12 July 2013

Megadeth - Countdown To Extinction

Usually I like to discuss something about an artist before I talk about an album.  I cannot do this here.  Not because I don't know anything about Megadeth, but due to the main man him self - one David Scott Mustaine.  The man is a king size douche bag, with a love for Republican figures in America (a change from his previous Democratic leanings) and is now born again Christian who removes bands from festivals he plays if they do not match his own beliefs and was kicked out of Metallica - something he likes to bring up at any opportunity he can.  Now if someone was a Republican and Christian before hand, that is their story and fine, but for a lot of the things he has said and done during his life - it smacks of hypocritical nonsense.  However, at the time this was not the case when the album came out - he was still a douche bag, but a recently ex-junkie douche bag.  This album was released in 1992 around the time when George Bush Sr was in power and it was hip to write politically charged records against the President.  This album followed the globally acclaimed 'Rust In Peace'.

Musically this is still trash metal, but it is nowhere near as intense as their earlier material.  The themes of politics, religion and sky diving are here for all to see.  Stand out tracks include the wonderful "Symphony Of Destruction", the paranoid self referencing "Sweating Bullets" which talks about Mustaine's paranoid and drug ridden self talking to the clean and sober Mustaine and the title track talks about the damage that mankind is wrecking on the planet with the pace of technology and global damage of industry.  When this album aims for the higher moments, it is a clever record which had little competition upon its release for being one of the more widely acclaimed albums of 1992.  I wonder how much money went on that campaign for that to happen.  At the end of the remastered version, there is a few demos which actually show the songs ("Countdown To Extinction", "Symphony Of Destruction" and "Psychotron") in a different light.

However, aged well it has not.  The production, even on the remastered version of this album does nothing for me.  It sounds like a band slowing down a gear.  The first four albums are true classics of the trash metal genre - this (together with Metallica's Black (or self titled) album) are signs that the band in question are changing their style to reach for a wider audience.  It sounds like giving up towards the end and apart from a few moments of quality playing as mentioned above, it just feels like an album that is designed to get a tour out.  It is not essential that the band made this record, it has not aged with grace in the 21 years since it was released and whilst fans of the band might find this hard to hear, it just shows how much of a poor writer Mustaine is when he is not off his tits and surrounded by the original members of the band.  Once his bitter and twisted words and playing were music to these ears, now they sound like the shrieking venomous rants of a fool.  Get the tracks you want of this from iTunes and avoid the rest - just like the rest of Megadeth's career after this album, throwaway.

4 out of ten - Well it is alright, but still......

You can purchase the album in various formats on Amazon

You can visit the band's website here

You can listen to the remastered version of the album here

Alternatively, you can listen to the deluxe version on Spotify here

Here is the official video for "Symphony Of Destruction"

Once upon a time there was a man called Dave.  He was in one of the hottest trash metal

You can purchse one of the versions of this album from Amazon here

You can visit the band's Website here

You can listen to the album here on Spotify

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