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Euthanizing whatever garbage Countdown was - 89%

Mailman__, April 22nd, 2018

This was my first Megadeth album.  I saw it in my local record store and listened to it when I got home.  Liking what I heard, I bought it just in time for a trip to Canada, where I sat on a bus that left the station at midnight.  In a total zone of peace and tranquility, I played my brand new Megadeth album that I just put onto my phone.  Every time I listen to this album, I am reminded of that perfect bus ride.

When the album starts, it is with a pummeling thrash metal riff that sounds like a better-produced Countdown to Extinction song.  In fact, almost everything on here sounds like it's from Countdown to Extinction, except for the fact that half the songs on that album consisted on a lot of clean guitar.  On Youthanasia, most of the clean guitar has been consolidated to one track, "A tout le monde."  But, it is much more well-done than their 1992 effort, consisting of actual thrash metal riffs and melody.  They still have yet to grasp at any technicality that was so present in their debut and sophomore releases, but this is fine, I guess.  I mean, I don't hate it.

In fact, I love it.  Was this my favorite Megadeth album at one point?  Yes, but I hadn't heard anything else at that point until I bought Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? on a whim from Amazon.  It is not longer my favorite Megadeth album, but it's definitely my third favorite.  The riffs, melodies, and song structure is all what Countdown should have been.

As I've said several times already, this is what Countdown should've sounded like.  That being said, here are some major improvements Megadeth has made on this record.  First, unpredictability has been re-adopted into their music.  Just listen to "The Killing Road" or "Youthanasia."  This brings up another improvement.  On this album, they didn't allocate all of the good songs to the front of the tracklist.  They actually spread them out (!).  "Youthanasia," one of the strongest tracks is at track nine, "The Killing Road" is track six, and "Train of Consequences" is track two.  These are just a few of my favorite on this album.  Others include "I Thought I Knew it All" (track 10), "Addicted to Chaos" (Track three), and "Family Tree" (track eight).  The better songs are spread out thoroughly, a nice thing to see every once in a while.

Is this album composed of mid-paced thrash metal?  Yes.  Is this a turn-off?  Absolutely not.  I could listen to this album all day and not be unamused.  I can say with utmost confidence that this album is the peak of their 1990s years (excluding 1990's Rust in Peace, of course).  The mid-paced riffs aren't that bad because they actually do it right this time.  On Countdown, the slow thrash riffs were absolutely painful, but on Youthanasia, the majority of the riffs are still entertaining, despite their speed.

The biggest downfall, for me, on this album is "Victory."  After one realizes that Mustaine's just running off track titles from previous Megadeth albums, it becomes a disappointment.  It doesn't help that the riffs aren't that great either.  I can see why they put this song last, as it is a testament to everything they've written up to 1994, but it's still a disappointing ending to such a surprisingly good successor to Countdown.  But, hey, the solo is pretty awesome.

Overall, this album is great considering the death of popular thrash metal bands had occurred by this time.  Death Angel fell off the map, Slayer just released Diabolus in Musica to succeed the already mediocre Seasons in the Abyss, Sepultura just dove off the deep end with Chaos A.D., sounding like a watered-down Pantera, and Metallica was just being a bunch of dicks when they released Load and Reload after a five-year hiatus.  The only bands that continued doing what they were doing were Sodom and Artillery.  Despite this, Megadeth released a good album in 1994, despite showing many signs in their 1992 release that they were definitely slowing down, and it was a good album.  Bravo, Megadeth... but will you be able to keep it up in your next release?  (The answer is sort of).

Overall Rating: 89%

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