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Yes another one. As much as I love Megadeth, this has to stop. Dave must really be pressed for cash or something. Not only has he re-released and remastered the entire back catalog, which were horrible next to the originals, he dumps another "Greatest Hits" album on us. So far, we have "Capitol Punishment", "Back to the Start", and the "Warchest". Three is already too many for any band to have, but apparently Dave doesn't think so. As such, we now have "Set the World Afire", a two disc greatest hits compilation that includes songs from the beginning up to Ellefson's departure. This is a positive for me as, even though I enjoy the new Megadeth albums, after Ellefson left it was really just a Dave Mustaine solo project under the Megadeth name. The other positive thing about this release is that "Killing is my Business" was not shafted, although only two tracks were included. "Killing is my Business" is my third favorite Megadeth album, behind "Peace Sells" and "Rust in Peace" respectively, and I'm very pleased with the album's inclusion. The last positive comment it is possible to make are the live bits from 1992. This should be enough to excite any serious Megadeth fan, as anything featuring the Mustaine/Friedman/Ellefson/Menza lineup live are few and far between. It also somehow manages to be the best Megadeth compilation so far, outside the "Warchest."
As much as I would like to keep the positive comments rolling, it is here that I can go no further. What you have read above is not enough to keep me from giving a bad review. First off, all the songs are the remixed and remastered versions. If you are a big enough Megadeth fan, you should know why this is a problem. Dave practically ruined these classics when he remixed the albums, but including them on a "Greatest Hits" compilation is going a little too far. This is the second compilation of the 2004 remixes, and by now it is pretty apparent Dave is forcing us to accept these mixes as the standard. The problem is that anyone new to the band will probably start here and assume this is how these tracks are supposed to sound. The only thing I know to compare this to is George Lucas and Star Wars. There was nothing wrong with the original movies, but Lucas insisted they were not good enough and edited the hell out of them. The basic elements remained, but something was seriously wrong. The fans of the originals were horrified and newcomers didn't know any better, not realizing how much was destroyed. The same goes for these remixed tracks. The basic elements of the originals are there, but enough was changed to make them not sit quite right with longtime fans.
Another complaint I have with this offering is the track selection themselves. The bulk of the material here, is heavily focused on 90's Megadeth. Obviously this would be the case, as this is a "hits" album after-all, but still I find myself quite disappointed. Only nine tracks of the thirty-five are from the pre-"Rust in Peace" albums, and only four tracks are from "Rust in Peace". Not only this, but three of the included songs are fucking demos. Seriously, demos do not belong on an album such as this. Hell, they don't really belong anywhere, as most people listen to them once and never listen to them again afterwards. Why put demos when you could just include the actual studio album recordings. One thing I'm just confused about is fact "Crush 'em" was omitted. I'm not complaining because I don't like "Risk" anyway, but you would think the song would be featured on such an album. Even though this collection spans 2 discs, It offers nothing new. Sure you get what you expect, maybe a little less, but nothing more. It scrapes by with the bare minimum and is pretty expensive as well. I can't see why anyone would want to spend 30 bucks on this. You could just as easily buy 3 used studio albums for that price. "Anthology: Set the World Afire" should have been titled "Half-Assed Attempt: Dave Takes a Piss on the Fans". This whole collection and the way it is put together, apart from it being the fourth compilation, was just an obvious attempt at making Mr. Mustaine a quick buck. You don't even get what you pay for in the long run. Remember when I said this was the best compilation? Well that wasn't really saying much because the other ones were so shitty they somehow make this one seem acceptable.
In conclusion, Megadeth fans should really stay away from this album. If you are a long time follower of the band, I suggest you burn your own "Greatest Hits" CD for yourself since you probably own the original discs. You will save money and you will be much more pleased with the result. As for people wanting to get into Megadeth, I suggest tracking down the original albums, as they are far better and well worth the money. I feel as though I am being a bit generous with the rating; however, I give this a 50 for the live bits, the inclusion of "Killing is my Business" tracks, and the fact this is the best Megadeth compilation thus far, even though that doesn't mean much.