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Greatest Thrash Album - 100%

StainedClass95, July 27th, 2014

For my taste, this is the greatest thrash album of all time. This might seem bizarre to some, but this is the one that registers with me the most. Peace Sells is also the album that got me into Megadeth. This has great riffs, an excellent vibe, very good instrumentation, and good lyrics.

This is a great collection of riffs, probably Mustaine's best. Some have stated that the previous album had a greater variety of riffs, but I'm uncertain. Even if it did, there are more great riffs on this than Killing. Compared to Rust In Peace, these riffs are of a very different nature. Those riffs were of a very technical variety. These riffs thrive off a frantic feel. On songs like the Conjuring, song that got me into the band, the riffing has this intense feel as though they could lose control at any moment. Usually the technical variety would do more for me, but I prefer the frantic on here. Most of these are written by Mustaine, but that's pretty much how Megadeth worked back then.

Normally a one-man band like that would get on my nerves, but it is to Mustaine's eternal credit that he didn't demand the spotlight. He gathered talented musicians around him, and he gave them plenty of breathing room. The solos on here are quite good, and I can more easily distinguish between the two. Poland has an interesting style, jazz adapted to metal. It's common for a rhythm section to do that, but not a guitar. As far as I know, there's Iommi, Poland, and Skolnick. I enjoy various amounts by all these guys, and I will say that Poland's jazz-fusion is very interesting in its own right. Gar is also from a fusion background, but it's not as obvious here as it was on the debut. Don't mistake me, his performance on here is still pretty good, but it's a little simpler than what it was. Dave's bass is very audible on here. If you can't hear him, you're not listening. Aside from his classic intro, he has some very good parts on Devil's Island and Black Friday. In general, I'd actually argue that this is his best performance. He might have grown in technique later on, but this is his most enjoyable.

There is still some of the dirtiness found on the debut, but it works better here. The lyrics aren't of the political nature that he would become known for, but they're more serious than the debut. They possess an underlying sense of social discontent, and this is helped by the grimy production and atmosphere. This would be where the punk influence comes in, as much of this was par for the course in punk a mere few years prior. Mustaine's vocals as well likely have punk origins. I could also draw a parallel to Killers, as a punk-informed metal album, and much like that album there are several songs dealing with the streets. Taken as a whole, the vibe is a very aggressive, punky look at the world.

Mentioning influences, this album is as diverse as the previous reviewers have claimed. Some early Maiden is evident on Last Words, Mustaine's vocal delivery hearkens to Henry Rollins, AC/DC influence is detectable from place to place, aspects of the instrumentation retain its fusion origins, and there's some Priest and Sabbath tossed in for good measure. For most bands, this would be a horrific mishmash. On this album, they make it work quite well and consistently. Even the weak song on here, the blues cover, ends up being quite fun and worth hearing.

There is not a thrash album I enjoy more than this one, only one or two even come that close. As far as metal as a whole goes, this is still easily top five. I would honestly say that this is near mandatory to anyone who enjoys any form of metal. Even if punk or hard-rock are more to your liking, there is enough influence visible that the overall quality could push it over for you.

A nice blend of influences. - 94%

SirMetalGinger, March 18th, 2013

Ah, Peace Sells. When this came out, Megadeth was still a fledgling band. To see their career this strong at only their sophomore debut is an impressive feat indeed. Megadeth would go on to a more consistent, thrash sound for their next couple of albums, but here they work with a unique sound that dares to combine elements unheard of in thrash at the time. The blend of sounds and styles makes this an easy standout in the many-headed beast that is Megadeth's catalog.

Production on Peace Sells...But Who's Buying is phenomenal. Keep in mind, at this time Megadeth were still very much an underground band, which doesn't exactly pay the bills. However, this makes Peace Sells' production all the more impressive. Contrast is nice, no sounds are underplayed, the instrumental tones are crisp, and Mustaine's voice sounds as raw as you would want it to be on a classic 'Deth album. Congrats to Dave and Randy on their efforts.

The writing on Peace Sells...But Who's Buying is fantastic. Dave Mustaine tackles the issues head-on in the title cut and the songs that try to be "spooky" or "demonic" actually succeed in an uncommon stroke of luck for Megadeth. Mustaine's singing is just vicious; he sounds ready to bite your head off. Definitely one of his better vocal performances, if not his best.

Instrumentation is lightning fast. Most of it is great and I have to give Chris Poland a shout out for his phenomenal solos, particularly on the title cut, Wake Up Dead, and Good Morning/Black Friday. Samuelson's drumming is fantastic and his fills are absolutely ridiculous. David Ellefson can rarely be heard, but when he gets his chance to shine, he REALLY shines. Mustaine's riffs are adequate, but lack the structure and finesse of Rust In Peace's many memorable cuts. Poland and the rhythm section, however, manage to pick up all of Mustaine's slack and then some.

This is probably Megadeth's most aggressive album (unless you count So Far, So Good...So What as legitimately aggressive and not just stupid) and puts a heavy emphasis on speed. There are lots of different influences here as I noted previously, and I'm going to acknowledge some more of them here. Mustaine's vocals clearly take some cues from the punk rock greats such as Sid Vicious or Henry Rollins. Songs like Bad Omen or Good Morning invoke a Sad Wings of Destiny-era Priest feel, particularly with their sinister, slow-burning opening sections. Unsurprisingly, there's a little Maiden influence noticeable here and there (The Conjuring, especially), but a metal album having Maiden influence goes without saying.

As far as highlights, the album maintains a very fast, thrashy feel, rarely slowing down except for the occasional intro and the swing tempo of their cover of I Ain't Superstitious (probably the album's low point). It's hard to pick highlights when most of the songs sound the same. That's not necessarily a bad thing in this case. Peace Sells is more "consistent" than repetitive. This isn't Megadeth's best, in my opinion, but it is great (an easy second) and the influences were incredibly groundbreaking at the time. If you're looking for essential thrash metal, definitely pick this one up and give it a few listens.

A strange, strange album...yet not...? Somehow... - 90%

MetalSupremacy, December 26th, 2010

Megadeth have always been an odd band for me, and more than a bit of a mixed bag. This was the first album I heard by them, from samples on iTunes, and I'll fully admit this right from the bat: When I first listened to those samples, I thought they were a joke band.

Blasphemy? Perhaps, but only to absurdly obsessive elitist faggots. Or, to be more precise (and fairer), I don't really believe in blasphemy; Metal has no sacred cows. Well, it does, but I couldn't care less, and so to me, they don't exist. A feeling that Megadeth's music, their lyrics, and their vocalist are all a big joke is no more an insult than the overstated (and ridiculously obvious) observations of some metalheads that Metallica have meant nothing since the Black Album. As if, and that's the irony - a lot of those people are simply jealous and angry of Metallica's stunning success in becoming full blown rock stars. Sure they'll deny it, but if you look deep enough, it's there.

Anyway, the point I am trying to make is that whether I believed Megadeth's music was a joke or not at the time was purely arbitrary. Anthrax was often jokey, did that make early classics like Among the Living and Spreading the Disease lame? No. Of course, Megadeth's music isn't a joke, and never has been; putting aside Peace Sells's value as a sacred cow (whether or not to be slaughtered), I fully admit to simply having been ignorant when I first heard the album. Wake Up Dead was, to me, very odd, yet not jokey - just odd. The Conjuring sounded a little like a silly attempt at being evil that, in comparison to Slayer, just didn't work. (I still hold this opinion to this day - more on that later) And the title track? Yeah, that one was an oddball. It was this song, with its not all that heavy riffs and its seemingly jokey vibe, that made me think of Megadeth as a joke band for a while. That was, until I realised the lyrics, despite being sarcastic and snarky, were meant to be taken seriously - I had thought of them as a joke because I'd never heard anything like that in metal before. Previously, it was all either depressing doom metal, brutal thrash, vicious death metal, evil and often raw black metal, or classic metal that I thought of at the time as hard rock (that's for another time). Megadeth were thrash, and they were faster than Metallica, but they weren't brutal like Slayer. They were...well, different.

Some point later, I listened to Rust In Peace, and this...well, again, it was odd. Holy Wars worked for me, but the rest of the album didn't. Again, I had trouble connecting with Megadeth.

Finally, I went back to this album, and this time listened to the songs properly.

My opinion changed entirely.

Put basically, no matter what you may think of him as a vocalist, Dave Mustaine is, in my opinion as well as that of many others, a somewhat twisted, yet definite genius of a man. In fact, a twisted genius may be the best way to describe him, on this album especially, which is crammed full of crazy yet workable ideas that all come together as one to form a classic thrash album. Yet, this isn't typical thrash at all...nothing on the album is. It's all unusual, very unique, in that way that simply stands out, and like so many others places Megadeth amongst the top metal acts of all time as much because of that uniqueness as anything else, if not more.

Wake Up Dead exemplifies this in so many ways. The drum and bass only intro that explodes into...well, odd riffage, with Dave's very odd and, here, very low vocals. Almost like he's whispering, or talking drunkenly. Then this crazy solo kicks in, all the while tempo changes galore have already begun...and we haven't even reached the first memorable riff yet. That's just coming up. As the solo fades out, a new riff begins, eventually shifting into that crushing thrash riff that makes use of Mustaine's unique "Spider Chord" style of guitar playing. It repeats four times, then the ending is altered with more Spider Chords...then comes another tempo change, into something even faster, with another crazy solo played over some riffs that sound like they're in the pentatonic scale, except so fast that it's hard to be absolutely sure. Then the song speeds up even more into truly crushing, windmill worthy speeds, with yet more new riffs, now played atonally! Then a somewhat memorable riff kicks in again under Dave's now more prevalent and obvious vocals...and we see that the song is about being found out by your girlfriend after cheating on her. A joke? Not really, as the song's structure indicates. It's odd, frenetic, even disturbing more than funny.

Suddenly it all stops. Then a crushing drumbeat signals the arrival of a new riff - an angry, vicious, slower riff. A few moments later one of the album's greatest solos begins. This is a real killer, a dark harmonic minor scaled solo with a somewhat middle-eastern vibe, but whose real purpose is to sound tense, angry, aggressive, even deathly. The speed and ability of Dave as a guitar player is really pushed to the forefront here. As the solo fades, cries of "WAKE UP DEEEEAAAD!" ring out over the continuing riffage. Finally, after this repeats a couple of times, the song ends with a final, almost forlorn "Wake up dead!".

And all of that, ladies and gentlemen, happened in less than four minutes.

That's Mustaine for ya. Crazy, fucked up on drugs, booze, and chicks, but oh so clever in his own warped manner.

The rest of the album is a similarly bizarre, sometimes schizophrenic affair, with a mixture of slower, sometimes more "normal" songs, mixed with some insanely fast numbers. "The Conjuring" has an intro that tries too hard to be sinister and, in comparison to Slayer, simply doesn't work (this keeping in mind that Hell Awaits was released a year before this album, too). However, once it speeds up, this song is a great thrasher, again with tempo changes, crushing riffs, and crazy solos galore.
The title track is absurdly simple, far simpler than almost anything Metallica was doing at the same time, yet it works. Unlike Metallica, Dave didn't have this hypocritical view of being above MTV. He used it, and it worked. Ironically, he was still less popular than Metallica was even before they released the Black Album. In another silly irony, Metallica changed their tune entirely when they released a music video for "One", then just decided "fuck it" and released the Black Album. I don't hold anything against them for doing that, and in many ways it may simply have been a natural progression. But if they had been less overly anti MTV and anti-commercial from the start, they would probably have got a lot less criticism when they changed, since they wouldn't have been hypocrites.

Anyway, moving on. The point I was trying to make was that Dave didn't care about whether being on MTV made him a sellout or not - he just did it. And yes, Peace Sells is a fairly accessible song by thrash standards. Still, it works, and his snarky, sarcastic delivery is part of that charm. Without it, the song just wouldn't be the same. Once I got used to it, I grew to quite enjoy the song. Not as much as many of the others on the album, but it's still great in its own way. Whether it's a metal classic or not is indisputable, but to me, it's never been more than very good. The lyrics are the best part, both in that they are about being a metalhead (to a point) and just as a general "fuck the system, I'll do as I please" song in favour of individual choice, which is very much a metal thing.

"Devil's Island" is a very straightforward thrasher, probably more straightforward than any other song on the album in fact. It starts off slow and crushing, has a tiny bass interlude, then becomes a speedy crusher. It's a decent song, yet not much more. For this reason, I have to place it as amongst my least favourite songs on this album (along with the Willie Dixon cover). It's not bad, just very ordinary, which by Megadeth standards is a bit of a bummer.

Now we come to one of this album's true masterpieces. Good Mourning...Black Friday is one of the heaviest, darkest, most aggressive, ugly, nasty, vicious, and fucked up thrash songs not in the category of brutal thrash that you'll find anywhere. By Megadeth standards this is pure evil. Sure it's not that nasty compared to Slayer, Kreator, Sodom, Destruction, Dark Angel, Sepultura, etc, but those all come under the umbrella of brutal thrash, which Megadeth does not. As such, this song is extremely dark and a really vicious thrasher, probably one of the most extreme songs Dave ever wrote.

It begins ever so slowly, calmly, yet in a sinister way, with a doomy, gloomy vibe suited to a song about a crazed serial killer. The solo here is phenomenal; filled with emotion, bluesy, and dark as fuck, and it just plain works. Continuing over the clean, creepy intro riffs, the song then explodes into heaviness around the 1 minute mark, with the clean guitars overtaken by the distorted ones. The solo then disappears, to be replaced by more clean riffs, except by this point, they are building up and up, tension mounting, reaching a deeper and deeper level, while Dave's vocals appear, now properly after his brief "Good Mourning" exclamation earlier. "Hey, I don't feel so good...something's not right...something's coming over me...what the fuck is this...?" Boom! That pick slide, and the guitars explode along with Dave! "WHHHOOOOOOAAAAAA!" DUN, DUN, DUN, DUN DUN - DUN DUN DUN, DUN, DUNNNNN...it goes on and on.

Then it changes. Very abruptly. Screaming riffage kicks in, along with a new solo, before it all stops again. Then a new riff begins. Some of the most crushing speeds yet heard on the album now can be heard in earnest, along with a crazed performance by Dave. The song stays this way until the end, a maelstrom of madness suited to a twisted, killer looney. Something's not right, indeed.

"Bad Omen" is another very dark number, but rather more 'normal' when compared to its predecessor. After a sinister intro, it gets heavy, with some odd sounding pick slides that work very well. Afterwards it's just a straightforward thrasher, but a hell of a lot better overall than "Devil's Island".

Now the cover. I'm sorry, but covers of this nature have never really appealed to me, and I'm rather grateful that this stopped following So Far, So Good, So What. I mean, a blues cover on a thrash album? Yes, I know that without blues there would be no rock, thus no hard rock, thus no metal, and thus no thrash...but still, this just doesn't really work. It comes across as very light and silly.

Thankfully, one cannot say the same about the very last song here, which is a masterwork in almost every way. "My Last Words" opens with a somewhat sinister clean guitar intro, before the distortion kicks in, but without drums, so no actual heaviness...yet. Then the song gets very bluesy, but heavy and fast as fuck. Very much like speed metal here, as much as thrash if not more, but that doesn't matter - Megadeth's unique character has always made them standout, usually in a good way, and this is no exception. Well, the riffs are a little repetitive, I'll admit. I wish it wasn't just the same two riffs repeated ad nauseam for over two minutes. In fact, this is a rather annoying point that could have easily been averted - Dave has more than enough writing ability to have come up with a new riff. Unfortunately he doesn't, not until about 3.10 into the song, at which point everything changes. A vicious (I've really overused that word on this review) speed metal riff kicks in, and the song gets really FUCKING FAST. Seriously. This cross into something almost insane is what makes the song so special. The solo is also phenomenal here, with tons of melody, a few arpeggios, and a great vibe. Finally, the song closes with the same riffs and Dave screaming: "You! Come on! Next victim! Your...turn to DIE!". The only silly part is that the song is about Russian Roulette, which is a game usually played by choice. Nevertheless, what a closer.

So yeah. This album is a masterpiece in almost every way, with a couple of weaker moments. You've got killer songs (pardon the pun) like Wake Up Dead, Good Mourning, and My Last Words. You've got great songs in The Conjuring and Bad Omen. You've got a good song in the title track. And you've got an average song in Devil's Island, plus a barely average cover of Willie Dixon's "I Ain't Superstitious".

I've added this up to around 90. The album is great, hugely influential, and some parts of it are masterful. Suffice it to say, looking past the weaker elements that are still here, if you are a fan of thrash, or any metal at all, this is an album you cannot do without. Sure it's got some bad spots, and some rough edges here and there (remember, Megadeth at this point were still a fairly young band - Mustaine's genius aside, they were youthful and in some ways even inexperienced - something that would change drastically by Rust in Peace), but that's part of the charm. That wild abandon, sheer madness in places worthy only of a heavy metal musician. At the end of the day, Peace Sells, for all its flaws, is a winner.

Are you kidding? It needs a review? - 95%

evermetal, November 9th, 2009

Hell yeaah! I like this one!! Second step with the same line-up and it appears that, within a year, Megadeth made a great improvement both in composing and performing as well. Mustaine realized that their first album did not come out exactly as they meant for it. Though it was welcomed by the metal society, it lacked some elements that would make the fans to embrace it and strongly put their faith to his band and their abilities. He knew that Megadeth’s second hit had to be fatal because it would probably be their last chance to establish their name as a big heavy metal band that could stand up to the fans’ expectations. So he had to make some changes.

Oddly enough no other member of the band was fired but they all remained at their posts. Their playing together seemed to be working just fine. Mustaine took over the production along with Randy Burns and this time they did almost perfect. Now the instruments sound much clearer helping the compositions to come forth. Then he paid more attention to the songs adding fresh ideas and dared to mess with politics and social criticism. For the first time he exposed his preference over wars and power. The lyrics he wrote are more mature and deal with government issues to killers and demons (see Bad Omen). The guitar riffs are a lot better and the solid paces and rude vocals are still there. The last thing was to find a catchy title and that was Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying? Nice one indeed.

The album kicks-off with a song that was also Megadeth’s first video, Wake up Dead. Without unnecessary intros the band does what they love and is best at and that is to play good heavy metal. From the first riff this song is metal to the bone. It is fast and has many great breaks. The solos are very good since we know that Mustaine is basically a guitarist and a damn good one.

The Conjuring, that follows, starts at a low speed for a minute until its guitars and drums burst off giving it a metal tone with galloping rhythm. Gar Samuelson keeps beating his drums with force and in my opinion he is one of the most underestimated drummers in metal. The guitars sound so fucking heavy thanks to the production, a lot heavier than in Killing… turning the song into a blaster.

The bass intro that comes next has become an all-time classic and sets the path for Peace Sells, one of Megadeth everlasting hits. Without being too fast, it is a great steady track, heavy as a brick. The rhythm section is doing a great job once more and the lyrics have become famous: “if there’s a new way I’ll be the first in line”. We all know them and we have caught ourselves singing along many times.

Devil’s Island is among the fastest songs of the album. Its killer guitars and drums leave you breathless and devastated. The riffs are amazing and the solos very well delivered by Mustaine and Poland. I can’t help myself from headbanging whenever I listen to this song.

Good Mourning is a very inspired two-minute theme, a great opening for a dynamic, charging track titled Black Friday. The creepy atmosphere gives place to an amazing song with ass-kicking guitars and drums and a raging insane vocal performance by Mr.Dave Mustaine. The killer has been set loose and he is ready to accomplish his task according to the song’s lyrics “pounding, surrounding slamming through your head, yeah!”. Fucking awesome!

Bad Omen is another small jewel in this masterpiece. A nice opening solo soon develops to an unholy hymn to metal demons. Steady and heavy all the way, it blasts off at the middle and tons of metal fall upon you flowing from the heavy guitars of Megadeth. The demons have been summoned and you remain helpless, waiting for them to take your soul and deliver it to the god of heavy metal.

As far as it concerns the cover they chose to do this time, I haven’t heard the original so I can’t express my opinion but I’ve been told it’s quite good. Anyway, who cares about it, especially when My Last Words is about to be heard and finish the job Megadeth have started. As with most of the compositions, it features a nice introduction which lights the fuse for a dynamite to explode. Thrashing guitar playing and smashing, hard drums lead you into a strange duel that you are bound to lose confronted with the metal arsenal Megadeth are carrying. It’s the perfect finale for an almost perfect album.

As the band says “can you put a price on Peace…?”. No, because Peace… is definitely priceless!

I'll be the first in line! - 100%

ShadeOfDarkness, December 18th, 2008

This album is one of my all time favourite thrash albums. Along with Master Of Puppets, I don’t think you could get better thrash ever!

This is Megadeth’s second full-length album, and is a lot better than the first. Not to say that the first one was bad, but it lacked the spirit, which made this album better. In KIMB, it was only anger. It was about trying to play as fast as possible on the guitar and stuff. However, this time around, we get more controlled anger.

So let’s start with Dave’s awesome vocals. He sounds great on this record. He still screams a lot like on KIMB, but his screams are more controlled here. That is what made this album a lot better. He actually sings a lot on this album I would say. In “Good morning, Black Friday” he sings in the verses. It is only in the intro he speaks and then screams like hell. I think he does an amazing job in “Good morning, Black Friday”, and I would say the same for “Peace sells” even though he speaks a lot in it.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard better guitar playing than on this record. Rust In Peace is the only album that I can maybe compare to it. Just an example is the riffs and the solos in “Wake Up Dead”. In this song, he uses his Spider Chord riff, which he invented while he was playing in Metallica, but he changed it a little when he used it in “Wake Up Dead”. The solo in that song is one of the sickest solos I’ve ever heard. It gives me shivers down my spine when I hear it. If you want to be an expert guitar player, you aren’t until you can play all these songs perfectly! Dave is the best guitar player I’ve ever heard.

The drumming is fucking good as well. I will have to say that I like Nick Menza more, but that’s just me. This guy can really put up with some great drumming as well. You can definitely hear this in “Good Morning, Black Friday”. He plays like he needs to run out of hell! Yeah, it’s sickening! Very nice drumming in overall.

Dave Ellefson, is one hell of a bass player. He plays like a pro, and I like him better than both Cliff Burton and Jason Newsted. The bass playing in “Peace Sells” must be one of the best songs on bass I’ve ever heard. “Devil’s Island” has got some great bass playing too, not to mention “Good morning, Black Friday”, which is one of my all time favourite thrash songs.

Overall, this is an awesome record that everyone who likes metal must listen to. You cannot call yourself a true metal fan if you don’t listen to this. It is one of the best thrashers of all time, and always will be. So if you haven’t heard this album, then you’re no fucking metal fan!

By the way, if you haven’t noticed that video on youtube where Lars Ulrich says he actually liked this record when it came out, then go check it out!

Don't Summon The Devil, Don't Call The Priests... - 99%

MegaHassan, November 10th, 2008

Because this album just fucking rocks.

Many people know that Megadeth are my favorite band, and Peace Sells is just one of the reasons why. This, my friends, is one of the most unique thrash metal albums ever released. The sound here hasn't been replicated to this day, which is a testament to Megadeth's brilliance. This is where Mustaine and the gang really set out to make an album would turn James Heitfeld's wet dreams turn into nightmares. Killing Is My Business was an excellent debut album, but Peace Sells was just better. PSBWB took all the basic proponents of KIMB, ironed out the rough parts and maximized all the positives, while bringing some new ideas into the fray, all at the same time.

One of the things they ironed out was Mustaine's vocals. His vocals on KIMB were tired and uninspired; not something you'd expect from someone who (at the time) wanted to beat the shit out of Metallica. Mustaine sounds genuinely angry here, something he could not replicate again for 21 years. Another small but not insignificant thing that they managed to turn around was the tracklisting. The tracklisting on KIMB's was a strange affair, to say the least, with the Mechanix and Looking Down The Cross pairing sticking out like a sore thumb. The third thing which Megadeth attended to was the production. Now, the production on KIMB sucked balls, and I actually like the remastered version of KIMB better because the riffs can actually be heard. In Peace Sells, the production is just perfect. The riffs can be heard clearly (except for the odd moment when the riffs get drowned in the drumming.) Its great that the bass is higher in the mix, because there's nothing like the driving sound of a bass to pick up a song. If you are new to Megadeth or haven't heard Peace Sells, I suggest that you listen to the original version of Peace Sells instead of the remastered because the production on the remastered version is complete jackshit.

As for things they improved on, the aggression stands out. People argue that KIMB was Megadeth's most aggressive album, but I disagree. Peace Sells is more aggressive than KIMB, and in a more controlled manner. Remember children, aggression doesn't need to be wild. Controlled aggression is at times much better than just wild aggression because when your aggression is controlled and held firmly in place, you seem more menacing than you really are. The aggression in KIMB was juvenile and laughable at times, while here in Peace Sells it's mature.

Megadeth brought some new ideas into this album as well. Poland's jazzy solos are more prominent than before, and conjure up a dark and evil atmosphere, even in some of the more “bouncy” songs like Wake Up Dead and My Last Words. This feature of the album is sadly overlooked, despite the fact that the atmosphere was one of the defining points of Peace Sells.

So far I've talked only about the pro's. What about the cons? To sum it up... the riffs. Don't get me wrong, the riffs are fantastic. But they don't show a lot of variety. Almost all of them sound the same, with the exception of some of the riffs in Good Mourning/Black Friday. Mustaine's riff tank almost dried up in KIMB and Peace Sells drained it completely. This actually explains why Megadeth's first two albums sound so different from the rest. But if I'd have to choose between KIMB and Peace Sells, and if my choice was to be based on the riffs only, I'd take Megadeth's debut over their sophomore. This is just one of the two flaws here, the other being the lack of memorable songs. Rust In Peace had timeless classics in Holy Wars, Hangar 18 and Tornado of Souls. Peace Sells has none. All the songs are good, and the album is very consistent... but there's nothing here that stands out as being timeless.

Overall, it's a great album. The two small problems only manage to dock 1% from the album, which really says a lot about the album's quality and consistency. Listen to it if you haven't, and you WILL enjoy it. To dislike this album would be the highest form of denial.

(Note to reader: “Peace Sells” refers to the album and not the song.)

Peace Sells... & You Should Buy It! - 100%

Wacke, January 23rd, 2008

I'm a big fan of Megadeth, in fact, they are one of my top 3 favorite bands along with Dismember & Jane's Addiction. Released in 1986, "Peace Sells" wasn't just a thrash album, it happens to be a true masterpiece & my favorite Mega-album aswell as a top 10 favorite of all time.

The first song I ever heard from this album was the title track while I was playing "GTA: Vice City" & listened to the radio channel VROCK that's featured in that game. Before that I had heard some tracks from their classic 90's albums but I was hooked on "Peace Sells" when I heard it. I took myself the time to explore more of Megadeth & the whole thrash genre which also is the on that's most popular in my metal collection. When I finally got the whole "Peace Sells" album I was convinced, this was one of the best albums I had ever heard. All things were there, great riffs, solos, drumming & pretty good vocals that fits very well with the music. Instant classics outside the title track became "Wake Up Dead", "Devil's Island" & "The Conjuring" & even though these are pretty much the best tracks the others are still killers.

A thing all of you thrashers out there probably know is the lack of good production on metal bands debut albums in the 80's, Megadeth was one of those who got pretty bad production on their first 2 albums & a half-good production on their 3rd. Since "Peace Sells" was their 2nd it got a bad production, sure it's raw & it sounds thrash but it's still pretty damn bad as some of the guitar solos are cuttin' right through your head. I must say though, the production doesn't really drag these songs down in the dirt but it might be a little annoying sometimes.

The cast are doing a great job, even though they probably was both drunk & on drugs while recording. In fact, this was my favorite Mega-line up of all time. Dave Mustaine is Dave Mustaine, there's nothin' to say about the guy except that his godalike with his guitar work. 2nd guitarist Chris Poland does a fantastic job on this one with screamin' solos that you'll love until the day you die. In the backing section we got the classic bassist David Ellefson which as usual are great & the drummer Gar Samuelson (R.I.P.) who's a big influence for me as a drummer myself.

The best tracks from this album are without a doubt "Peace Sells", "Wake Up Dead" & "Devil's Island" & the worst is the blues cover called "I Ain't Superstitous" even though that one is funny & pretty good aswell. The rest of the tracks are great & too good to be fillers but not better than those 3 I mentioned up there.

So all I can say now is that if You like great Metal with a lot of attitude, quality & work behind it then this is the ultimate album for you, even though the production is pretty bad. You could check out the remastered version of "Peace Sells", it got a better sound than the original but at the same time it's more of a remix album too so I still sugest the original.

Peace Sells... & many people WILL buy it from Megadeth!

Peace Aged? - 85%

tomcat_ha, October 22nd, 2007

Peace aged?

Peace Sells is one of the most important thrash albums of all time. This album changed Thrash metal and even other metal genres. Many bands consider Megadeth to be one of their prime influences. However is it still an album that every metalhead should have? Are you better off listening to newer Thrash albums despite the increased quality of the new remixed and remastered version?

I don't think so. While some songs are a bit bland at times, it still has a couple of the best Thrash songs there are out there. Everything sounds a bit predictable in parts though but there are newer Thrash albums that sound quite a bit more predictable.

The production does have it's flaws. The guitars have some unwanted distortion when playing higher notes and sometimes the album sounds like it has been recorded in a basement. Not that it feels like you are with them in the basement. Instead you hear just the negative side of being in the same basement as the band. The vocals are the best example of this. The guitars however are always at least above average. Black Friday even has some of the best riffs of any metal song I know and it's not the only song with impressive guitar work. Bad Omen, Peace Sells, My Last Words and Devils Island all have very good guitarmanship. The bass is a bit mixed bag however. There is the legendary opening of Peace Sells, a bit bland bass on the I Ain't Superstitious cover to the very nice bass again in the last song My Last Words. The vocals have always been the most critized part of Megadeth. Some people can't either stand the vocals at all while others think it isn't great but it fits well. I am one of the last group. The vocals on this album are never superb but they just fit pretty damn well. The production helps at times with this but also sometimes makes the vocals sound a bit worse. The drums are the weakest part of the album. Granted metal drumming in the 80's wasn't impressive most of the time and with Peace Sells it's the same story. The drums are average compared to the other Thrash bands of that era. However if you listen to the songs as a whole you will hear that everything does fit together very well. Sometimes the instruments really enhance each other like in My Last Words.

What does this all make Peace Sells for the newer metal fan? Well, that it is still a very solid release that has aged well. It isn't an album with very complex song structures or just super riffs and solos but that doesn't matter because it sounds very well this way. Peace Sells is still an album every newer metalhead should get and as it looks now it will continue to be an essential must have album forever. It may not an album that leaves you in awe after you listen to it but you will never get tired of it. I'm giving it 85%.

Paint the devil on the wall! - 95%

MeavyHetal, June 15th, 2007

The mid eighties was a huge year for thrash metal. Many bands released their classic albums at this time. This was especially the big breakthrough for the big four of thrash. The ever so infamous Metallica released Master of Puppets, which had a keen eye for melody due to the progressive rock influences. Slayer had the brutal speedfest known as Reign in Blood, which earned them a spot in the Trinity of Evil. Anthrax's Among the Living showed off a lighter side of thrash, with a slight edge of humor and an eye for punk. The best of these four, however, is definitely Peace Sells...But Who's Buying by Megadeth. In addition to being technically brilliant, it managed to leave the longest lasting impression out of all these albums.

While the production on this album may not be as pristine and crisp as Rust in Peace, Peace Sells has a very aggressive tone with a slight edge of grit, yet not too much grit to make it sound like it came from my basement. The guitars pack a fairly powerful punch, letting the aggression of each riff and lead hit your ears with tasteful ferocity, yet keeping a slight melodic tone to show off the virtuosity. The basslines are very prominent in the mix. Every track has the basslines thumping along, and you'll never lose it. The drumwork was toned very nicely on this album, booming like a cannon without the trashcan production of a certain album by a familiar band (I'll give you a hint: the album rhymes with St.Anus). For 1986, you couldn't have done much better.

The musicians on this album are amazing. Dave's snarl is a bit rougher on this album than on Rust In Peace, and his voice gives him a very cool, calculating, cynical personality. Megadeth's strong point has always been the guitarwork, and the don't seem intent on changing that on this album. Dave's riffs are very complex, and one thing I can really note about his guitarplaying is the heavy amount of New Wave of British Heavy Metal influence in his riffs and solos, particularly Iron Maiden. His signature shredding appears everywhere throughout the album. His axe-wielding partner, Chris Poland, is second only to Marty in skill. He carries a heavy jazz influence in his guitarwork, making his licks on the technical side, and also keeps a sense of melody in his solos carried from the NWOBHM influence (some of the solos here do sound vaguely Iron Maidenish). Dave Ellefson is yet another point of NWOBHM influence. He may not constantly use triplets like Steve Harris, but his basslines have a rather galloping sound to them-with an extra dose of speed. Gar Samuelson is similar to Chris in that he also carries a heavy jazz background with him. His drumming is skillful yet controlled, not to mention he crushes that snare abuser Lars Ulrich. You can sometimes hear this influence in his fills. The jazz sensibility found in the musicianship, combined with the heavy NWOBHM influence, makes for some kickass, talented instrumentation.

The songs on here couldn't have been more infectious. All of the songs will have you throwing up the horns and causing serious whiplash. Lyrically, this album is a bit more secular and violent than Rust in Peace, but still has a huge focus on the state of politics in the world. From start to finish, this album will have you coming back for more. For example, on "Devil's Island". Remember when I said there was a heavy NWOBHM influence present on this record? If you don't hear Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, or Diamond Head anywhere in this song, keep listening. The melody in the solo should be another clue. One of my favorites is the epic "Good Mourning/Black Friday". The melodic, slightly jazzy intro bursts into kickass guitar soloing and riffs flying at you from all angles, resulting in a snapped neck. There are solos everywhere in this album. "Wake Up Dead" and the title track are pretty much crazy solofests, with the former containing some nice shredding and the latter having a rather sarcastic tone through the classic lyrics, which defend us metalheads. I also admire their ability to be technical and neck-snappingly catchy at the same time. If you don't headbang to "The Conjuring", there is seriously something wrong with you. The best solo on the album is found on the breakneck thrasher "My Last Words", while "Bad Omen" is the heaviest, darkest song on the album, with some epic sounding riffs in the verse. The weakest track on the album is the bluesy thrash cover "I Ain't Superstitious". It's not a bad song, it's just overshadowed by the other seven songs. I have to admit though, it's a cover that only Megadeth could pull off with such energy, and it is a pretty fun listen. Other than that, this entire album is a blast to listen to.

I'm not surprised that Megadeth's breakthrough came with an album this great. No other thrash metal record sounds like this one. Pop this album in, embrace the technical skill, and get ready for a snapped neck!

I'm out to destroy you and I will cut you down. - 98%

morbert, May 25th, 2007

I'm going to keep it simple here. There were a few flaws on the already godly 'Killing is my business' that were improved on 'Peace Sells', making this the ultimate Megadeth album. First of all the production. Whereas 'Killing...' didn't really have a bad sound, it wasn't actually heavy. 'Peace Sells' is. Secondly the midtempo material is better this time.

As before, diversity is the key to this album, ranging from midtempo metal to uptempo thrashing madness. Poland and Mustaine fill up the gaps with some excellent leads and licks. 'Wake Up Dead' is good example. The earlier heavy metalish approach had definately been replaced by midtempo thrashing riffs. The songs chanced pace every now and then, increasing the tension of the compositions.

Another classic and probably the best song written in Megadeth history, is the titletrack. Starting with a superb bass intro, it evolves into a really badass midtempo pounder with excellent catchy lyrics. The finishing touch is the way the song works itself to a mighty climax the song deserves. 'Devil's Island' is pounding thrash, intensifying after two minutes with a riff that could've come straight from 'Killing is My Business'. Another highlight is the mighty thrasher 'Black Friday'. You can say whatever you want, Megadeth riffs on uptempo songs are supreme. The way ‘Bad Omen’ stops before plunging into the uptempo solo section, marvellous!

By the way, what about that riping Mustaine riff on 'My Last words'? The increase in tempo at the end of the song with a solo and consequently plunging into that last melodic song-a-long speed metal verse is once again a highlight on the album and a great way to end this classic.

The only thing I can think of for not giving them 100 points is 'I Ain't Superstituous'

The Architecture of Excellence. - 100%

hells_unicorn, April 5th, 2007

There is no doubt countless stories of children who discovered the phenomenon of metal in their early teens or late pre-teen years, I myself had been subject to such an experience at the dusk of the genre’s prominence. My brother, like many adherents of the 80s metal scene, had decided it was time to hang up his fixation with the seemingly obsolete (in his mind) genre and thus I inherited a sizable supply of audio cassettes and a couple of vinyl records from an era that was fast being forgotten. “Peace Sells”, the album in question, was my first real experience with metal outside of the mainstream glam scene that I had been into as a younger child.

I was taken in by the album for a number of reasons, but the most salient one was my desire to grow as a musician, which was bolstered by the impressive display of instrumental virtuosity expressed both by Dave Mustaine and Chris Poland. The former of the two has a keen sense for riffs and song structure that can be observed in every single song on here, to speak nothing for his agitated pentatonic shredding. The latter’s soloing style is highly unique, blending a powerful dose of technical ability with a rather uncommon mellowness reminiscent of older soloists of the blues/rock persuasion.

The politics of the album obviously took a little while to grow on me, if for no other reason than that a teenager knows only as much as he is taught, and what schools teach children is contrary to the more accurate picture of American politics as portrayed in Mustaine’s lyrics. I still have my share of differences with him on certain things, but I have found his sentiments on the foreign policy and internal policy of the 80s to be highly accurate, particularly the rise of the Christian Coalition and various other malformations of the New Right. Some may look at his current Christianity and see hypocrisy under the guise of maturity, but as a practicing Catholic that loves metal, I can appreciate the courage of both choosing to believe something while simultaneously fighting those who use the same belief as a tool of oppression.

Considering that the thrash genre has often been pigeonholed as one-dimensional (it began this way of course), this album is revolutionary in its measured approach to consistency and variation. “Wake up Dead” places a large emphasis on instrumental sections and lead breaks, being steeped in solos and tempo changes yet having only a small collection of lyrics. “The Conjuring” has a bit more atmosphere to it at the beginning, but follows the same emphasis on riffs, lead and speed that the opening track features. The title track and “Devil’s Island” are the most traditionally formatted of the bunch, feature some fancy bass work, choruses with a lot of sing-along value, in addition to the usual sectional development.

“Good Mourning/Black Friday” is a double feature of sorts that throws some sand into the gears with a quiet and gloomy acoustic/electric intro, before exploding into a blazing fury of speed. “Bad Omen” begins similarly, though the intro is less sorrowful and more menacing and the eventual body of the song is not quite as fast. “I ain’t superstitious” defines the thrash sense of humor, drawing upon the old 12 bar blues model (though obviously elaborated more than is common to that older style) and injecting it with witty yet profane lyrics deriding something absurd. Our closing track “My last words” is another soft intro followed by classic speed/thrash, a final brief break before the last fateful burst of brilliance.

For the prospective buyer, the greatest perk offered by the re-mastered version is 4 songs in their original format as bonus tracks. The principle difference to be observed between the older mixes is the vocal presence, which is somewhat mired by overuse of reverb, which was typical during the 80s. The result is a radical difference in the dimension of the lead vocals and the backup parts that occasionally pop in and out. Although I experienced the original first, I wholeheartedly endorse the changes made, as they have done nothing to corrupt the timeless music contained on here. This is a piece of thrash history that not only championed all the best components of the genre, but also changed my life as a guitarist and musician.

Megadeth sells, and I'm buying - 85%

Mikesn, March 3rd, 2007

Though these days it seems as though Megadeth is less of a thrash act and more of a standard metal act, back in the late 80's the band was universally considered one of the premier thrash metal bands in the world. When you release albums such as Killing is my Business, Peace Sells…But Who's Buying, and Rust in Peace, it isn't quite hard to achieve those lofty heights. But Megadeth did, and was readily grouped with fellow thrash stars Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax in a group known as the Big Four of Thrash. 1986 had three of the four Thrash juggernauts (Megadeth, Slayer, and Metallica) releasing albums and each of these albums were incredibly successful, with all three being considered classics in the genre.

Peace Sells is a fan favourite of Megadeth fans for a reason. Very rarely does the band stray from the thrash sound that made them so famous in the metal realm, and the result is a very focused effort. Guitarists Dave Mustaine and Chris Poland show off their skill through countless riffs and solos. These two elements are the basis of Megadeth's lightning fast thrash metal assault, and are both generally the most enjoyable parts of the album. Every track, save for the Willy Dixon cover, I Ain't Superstitious, features this traditional Megadeth sound. However, tracks such as Wake Up Dead, Devil's Island, and Good Morning/Black Friday showcase this talent very well. The album has a raw feel to it, as do many of the old school thrash albums do. Overall, this is definitely my favourite part of the album, and where the band impresses the most.

By many, Dave Mustaine's vocals are not exactly considered among metal's best. Admittedly, I enjoy Dave's singing quite a lot. However, on Peace Sells, he does not give his best performance. Though in tracks like the title cut, he does a very good job, at times, such as in The Conjuring, his effort borderlines on annoying. His trademark snarl is once again present, but at this point in time, it too feels very raw. Albums like Rust in Peace and Countdown to Extinction definitely exhibit a big improvement over this particular album, likely due to the fact that he has had less time to hone his skill (or lack of, according to some). The 2004 re-issue definitely affected his voice positively, as it did away with the poorer sound quality found on the original. Fairly good effort from Mega-Dave, but he's had better moments.

My only concern with the album is quite similar to that of Rust in Peace: the length. At 36 minutes, it's pretty damn short. Now, I'm aware that many of metal's (especially thrash) older records are a lot shorter that they are now, being around the 30-40 minute mark. But I feel the band could have definitely recorded a few more (or at least longer) songs to make this a longer album. Keep in mind that while the 2004 the re-issue contains 20 extra minutes of music, none of the bonus tracks are new material, rather they are just new mixes by Randy Burns.

Peace Sells…But Who's Buying is definitely among Megadeth's better albums. There isn't much to be disappointed about, save for perhaps the length. A bona-fide thrash metal masterpiece, it possesses everything a fan of metal could ask for. Rapid-paced, heavy riffs that scream through the ears of listeners for the better part of 36 minutes; excellent musicianship from the entire band; and top notch song writing all propel this album to the top of the crowded thrash scene. This album is perfect for those who want to get into both Megadeth and metal, as it contains many of the genre's important aspects. It's pretty cheap too.

(Originally written for Sputnikmusic)

Megadeth’s Giant Leap Forward. - 90%

erickg13, January 20th, 2007

The most evident characteristic of “Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying?” is the sheer progression from their first album, “Killing is My Business…And Business is Good!”. This also had the luck of being released in 1986, considered the golden year of thrash release’s by some.

As mentioned this albums most remarkable note is its progression from their debut. This is the largest single progression that Megadeth would make in their career, most other ones being minor or much less far reaching as this one. The production of “Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying?” is momentously improved from their debut, and along with the better songwriting make for a better album on those two aspects alone.

One of the main changes is the advancement in Dave Mustaine’s vocal abilities. On “Killing is My Business…And Business is Good!” it was much more of a whiney instead of a sneer on this album. Also it seems that his vocal aptitude has grown much more.

Other advancements are their newfound grasp of rhythm and melody. The bass and rhythm guitar take hold and drive the album. They have also given up just being fast to be fast, and allow the album to flow naturally. Also the songs are much more developed and throughout the album.

The main focus is still Dave Mustaine’s vocals and guitar work, which, with his ability, especially on guitar, isn’t a problem at all. As said his vocals have progressed from the debut, but are still very much an acquired taste.

Also on guitar is Chris Poland. And once again his guitar work is solid, but this time around it has a much more dual lead attack quality to the album.

Along the same lines, Dave Ellefson’s bass work has progressed, and on this album it establishes itself as a definite driving force. Listen to the opening of both “The Conjuring” and “Peace Sells” to understand this in full. Gar Samuelson provides drums for this album. He does a very good job, however the mixing of this album has the drums pushed back somewhat.

As for highlights on “Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying?” you have to look at basically the whole album. Of course the title track, “Peace Sells”, is an absolute anthem and career defining song, but that’s just the peak of the already above average material. Even “I Ain’t Superstitious” has a certain enjoyable quality to it. But is must be stressed that this album is good from the first note to the last.

Overall this is Megadeth’s defining work, even if it might not be their best, and even this is pretty damn good. Also, this was released in 1986 making it irresistible to compare it to other great thrash albums of that year incredible year, most notably Metallica’s “Master of Puppets”. Overall this is highly recommended to all fans of thrash, both on the significance of it, and the actual material on it.

Peace Owns - 98%

DawnoftheShred, November 3rd, 2006

I used to be inclined to give this album the backseat among Megadeth’s classic albums, but after listening to it again for this review, it seems I’d truly forgotten how great this album really is. Taking the essential elements that Killing is my Business established and polishing them to near perfection, Peace Sells is one of the best overall displays of Megadeth’s skill in songwriting, technical flair, and intense, high-speed metal destruction.

The album hits hard immediately with the killer track “Wake Up Dead.” It’s a prime example of Megadeth’s increased instrumental skill since their last album. All the riffs are heavy, original, and very easy to headbang to. Guitar solos are frequent and virtuosic. Drumming is pounding and precise. Bass guitar is poignant and incredibly effective. Lyrics are dark and foreboding, as are Dave’s vocals. And that’s just the first track off this album. Every song after gets the same professional treatment. Some feature magnificent clean riffs, but most rely off of intricate, skull-crushing, distorted rhythms. A lot of the band’s most memorable riffs, leads, and lyrics appear on this album. The riff halfway through “Wake Up Dead,” the bass line throughout “Peace Sells,” the extended intro of “Good Mourning/Black Friday,” all the stuff of legends.

And it’s not just the music that’s spot on. The album just sounds cool. Far from being overproduced, the mix adds to the incredibly dark atmosphere already created by instruments. Dark indeed is the atmosphere, also added to by the lyrics and vocals. Dave Mustaine is criticized as being a sub-par vocalist, but his signature snarl adds an unprecedented amount of necessary evil to every track. The only time this isn’t the case is on the cover “I Ain’t Superstitious.” Here his ‘singing’ actually sounds pretty good, however raspy. A lot of people don’t like the way this song fits into the album, but it’s just a fun, cool mixture of blues and thrash to change up the pace. It’s a lot more well done than the blues thrash on Violent Playground’s so-called “Thrashin’ Blues” LP anyway. As for the lyrics on the album, they’re as dark as the music, with Dave beginning to express his political agenda a bit. Other topics hit on are black magic, Russian roulette, and mass slaughter.

This album is arguably Megadeth’s best release, though that can be argued about any of their first four albums. Regardless of personal preference, Peace Sells is a welcome addition to any metalhead’s collection and a timeless masterwork as far as lyrics, music, and complexity go.

State-of-the-art Speed Metal! - 99%

Erin_Fox, October 28th, 2006

Finally, Mustaine’s monster is properly unleashed on this eight-song terror that offered a slightly more technical countermeasure to his former bandmates’ “Ride The Lightning” album. With rising interest in heavy metal happening during this period, “Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying” is a record that was in the right place at the right time for a group that would be settling down to record albums for that glowing stack of records on the corner of Hollywood and Vine for a good long while. Megadeth’s brand of speed metal was a bit leaner than Metallica’s and much of the time, The General was meaner as well.

Check out the appropriately wicked, standout cut “The Conjuring” for all the proof you need that Megadeth ’86 was a plunge face first into the dark side of musical ambition. Featuring one of Mustaine’s most compelling early arrangements, this track made metal mathematic, burning intensely with an appropriate amount of evil reflective of the one-time black magic dabbling frontman. MTV leaped all over “Peace Sells”, making David Ellefson’s bass line immortal as part of their MTV News theme, inserting the busy riff highly conspicuously into the piece. On “Devils Island”, the group step back into “Killing…” mode, with Gar Samuelson’s snappy snare providing the perfect backdrop for Mustaine and fellow axe-ripper Chris Poland.

Both “Black Friday” with it’s relentless hammering and “My Last Words” display Megadeth focusing on getting the job done with power, stamina and dexterity, while “Bad Omen” comes off as this record’s hidden gem, it’s cold, wicked vibe being the product of an slow building torrent and Ellefson’s spidery bass work. Here, in the early stages of The General’s master battle plan, it’s looking as if someone might have made a mistake by putting Mustaine on a bus home from New York. But there would be even more major battles ahead for this nuclear-powered metal war machine. "Peace Sells..." stands as Megadeth's first major victory in a metal war that is raging still today.

Paint the devil on the wall! - 87%

Nightcrawler, November 27th, 2004

"Peace Sells... But Who's Buying?" A classic of thrash metal of course, and a legendary sophomore from one of the biggest thrash bands, back in the day when they were truly Thrash with a capital T. With some of the heaviest riffs they ever did, they rage away furiously, and the remaster sounds absolutely devastating - now I haven't heard the original, but since Dave wasted all their production cash on heroin and other fun substances, I can't imagine it sounds too good. But whatever, the one I've got sounds brilliant.

The fast, heavy and generally quite technical riff-style of classic Megadeth is ever present, and combined with alot of melodic elements infused perfectly into the riffs, this turns into a thrash album which doesn't sound very much like anything else, and is definitely a must-have for any thrasher.
Songs like "The Conjuring", for example, have riffs that fit into the thrash category, but that are very technical and melodic. That one and "Bad Omen" especially have very jumpy and unusual riffs that are executed very well.

Opening tack "Wake Up Dead" is pretty interesting as well, with a whole bunch of catchy riffs and quite few vocal parts.

The most standard thrash song on here is "Black Friday", which is also one of the best Megadeth songs ever. Mainly single-note riffs demolish everything here, combined with the odd but lethal vocals in classic early Mustaine style. Top that off with the crazy soloing of Mustaine/Poland and you have one hell of a thrasher. "Devil's Island" with it's galloping riffs is also in a more standard thrash vein, but rages away excellently just as well.

For other highlights, we have of course the classic "Peace Sells", with it's quite simplistic but oh so fucking catchy beginning - the lyrics are as classic as it gets, and with hard-hitting midpaced power chords the song is fit for headbanging. Then Dave does another of those classic Megadeth-styled fast and difficult melodic riffs building the song up to a climax and an excellent finish.

And then of course, we mustn't forget the closer "My Last Words". The clean guitar and bass intro build up a very nice atmosphere, and goes into another one of Megadeth's best songs. The main riff is about as cool as that of "Tornado of Souls". It's technical, but unlike the technical shit of prog bands, this is also fucking cool and catchy. Combined with more simple power chords during the fast paced verses we have an awesome set of riffs backed up by excellent driving bass work and insanely catchy, dramatic vocals.
The atmosphere builds more with every second, feeling as the main character (or whatever you wanna call it) in the song gets closer to dying from a thrilling game of russian roulette. The song is later perfected into the dark, sinister breakdown ("Does anybody play!?") and the amazing riff/solo section that follows it. Probably the best Megadeth song ever. It's either this or "Tornado of Souls".



But there really isn't a bad song on here. Dave Mustaine and Megadeth had their very own brand of thrash metal, and he's always done his thing, which he needs respect for. And since he doesn't really follow any standards and does what he wants, a few moments here and there sound a bit "off", but he quickly redeems himself constantly, and all in all, this is an essential thrash masterpiece, though most of you probably know this already.

Megadeth, Mega-good! - 95%

Hark_The_Dead, November 15th, 2004

If Dave Mustaine would have never been kicked out of Metallica, we would have never seen this amazing band put together, and this thrash classic would have never been released. As most should be able to admit, even if not a fan of his work Dave Mustaine is a terrific guitarist. He combines mind-blowing speed with melodic-induced rhythm guitar that comes together perfectly. I also think that fans of him should be able to admit Megadeth hasn't been the most reliable with good, strong releases. However, that's exactly what this CD is.

Although short, this CD is well worth the money, and its probably my favorite of Megadeth's. Some of the songs are long, and have numerous rhythm changes in them that keep you from being completely bored with the same old guitar part going over and over again. The riffs are brilliant on every song, and Dave and Chris Poland do some exceptionally neat lead work together. One thing i never was too found of about Megadeth was the lyrics. Some of the lyrics in Megadeth's stuff was just downright stupid, and quite terrible in quality. This album is an exception in every way imaginable, for this is easily the best vocal work and lyrical work he has ever done, and ever will do. He expresses the mindset of people that listen to his music: angry. Angry at the world, angry at the system, just mean and nasty. The lyrics are nasty, violent, and coming from a man who's just pissed off at the system. Take "Peace Sells" for example. That song is the way I have been feeling all my life, and its just a great fucking anthem for everyone out there.

I think the only track i wasn't taking all that well was "I Ain't Superstitious." Its alright how he tried to do something different with this track, but i just thought the lyrics were bad, and the vocals were kind of annoying on this one. The only part i really dug on that song was the guitar riff, how it was so heavy and yet bluesy at the same time. Standouts are "Good Mourning/Black Friday" and my favorite, "My Last Words." The last song, "My Last Words," is just crazy as fuck. Its perfect from its beginning to its end.

I didnt like them as much as Metallica at the time, for i enjoyed MASTER OF PUPPETS more but this was still a fucking great album. Any fan of thrash who doesnt already have this needs to pick it up as soon as possible and ask themselves that burning question......

Peace Sells.....But Who's Buying?

Classic 'Deth! - 94%

cyclone, November 8th, 2004

Excellent. Peace Sells...But Who's Buying is second Megadeth album and it's hella good for 1986. We all know, that Dave can make good albums. And he definitely made it this time. This is probably his best work. Classic thrash tunes, great, thrashy, fast guitar riffs, good vocal delivery, some of the best lyrics ever made. Yes, it's all here. No, it's not as raw as KIMB, it's not as developed as RIP and it's not that polished as Countdown, but who cares really? You can't go wrong with these tunes. All raw thrash or speed metal, no shit, just totally lethal killers.

Well, Dave didn't have Marty Friedman on this one yet, but he and Chris Poland still deliver some awesome leads. Riffs are pure 'Deth, good an inovative in every way. The voca performance is one of the best in Dave's career. He is angry and menacing as fuck and he doesn't have that annoying vocals as on some of their works. Ellefson delivers some good bass lines (see The Conjuring and Peace Sells) and has some good fills. Also one of his best performances. As Clanny said in one of his reviews, drums are drums. I already said, that the lyrics are great. Dave is really THE master of thrash lyrics. From politics, to Russian roulette. They're sarcastic, angry, and written in such a way, that your brain really start thinking about it. Just read the ones for My Last Words. The cover art is also really cool.

Well, the standouts on here are My Last Words and the title track. My Last Words is with no doubt one of the best songs ever written. Fast as fuck, catchy, great riffs, awesome lyrics, great singing. What else could I say?
Peace Sells is a bit slower but still achieves to be interesting and catchy. A real headbanger.

The rest of the song are all great thrash headbangers with Good Mourning/Black Friday and Devil's Island as a positive standout and Bad Omen as maybe the weakest track on here.

Peace Sells... But Who's Buying is a classic album. Get it, you won't be sorry.

I'll buy! - 88%

rogo, October 24th, 2004

Despite this being an early thrash release (so follows an unofficial tradition and is only about 40 minutes long), Peace Sells can certainly be ranked very highly in the tons of Megadeth albums that have emerged since Dave Mustaine hilariously fell out with James Hetfield in 1983. I can't believe they still hate each other today, they're grown men for chrissakes!

On to the album itself; in a word, it rocks. It really does. Chris Poland and to a lesser extent Mustaine play the best guitar of their lives on this record; solos on "Devils Island" and "Wake up Dead" prove this point. In the 'Deth's earrlier stuff, Mustaine tended to let the lead guitarist do the majority of the solos, but as time went on the his skills on the instrument far surpassed Hetfield's, so Mustaine did most of the work on the later albums, especially the 2004 release, "The System Has Failed".

STAND OUT TRACKS: I absolutely love the eerie intro of "The Conjuring", and the rest of the song backs that up perfectly, with classic riff trade-offs between the lead guitarists.
"Good Mourning/Black Friday" begins in a fairly evil sunding fashion (for Megadeth anyway) and gradually prograsses over 6 and a half minutes into a true thash classic, with multiple riffs and, annyoingly to a degree, Mustaine's vocals over almost all of these riffs...
But my overall faveourite on this album is probably "Wake Up Dead". It has a mindblowing riff some way into the song that you can't stop yourself from headbanging to. Accompany that with arguably Poland's best solo on the album, great drumming from the late Gar Samuelson, and not too many vocals from Dave, this creates in total one hell of a song.

So this isn't quite as good as Metallica's albums at this time, but it definitely establishes Megadeth as one of the aptly names thrash "big 4".

Well shit, I bought it - 85%

OlympicSharpshooter, January 10th, 2004

God, this review needed a fucking rewrite. So here's a rewrite.

I’ve always had a real soft-spot for Megadeth. I think it has something to do with my undying affection for the underdog. In spite of being one of the biggest bands in metal history (sales-wise they’ve gotta be in the top 10) they are always being compared to the incomparable, and it just doesn’t seem fair. Whether or not you love/loved Metallica, they are the biggest metal band in the history of popular music and by light-years. Sales mean approximately shit-all when you’re talking about music, but Dave Mustaine’s undying urge to compete with ‘Tallica is a hallmark of the Megadeth catalogue. Thus Dave is the underdog, and in his hopeless guerrilla war against Metallica there have been precious few wins. Megadeth has been better than temporally adjacent Metallica on certain albums (or songs, or riffs), but never more successful.

Megadeth opened up shop early in the thrash game, but rather than be a baby Metallica Dave began consistently pumping out good to fucking great records that showcased a virtuosity and verve that made them the musician’s choice of the subgenre. On this record, Peace Sells... But Who’s Buying?, this sound is still going through growing pains. It is fast and tricky, but some of these songs come off as half-baked or generic (in that way that only Megadeth songs are generic). The technical play is often rather rockscrabble and some of the songs have transitions that are simply bafflingly wrongheaded. The nuts and bolts of the mine cart aren’t screwed in very tightly, and Dave’s mind is one hell of a treacherous road to travel down in such a rickety contraption. But damn if it isn’t a charming ride, and a ride with squarely classic moments that are as good or better than anything else released in ‘86, probably THE watershed year for thrash. And that my friends, is a damn good sign.

Consider the Grade A riffing on “My Last Words”, the gleefully desperate performance by Mustaine, the power-thrash ride out, the lengthy and memorable solo by Chris Poland... Dave had a real feel for how to write quality thrash back in the day, and it says something that he still retained that touch well into the 90s. On the other end of the album “Wake Up Dead” is a perfect intro to the record. It isn’t even that the song is that well thought-out, its just such a great intro when considered as an album opener. The thing begins with a 02:30 riffstorm (really no other word would be correct) before a very brief surge of virtually inaudible mewling indicates that this thing isn’t actually an instrumental before surging into a bloody excellent solo and yep, more fucking riffs.

“The Conjuring” finds Dave trying on one of his ever present over-the-top characters (he’s really one of the few vocalists in metal who goes so far as to do accents during songs) during the intro before giving us a surprisingly smooth solo/riff barrage before finally switching gears into a scrap-metal KIMB riff, before dropping into a sick groove for the chorus, back into a spiky thrash riff and then, more killer headspinning groove-thrash. Every time you think know where Dave is going he goes somewhere else, all the while branding it with an echo-heavy distorted lyric that drips with demon wax.

I use “The Conjuring” as an example of how this album refuses to do what you expect of it. I mean, few if any thrash bands had attempted the almost danceable bass-hook on the front half of “Peace Sells” and few would even after. But that isn’t because it didn’t work. It’s more likely because they couldn’t pull it off. Dave Mustaine has always had a little Alice Cooper in his blood and even hardcore thrashers were willing to follow him as he spun his fiendishly creative and punk-drenched little manifesto because he was so damned entertaining doing it. I don’t discount Dave Ellefson’s gift in this area either; he is certainly one of the most versatile bassists in the thrash game and the fact that he could actually inject a bit of funk into Megadeth on this track and make it into one of the best-loved intros in all of metal is an accomplishment of no little merit. And hell, thank Chris Poland for those police-siren lead fills that give the song more edge than it might’ve otherwise possessed.

For all the creativity Peace Sells has, it is riven through with filler. We’re looking specifically at “Bad Omen” and “Devil’s Island” here, both pretty uninspired and derivative thrash that might’ve turned heads back in ‘84 but are now swallowed whole by the five good-to-classic songs around it and the incredible surplus of thrash glory outside of the album. It isn’t that they’re bad (“Bad Omen” is actually quite good, with its “Gates of Babylon”-like verse riff), its more that they have been completely obscured by the rest of the album and there’s really no reason to trouble your brain to recall them. And kindly ignore the hideous “I Ain’t Superstitious” which, in spite of a fun vocal performance, is one for the refuse pile. Why was Megadeth always so terrible at covers anyway?

Peace Sells is also scarred by heaviness-robbing overly trebly production (like Rust in Peace), poor mixing (Dave’s voice is way too low), and a somewhat frequent occurrence of what I’ll call “chickenscratch guitar” which refers to the way the guitars are sometimes too raw and have a tendency to poke and prod at the ears. Dave’s yowling cat-in-heat vocals are also quite underdeveloped here, which is sometimes good (“PAINT THE DEVIL ON THE WALL!”) and sometimes... not.

All in all, well worth getting but certainly bearing the marks of a band that hasn’t quite gotten their shit together yet. For every classy moment (gore-soaked epic “Good Mourning/Black Friday”) you get an amateurish mistake. In the end, Peace Sells... But Who’s Buying? makes up for its short-comings in hapless charm, devil-may-care attitude, and oh yeah, neckwrecking riffs. Good shit in my book, but there would be better stuff to come.

Stand-Outs: “Peace Sells”, “My Last Words”, “Good Mourning/Black Friday”

One of thrash's definitive classics. - 95%

Kingravi, October 1st, 2002

Following Killing is My Business..., Megadeth made a record that was tenfold its superior. Mustaine addresses some of the problems with the first one here, fixes them, and takes a huge leap in terms of songwriting, as huge as (dare I say it) Metallica did when they released Ride the Lightning. The insanely fast tempos from the debut still abound on this one, but they are complemented by slower sections, some very melodic and tasty leads, and some excellent clean guitar (see Mustaine's instrumental, Good Mourning).

Of course, you can't have classic thrash without speed, and the boys deliver here, with astounding results. Some of the riffs on this record are just mindblowing: they're not as technical (generally speaking) as most of the stuff on Rust in Peace, but they're raw as fuck and have a hell of a groove. The leads are as stunning as always, with Mustaine's blisteringly fast pyrofretnics pairing up nicely with Poland's fluid, fusiony style. One of the tunes that illustrates this combo most effectively is the anthemic titletrack: Poland and Mustaine sear the joint with excellent fills, in what is quite simply some of the most exciting guitar playing to ever grace a metal record. Personally speaking, I prefer this guitar attack to the Rust in Peace era slightly. The rythm section of Gars and Ellefson is also very good, even though the drums are a bit buried in the mix and the bass has a slightly ridiculous sound: it's very loud. Mustaine's vocals, as always, are a bit of an aquired taste: either you like em or you don't. His snarling, growling delivery on the record is very effective tohugh, even if it's almost unintelligible.


Highlights are Good Mourning/Black Friday, Wake Up Dead, Peace Sells, My Last Words, Bad Omen, hell the whole album. From the incredibly scatching eastern-tinged leads in the opener, to the tapped frenzy that comprises most of Devil's Island, to the insanely fast, Maidenish glory of My Last Words, there isn't a bad moment on this album. I've heard quite a few people complain about the cover of Willie Dixon on the record, but it's extremely fun to listen to: I mean, a thrash band doing blues should be enough to pique your curiosity.

I think it's amazing the way Megadeth and Metallica carved up the world of technical thrash between them: everything we still hear today is basically descended directly from them, with new bands shamelessly aping their style, or mixing it with others. While Megadeth have had a very, very inconsistent career, this record (and Rust in peace) more than justify their fame and the respect they command in the metal community. Highest possible recommendation.

Nice fucking thrash with a lethal eye for melody - 86%

UltraBoris, August 11th, 2002

This is where Megadeth really got their shit together. This album manages to be both hyper-brutal at times, while some of the melodic leads rival Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, especially during the last song.

There are some pretty standard thrashers here: Wake Up Dead, and Devil's Island are two good examples. Both are nicely developed, and have some well-done riffs, much more so than the previous Deth album. The Conjuring is also in this vein.

Peace Sells is a pretty interesting song - it's a bass-driven midpaced headbanging number with only one overt time change, but it's still catchy as Hell. Black Friday and Bad Omen are both insanely fast thrashers - they're both only around 180bpm but have that quadruple-time (!) single note riff to drive the music along.

The two songs that must really be noted are My Last Words and Good Mourning - both show off the flashy guitar work that Dave Mustaine was capable of. Good Mourning is a nice little intro to Black Friday (I have this album on tape, so I'm not 100% sure where Good Mourning ends and Black Friday starts, but it's a really cool melodic build-up intro - I think it starts right after the fast solo over the first heavy riff, the really catchy 3 note one that is why we're noting Good Mourning).

My Last Words is the best song Megadeth has ever done, beating out Tornado of Souls by a small margin. It's similar to "Looking Down the Cross" in general, but the lead guitar work is absolutely incredible. It's more a speed metal song than an all-out thrasher - it would actually not be all that out of place on the Painkiller album! This thing is just complete fucking ownage - you!! You're next to die!!

There's one throwaway track - the cover of I Ain't Superstitious, but that's what skip buttons are for (unless you have it on tape, in which case you are forced to suffer.) Most people tend to remember this album for the insane brutality, but the lead guitar work must also be mentioned - the two together are what make this album so good.