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Megadeth’s best? Perhaps. Either way, it’s tied for first place with ‘Peace Sells.’ In my book, these guys are (were?) the masters of thrash. Metallica can’t even compare to them. Metal Church comes close, but no. Dave Mustaine is a genius at songwriting, and this album proves it.
There is usually only one album of each genre that deserves a score of a perfect 100. For example, in the power metal genre, that honor belongs to Helloween’s Second Keeper. In traditional metal, that’s Dio’s ‘Holy Diver.’ In thrash… we have Rust In Peace. This album is thrash perfection, and let me start of by complimenting the songwriting.
Songwriting is definitely something that deserves compliments, and PLENTY of them. Mustaine is… just… amazing. No other way to describe it. The solos are flawless. The choruses are flawless. Everything here is just as it needs to be. All the songs open up great. Let’s take Megadeth’s hit ‘Hangar 18,’ for example. It opens up in a fairly simple series of power chords; easy riffs, yet highly memorable. The percussion in the background is perfect, slowly building up the necessary atmosphere, and then the song erupts into a solo. Then another. Then another. At a minute into the song, Dave Mustaine starts to sing, “Welcome to our fortress tall!!!” At a minute and twenty seconds the chorus starts, and soon after more solos. The transitions between the openings, solos, choruses, and closings of each song is so smooth and flawless. There is no sudden halt, a split second pause, and then a jump to a chorus, as I see happening very often on trash records. Nothing of that sort here. Mustaine wrote is all perfectly.
Of course, there’s the production that needs some compliments too. As always should be expected from Megadeth, the production is crystal-clear. The mixing, especially that of the guitars, is also worthy of praise. The drums mixed in the background are nice and crunchy, without drowning out either the guitars or Mustaine’s vocals, so this is definitely a great success.
Another great plus of this CD is the overall quality of each song. As you might probably guess from the perfect 100 score, there are no fillers on this album. Each song is a success, and that’s a rare thing indeed. All the way from the legendary ‘Holy Wars… The Punishment Due’ to ‘Rust In Peace… Polaris,’ each song is a trash masterpiece, and I never find myself wanting to press the skip button. Listening to this whole album, beginning to end, is definitely not a problem.
Ahh, that is one point I cannot stress enough. This whole album is filled with classics BEGINNING TO END. As I mentioned, it starts with ‘Holy Wars,’ an unforgettable Megadeth classic. Then it goes to ‘Hangar 18,’ perhaps Megadeth’s most known song off of this album. Next we get ‘Take No Prisoners…’ Another classic. More great songs, more greats songs, until we get to the killer off the album, ‘Rust In Peace… Polaris.’ (Have you ever wondered how come Megadeth uses so many periods in so many track titles? This always baffled me…)
Obviously, guitarplaying on this album is godly. I shouldn’t even need to go over this, but I have to make clear. NO ONE SHREDS LIKE MEGADETH. Both Dave Mustaine and Marty Friedman are two incomparable guitarists, and the chances of both such legends being in the same band is nothing short of amazing. Each riff is new and fresh. Each solo better than the last; original, fast, and memorable.
Yes, Megadeth’s ‘Rust In Peace’ has it all. This is the album that first got me into thrash, and forever will remain amongst not only my favorite thrash albums, but my favorite albums of all time. It’s a shame no one writes stuff like this anymore, and it’s another shame Megadeth never again came close to writing such a work of art.