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Since 'Hidden Treasures' is comprised of Megadeth music that has never officially been on an album, I will treat it as an album and not a compilation. This might make things slightly unfair, but Dave Mustaine decided it'd be a good idea to gather these songs and put them together, so I should be able to judge his work, be it on an official release or not.
The track order seems a little weird at first; why it both starts and ends with covers I have no idea. Again, I know that since this wasn't an official album, there wasn't quite as much effort put into this sort of thing, but it would've made more sense for the covers to be towards the end of the album, as it means you'd immediately get some new Megadeth to listen to. That aside, the covers themselves are done safely, but efficiently and benefit from great production and a solid performance.
So, onto the originals, I can see why some of these were left out of official albums; 'Angry Again' is Megadeth trying too hard to be heavy and ends up sounding like a bad Pantera song and 'Diadems', while quite passionate, doesn't really lead to anywhere and isn't very memorable except the opening guitar line. 'Breakpoint', however is the thrashiest Megadeth song since 'Rust In Peace' ended, which makes sense as it was a Japanese bonus track on 'Countdown To Extinction', when Megadeth were turning away from thrash metal. The other two songs, '99 Ways To Die' and 'Go To Hell' are also worth hearing and should've appeared officially on an album. There seems to be one style present throughout the album here, and that is mid-paced 'British Steel'-esque heavy metal, which surprisingly suits Megadeth very well considering Dave Mustaine's unique vocal style.
To summarise, this album is hardly an essential purchase; you can get better songs from every album Megadeth made before releasing this and if you've been collecting Megadeth albums, singles etc. then you probably already are in possession of most of these tracks. If you haven't heard these songs though, don't buy this unless you really want to own Megadeth's whole discography, as you may be disappointed by a few songs (which means a lot for an album that isn't even half an hour).
Dave Mustaine’s militia had sprung up many surprises in the early to mid 90s, a trend that just carried on till the end of the 20th century. Rust in Peace was their finest hour where they really got their act together to release one of the finest thrash metal albums of all time. The follow up Countdown to Extinction was where they got more mainstream recognition helped heavily by the massive radio play and extensive MTV exposure by virtue of their videos. Youthanasia on the other hand was where they bridged the gap between thrash and power metal to release a very steady album.
At the same time they were writing tracks for many movies back then that have become of cult status now. Finding those soundtracks could be quite a trouble and purchasing them for a few good songs worsens all the effort. Megadeth rescued the whole world from all the unnecessary digging by creating a compilation of all those otherwise unreleased tracks, simply known as “Hidden Treasures” and I must admit that I’m thoroughly grateful to them.
What really sparked my interest in this compilation was the fact that the catchy song called “Go to Hell” from the second installment of the “Bill and Ted” series was present on it. The lineup is the same since Rust in Peace and all the musicians seem to be in fine form. Mustaine also sounds better and seems to utilize his limited singing abilities to the fullest without going off key at any point. It’s hard to call this a total thrash metal album as it’s not as full blooded as the band used to be, but having said there are many pure thrash riffs to be found here and there. The production to me sounds very similar to “Countdown to Extinction”, so yeah there are no complaints there.
The track selection is fairly good and most of the songs are very well written indeed. There are loads of catchy riffs and well timed solos spread throughout the compilation courtesy of Mustaine and Friedman, whereas the bass and drum fills by Ellefson and Menza respectively are done in a very tasteful manner. The Alice Cooper cover is not bad at all and is probably one of the better covers I’ve ever heard. “Break Point” has some really interesting riffs but the mid section slowdown for those spoken verses was not required really. As for “Go To Hell”, I simply can’t get enough of this song no matter how hard I try.
The best song to me has to be “99 Ways To Die” that is pure thrash metal bringing to mind their R.I.P days while the weakest link is the weirdly average “Angry Again” on the godly OST of that ironically retarded Arnie flick. The other interesting composition is the groovily eerie “Diadems” that contains some beautifully haunting clean guitars and good hooks making it another strong track. The other two covers are decent, nothing great about them.
The only problem with this compilation is the length of it. It lasts for as little as under 30 minutes. Now for a random metal head who tries to saves up all the dimes to purchase an album, it might be a difficult choice for him to pick this up at a record store. As for a Megadeth completist or someone who likes good heavy metal, this would make a fine hear and as much as the title says its better to uncover these treasures before its too late or god forbid, the release goes out of print. Cash grabber or not, its none of my concern, the music is good!!!!
Even though this release didn't come out until 1995 and technically isn't a Megadeth album, the songs that are present on this compilation showcase what may have been the peak of Megadeth's career both critically and commercially. Not only did guitarist Marty Friedman and drummer Nick Menza prove to be a great fit after the release of "Rust In Peace," the band itself manage to successfully weather the time's grunge takeover and remained in high demand on all sorts of movie soundtracks and tribute albums. This compilation showcases the interesting results of their outside-album endeavors...
In my opinion, the exclusive original songs are what really make this compilation worth hunting down. While most of these songs would still sound somewhat out of place on "Rust in Peace" or "Countdown to Extinction," they are excellently written and even show a bit of the evolution that had taken place between those two efforts. "Breakpoint" is an excellent thrasher that was no doubt an influence on future songs like "Kick the Chair," "Go to Hell" and "Diadems" are both darker numbers with menacing lyrics, and "99 Ways to Die" is an upbeat track with a memorable hook during the chorus that hints at the "Youthanasia" album on occasion. My favorite song on the collection is none other than "Angry Again;" it is one of the greatest Megadeth songs ever written and features a bouncy main riff and an infectious chorus.
On the other hand, the cover songs are where this collection shows its weakest points. That is not to say that these songs are poorly performed, they just sound rather elementary when compared to the successful originals on here. Their cover of Alice Cooper's "No More Mr. Nice Guy" is rather sloppy in execution but is made amusing by Dave Mustane's probably drunken banter, a somewhat forced guitar chug and strange vocals (compared to Ozzy's original performance) make their cover of "Paranoid" rather average (though Mustaine's yelling at Menza at the end is pretty funny), and their cover of the Sex Pistols' "Problems" is ultimately forgettable due to a slight lack of attitude. On the bright side, the latter song kicks the crap out of their version of "Anarchy in the UK..."
Ultimately, this is an interesting compilation with essential originals and some decent cover songs. Track it down if you can find it. I'll be adding "Angry Again" to the list of songs that I want to cover sometime in my life...
1) Excellently written original songs
2) Takes a look at the evolution between "Rust In Peace" and "Countdown to Extinction"
3) Humorous moments do make the covers enjoyable
1) The covers' execution is somewhat elementary
2) The originals' lyrics can sound a little generic here and there
My Current Favorites:
"Breakpoint," "Go to Hell," "Angry Again," "99 Ways to Die," and "Diadems"
With song titles like No More Mr. Nice Guy, Breakpoint, Go To Hell, Angry Again, 99 Ways to Die, and Problems, you'd probably think that this was a very dark CD. But in actuality, while the lyrics are at times somewhat serious, the music remains fairly light-hearted and fun throughout.
This EP came out in 1995, but most of the original material had been written and published years before, giving the material more of a Countdown to Extinction sound, rather than the post-Youthanasia someone might expect based on the year of release. It's true that none of the songs are metal masterpieces; most of the songs were made for movie soundtracks, so they have a commercialized slant to them. Having said that, the music on this EP isn't anywhere near a Risk level of commercialism, or a Youthanasia level of passivity. Most of the songs have a solid, metallic, even sometimes aggressive quality to them.
99 Ways to Die is definitely the best song on the album, staying fairly aggressive throughout, having a catchy chorus, and having the most memorable lyrics on the album. None of the other Megadeth originals are terrible, though they are something of a mixed bag. Breakpoint has some good guitar work, though it doesn't quite reach it's potential. Angry Again is a fairly run-of-the-mill, mid-paced song, though I wouldn't call it filler. Diadems is one of the more unique songs that Megadeth have done, with something akin to a groove metal riff in the middle of the song. Go To Hell is also a mid-paced metal song, but it has a certain evil charm to it that puts it above many of the other tracks on the album.
When it comes to the rest of the songs... well, Megadeth have never been particularly good at covers, and what you get here isn't any better than the covers on earlier LP's. The Alice Cooper and Black Sabbath covers aren't bad, they're just stale. The cover of the song Problems, on the other hand, is just plain terrible.
This album isn't really going to get you banging your head, but as a short EP it can be a fun listen every once in a while.
This was one of my earliest MegaDeth purchases, and also one of my most frugal ones at that, as I would have had to buy 7 different soundtracks/compilations in order to get them all. People call this Mustaine's cash grabber, seeing as I saved a ton of cash by getting it, I'm going to refer to it as his cash-saver.
There isn't a bad song on here, and to state for the record, I hate the fucking sex pistols. I'm sorry, I was a pretty steady punk fan in the early 90s, but I never got into the noise these guys put out. "Problems" is probably the weakest of the tracks on here, but it's alot of fun and Dave's vocals keep it interesting.
There are alot of fond memories attached to the individual songs on here. I remember a few weeks ago watching "Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey" with my band's bassist, and remembering the classic MegaDeth song that played when they were sent to hell by Bill's hot yet flaky stepmom. Not to mention the fun yet often ridiculed film version of "Super Mario Brothers", and the high speed thrasher "Breaking Point". Great leads on that one by the way. I remember "Shocker" scaring the hell out of me, although "No More Mr. Nice Guy" is probably the least scary song on here. And the most musically intricate song on the Beavis and Butthead experience "99 ways to die". Love those classical guitar fills on that one, not to mention the unforgettable main riff. They're remake of "Paranoid", which is on probably one of the weakest Black Sabbath tributes I've ever heard, is par for the course, although I did like Marty Friedman's more technically extravagant solo.
However, my all time favorite track on here is "Diadems", by well over a mile I might add. It's one of the slower songs on here, but it has an awesome quiet intro that reminds me a tiny bit of Dokken actually. DemonKnight, the movie it appeared on, is in my top 5 favorite horror/action movies of all time, not to mention the top notch soundtrack (minus the goofy Pantera song).
I was frosted beyond measure to find out that this CD has been taken out of print, because these songs will be extremely difficult to get a hold of, if not impossible in the case of some. Most of the movies that they appeared on were not very successful in their time, although "Shocker" has achieved a sort of cult status amongst horror movie fans. If you can find either on Ebay, or some other second hand website or store, it would be well worth the money.
The first Megadeth album I ever heard was Rust In Peace and after that I considered myself a Megadeth fan until Risk was released, when I finally gave up about the band. It means that I enjoy Youthanasia (a lot) and Cryptic Writings, in spite of all the difference between those albums (the post-RIP era) and the earlier ones (the pre-RIP era). Hidden Treasures was released between Youthanasia and Cryptic Writings, but as a compilation of singles and b-sides it has songs from earlier different periods. The first track, the cover for Alice Cooper's “No More Mr. Nice Guy”, is a pretty nice song and it was a sign that Megadeth was alive after the split-up of recent gathered line-up that recorded So Far, So Good… So What! It's a kind of funny uncompromising song and there's a nice video-clip for it with that atmosphere from the 80's.
"Breakpoint", the next track, is a song from the Countdown to Extinction era, and if you ask me it's a fucking great song! technical fast guitar riffs, fast and diverse drumming, angry vocals... forgetting about the singles of Countdown to Extinction, “Symphony of Destruction” or “Sweating Bullets”, which most people are already tired of, “Breakpoint” is as good as any of the higher points of the album like “Ashes in you Mouth”, “Psychotron” or “Captive Honor”. "Go to Hell" is an earlier song, from '91, and some say Mustaine used the some pray one can hear in Metallica's “Enter Sandman”, but I don't know since both songs were released in the same year and they have nothing in common besides the prayer, it can be just coincidence... The song is nice, not as good as the previous one in my opinion, but still a really good song, with nice guitar solos and riffs. And it reminds me Bill and Ted, a funny movie, as the song was recorded for its soundtrack.
"Angry Again" is quite well known since Megadeth plays it live since the Countdown to Extinction promotion tour and was still playing during the Cryptic Writings tour at least. It's a classic Megadeth song, probably too melodic for thrash, but still a great song, with a killer chorus. Ok, now comes "99 Ways to Die" which seems to be everyone's fave song from the album. It's actually pretty good, a great speed metal typical Megadeth song with angry Mustaine singing like only he does, a good riff that sounds really in the vein of earlier Megadeth stuff and nice acoustic interventions with solos that, as someone has observed in another review, reminds the clean guitar solo on Holy Wars, but in a completely different context here. Both “Angry Again” and “99 Ways to Die” are songs from '93 and they are as good (and even better sometimes) as any song of Countdown to Extinction - they are still related more to Countdown than to Youthanasia, as the last has a more peculiar atmosphere.
"Paranoid", recorded for a tribute to Black Sabbath, is kind of nice to hear just to see how it would sound if played by Megadeth, but their version for Black Sabbath’s “Never Say Die” for the second part of this tribute is more interesting in my opinion since “Paranoid” is the kind of song one get tired of fast after listening sometimes – and it was played MANY times. Marty's solo on the song sounds great anyway. "Diadems" is my favorite song of the album. It starts in a very atmospheric way with acoustic guitars and then it gets heavier and Mustaine's vocal interpretation is angry and quite dramatic... suddenly there's a break and then comes a fucking good thrash metal riff which is one of the best Megadeth riffs ever! A guitar lead follows and then the heavy atmosphere from the beginning comes back to the scene before the song ends... you may not agree but for me this song is perfect and one of the best Megadeth ever recorded. It's from '94, but I don't think it fits in Youthanasia at all, and that's why it's not in the album probably.
The last song is another cover, it was supposed to be the Sex Pistols cover to figure in So Far, So Good... but it was a good decision to use “Anarchy in the UK instead” of “Problems” because “Problems” that appear in Hidden Treasures isn't as good - actually it's quite boring... in my opinion the less interesting song of the album.
I think the b-sides in this cd are all good enough to be in a Megadeth original full-length album, what makes this compilation album something really worth and interesting. It would be perfect if other killer Megadeth b-sides as Crown of Worms and New World Order were also included, not instead of the less interesting songs which are the two last covers, but as extra songs, since the album is kind of short, 30 minutes only. I would tell anyone who is into Megadeth until Countdown to Extinction or Youthanasia to get this album 'cause it's really worth it.
This is not as bad as some may think...actually it's pretty good. Mustaine and his team (the best, with Friedman and Menza) made some pretty decent versions and released some of their best original songs, some of them just B-sides from other singles, and made a really precious hidden treasure to be discovered by any worthy Megadeth or metal fan...
There are some good covers over here. Worth checking out. "No More Mr. Nice Guy" is a three piece band played song (they still didn't had Friedman, and they were looking for another guitar player...) from Alice Cooper. A really 80ish song but with some catchy riffs and a contagious rhythm. "Paranoid" is the more than well deserved tribute to the masters of heavy metal (you know who they are...). Well, everybody had played Black Sabbath's songs, so this was Megadeth's turn, and although not being bad, it stayed too sticked to the original version, but in this one drummer Nick Menza just didn't wanted to stop play...he just didn't (hear it...). "Problems" is the black sheep on this record. It's just what Megadeth just shouldn't have played. I mean, "Anarchy" was good, but another Sex Pistols cover??? Give me a break!! Plz... This one it's not even enough to put you headbanging...this is pure punk...ARGGGHH!!
Then he have the brilliant original Megadeth's songs like the fast and edge cutting "Breakpoint", the thick and crunchy "Go to Hell" with a great guitar tone..."Angry Again" is an excellent song, very melodic and still managing to have some cool riffs. "99 Ways to Die" kicks some severe ass being probably one of the best songs in here along with "Diadems", a brilliant song with some of the best Mustaine riffs ever. A song that could have been in the "Youthanasia" album very easily.
This probably was a money grabber, I can't deny it, but I also cannot deny that the quality of Mustaine's work is superb (except some of the covers...) in here. This was what he can now regard as the farewell gift of the real metallish Megadeth to their fans before they started jumping into more commercial battlegrounds...
Worthy item to get...No doubt about it. Try to get this one instead of "The World Needs a Hero" or even "Cryptic Writings". Well I think I don't have to say anything about "Risk" in comparison to this...