Review Summary: Megadeth sets my ears on fire with this awesome compilation!
I would like to share something with you all. The other day I was getting ready to embark on a trip that would take two hours. I asked myself “How in the world can I kill two hours?” And then it instantly hit me: Music. The question was; what kind of music? I took a look at my CD collection. Then a name caught my eye: MEGADETH! I was a dedicated Megadeth fan during my teens, without them I never would have survived high school. Of course it was simply just a phase; I haven’t heard Dave Mustaine’s crazy cohorts for three years now. So I decided to give this compilation a listen, I never heard it from start to finish before. I put the disc inside my music player and simply pressed play. And time ceased to exist instantly by the very first track!
Every track in this “Anthology” displays the sheer raw power that Megadeth contributed to the Thrash metal scene. What I really like about this album is how the songs are chronologically ordered; the listener can fully experience the musical growth of this band. Disc one is the showcase of the band’s early “thrashy” roots with strong powerful numbers like “Mechanix”, “Devil’s Island” and “Rattlehead”. Not only was Mr. Mustaine skilled on the guitar but everyone in the band were just powerful, especially the early lineup. Dave Ellefson’s bass guitar dominates track for track maintaining the tempo and understanding the complex time changes. Tracks like “Peace Sells”, “Tornado of Souls”, “Sweating Bullets” and “Hangar 18” are just snippets of Ellefson’s skills. “Wake up Dead” is Megadeth at their finest with sheer intensity, fast chord progressions, different tempo changes, grooves and phenomenal guitar soloing throughout the track, accompanied with some humor in the lyrics. And the same goes for the other classic “Holy Wars…Punishment Due” truly a headbanger’s dream.
Yes they had the songs that would pump your blood but they also had their catchy tunes. This is what the listener will mostly hear from Disc Two when the band experimented and leaned towards a more of an “Alternative mainstream” sound. Such songs like “A Tout le Monde”, “Trust” and my personal favorite “Insomnia” which is really catchy and enjoyable. Not enjoyable like their Thrash songs but more enjoyable as a pop song sort of way. The second disc does sound different than the first but it’s not weak at all, the band still maintain to dish out speedy powerful songs like the killer “Skin O’ My Teeth”, “Foreclosure of a Dream” and “Angry Again”. All tracks that revisit their early Thrash roots with better production and consistency.
It’s strange to have filler material in a “best of” album. There should never be any filler material in such albums, hence the name “best of”. Unfortunately this “Anthology” is plagued with filler stuff. Useless Demo tracks like “Crowns of Worms” and “High Speed Dirty” just seems to ruin the flow of the album. The instrumental “Into the Lungs of Hell” was unnecessary. And a bunch of sound tracks from movies and video games that doesn’t leave a lasting impression. Another low blow was the live version of “Symphony of Destruction” was included and not the studio version. I personally prefer the studio version.
By the end of the album I never did notice that two hours have elapsed and I arrived at my destination. Deep down my teenage self pleaded more time and more Megadeth. That’s how great this album was. I highly recommend it to anyone that’s into Metal, Megadeth, or just wants to unleash the teenage rage of the past for awhile (like me). Trust me it’s worth it.