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Everything about this album shows that it's nothing more than an average release. From the terrible production to the temporary line-up, this album looked like it wasn't anything special. The fact that it lies between arguably Megadeth's two greatest records (Rust In Peace and Peace Sells....But Who's Buying?) doesn't help solidify its presence as a top notch record.
However, despite all of the negative critics and the poor ratings, this is one of Megadeth's most underrated and best records. Dave Mustaine enters the studio having replaced fusion guitarist Chris Poland with a classically trained guitarist since the age of six. A man by the name of Jeff Young. Another roster change was made when Gar Samuelson was fired for apparent substance abuse and replaced by his drum tech Chuck Behler.
With the new line-up and the creative juices flowing, Dave Mustaine wrote some of Megadeth's greatest songs for this record. From the opening track, the instrumental "Into the Lungs of Hell" which features fast-paced, palm muted riffs and improvised soloing, to the closing track written about music censorship "Hook In Mouth", the album delivers a rollercoaster ride of emotion. The album also features a cover of The Sex Pistols song "Anarchy In The U.K." which provides a nice break from the serious thrash of songs before and after the cover.
One of the more notable songs on the record, and perhaps one of Megadeth's best songs "In My Darkest Hour" showcases over 6 minutes of the perfect blend of emotion and thrash. This song was written for fallen Metallica bassist and friend of Dave's, Cliff Burton (R.I.P.). "In My Darkest Hour" deserves to be considered an elite track with the likes of "Hangar 18", "Symphony Of Destruction", and their MTV hit "Peace Sells". However due to poor initial reception of the record, the song is vastly over looked.
However with the 2004 remasters done by Dave Mustaine, the record can polish some of the rough patches that diminished the quality and initial appreciation. The record provides many great songs and is a lost classic. With all that said, this is a must have for any fan of thrash. I gave the album an 85 because of its production. Even with the 2004 remasters, some of the tracks had to be altered. Which means leaving the original tracks in their current (and sub-par produced) state.
Favorite Track: In My Darkest Hour
Least Favorite: Into The Lungs of Hell (a top notch track, however it is too short!)