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Megadeth Vs. Anthrax

Since I'm not qualified to do a Big 4 showdown (as I'm not the biggest 'Tallica fan and even less of a Slayer fan), I'll simply do a showdown between my two favourites of the group. On the red corner, we have Megadeth, led by the temperamental Dave Mustaine. On the blue corner, we have Anthrax, led by down-to-earth cool guy Scott Ian. Even though I prefer Megadeth, I like Anthrax almost as much so I'll do my best to give a balanced analysis.

Album consistency: Megadeth has 13 studio albums (not counting the upcoming Super Collider, which might prove quite true to it's title and collide to the bottom, LOL :P): 5 great ones, 4 quite good ones, 2 passable ones, and 2 crappy ones. Anthrax has 10 studio albums: 4 great ones, 1 good one, and the rest varies from mediocre to crappy. Therefore, Megadeth wins it here. Score: M: 3; A: 1 Total tally: M: 3; A: 1

Live performance: For this category, I relied on Youtube streams of concerts from the 1992 CTE tour (Megadeth) and the POT tour (Anthrax); back when each band was at it's peak performance (admittedly, I only saw a bit over halfway for each video). But there was a clear difference: Belladonna had great interaction with the audience, and the members made it all look like a party. Megadeth on the other hand, did an impressive display, but was rather lacking when it came to engaging the audience. So basically: interaction > just showing off how much the band rules. Score: A: 3; M: 1 Total tally: M: 4; A: 4

Lyrics: Dave Mustaine writes some of the best lyrics in metal and that is a proven fact: it runs the gamut from political criticism to failed relationships to the occult. Anthrax, on the other hand, has good lyrics on some songs, but they've always been more of a "just listen and rock out" kind of band. Score: M: 3; A: 1 Total tally: M: 7; A: 5

Vocals: This one's really a no-brainer. Belladonna's vocals are heavenly; he's easily one of the best in the history of the subgenre. Mustaine's riffs are amazing, but his vocals have never been his forte. End of story. Score: A: 3; M: 1 Total tally: M: 8; A: 8

Guitar riffs: I love Scott Ian's riffs, but Mustaine's riffs are pretty much the epitome of greatness. There really isn't more to say, just compare any Anthrax riff to "Holy Wars... The Punishment Due", "Peace Sells" or "In My Darkest Hour". Score: M: 3; A: 1 Total tally: M: 11; A: 9

Guitar solos: I agree with Anthrax fans that Dan Spitz is underrated and is far better than Kirk "Wahmett". But Megadeth has had the talents of Chris Poland, Marty Friedman, Chris Broderick, Jeff Young and Glen Drover. And yes, Marty and Poland alone get the nod over Spitz because their solos rule too hard. Score: M: 3; A: 1 Total tally: M: 14; A: 10

Drums: Megadeth has had impressive drummers, but, sadly, their work tend to gets lost in the mix. Charlie Benante, on the other hand, can be heard loud n' clear, and he's also extremely catchy. No disrespect to Nick Menza, Gar Samuelson or Shawn Drover, but Benante gets the vote here. Score: A: 3; M: 1 Total tally: M: 15; A: 13

Bass: Dave Ellefson is good and all, but his style is rather limited. Frank Bello had bass grooves a-plenty. With apologies to 'Deth fans, this isn't even remotely close. Score: A: 3; M: 1 Total tally: M: 16; A: 16

Iconic songs: Anthrax has "Madhouse", "A.I.R.", "Caught in a Mosh", "Indians", "I Am the Law", "Antisocial (Trust cover)", "Got the Time" and "Keep it in the Family". Megadeth has "Mechanix", "Peace Sells", "Wake Up Dead", "In My Darkest Hour", "Holy Wars... The Punishment Due", "Hangar 18", "Sweating Bullets" and "Symphony of Destruction". I'll give it to Megadeth here simply because Holy Wars and Hangar 18 are just pure ownage. Score: M: 3; A: 1 Total tally: M: 19; A: 17

Influence: Like it or not, Anthrax is a highly influential band: their "Bring the Noise" cover with Public Enemy had a profound impact on music and set the stage for rap- metal. Many metal bands have used Anthrax as a basis because their riffs are easy (for the most part) and their rhythm sections are very solid. There are few bands which I consider might have been influenced by Megadeth (perhaps some metalcore bands and a few death metal and prog-metal acts). So Anthrax gets the nod here. Score: A: 3; M: 1 Total tally: A: 20; M: 20

Experimentation: Both bands have experimented their fair share, but since it was Anthrax who made the bold step to experiment with hip-hop, they get the edge. Score: A: 3; M: 1 Total tally: A: 23; M: 21

The Winner: Anthrax (As much as I love Megadeth, Anthrax has finally proven how underrated they are as musicians. I salute both of them for their amazing music.)
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