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State-of-the-art Speed Metal! - 99%

Erin_Fox, October 28th, 2006

Finally, Mustaine’s monster is properly unleashed on this eight-song terror that offered a slightly more technical countermeasure to his former bandmates’ “Ride The Lightning” album. With rising interest in heavy metal happening during this period, “Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying” is a record that was in the right place at the right time for a group that would be settling down to record albums for that glowing stack of records on the corner of Hollywood and Vine for a good long while. Megadeth’s brand of speed metal was a bit leaner than Metallica’s and much of the time, The General was meaner as well.

Check out the appropriately wicked, standout cut “The Conjuring” for all the proof you need that Megadeth ’86 was a plunge face first into the dark side of musical ambition. Featuring one of Mustaine’s most compelling early arrangements, this track made metal mathematic, burning intensely with an appropriate amount of evil reflective of the one-time black magic dabbling frontman. MTV leaped all over “Peace Sells”, making David Ellefson’s bass line immortal as part of their MTV News theme, inserting the busy riff highly conspicuously into the piece. On “Devils Island”, the group step back into “Killing…” mode, with Gar Samuelson’s snappy snare providing the perfect backdrop for Mustaine and fellow axe-ripper Chris Poland.

Both “Black Friday” with it’s relentless hammering and “My Last Words” display Megadeth focusing on getting the job done with power, stamina and dexterity, while “Bad Omen” comes off as this record’s hidden gem, it’s cold, wicked vibe being the product of an slow building torrent and Ellefson’s spidery bass work. Here, in the early stages of The General’s master battle plan, it’s looking as if someone might have made a mistake by putting Mustaine on a bus home from New York. But there would be even more major battles ahead for this nuclear-powered metal war machine. "Peace Sells..." stands as Megadeth's first major victory in a metal war that is raging still today.