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Precious Treasures.... - 96%

withoutmyshadow, October 8th, 2005

The first Megadeth album I ever heard was Rust In Peace and after that I considered myself a Megadeth fan until Risk was released, when I finally gave up about the band. It means that I enjoy Youthanasia (a lot) and Cryptic Writings, in spite of all the difference between those albums (the post-RIP era) and the earlier ones (the pre-RIP era). Hidden Treasures was released between Youthanasia and Cryptic Writings, but as a compilation of singles and b-sides it has songs from earlier different periods. The first track, the cover for Alice Cooper's “No More Mr. Nice Guy”, is a pretty nice song and it was a sign that Megadeth was alive after the split-up of recent gathered line-up that recorded So Far, So Good… So What! It's a kind of funny uncompromising song and there's a nice video-clip for it with that atmosphere from the 80's.

"Breakpoint", the next track, is a song from the Countdown to Extinction era, and if you ask me it's a fucking great song! technical fast guitar riffs, fast and diverse drumming, angry vocals... forgetting about the singles of Countdown to Extinction, “Symphony of Destruction” or “Sweating Bullets”, which most people are already tired of, “Breakpoint” is as good as any of the higher points of the album like “Ashes in you Mouth”, “Psychotron” or “Captive Honor”. "Go to Hell" is an earlier song, from '91, and some say Mustaine used the some pray one can hear in Metallica's “Enter Sandman”, but I don't know since both songs were released in the same year and they have nothing in common besides the prayer, it can be just coincidence... The song is nice, not as good as the previous one in my opinion, but still a really good song, with nice guitar solos and riffs. And it reminds me Bill and Ted, a funny movie, as the song was recorded for its soundtrack.

"Angry Again" is quite well known since Megadeth plays it live since the Countdown to Extinction promotion tour and was still playing during the Cryptic Writings tour at least. It's a classic Megadeth song, probably too melodic for thrash, but still a great song, with a killer chorus. Ok, now comes "99 Ways to Die" which seems to be everyone's fave song from the album. It's actually pretty good, a great speed metal typical Megadeth song with angry Mustaine singing like only he does, a good riff that sounds really in the vein of earlier Megadeth stuff and nice acoustic interventions with solos that, as someone has observed in another review, reminds the clean guitar solo on Holy Wars, but in a completely different context here. Both “Angry Again” and “99 Ways to Die” are songs from '93 and they are as good (and even better sometimes) as any song of Countdown to Extinction - they are still related more to Countdown than to Youthanasia, as the last has a more peculiar atmosphere.

"Paranoid", recorded for a tribute to Black Sabbath, is kind of nice to hear just to see how it would sound if played by Megadeth, but their version for Black Sabbath’s “Never Say Die” for the second part of this tribute is more interesting in my opinion since “Paranoid” is the kind of song one get tired of fast after listening sometimes – and it was played MANY times. Marty's solo on the song sounds great anyway. "Diadems" is my favorite song of the album. It starts in a very atmospheric way with acoustic guitars and then it gets heavier and Mustaine's vocal interpretation is angry and quite dramatic... suddenly there's a break and then comes a fucking good thrash metal riff which is one of the best Megadeth riffs ever! A guitar lead follows and then the heavy atmosphere from the beginning comes back to the scene before the song ends... you may not agree but for me this song is perfect and one of the best Megadeth ever recorded. It's from '94, but I don't think it fits in Youthanasia at all, and that's why it's not in the album probably.

The last song is another cover, it was supposed to be the Sex Pistols cover to figure in So Far, So Good... but it was a good decision to use “Anarchy in the UK instead” of “Problems” because “Problems” that appear in Hidden Treasures isn't as good - actually it's quite boring... in my opinion the less interesting song of the album.

I think the b-sides in this cd are all good enough to be in a Megadeth original full-length album, what makes this compilation album something really worth and interesting. It would be perfect if other killer Megadeth b-sides as Crown of Worms and New World Order were also included, not instead of the less interesting songs which are the two last covers, but as extra songs, since the album is kind of short, 30 minutes only. I would tell anyone who is into Megadeth until Countdown to Extinction or Youthanasia to get this album 'cause it's really worth it.