Sound — 10
Firstly, I'd like to say that I purchased the remastered version, which obviously has ironed out any creases made in the original production. This is widely considered to be megadeth's best, and one of thrash's most influential albums. It does not dissapoint. You can pick out any instrument you like when listening, hacking rhythms, soaring leads, smooth basslines, colossal drums and of course Mustaine's distinct vocals. The sound is pretty much perfect, and of course the music on the band's part is absolutely flawless. 01. Holy Wars.. The Punishment Due - fast tempo, all out thrash song. Relentless rhythms spiked throughout, whilst screaming lead guitars circle like vultures. Also includes a beautiful acoustic, middle-eastern run by mustaine in the middle of the onslaught. Absolute classic opening track to a classic album. 02. Hangar 18 - Marty Friedman swansong. A song of two halves, the first a tense, discreet affair, seemingly building up to something, guitar harmonies ride on top of mustaines cautious journal of his fictional tour of a top secret government base. Again, Dave and Marty's leads ominously haunt, untill the song kicks in. The tempo rises, the intensity singes and the song explodes with titanic, exotic solo's gliding around the melee with power and grace. However, the solo's do go on for a long time and do get slightly tedious, but that cannot prevent this song's status as a guitar playing masterclass. 03. Take No Prisoners - enjoyable song, unlike the others is quite vocally driven. Fast tempo with various shred fills at the end of a rhythm line. Highlights are the barbaric roars in reply to mustaines commands at the start of the song, bellowing methods of their enemies demise. 04. Five Magics - very frantic opening, then calming into a spooky bassline being soothed and tamed by slight percussion accompaniment. Then an eerie guitar line descends over the fray, soon joined by a harmony part. After a while, it bursts into the frantic pacey metal song the first few seconds were hinting at. Then before drawing to a close, there enters a traditional thrash breakdown, a storming riff occasionally highlighted by the crunch of the rhythm guitar. It then flows into an iron maiden-esque gallop spearheaded by an insane solo to cap the song off. 05. Poison Was The Cure - a slow, nervy bassline inroduces the song, stripped bare only untill some spectral rhythm work comes in to support. This all builds slowly up to a fast solo on the snare, whcih seems to ignite the detonation that follows. The song erupts into a furious, raging enigma of fretwork, repetitive riffs remeniscent of the first in Pantera's 'Cowboys from Hell'. Fairly straight throughout the rest of the song, off course crashing out with another fierce Friedman solo. 06. Lucretia - rather oddly begins with what I can only assume is a witches laugh. Somewhat unmemorable mostly, regardless of the funky rhythm and choppy rhythmic vocals. This carries on up untill and absolutely epic guitar solo, which is my personal favourite on the album. Friedman completely changes the tone of the song with beautiful runs through some enticing scales, playing with brilliant tone and artistry. 07. Tornado Of Souls - my least favourite on the album. Still a perfectly decent song, has rare vocal harmonies glistening in the chorus, some excellent drum work, however still quite unmemorable in the most part. The vocals in this song also get pretty irritating and repetitive. 08. Dawn Patrol - I don't really know what to say about this song. Very short, all of 1:52 secs long. Built around a very strange laid back bassline, with Mustiane purpously and very monotonously droning about our planet and it's problems. No other guitars present. 09. Rust In Peace... Polaris - kicks off with an ominous circling drum solo, then releasing the rabid guitars, raging with malovence. Everything unfurls into a proper megadeth thrash-fest, and closes this superb album with a superb song.
Lyrics — 8
Megadeth is one of those bands that is oreientated around the music, not the vocals. I wouldn't say Mustaine is an especially talented vocalist, and I can see why his voice would be disliked however I believe he does a good job with the voice God had given him and that he creates that distinct, instantly associable Megadeth sound that people know. And he is by no means a bad singer. Lyrical topics vary from religious murder, comic characters, government strongholds, globl warming etc.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall, I believe this to definately be Megadeth's best album, and I agree with the consideration of this being a thrash milestone. I have absolutely no regrets buying this album, it is utterely brilliant however I am too poor to buy the same album again if stolen, so I would buy something else to broaden my catalogue (this album is also on my computer anyway). Megadeth are without doubt the most talented/technical band out of the thrash four (Megadeth, Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax), and whilst their songwriting may not be as conventional as Metallica's or as heavy as Slayer's, they must stake a claim for being the best metal band to walk this earth.