of the founding innovators of speed/thrash metal. The album seems to me to be about war, politics, and adrenaline junkies. This record seems heavier than most of Megadeth's albums before it. Dave Mustaine is an absolutely amazing songwriter and guitarist, and he rises to the occasion here.
Lyrics — 9
Dave Mustaine, in my opinion, has always struggled a bit with writing lyrics in some of his songs. This album has a ton of great lyrics, but also has a few moments in it that should have been thought through just a little better. The lyrics do fit the music perfectly, and the songs contain subject matter that is relevant to real life. Mustaine's vocals have often been the subject of debate, mostly with Metallica fans. They consider this to be the main reason that Metallica is "better". I will agree that sometimes Dave makes snarling and growling noises that make it sound like he's drooling on himself (i.e. "Sweating Bullets"), but for the most part, his vocals are perfectly suited to the creative element his music displays to the listener.
Overall Impression — 9
Most people compare Megadeth to Metallica all the time, but honestly, Megadeth doesn't sound anything like Metallica. This album's best songs are (in no particular order): Skin 'O My Teeth, Symphony of Destruction, Architecture Of Aggression, High Speed Dirt, This Was My Life. I love the face-melting guitar riffs and the ear-splitting solos. I really don't hate anything about it, but I really don't care much for the song "Sweating Bullets". If it were stolen, I'd go get it again without thinking twice.