Megadeth

Jer

The dotage of a dotard
Wow. Thirteen came off to me like half-spoiled table scraps from their vault. It had its moments (like almost all Megadeth albums do), but it felt completely phoned in. I don’t even remember most of the songs on that album.
 

Jer

The dotage of a dotard
So I went back and listened to Th1rt3en just for shits and giggles, and “Public Enemy No. 1” was literally the only good song on the album. A couple others had a strong main riff or a nifty lead here or there; but wow, the songwriting was abysmal on the whole. It might actually give The World Needs A Hero a run for its money as the worst Megadeth album of all time.
 

The_7th_one

Ancient Mariner
My albums ranking:

  1. Rust in Peace
  2. Peace sells… but who’s buying?
  3. Youthanasia
  4. Countdown to Extinction
  5. Dystopia
  6. The Sick, the dying and the dead
  7. Endgame
  8. Cryptic Writings
  9. Thirteen
  10. Super Collider
  11. Killing is my business…and business…
  12. So Far So Good So What
  13. United Abominations
  14. The system has failed
  15. The World needs a Hero
  16. Risk
 

KidInTheDark666

What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine too
Controversy alert:

1. Endgame
2. Dystopia
3. Rust in Peace
4. The System Has Failed
5. United Abominations
6. Cryptic Writings
7. The World Needs a Hero
8. Youthanasia
9. Countdown to Extinction
10. The Sick, The Dying...And the Dead!
11. Th1rt3en
12. So Far...So Good...So What
13. Super Collider
14. Peace Sells...But Who's Buying?
15. Killing Is My Business...And The Business Is Good!
16. Risk
 

Jer

The dotage of a dotard
11. Killing is my business…and business…
12. So Far So Good So What
14. The system has failed
5. United Abominations
7. The World Needs a Hero
11. Th1rt3en
12. So Far...So Good...So What
14. Peace Sells...But Who's Buying?
15. Killing Is My Business...And The Business Is Good!
Jackie-Chan-WTF.jpg
 

Jer

The dotage of a dotard
Video of the first Ellefson-Soto gig, the only Megadeth song they did was “Peace Sells”. I cued the video up to that song:

 

karljant

Ancient Mariner
After listening to it a lot and liking it to a point it's the first Megadeth album I buy since 2009's Edgame here are the albums I rank below THE SICK, THE DYING... AND THE DEAD (some recency bias may occur).

16- Super Collider: Boring, uninspired, with some crap poppy stuff here that only brings this weak record even deeper down. When the best song is based upon a Sabbath's classic rip off you know this is quite subpar for a band as good as Megadeth.

15- Thirteen: The first three songs are quite enjoyable (Public Enemy Especially) but then the album really starts to be one hell of a drag and an absolute void of ideas.

14- Dystopia: To me this is the perfect example that well played riffs and great soloing don't always translate into great songs. With the exception of Fatal Illusion, Lying In State and to a certain degree the opening track everything sounds shiny and pretty but lacks grit and bulk. Plus when both bonus tracks' energy (Look Who's Talking and Last Dying Wish) absolutely top by miles the majority of the album it's also not a good sign.

13- The World Needs A Hero: Return To Hangar is great, Dread and The Fugitive Mind and Moto Psycho and a couple of others are enjoyable too but more than half of this record is utterly boring and predictable.

12- Risk: Daring as hell and thus faithful to its title the first three songs here are truly great and varied stuff. Loved 'em back in the day and still love 'em now. Time is also one hell of a closer while Wanderlust and The Doctor is Calling are ok-ish. The remainder of the album swings between poppy uninspired stuff or forgettable heavy rock cuts with some of them being quite cringe worth. Still worth for the best tracks and more daring stuff.

11- Youthanasia: Train Of Consequences is simply put one of my favorite riffs from the band, Reckoning Days sounds huge, Blood Of Heroes and Addicted To Chaos are absolutely catchy, the title track is also really good and both Killing Road and Elysian Fields are also quite addictive. What really drags the album down IMO are the pop metal for the masses numbers starting with the overall acclaimed A Tout Le Monde that I simply can't stand. And don't get me wrong... I don't like them just because they're pop metal: Addicted To Chaos is also poppy as hell but is well built, shows passion and drama thus being one of my favorite songs on the record. All the other more accessible tunes sound to me as hollow, devoid of creativity and dull. Still features a good amount of great songs though.

10- United Abominations: Overall a good album with really great stuff here and there, especially Gears Of War, Sleepwalker, Never Walk Alone, the title track and You're Dead. The rest of the songs while having its moments have sort of a filler aftertaste but nothing too disruptive.

9- Cryptic Writings: Another uneven album as far as I'm concerned. It features lots of more accessible material but even when it comes to this typology the quality varies a lot. I'll Get Even or Have Cool Will Travel are meh. A Secret Place and Sin while not being bad bore me. Now within this more accessible typology Trust is a monster (although an odd choice for a opener), and so are Mastermind and Use The Man. The heavier songs (with the exception of the merely good She Wolf "Maidenesque" dual guitar stuff) is overall top notch: Disintegrators is pure speed metal mayhem, Vortex's riffage is insane (and there's that kind of Rust In Peace vibe) and FFF is perhaps my favorite track here: zero compromise straight up thrash hardcore with stunning guitar melodies. Simple, effective, raw yet mature. So this is a great album that offers you the various faces of Megadeth albeit not on the same quality level all the way.

8- Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good: To compare the majority of Thrash Metal's debut albums with this brutal display of fury and technical accuracy is sometimes laughable. Loved To Death shreds everything from the get go, the uncanny mix of groove and power in the title track and The Skull Beneath The Skin is the first great display of composing maturity and technical mastery (thanks to the contribution of top instrumentalists like Samuelson and Poland) normally not seen on a debut. These Boots is also the only cover featured on a Megadeth original studio album I really like and Rattlehead has that early 80's thrash flavor. Looking Down The Cross is yet another stunningly mature and intense song and finally there's Mechanix, an all time classic (and yes... I prefer it much more to The 4 Horsemen). Overall a bang of a first album.

7- Countdown To Extinction: The band became more accessible here but unlike others didn't lose their mojo or intensity. Skin O' My Teeth is an amazing mixture of groove and power in form of an heavy metal opener. Symphony Of Destruction may lost a bit of its charm due to overplaying but fact is that its as simple as ingenious (that transition to the chorus and the refrain itself... come on) and deserves all the praise it has. Architecture Of Aggression is more thrashy and undoubtedly an excellent and wicked song. Foreclosure Of A Dream is a delightfully melodic calm tune with a powerful chorus. I really can't stand Sweating Bullets (boring with cringe at times) but then This Was My Life's addictive and intense flavor filled with huge melodies just brings the album up once again. The title track's melody is ok but lacks intensity when taking in account its theme. High Speed Dirt and Psychotron are kinda meh fillers while Captive Honor's narrative like structure and how the song pulls you through it is impressive. To close in a ridiculous high note Ashes In Your Mouth is this sublime mix of heaviness and razor sharp mechanical riffs and beautiful melodies... simply put my favorite track from the album. To sum it up an easy listening album with tons of intensity and quality.
 
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karljant

Ancient Mariner
And at number 6:

The Sick, The Dying... And The Dead!

Well, well, well... Who'd say that after 13 years releasing stuff that overall almost made me yawn Mr. Mustaine could still pull this out of his hat? But let's not get carried away and make one thing clear: this is not the second coming of Rust In Peace by any stretch. But then again I wasn't expecting it to be. And fact is "The Sick, The Dying... And The Dead!" is a pretty solid and fun record with some really great passages. Let me rephrase: not great... some are even superb.

The album starts in a quite sneaky way and, bearing in mind there's some heavier and uptempo thrashier stuff, the title track at first seemed an odd pick to open the whole thing. But the more I listened to it the more I loved its twists and turns (combining various styles within the Megadeth spectrum) and as of now I'm of the opinion it's the best tune from the lot to kickstart this bad boy (plus the guitar solos at the end during the "Die! Die! Die!" part... wow). "Life In Hell" follows and my jaw literally drops to the floor while my eardrums rejoice. Now this kind of track is what I think the band lacked for ages: a vicious thrash attack in your face, yet well built and exciting showing how much of a slam dunk was the hiring of Dirk Verbeuren. As for "Night Stalkers" the band carriesthe same "take no prisoners" frame of mind on and while not being as jaw dropping as its predecessor I still think it's one hell of a track. Plus how can you go wrong when a song features Ice-T describing how f'd up you are? At the beginning of "Dogs Of Chernobyl" the pace changes completely and shows that there's also great slower heavier tunes here with ultra catchy and melodic passages (like the chorus). Near the end the damned thing all of a sudden explodes in an uptempo array of solos and hell driven riffs. What a great array of songs to begin a Megadeth album with.

"Sacrifice" on the other hand features several amazing guitar licks (well... the entire album does) but songwriting wise I consider it to be quite predictable and lacking the energy displayed on the previous tunes. "Junkie" is even less interesting and by now I fear this record is taking a nosedive but the "Psychopathy/ Killing" Time combo is kinda enjoyable early 90'sMegadeth (while being miles away from the first four tracks). "Soldier On" is a bit heavier with its chugging main riff flowing into a pretty cool guitar tapping clad chorus: a really cool song but once again still not on the echelon of the opening section. Almost the same can be said about the retro speed metal like "Célebutante": it has its charm but falls short regarding the record's excellent first quarter. So with just two songs remaining one may ask: how does The Sick, The Dying... And The Dead! closes? On an high note or simply fading out in merely ok tunes?

Well, regarding the first of these two tracks let me address one thing from the get go: WTF are these garbage lyrics????? Really... "Mission To Mars" may as well be Mustaine's worst lyrical content ever. As for the music itself that's a whole different story: this damned thing is absolutely stunning. Mustaine somehow managed to pull the impossible and combine the radio friendly of Trust with the riffage of Hangar 18. Add to this a power pop like super addictive chorus and a brutal final section (that somehow sounds like if the second part "My Last Words" was written for Rust In Peace) and you'll get a song that's nothing short of superb (those lyrics though...). "We'll Be Back" returns to the old school thrash metal pounding done with as much simplicity as accuracy and man... this tune rules: filled with adrenaline and a beast of a closer.

To sum it up "The Sick, The Dying... And The Dead!" offered me six superb tunes and a couple more enjoyable ones. And even regarding the remaining ones there's nothing here that's truly mediocre at all. Instead it's due to the fact the highlights being so great that they're almost transformed into "skip it" material. Welcome back Megadeth. I missed you. 7.75/10
 
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karljant

Ancient Mariner
5- The System Has Failed: A few years after Mustaine's capability to even continue to play was at stake, the dude invites Poland once again and turns back the clock while mingling it with some more laid back late Megadeth material. Blackmail The Universe brings immediately that thrash like political/ apocalyptic feel to it both lyric and music wise... what a behemoth of an opener! And this kind of reinvention of their edgier stuff is spread throughout the album in many hues. It makes no difference if it is the absolutely perfect heavy as hell speedster Kick The Chair (my favorite), the slow grind combo Shadows Of Deth/ My Kingdom or the more Heavy/Speed metal oriented one in I Know Jack/ Back In The Day.. this is all great quality and solid as hell heavy material. On the other hand more personal and melodic stuff such as Die Dead Enough, The Scorpion and Of Mice And Men are intense exercises on composition skill maturity and insanely great tunes... really, the quality on these 3 songs is absurd. And hell, even the uncompromising rock groove on Something That I'm Not gets me going. The remaining two songs are kinda meh but among so much quality stuff who cares? Huge comeback of a band I thought was lost forever.

4- Peace Sells... But Who's Buying?: Starting with a weird display of technical accuracy and schizophrenic heaviness in Wake Up Dead (that makes any of the band's debut songs look like linear and simple stuff) this classic only truly begins to reveal its monstrous face on the brutal The Conjuring. And if it's true the guys slowed things a tad bit, this song sounds 1000 times heavier, tighter and darker than anything they've done to date... simply put, overall The Conjuring puts the bar much higher than the already excellent first album. The title track follows and here Mustaine shows for the first time how to make a somewhat accessible track that mingles easy listening hooks with heaviness and a epic, thrash the hell out of this place section. A classic and undeniably one of the band's best compositions ever. Must confess I'm not a big fan of Devil's Island but it still makes me bang my head so I think it's ok. Good Mourning/ Black Friday and Bad Omen are both these sinister and weird epic build up that stars with clean guitar and solos till it starts growing in intensity until it reaches unbelievable degrees of complexity and energy. The great thing in Megadeth is that this escalation, while noticeable is far from being linear but filled with labyrinthic twists and turns while always finding its way out of a seemingly unsolvable maze. And don't forget that at the time no one had thread such complex paths in Thrash. We're then distracted by an absolutely avoidable and out of place Willie Dixon cover as the album closes to what I consider to be it's zenith in the absolutely perfect My Last Words. This song has it all: fury, feeling, intensity, drama, technical awesomeness... wow... just WOW! So to be fair I always considered this one to be a great, classic album with iconic, more straight forward moments (Peace Sells, The Conjuring, My Last Words) going along truly intricate and sinister stuff never seen before on these shores that overall almost eclipsed their already great debut album. And as far as I'm concerned when new ground is thread and it sounds amazing we're truly on the presence of something reaaaaallly special.

3- Endgame: No words can describe my reaction the first time I listened to this beast. Jaw dropping is perhaps the best image. Dialectic Chaos is a monster of an epic instrumental intro with insane soloing followed by a bellicose onslaught in This Day We Fight, a song that's a severe threat to your cervical health such is the ferocity it brings to the table. Furthermore this is so great it resembles the iconic Into The Lungs Of Hell/ Set The World Afire combo and I'll go even far: it matches it. And this masterpiece of a record keeps on amazing me with 44 Minutes: much more contained in regards of heaviness but intense to the core featuring some addictive as hell melodies. 1,320' follows and man... another blast from the past. Simple, straight to your throat material reviving the teenager in me. Bite The Hand keeps the same pace and although not as tight as the previous yet this sounds glorious, exciting and although it's an old recipe it still has this refreshing taste that a guy 25 years after his first record can still pull off and that's nothing short of amazing. Endgame is a bit on the same spirit but, while still good and exciting not that breath taking. Keeping up with the thrash metal stuff there's Head Crusher. And man this is not just another blast from the past sounding absolutely refreshing. No, no, no, no... This is simply a new level on Megadeth's intensity and heaviness. This is truly savage! The guitar work is insane and the riffage on this bastard is as aggressive as we saw Mustaine ever getting. Simply put one of the man's best displays while combining strength, speed, virtuoso and adrenaline. As for the few remaining tracks they're truly more contained and easy listening with even the inclusion of a fairly decent "ballad". But even regarding these songs, How The Story Ends is a really well put together track and I can't help but end up this overview by praising the awesomeness of a tune that is The Right To Go Insane. Make no mistake... Endgame is one of those anomalies. A record so good coming out so late in a cornerstone metal act's career is something we rarely witness.

2- So Far, So Good... So What!: This record was my induction to the band. Wandering through apocalyptic, evil to the core yet deeply politic landscapes the ambiance on this thing is grim. I won't even repeat myself saying how jaw dropping great is the opening combo of Into The Lungs Of Hell/ Set The World Afire but the tone it sets is truly breath taking. Anarchy In The UK follows and it's quite a meh version (several years later the band would do a way better work with Problems). It wouldn't bother me the slightest if it would be shoved deeper in the track list, though. Mary Jane is also a great tune and 502 is adrenaline pumping to the maximum. Then comes In My Darkest Hour: one of the band's most iconic moments as well as one of my favorite tracks by far. It's easy to understand why but let's just be over simplistic and say this masterpiece displays a multitude of genres with all of them being penned flawlessly (not to mention the lyrics). Liar is wicked and brutal as hell (dedicated to Poland who stole stuff and lied to the band to buy heroin) and what better way to end this monster than with the sinister state of the art that is the PMRC diatribe on Hook In Mouth? Perhaps the reason I rate this album this high is because it was the first record I heard from Megadeth when it came out. Or perhaps it's because its ambiance is absolutely unique, the songs sound nastier, heavier and angrier than everything the band as ever done without losing an inch of musical craft (in some cases even widening it) and, apart from the Sex Pistols cover everything ranks between great and perfect. Absolute classic and the band's best record... if it wasn't that one we all know.

1- Rust In Peace: You know what? Why waste time writing how phenomenal this album is? It's a mere exercise in redundancy. Let me just address a couple of points to put things in perspective. Along with Reign In Blood I consider this to be the best record in Thrash history. Then what to say about a record where Five Magics or Lucretia are perhaps your "worst" songs (while being truly gorgeous tracks)? And how about some songs that are often forgotten such is the quality of its vicinity like Polaris, Poison (Was The Cure) or one of my favorites from the album: Take No Prisoners? Plus Holy wars, Tornado Of Souls...? Man this record is such a mind blower it's useless to carry on: let's just say "Rust In Peace" and drop the mic. See ya.
 
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MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
And at number 6:

Plus how can you go wrong when a song features Ice-T describing how f'd up you are?
I would argue you could, and they did, go very, very wrong.
Well, regarding the first of these two tracks let me address one thing from the get go: WTF are these garbage lyrics????? Really... "Mission To Mars" may as well be Mustaine's worst lyrical content ever. As for the music itself that's a whole different story: this damned thing is absolutely stunning. Mustaine somehow managed to pull the impossible and combine the radio friendly of Trust with the riffage of Hangar 18. Add to this a power pop like super addictive chorus and a brutal final section (that somehow sounds like if the second part "My Last Words" was written for Rust In Peace) and you'll get a song that's nothing short of superb (those lyrics though...).
I truly don't understand how folks can enjoy Mission to Mars. The voice-acting, the "I wanna, wanna", the endless dialogue at the end...I would immediately rate it as one of the top 5 worst songs in the entire discography. I legitimately think it's trash. If the music was as amazing as many folks say it is, Dave wouldn't have covered it up with inane voice FX. Or he maybe he would, because as we've seen, he makes some terrible decisions sometimes.
 

karljant

Ancient Mariner
I'm also glad to see you rank TSHF so highly, as I very much agree. Once again, however, we have polar opposite thoughts on SFSGSW, which I think is one of the sloppiest, most immature, and poorly produced records in Dave's catalog.
Poorly produced I agree. But then again so is KIMBABIG and that doesn't make me love it any less.
I would argue you could, and they did, go very, very wrong.
Of course it's a tongue in cheek remark. But given the ambiance... it even mingles quite a bit.
I truly don't understand how folks can enjoy Mission to Mars.
It's indeed a mystery... :p
The voice-acting, the "I wanna, wanna"
As I said before I think all those elements are atrocious. :D
the endless dialogue at the end
Now this along with the growing tension the music conveys is a whole different story.
If the music was as amazing as many folks say it is, Dave wouldn't have covered it up with inane voice FX.
It's not the first time, nor the second, nor the third... And to be fair I think it surpasses at least the dozen of times Dave uses this on his songs.
would immediately rate it as one of the top 5 worst songs in the entire discography. I legitimately think it's trash.
Good. I don't. :)
 

karljant

Ancient Mariner
That being said heres' my "Warheads For Foreheads 2022" (TSTD...ATD! songs included):

  1. Loved To Deth
  2. Killing Is My Business... And Business is Good
  3. The Conjuring
  4. Peace Sells
  5. My Last Words
  6. Into The Lungs Of Hell/ Set The World Afire
  7. In My Darkest Hour
  8. Hook In Mouth
  9. Holy Wars... The Punishment Due
  10. Hangar 18
  11. Take No Prisoners
  12. Tornado Of Souls
  13. Polaris
  14. Skin O' My Teeth
  15. Symphony Of Destruction
  16. Ashes In Your Mouth
  17. Reckoning Day
  18. Train Of Consequences
  19. Trust
  20. The Disintegrators
  21. Vortex
  22. FFF
  23. Insomnia
  24. Enter The Arena/ Crush 'Em
  25. Return To Hangar
  26. Blackmail The Universe
  27. Kick The Chair
  28. Never Walk Alone
  29. Gears Of War
  30. Dialectic Chaos/ This Day We Fight
  31. 44 Minutes
  32. Head Crusher
  33. The Right To Go Insane
  34. Public Enemy Number 1
  35. Kingmaker
  36. Fatal Illusion
  37. The Sick, The Dying... And The Dead!
  38. Life In Hell
  39. Mission To Mars (alternate lyrics version :D)
  40. We'll Be Back
 
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MindlessPieces

Educated Fool
My ranking of Megadeth
Rust in Peace
Countdown to Extinction
Youthanasia
Peace Sells
Cryptic Writings
<a gap>
So far so good
<a gap>
The sick the dying and the dead
<a gap>
Risk

<below the threshold of wanting these on my iPod>
All the rest, can't distinguish between them, they are all just on the scrap heap
 
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