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Thrash Classic - 95%

McTague97, December 11th, 2014

Megadeth returns with their second classic and second album in total. Its a very heavy, technical and powerful album. Often advertised as brutal, but to be completely honest only grindcore, deathcore, raw black metal and brutal death metal feel brutal to me (and I only like 3 of the 4) I've just never found music to be extremely brutal. The album is less aggressive then before.

The solos shred at quick tempos, calculated, melodic at times, like an all in one combination. They show an impressive amount of skill. A nice sample of virtuosity. The riffs aren't all fast like they were on Killing is my Business. Some go at a midpaced tempo (Peace Sells and The Conjuring) others hit breakneck speed giving a nice diversity between tracks. There are also good melodic moments to be found (intros of Bad Omen and Good Mourning/Black Friday). Pretty well balanced.

The bass keeps up with the tempos, giving a nice backbone. It takes a nice spot in the mix where it can be heard pretty easily. It actually drives songs forward (Peace Sells) which is pretty unusual. He throws in little tricks of his own to remind us that the guitarists aren't the only showcasings of skill of here. The drummer doesn't use all the jazz tricks that were used before but he keeps some nice tempos. He shows his own skill in a way that is a bit more subtle and surprising to hear. He makes sure to use plenty of double pedal as expected from metal drummers and he makes sure to pound it out frequently.

Mustaine's vocals are energetic, enthusiastic and strangely charismatic which makes up for his lack of range and odd voice. Not as aggressive as before but he still spits a bit of venom and does this sort of one man call and response things at times (Peace Sells, where it also seems as if does call and response with the guitar). The composition is solid, the parts work well together instead of battling for your attention, clearly having more thought given to the whole instead of the individual performance.

Standout tracks: Wake Up Dead, Peace Sells and Bad Omen