My Megadeth re-journey continues with the 90s...
This album gets a lot of shit. And it is mostly undeserved. It's a good, sometimes great album with some of Dave Mustaine's best, most adventurous songwriting and easily his greatest overall vocal performance. There's a couple clunkers here and it's obvious that Dave wants something super radio friendly, but even the lamest songs are catchy as hell. You will never change my mind that this is a good record. It just shouldn't be a Megadeth record.
Rating - 7.2/10
Worst Songs - The Doctor is Calling, Seven
Best Songs - Wanderlust, Ecstasy
Similarly to Risk, this one gets a lot of shit for being a product of the 90s and continuing to chase trends. That said, I think it's actually a stronger record than its predecessor and certainly better than most of their post-90s material. Despite the poppier tone, Dave has some of his most killer, most interesting riffs here (see Mastermind, Vortex, the entire spectular ending of She-Wolf). Though there are far stronger, and more metallic, songs here than on Risk, I actually think it's slightly worse. Still a solid record with a bunch of high marks.
Rating - 7.0/10
Worst Song - Have Cool, Will Travel is truly awful
Best Songs - She-Wolf, Vortex, Trust, The Disintegrators
Technically a b-sides EP and not a true album, but figured I'd mention it anyway. It's got some pretty bad songs, two classics, and a couple average tunes. Not much to say about it, really.
Rating - 6.1/10
Worst Songs - Problems, the first three
Best Songs - Angry Again, 99 Ways to Die (both should be classic setlist staples) and the music in Diadems rules
This one soured slightly over the years. I remember as a teen I rated this one almost as highly as Countdown, but boy was I wrong. It's plodding, it's repetitive in tone, and overall just not a stellar record. Don't get me wrong, there are still some classics and great songwriting here, but the album as a whole is pretty average. Nothing stands out as being terrible, but most of the songs live in the 7-8/10 zone and I wouldn't care to hear most of them in a live setting. As a collection of songs, it's consistently decent. I still rate it higher than most 'Deth records, but it certainly signals the end of their classic era. The first four songs rule, though.
Rating - 7.5/10
Worst Song - Black Curtains
Best Song - Addicted to Chaos
Countdown to Extinction
Easily my favorite Megadeth record. Sure, it has some flaws, but the overall quality of songwriting, performance, and production here is just fantastic. My only real complaint about this album is some of the lame choices made towards the end of the record, such as the horribly lame Psychotron or the ridiculous voice acting in Captive Honour. Mostly, this album fucking rips and represents one of the best attempts at changing a band's core sound while remaining pretty true to the same energy.
Rating - 8.7/10
Worst Songs - Psychotron, Captive Honour
Best Songs - Countdown to Extinction, Ashes in Your Mouth
Rust In Peace
I truly don't know what else can be said of this record. It is a classic. It defines and perfects the thrash metal genre and remains a crowning achievement in the Megadeth catalogue. It's every part the equal to Master of Puppets, and instrumentally it's far, far stronger. The riffs are exceptional, the performances even better, and it is just a joy to listen to every time. Does it have some lesser songs? Absolutely. But honestly, who cares?
Rating - 9.0/10
Worst Song - Poison Was The Cure
Best Songs - Holy Wars, Tornado of Souls