Megadeth
Peace Sells... but Who's Buying?


4.0
excellent

Review

by LaughingSkull USER (32 Reviews)
November 15th, 2013 | 12 replies


Release Date: 1986 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Huge moments interspersed with mediocrity

Megadeth's second effort showcases great development compared to their debut. Where riffs in Killing is My Business were random and mismatched, in Peace Sells they are more coherent and catchy. If production on KIMB was messy thanks to its budget being spent on party stuff, that of PSBWB is clearer and helpful in discerning the talented musicianship underwork. If KIMB was composed mostly of juvenile headbangers, PSBWB is a tad darker, adding politics and the occult to the mix.

For all its strong sides though, PSBWB is somehow lacking something. Killing is My Business was charming in its deranged eccentricity, and Rust in Peace will later on become immense with its larger-than-life virtuosity, but Peace Sells is somehow mired in the boring subject matter of its lyrics. As much as I love the absolutely huge riffs and solos on Wake Up Dead, the latter of which are among Mustaine's finest, ultimately it is still a song about getting smashed and cheating on your girlfriend. I mean, really... Yes, Megadeth were party animals back in the day, and always a band to have that metropolitan sleaze and in its lyrics, but in this case it's just, well... classless... for lack of a better word.

Meanwhile, Dave & Co. don't come up as very convincing acolytes to the occult as well. Just look at the lyrics of The Conjuring:


Arrange the symbols,
Of the wizard, and, magician,
Light the candles,
Place the parchment paper in position,
Between its leaves place,
The lash from a black cat's eye,
A straw of a broom,
Fold, and, burn, and, centralise,


and then again, those of Bad Omen:


Sacrifice the virgins,
Spiritual rites.
Their master's time has come,
The moon is full tonight.


Feels like Dave Mustaine had a "Things-to-include-in-lyrics-to-make-them-sound-more-sinister" checklist, and it shows. And his ever-present whining vocal delivery does not help in that aim.

Leaving the failed attempts at occultism aside, Devil's Island, a song about a convict facing execution, is just plain boring with its idiotic shouted chorus and endless meandering gallops.

However, despite all these shortcomings, Peace Sells... but Who's Buying? is still an excellent album. Yes, I slagged The Conjuring for its lyrics, but you simply can't ignore its absolutely huge riff -- you know the one, the one that kicks in at 2:56. Yes, Bad Omen is unimaginative, but its opening bassline is rightfully wicked. Yes, the title track succeeds every bit in being infectiously groovy, and the lyrics are extremely singalong-able. Even the oddball cover of I ain't Superstitious succeeds in being fun and lightening up the album.

A very high point in the album is Good Mourning... Black Friday, the one song where the dark magic theme does succeed. Opening with a chillingly beautiful intro, the song introduces us the story of a man who becomes possessed by some evil force and goes on a killing spree. After the intro is finished, the listener is subjected to four minutes of absolute riff madness that make the song so insane, so sinister, that it's singlehandedly the most brutal track in Megadeth's catalog, and among the top most brutal tracks in metal altogether. Other thrash and/or death bands can only hope to make half-witted attempts at the deliciously bloody mess that this song is. Yes, Slayer and Cannibal Corpse, I am talking to you. You've overdone the blood & gore theme, and managed to lose its novelty factor. Megadeth did the blood & gore theme once, and they did it with style and attitude, without repeating it ad nauseum.

And of course, one cannot ignore the album's closer, My Last Words. A song about russian roulette, this song is surprisingly upbeat. Like Good Mourning, it opens with a haunting intro, but then kicks off into a full rock'n'roll thrashfest culminating in an absolutely magnificent solo. You can almost imagine the pistol's drum spinning hearing the main riff to this one.

Overall, Peace Sells... but Who's Buying is an album which has its downsides, but which, more importantly, shows development and hints at what Megadeth are capable of doing when unleashing their full potential -- an event that happened two albums later.


Standout tracks:
- Wake Up Dead
- Peace Sells
- Good Mourning/Black Friday
- My Last Words




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user ratings (2674)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
LaughingSkull
November 15th 2013


219 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yes, I like to abuse "absolutely huge".

MervTheInquisitor
November 15th 2013


120 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

5 this or die

bloc
November 15th 2013


34872 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm buying

trainofconsequence
November 15th 2013


1441 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This review is retarded wtf Dave's vocals are fucking awesome

LaughingSkull
November 15th 2013


219 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

get busy posing or get busy negging

YoYoMancuso
November 15th 2013


11106 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice review man, defended your points well

facupm
November 15th 2013


7774 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

good mourning /black friday is one of their finest songs, easily top 5

tempest--
November 15th 2013


13608 Comments


paint the devil on the wall!

LaughingSkull
November 17th 2013


219 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hey, i don't feel so good...
something's not right...
something's coming over me...
what the FUCK is this??

WAAAAAAAOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHH

facupm
March 5th 2014


7774 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

devils island rules man

NeroCorleone80
March 5th 2014


29086 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

DEVILS ISLAND

BigPleb
March 5th 2014


36738 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

DEVILLLS ISLAAAND!!!



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