Sound — 7
This is Megadeth's third album, following both Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? and Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good!, so it definately has big shoes to fill. Also, it's the first album to face a major lineup change (with both Chris Poland and Gars Samuelson being replaced). Overall, it follows the typical Megadeth sound, being primarly hard hitting thrash metal, with a couple of kicks thrown in such as a metalized cover of The Sex Pistols' 'Anarchy in the UK' (with incorrect lyrics), and the impressive track 'In My Darkest Hour' (which starts of relatively slow, and eventually evolves into a thrash metal punch in the face - in a good sense). The sound seems to have evolved a bit in a melodic sense from Peace Sells, while losing a bit of the intensity, which isn't always a good thing.
Lyrics — 8
Megadeth's third album strikes back with some interesting lyrical content, sliding more into a political direction than the previous albums, with less focus on classic Megadeth topics such as death, and satan (although, fans of such content will still feel at home), and more focus on things such the after affects of nuclear war (Set the World Afire), and the PMRC (Hook in Mouth). The lyrics suit the music well, and it still carries that dark tone that Megadeth is infamous for. Mustaine's voice suits the music, as well as the lyrics well, with an amazing job done on Mary Jane and In My Darkest Hour in the actual singing department. My only complaint is the screw ups on Anarchy in UK - I don't know what Dave was thinking. Also, the lyrics as a whole seem less 'focused'. Where KIMB and PSBWB both seemed to follow equally grim topics from song to song, and seemed to fit together well, the lyrical content on SFSGSW seem to be all over the place.
Overall Impression — 7
It definately isn't Peace Sells... but it is a great album in it's own right. it's a good vision of Megadeth's evolution between Peace Sells... and Rust in Peace on both a lyrical and technically playing level. I loved In My Darkest Hour, as well as both Into The Lungs of Hell/Set The World Afire and Hook in Mouth. Overall, it's a good album, and I like how the sound is starting to shift more toward the Rust in Peace spectrum, still, I wish the whole thing could 'fit together' like Peace Sells... and Killing Is My Business... did. The tone was all over the place it seemed - doesn't make it a bad album though. If this album was stolen or lost, I would buy it again. it's not my favorite Megadeth album by any means, but I still love it. I would, however, suggest new listeners to check into Peace Sells... But Who's Buying or perhaps Killing Is My Business... first to get a good taste of what Megadeth is really about.