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Everybody knows the story of Dave Mustaine in Metallica, his departing, the quarrels etc. though there are some secrets and unexplained reasons in my opinion. When he formed his own band, Megadeth, things were a bit difficult for them since many thought he was to blame for what had happened and that he was a nasty character. But that didn’t stop him. Shortly after, Megadeth debut was released with the inspired title Killing is my Business…and Business is Good! The skull on the cover appeared in later albums as well.
Their first attempt possessed all the elements of a thrash metal album: rage, speed and irritating mood. It contains eight primitive compositions dedicated to the blood-thirsty god of speed/thrash who at that time had many demands. The quality of the music was quite good considering the facts but was not supported by the awful, lousy production. I could say that Killing… continues from where Kill ‘Em All left off. It is rough, speed metal, full of nervous riffs and solos and Mustaine’s weird vocals. The truth is that he chose to sing only because he had to. So, we should not have many expectations from this album. Let’s just settle to the fact that it serves the art of headbanging very well and lets out a great amount of energy.
The opening song, Last Rites/Loved to Death begins with a strange piano intro but speeds up with fast riffs and a mood to kick you in the ass. None of the musicians is a virtuoso but who needs technique, we are not talking progressive here but mad-thrashing metal. Surely this one is a song that stands out. As for Mustaine’s vocals, you’ll either love them or hate them! It would have been better if they had just waited a little longer to find a proper singer to fit the songs.
The self-titled one is also very good, exposing once again their will to kill through their music and not feed your head with melodies and complicated stuff. The fast guitars, smashing simple drumming and angry singing are found in each and every song of this album. The speedy tempos leave you no time to breathe and grab you from the neck. Still, as said before, the songs asphyxiate due to the poor production and that’s too bad for compositions like Rattlehead that could have been so much better. There is also Mechanix, a song based on the structure of The Four Horsemen, but with a blacker mood and feeling. However the cover of Nancy Sinatra’s These Boots is a very bad choice and very bad played as well.
Summing-up, Megadeth do a pretty decent work, killing every sense of melody and harmony in their music. Killing… is not a bad album at all but it lacks something. Maybe they needed to have paid more attention during the song-writing until some new ideas had come up. Another disadvantage is that many people make the mistake to compare it with Mettalica’s debut which is very unjust for Megadeth who only want to play good music for their future fans. The controversy that started from the very beginning mostly harmed them. Still the future looks good and that was proved a year later. Their fans surely possess their debut. The rest should definitely check it out if you like noisy metal.