Sound — 8
Countdown to Extinction was released after Megadeth decided to go in a slightly different approach musically. While nowhere as fast as Rust in Peace, the tunes are just as heavy and great and some are as technical. The production is great, and every note is exactly on tune, for the members (except the drummer, of course) ran their instruments through tuners while recording. The bass is audible and the guitars are not to thin, and not to overwhelming. I am a fan of Dave Ellefson, however I believe that he missed some opportunities on this album to showcase how good of a bass player he really is although he has a cool part on the title track. The solos are good and some are great, but not anything truly amazing. Dave's rhythm playing is as good as ever. Nick Menza does a fantastic job on drums in my opinion; I love the intro he does on "Skin o' My Teeth." Overall, a good sounding album for sure.
Lyrics — 8
At this point in Megadeth's career, all the members of the band wanted to contribute to the music and lyrics. This can be seen seen on the title track. Menza's lyrics on it are straightforward yet clever. A perfect blend for the sound of the music. It is quite refreshing to hear what the other members can come up with, and this helped make this album what it is in my opinion. Dave Mustaine does a decent vocal job on this album, not his best, not his worst, but defiantly good for him and his style. The background vocals are subtle, adding good harmonies and emphasis to certain parts of the music. I wish they expanded a little on the background vocals, however.
Overall Impression — 8
Countdown to Extinction is a great album, yet not their best. I prefer their earlier releases. Like always, some areas could see improvement. It contains some of Megadeth's most famous songs, such as "Sweating Bullets," "Symphony of Destruction" and "Ashes in Your Mouth." My personal favorite would have to be either "High Speed Dirt," or "Skin O' My Teeth." I see it with only one weak song, and that is "This Was My Life." "Captive Honour" starts out interesting, and has a somewhat humorous mid section, but kinda drops off after that. This has to be one of the best albums set up track list wise, for there is much variety between the songs yet they all seem connected. If wish that they used the demo for the song "Psychotron" (Dave seems to think the same way) instead of the production, but all is good. Any Megadeth fan should have this CD, and me being one, my collection would be incomplete without it.