Review Summary: Buy it or download it, I don’t care, but get this album somehow!
Rust in Peace, Megadeth’s front soldier in the battle of the greatest metal album.
Now, why does everyone say this is their best album?
Well, it has a lot of variation, it is technical, almost a technical thrash album, and it has the riffs.
Yeah, the riffs. It has a lot of good riffs in it.
When I first downloaded the Megadeth discography, I had no idea which album I needed to listen.
I heard the song Peace Sells before, so I just started with that. I didn’t like the album so much at the first look, so I left the “problem” behind for that day. A few days later, an old friend of mine – an hardcore Megadeth fan – came by at school. I talked to him about the few Megadeth songs I had heard, and he said: “I think Rust in Peace is very good.” So, that is what it’s gonna be,
RUST. IN. PEACE.
The same happened as with Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying. At first, it sounded cliché and not very good, but I started to listen it more often, and finally it seemed a good album to me.
Later I would think Peace Sells was better, because it had better riffs. Now I listened Rust in Peace again, heard the variation and the riffs, ignored the short period that Megadeth keeped one riff in action, and thought: “Ok, this has maybe a little too much variation, but everything is good, and on a more mature level than Peace Sells overall.”
And THAT, is the reason why I am reviewing this album today.
Let’s move on to the songs.
1. Holy Wars… The Punishment Due
Sooo, the start-song. This has to be a good one, or else the album will lose it’s strength.
It starts with an intro that makes you think: “Sooo, Dave knows that random improvisation on a guitar makes the best riffs?” And after a few seconds, the main riff rapes you in your a**. It goes pretty fast, and this riff has a great “headbang-value”. That is exactly what thrash should do. I could talk all day about every riff in this song, but that would not be that interesting for everybody here. Every riff is just fine in this song, and the riffs that are less good, do not stay there for minutes. Good song, Variation is present, but not too much.
(I can play this song on guitar. Yey. Except for that fingerbreaking solo.)
5 out of 5.
2. Hangar 18
A song about the infamous area 51, with well-written lyrics, and a great emotional feeling to it. It starts with a chord progression now famous for Megadeth, and with some solo’s and great singable lyrics. This one is not really my favorite, but it shows people very well that you can make thrash metal, make it emotional, and change chords a lot.
That’s why I think thrash is defined by it’s “chopping” guitar sound, and by the kind of distortion and tone scale used. (also, it’s headbang-value. That means speed, and very riff-based songs.)
5 out of 5. EXTRA VALUE! EMOTIONAL THRASH!
3. Take no Prisoners
When I first heard this song, I didn’t like it so much because of all the weird riff changes.
A friend of mine liked this song very much, so I decided to take a closer look at it.
Well, it seemed to be that almost every riff in this song was good, but the variation was a little too much for me. After some time I got used to it, and I like the song pretty much now.
4,5 out of 5
4. Five Magics
This is one of my favorites. It starts with a great mess of guitars and drums, and after that there is a long instrumental bass passage. After that there is this great riffing, with something like 3 different riffs. And they all sound great!
5 out of 5
5. Poison was the Cure
Another bass line here. Seems like that is the latest fad on this album!
The bass line is ok, but nothing special. When the main riff starts to rage, this brings a lot of energy. The main riff is accually one big fast repeating solo, and gets replaced after a minute or something with some other fills that keep repeating. These fills may remind you of later Megadeth songs. Pretty good song, but a little short, and the fills can be boring.
4 out of 5
This one is a favorite of one of my friends. It starts with the laughter of some old demented witch, and after that, you got this nice intro riff. It is kind of a solo-riff, as heard before on Poison was the Cure. Everything that is left is just something like random chord passages, with some typical Megadeth fills inserted. Good song, but a little randomized.
Whatever, random guitar playing makes the best riffs.
4,5 out of 5
7. Tornado of Souls
Seems like this is a fan-favorite, seeing as this is one of the most downloaded Megadeth guitar tabs at 911tabs.com. It also was one of my favorites. Very chord based, this song. There is not really a riff or something like that. But ok, it seems catchy to me, so it is a pretty good song. The only weird thing about this, is the second vocal part in the chorus.
I liked that part first, but it sounded a little out of tone, so later I did not like it so much.
Now I have got used to it.
4 out of 5
8. Dawn Patrol
A long bass solo, it does not really have much power.
However, it sure is groovy. And it has these weird, haunting voices in it.
3 out of 5
9. Rust in Peace… Polaris
Another “double” song, and the official ending to the album. It starts with a short drumming thingy, and after that, we have OF COURSE the intro riff. The intro riff is fast, but not really special. However, it is quite amusing.
The main riff, however, is great after you have listened it a few times. First, I did not like this song, but now, I have listened it a few more times, and it seems great to me. The singing and riffing sounds really anarchistic, and punkish. And it has a nice pre-chorus, and the chorus itself is really poetic. That is mainly because of the pause after every chorus, and the last words being the memorable “RUST IN PEACE” words we like to hear all this album long.
The Polaris part of this song is something like a simple, Take no Prisoners-like riff with some solo’s to finish off the album like a monumental building pushed into your ass.
4,7 out of 5
Now that we have all the songs, let’s do some quick math.
5 + 5 + 4,5 + 5 + 4 + 4,5 + 4 + 3 + 4,7 / 9 = 4,4 out of 5 is the score of this album.
However, as a complete album, this gets additional bonus points for the emotional Hangar 18, and for the variation. This will make it something like a 4,6 out of 5.
So, seems like a good candidate for the best metal album ever, right?
Let’s compare this to the most used metal album on the greatest metal album lists:
Metallica’s Master of Puppets.
Master of Puppets is also a pretty good album, and it’s better balanced than Rust in Peace.
In comparision, Megadeth is doing a little bit more than necessary.
However, Master of Puppets has some riffs that really lose their power, and I don’t know why.
Also, Master of Puppets has these weird solos that just doesn’t sound good in my opinion.
Some people say it’s that Kirk Hammett uses the pentatonic scale, but I do not think so.
I think he SHOULD use the pentatonic scale, because he uses notes that are too melodic for the songs. If I look at one of my favorite guitarists: Chuck Schuldiner, I see that all kinds of tone scales can be used, but it must fit with the rhythm guitar. I have the official Master of Puppets guitar tab in pdf, and I clearly saw above the solo standing the letters: N.C.
That means, no chord. This is mostly the case when playing music with powerchords, and that means that the guitarist should not use tones that are part of a minor or major scale, and not part of a pentatonic scale for that chord. In other words, use a neutral scale.
And I must say, his solos at the acoustic parts sound great.
Well, enough talking about the solos, I think Metallica takes things a little too simple in this album, while Megadeth makes things too hard. I would never know what the best thrash metal album is, but these two are a tie and both very suitable candidates. If you like the simpler stuff, try Master of Puppets, if you are a technical maniac, try Rust in Peace.
One big problem with the big four is their attitude. They were great underground bands, and that is what the thrash attitude should look like, but they have grown, and they have lost their inner child.
That gives their albums a really different feel in my opinion, but if you see the old videotapes again, everything is alright again. Keep that in mind while you listen to their albums.
And that is exactly why we need new thrash bands. New thrash bands are crossover thrash for a big part, but I want the old stuff back. We got to keep this alive, and keep the attitude that belongs to this style. Guys, don’t grow up too soon. Pick up your guitar and start playing random notes.
Listen to the music you like, listen to their influences,(Diamond Head) and you will be able to write something like that soon.
Well, where was I?
This is a definitive thrash metal classic, and a really nostalgic metal album in general.
It comes from the time that demo tapes were traded like torrent files, and from the time that people accually were more original, and did not really copy themselves.
Peace Sells… But who’s Buying is accually a little bit more classic, but this is definitely Megadeth’s most well rounded album. Buy it or download it, I don’t care, but get this album somehow.