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Superb melodic power/thrash album - 93%

UltraBoris, August 11th, 2002

This is, as many people seem to note, Megadeth's finest hour. The guitar combination of Mustaine and Friedman are together for the first time, and each puts out probably the finest performance of their respective careers. There are absolutely no weak spots on this album (except one song), and it combines riffs and lead guitar in a way that few albums do.

Highlights - Tornado of Souls is almost Megadeth's finest song, coming in second to no slouch - My Last Words. The ideals are similar, though the solo isn't quite as overwhelmingly Blackmore-like. Still, it owns you, me, and everyone's grandmother. It maintains a combination of melody and intensity that can be found on few albums (Painkiller comes to mind). The seemingly endless guitar duel at the end of Hangar 18 is also a favourite (as is that schweet power-metal intro riff), as is the little acoustic interlude in Holy Wars which then leads into a real bludgeoner of a riffset. On a different note, Poison Was the Cure is an all-out thrasher, as is the second half of The Punishment Due, where it really picks up with that break riff and the soloing, and Polaris also totally bludgeons one over the head with several choice riffs, including - again, the main break - just guitars, and man do Megadeth know how to get that right. (Oh yes, I should mention that on Take No Prisoners, it's a bass break.)

Weak points - well, I've never really seen the point of Dawn Patrol. Other than that, this album is insanely effective. The highlight of Megadeth's career - this is what their previous three albums were leading up to. Five Magics starts off like Hook in Mouth from the last LP, then goes into a little interlude, before busting open again with insane amounts of heavy fucking metal. There's so much going on in here, and even about 12 years and one worn out tape after I first heard this album, I'm still impressed.