Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? review by Megadeth

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  • Released: Sep 19, 1986
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.4 (183 votes)
Megadeth: Peace Sells... But Who's Buying?

Sound — 9
On the album, Megadeth create a fine palette of sounds, combining straight up punk fury with metallic aggression, and even adding a slight jazz twist, provided by guitar virtuoso Chris Poland and drummer Gar Samuelson. On "Wake Up Dead", "Bad Omen" and "Good Mourning/Black Friday", Megadeth add jazzy lines and odd rhythms to create a very interesting form of thrash. Perhaps the best song on the album, "Peace Sells" has very basic but interesting riffs, but turns into manic soloing and furious double-bass drumming. Relatively straightforward thrash songs on this album still have the trademark Megadeth sound. "Devils Island" retains a fast pace throughout the song, and the rapid triplets are reminiscent of Iron Maiden. The instrumental performances are perfect, with no scarcity of intricate riffing and ridiculously fast shredding. The main problem with the sound would have to be the actual production, although the remaster fixes many of the problems presented by the original mix.

Lyrics — 8
The lyrics on "Peace Sells" are very well written. The title track displays Mustaine's first foray into political music, and has exceptional lyrics dealing with stereotypes about metalheads. At least three songs on the album, "The Conjuring", "Bad Omen" and "I Ain't Superstitious" deal with supernatural powers, and all three have a very fitting instrumental background that go well with the themes of black magic present on the album. "My Last Words" is about Russian roulette, and has a very cool gang vocal section near the end. "Good Mourning/ Black Friday" is about a serial killer who lives underground. Mustaine's performance on the album is actually pretty good compared to some of his later performances, with more of a gruff delivery than the whiny voice he is famous for. I would say these songs have some of Mustaine's best recorded performances, and this helps add to the overrall greatness of this album.

Overall Impression — 9
"Peace Sells...But Who's Buying" is definitely one of Megadeth's best albums, second only to Rust in Peace (although some will contest that). My favorite songs are the title track, "Wake Up Dead", and "The Conjuring", all three of which stand up to the best songs from Rust In Peace. The amazing guitar work by both Mustaine and Poland surpasses that of any other thrash band at this time, even Metallica. I would definitely buy this album if it were lost, it is just too good to miss out on. This is definitely worth checking out if you enjoy classic thrash and classic metal.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Metal_Militia2 wrote: Just bought this album, it aint bad but How can you say these guys are better than Metallica?????
    Go pick up Rust in Peace. Honestly, I love Megadeth. I like them more than Metallica. But you're crazy to say that Megadeth is better than Metallica. It's ignorant to say. Yeah, Megadeth is a more skilled band, but that doesn't necessarily make them better overall. Metallica is a lot easier to listen to. Their riffs are so structured. And even if they did abandon their thrash roots, they still managed to hit 5 consecutive no.1 albums. And DON'T you go pull the "Dave wrote most of Kill and Ride" card because Metallica wrote Master, Justice, and The Black Album just as easy. I will say I like Megadeth more. But to say they're better than Metallica? Come on guys, be logical and get off the hate train.
    Megadeth have truly been at the top of their game for most of their lives, unlike some thrash bands. (Looking at you, Metallica).
    When is this going to stop? I respect both bands. Why? Because they both did what music THEY wanted to do. Just because Metallica made some not as heavy albums doesn't make them "sellouts." They did what they wanted to do as did Megadeth. The reason I choose Metallica over Megadeth is because I don't always like Dave's vocals and I like that they were versatile with their music. They could slow down and write some great songs, (Nothing Else Matters, The Unforgiven) as on the Black album. Both bands are great. But changing their sound for a few years didn't change them. They came back with Death Magnetic, which I have enjoyed very much. They needed time to deal with their past. I apoligize for going a bit off-topic, but this had to be said.
    bassplayer496 wrote: I still think Metallica's better. Megadeth's my second or third favorite thrash band. Metallica's first, then second would be either megadeth or pantera. Pantera's not as consistent as megadeth though. ~Love, Dallas~
    i agree, metallica have about 5 good albums in my opinion. kill,ride,master,black,load. justice not so good. but death magnetics not too bad on the other hand megadeth have 5 good albums as well killing,peace,rip,youthanasia,countdown But Peace Sells is my favourite heavy metal album of all time.couting ride the lightning is thrash metal (Ps i bought VDOP jst a wile ago and i thought CFH was way better but everybody says VDOP is the best)