Review Summary: Last really succesful album from Megadeth
Countdown to Extinction was a long awaited breakthrough from Megadeth. Its follow-up - Youthanasia was going to be another hit with even more radio-friendly sound than its predecessor. Unfortunately quite succesful first single Train Of Consequences wasn't followed by A Tout Le Monde properly, as its video was banned by MTV. They wanted the video and lyrics censored. Dave Mustaine, obviously didn't let that happen. Except that, fans of more thrashy Megadeth didn't like the new, less heavy sound from their idols.
So of course it is not surprising that this CD didn't make the success it should have and became then forgotten. But at the time of release it actually was doing well, reaching #4 in US and #6 in UK bestsellers lists.
Okay, and now, how does this album sound like? I only know the remastered version, so that's what I'm going to review. The album is not that light as some may think of it. It has nice darker sound than Countdown and it is full of great riffs, maybe not as fast as their previous work, but still very, very good. Only it is more classic metal sound than thrash.
The album starts-off with "Reckoning Day", with a catchy riff and really cool singing by Dave. Then, during the chorus another cool riff comes in. We also get two, as always, nice solos from Marty and Dave. Then we get another great song, "Train of Consequences". A powerful one, with great guitar work and kind of wicked singing by Dave. While some may not like it, I actually enjoy it a lot. Other fast paced songs are "The Killing Road", which takes some time, until it get the listener really hooked on, and "Victory" with funny lyrics, that combine some Megadeth's songs titles. It's a great song to close an album too, because it gives another kick after this quite massive and tiring album, because the middle of Youthanasia is filled with more slow cuts. A nice example of such song is "Addicted to Chaos". It starts not really smashing with the guitar in the background, which after few seconds gets louder and some drumming. Not the catchiest one on CD, but has probably the best solo here. The best song on album however is "A Tout Le Monde". It is maybe the most beautiful song Megadeth has ever done. Even Dave loves this one, as we can read in the booklet. The song itself have some nice acoustic guitar and perfect heavy moments with probably the best singing Mustaine ever did. The song is about suicide and that's why it wasn't welcomed by everybody. In chorus we can hear Mustaine singing in French. Amazing song. Unfortunately Dave not always does such a good job here. The way he sings in "Family Tree" may be done on purpose to supplement the lyrics but why does he sing in same way in "Blood of Heroes"? I have no idea. It sounds awful and make you feel as tired, as Dave probably was, while recording these two songs. And putting these two songs near each other just makes this moment sometimes impossible to pass. The rest of album is: kind of wicked title song, which gets a kick in the middle with a solo, "Elysian Fields" with great guitars, backing vocals catchy as hell and harmonica solo in the end and another one is heavy "Black Curtains".
On the remastered version we also get two new songs, demo of "New World Order" from Duke Nukem soundtrack and demo if "A Tout Le Monde". New songs, "Millenium of the Blind" and "Absolution" have some interesting moments, such as the part of "Absolution", that was used in "Trust" from next album. However the songs are rather forgettable. "New World Order" is not a complete version of the song. But it is the best bonus song on here. The second part of the song is the fastest thing you will hear, while listening to Youthanasia. "A Tout Le Monde" demo sounds awful to me. It can only make you happy if you think that you will never be a singer, because you are not good enough...
After all, this album is a really good effort from Megadeth, with more radio-friendly, but still heavy sound and the last Megadeth album to succeed both in artistic and commercial way. I prefer the 1990s Megadeth's sound, with the exception of Risk maybe, so for me Youthanasia is the third favorite album from Dave and company, right behind Countdown to Extinction and Peace Sells... But Who's Buying. I recommend this album to any Megadeth fan, I'm sure everyone can find something enjoyable about it. The best songs are A Tout Le Monde, Train Of Consequences, Reckoning Day, Elysian Fields and Victory.