Harry Hartney Lyrics
If you were expecting a Megadeth album today, enjoy their historic brilliance instead
Formed from Dave Mustaine’s dusty departure from Metallica in 1983, Megadeth reached Mount Rushmore of thrash metal. Mustaine and bassist David Ellefson have combined technically sound and intricate guitar work, speed and, ultimately, talk of death to create some of the greatest works in thrash metal and the metal genre in general.
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Heralded as one of the most cohesive bands in metal, Megadeth’s main competition came from its other peers within the “Big Four” of metal: Anthrax, Slayer, Metallica. The large number of studio albums produced by the band could perhaps give them a slight advantage over their opponents, Megadeth having 15 (if you include Risk), Anthrax 12, Slayer 11 and Metallica 10. In addition to this, the thrash band is releasing a sixteenth project, titled The sick, the dying… and the dead! due out in september
What is clear to Megadeth is that the spirit of Mustaine is imbued with the band, so much so that they have gone through some 19 starts, not counting the 40 odd session members who have contributed over the past 39 years. . The fact that – despite their infamous and notorious instability – Megadeth have continued to create consistently superb work is remarkable. Mustaine’s dynamism is what gave Megadeth the ability to reach the heights of rust in peace and Peace sells… but who buys?.
Of course, Mustaine was not alone in this endeavor. Some of Megadeth’s finest work comes from the combination of great musicians he has brought together. Highlights include Marty Friedman, who was with the band during perhaps their commercially dominant heyday, 1990-2000. Hired as lead guitarist, Friedman stole the show on songs like ‘Tornado of Souls’, ‘Hangar 18’ and ‘The Killing Road’, with epic, jaw-dropping solos that he builds to perfection. Dave Ellefson, despite the recent controversy, has written some brilliant bass lines, the most famous of which is “Holy Wars.” This technical masterpiece was coined by the former Megadeth bassist as his “everything I ever learned about the bass riff!” “.
Of course, Megadeth’s famous early 1990s film series rust in peace, Countdown to power off, and Youth is one of the three most legendary albums not only in metal but in music in general. It was also their most successful period commercially, with rust in peace peaking at number 23 on the US charts, Countdown to power off to narcotic #2, and Youth at 4 o’clock. Considering the weight of the influence of Megadeth’s first three albums (Killing is my business… and business is good!, Peace sells… but who buys? and So far, so good… So what?) pioneering and establishing thrash metal as a genre and a movement, this series of three albums could easily be expanded to six.
It’s also crucial to note the warm critical reception the band has achieved over time. Megadeth received 12 Grammy nominations, including one for Best Metal Performance in 2017 for “Dystopia.” For renowned Japanese monthly heavy metal music magazine Burnn!, the combined efforts of Dave Mustaine and Megadeth dominated, with a total of eleven awards received. Burned! Awards won by Megadeth include Best Group of the Year and Mustaine Best Songwriter of the Year in 1992, as well as Best Live Performance in Japan in 2007. With 50 million records sold worldwide, the Megadeth’s success is indisputable.
While Megadeth and Dave Mustaine have had their fair share of controversy throughout their careers, their political influence within their music is certainly important to note. One of the best examples of this is the song “Countdown to Extinction”, the title track from the band’s acclaimed 1993 studio album. “Countdown to Extinction”, which focuses on animal welfare issues, received the Humane Society’s Genesis Prize.
Considering the reach, range, influence and technical skill involved in Megadeth’s music, it certainly isn’t absurd to consider them one of the best thrash metal bands of all time, if not the best. With Dave Mustaine now arguably the face of metal, the power of a live Megadeth show still hasn’t waned, dominating arenas around the world. It is worth noting the famous Argentinian song of “Symphony of Destruction” which has toured the world: “MEGADETH, MEGADETH, AGUANTE MEGADETH”.
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