What ever Metallica can do, Megadeth can do better. That's my policy concerning the two bands, and I'm sticking by it. Killing is My Business was a better debut album than Kill Em All. I'll listen to Peace Sells over Ride the Lighting everyday of the week, and even on some weekends. Rust in Peace is easily a much better quasi-progressive thrash record than …And Justice for All. They did the "sell-out" thing better with Risk and the "return to their roots" album better with The World Needs a Hero. However, there is one Megadeth album which I cannot take over its Metallica counterpart. That record is So Far, So Good…So What. It's that album that virtually everybody claims is underrated (hmm?). As far as I am concerned, it's one of Megadeth's weakest albums, and while not outright terrible, isn't great either.
Pedal to the metal…thrash metal is what is served up on So Far, So Good and the classic take no prisoners style which Megadeth made use of during this time period once again gets the job done. It doesn't especially differentiate from what virtually every other American metal band in the seemingly oversaturated genre was playing in 1988, but yes; it definitely gets the job done. As with any early Megadeth album, the guitars are the aspect which is stressed the most in the music. The short lived tandem of Dave Mustaine and Jeff Young hold up the fort with blistering solos, heavy riffs, and technical proficiency typical of the thrash genre. However, while listening to the guitars I get the feeling that the band could have improved the guitar work rather significantly. Songs like Set the World Afire and Mary Jane display excellent axe work, the rest of the album feels somewhat uninspired. Don't get me wrong, it isn't bad by any stretch, but compared to what other bands were doing at the time, I'd expect more. Another issue I have is that beyond the guitars, there isn't terribly much that impresses. Dave's vocals are as worse as they've ever been (seriously, just listen to Hook in Mouth), and about half of the album (specifically Anarchy in the UK, 502, Liar, and Hook in Mouth) just isn't very interesting at all.
With that in mind, there are a few tracks on So Far, So Good that catch my attention. My favourite of these songs would definitely be Set the World Afire. A thrash classic in every respect, it takes everything that had made the thrash metal movement so appealing and combined it to form a nearly 6 minute track. The track describes a post-apocalyptic world in which a nuclear war has wiped out (virtually?) all of humanity. Needless to say, the chaotic structure of Set the World Afire fits the lyrical themes perfectly with, as expected, Dave's high octane riff work leading the way. Another track off of So Far, So Good which could be considered a classic would be In My Darkest Hour. Perhaps the most heartfelt track on a very angry, emotional album, it is the only track which does not rely on heavy, fast paced riffage to make it enjoyable. In My Darkest Hour represents Dave's finest writing, lyrically and musically, as it effectively channels several different emotions and combines them into a fairly enjoyable, six minute piece.
Overall, Megadeth's third album, So Far, So Good…So What is a fairly decent album, but not a great one. Its strongest songs are excellent to superb, with the likes of Mary Jane and Into the Lungs of Hell being part of the former and Set the World Afire and In My Darkest Hour being part of the later group. Unfortunately, the weaker songs are, well, uninteresting and nock the album down a few points. I wouldn't recommend So Far, So Good unless you have already purchased the majority of Megadeth's other records, as while it is good, it definitely does not offer up the best the band has to offer. Go for Peace Sells or Killing is my Business instead.
Set the World Afire
In My Darkest Hour
Into the Lungs of Hell
megadeth can do just about everything better, i would definitely say this album is not near as good as master of puppets, but i give it at least a 4. if only this album was as good as rust in peace...This Message Edited On 04.26.07
Megadeth or Metallica? Megadeth were not as consitent as the first four Metallica albums (after that, their music sounded like they were recording with Nickleback hahahaha). However, Megadeth are still going strong today, and Rust in Peace and Killing is My Business are amazing albums. Coin toss!
Anyways, Mikesn, excellent review once again. You must have a lot of time to sit and think about how to write such clear and concise reviews that I have repeatedly enjoyed over time.
Great Album dont care what anyone says. Good guitar playing, great thrash record with great songs Into The Lungs Of Hell, STWAF, Mary Jane, IMDH, and Hook In Mouth. All great songs. Everyone says this album is underated but on the Billboard top 200 it made 28!!!