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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%.