Sound — 10
This is my favorite band and favorite album ever. So I'll do this one first. This album is for some reason not praised like Rust In peace, Peace Sells, or most recently Endgame. Which is odd because it is the fastest, most technical, most aggressive, most consistent, and most varied of all Megadeth's releases. The slowest songs are Skull Beneath the Skin and Looking Down the Cross but from the perspective of someone who has learned this whole album by ear those songs are just as technically demanding as the faster ones, and they speed up later in the songs anyway. The faster songs are very mid-ranged and fast. There are few mid-paced riffs and the ones that you hear are mindblowing like in the mid-section of Rattlehead. They don't follow the typical mid-paced 8th note chugging rythm that you'll hear on later songs like Wake Up Dead. This music was extremely innovative when it was written. IF you've seen Get Thrashed you might remember the part where they showed Death Angel and he said something like it was the fastest shit before Slayer were going Mach 10. And for 8,000 dollars (really only 4,000) this is produced well. I love the horrible production. It makes it sound so much heavier, and for songs like Looking Down the cross in the first verse the vocals sound that much darker than on the remastered.
Lyrics — 9
Dave's vocals are at his most aggressive here. From the opening scream of Loved to Death, to the wailing on Looking down the cross, and back to the sustain on Rattlehead, Dave is in his prime with lungs full of drugs. He definately uses that to his advantage. His vocals are extremely raspy, violent, evil, and insane for the most part. The lyrics and song subjects are extremely varied. Loved to Death is about how Diana didn't want him at first (I read all this shit in the liner notes of the CD remaster)so he kills her so no one else can have her. The title track is about the punisher comic book, basically an assassin hired to kill his previous employer. Skull Beneath the Skin is about the ritual and sacrifice that brought Vic rattlehead to life. If you have the remastered version next is rattlehead. Probably the most intense song on this album. Unrelenting speed and lyrics about Megadethbanger as said in the liner notes. If you have a tape or unremastered version you would have just heard the Lee Hazelwood penned song these boots. On the remaster all the humorous changes are bleeped out unlike the normal version. Next is Chosen Ones. This song is about... Monty Pithon. Yes, Dave says himself that he likes British humor. Go figure, british humor, british metal. anyway, his lyrics are better than the movie. The next song is Looking down the Cross which talks about Christ being put up on the post. The song was origanally to be named speak no evil and was one of Junior's favorite songs from when he joined the band. The last song except on the remastered is the Mechanix. Yes it's better than that Four Horseman bullshit. Faster, Better vocals, Better drums, Better guitar solo. And Dave uses his voice much better than Hetfield. Sorry for drawing comparisons but you must when they both sang the song at one time or another. The only reason this song was included was by Dave ellefson's idea that Dave add a Metallica song to the set back in '83.
Overall Impression — 10
This album is one of the most original, technical (except maybe Sadus, Coroner, or Destruction maybe), and perfect as a debut can be. Dave's vocal execution is perfect for this time period, and it is the most musically consistent of any of the big four/5's debuts. Scott Ian even said so in the liner notes of this album himself. I hate nothing about this album. From the Piano intro to the ending shreds of The Mechanix the album is filled with consistency while having tempo variety and pitch/rythm variety. Gar Samuelson does his most barbaric and immpressive performance. Just give These Boots a listen. I wouldn't buy it again, because I already have a tape, the remastered, and original. That's how much I f--kin' love this record.