Review Summary: A classic that doesn't live up to this title2 of 13 thought this review was well written
Rust In Peace is a case of an album that receives far too much love from the metal community in general. A lot of people have rightfully cited the shredding ability as Marty Friedman for one of the reasons that this album is seen as a classic, whereas others note the technical proficiency of Dave Mustaine as a rhythm player, which would also be another valid comment. In fact, every member of this band is pretty good at what they do (vocals aside, but more on that later) so why is this album overrated? The simple fact is that not many of the songs are anywhere close to the standard that would denote this release as being a perfect album.
Tornado Of Souls, Lucretia and Hangar 18 are the only songs I would ever regard as ***ing classic songs. Hangar 18 has a fantastic jazzy riff in the last part of it whilst both guitarists trade off solos in a fashion that could only be regarded as Megadeth fashion, and it really works. If any other band had attempted a three minute guitar duel in their song, it may have sounded cheesy, but Megadeth say "*** cheesiness". Tornado Of Souls is noteworthy for the incredible one-minute solo provided by Marty Friedman and a highly emotional set of lyrics regarding a break up that nearly everyone can relate to. Lucretia is also a fantastic song that hits hard with some awesome riffing and one of the finest solos ever put to record. Were these three songs an accurate representation of Rust In Peace in general, then this would live up to the classic status that it has been given over the years.
Unfortunately, many tracks do not hold up to this. The pointless acoustic solo in the middle of Holy Wars is one such example of why the songs fall short of the mark. Sometimes an acoustic solo in a metal album works, for instance Crystal Mountain from Death is a fantastic song that makes great use of one. Unfortunately, the Spanish sounding solo in the middle of this track could not be any more ill-fitting and really lets it down in general. It is well performed but doesn't fit in. Take No Prisoners is another track that really falls short of the mark. This and Poison Was The Cure feel like two songs where Megadeth take technical guitar work ridiculously seriously but without it sounding useful at all. Instead, these two tracks sound like Dave and Marty playing as fast as they can for the sake of it.
Another reason for the failure of this album to live up to its classic status is the fact that neither Nick Menza nor the bassist have many opportunitites to shine. Sure, they play very well on here, but they just feel to out-shined by Dave and Marty throughout. Nick opens up the closing track with a great drum solo, and both members are audible throughout Dawn Patrol, and the bass in the introduction to Poison Was The Cure and the bass solo to Take No Prisoners are really the only stand-out sections for these two members. Whilst mentioning Dawn Patrol, there was no need for a two minute drum and bass song with some of the most god-awful vocals on the album. Dave Mustaine is not a particularly good vocalist at all, with an overly nasally, whiny voice that grates on me every time, but on this track he is unbearable and it is a track that you are forced to skip every ***ing time.
Another problem with Rust In Peace is how few of the songs feel relevant. Whilst Holy Wars might kick the album off well, it drags on too long, whereas Poison Was The Cure has too long of a bass introduction to really make use of the little time it has as a proper song. However, the biggest criminal for time-wasting is Five Magics. This song is one that has some cool soloing between vocal lines but aside from that, the riffs are dull, the drumming pedestrian, the bass mundane and the vocals atrocious. Sadly, Rust In Peace is another ***ing supposed classic that doesn't live up to its status.