Megadeth is an American heavy metal band led by founder, frontman, guitarist, and songwriter Dave Mustaine. Formed in 1983 following Mustaine's departure from Metallica, the band has since released eleven studio albums, six live albums, two EPs, thirty singles, thirty-two music videos, and three compilations.
As a pioneer of the American thrash metal movement, Megadeth rose to international fame in the 1980s, but experienced numerous lineup changes, due partly to the band's notorious substance abuse problems. After finding sobriety and securing a stable lineup, Megadeth went on to release a string of platinum and gold albums, including the platinum-selling thrash metal landmark Rust in Peace in 1990 and the Grammy nominated, multi-platinum Countdown to Extinction in 1992. Megadeth disbanded in 2002 after Mustaine suffered a severe nerve injury to his left arm, but following extensive physical therapy, Mustaine reformed the band in 2004 and released The System Has Failed, followed by United Abominations in 2007; the albums debuted on the Billboard Top 200 chart at #18 and #8, respectively.
Megadeth is known for a distinctive guitar style, often involving complex, intricate musical passages, and trade off guitar solos. Mustaine is also known for his original "snarling" vocal style, as well as his recurring lyrical themes, often involving politics, war, addiction, and personal relationships.
As one of the most commercially successful heavy metal bands of all time, Megadeth has sold more than 20 million albums worldwide, including six consecutive platinum albums, with seven consecutive Grammy nominations for Best Metal Performance. In their 23 active years, Megadeth has had 20 official members, with Dave Mustaine remaining as the driving force, main songwriter, and sole original member. Megadeth is mentioned as one of the bands among the "Big Four of Thrash," along with Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax, who were responsible for creating and popularizing the genre in the 1980’s.
Genre(s): Thrash Metal (1983-1992), Heavy Metal (1994-present)
Lyrical theme(s): Religion, Politics, War, History, Literature
Originally formed in: U.S.A. (San Francisco/Los Angeles, California) 1983
- Dave Mustaine / Guitar & Vocals
- Chris Broderick / Guitar
- James Lomenzo / Bass
- Shawn Drover / Drums
Anthology: Set The World Afire
01. Mechanix 4:21
02. Rattlehead 3:39
03. Peace Sells 4:01
04. Wake Up Dead 3:37
05. Devils Island 5:05
06. Anarchy In The UK 3:01
07. Set The World Afire 5:48
08. Into The Lungs Of Hell 3:22
09. In My Darkest Hour 6:25
10. Holy Wars... The Punishment Due 6:31
11. Tornado Of Souls 5:19
12. Hangar 18 5:11
13. Take No Prisoners 3:27
14. Go To Hell 4:35
15. Sweating Bullets 5:27
16. Crowns Of Worms (Demo Version) 3:17
17. High Speed Dirty (Demo Version) (Previously Unreleased) 4:46
01. Skin O' My Teeth 3:15
02. Ashes In Your Mouth 6:05
03. Breakpoint 3:27
04. Angry Again 3:47
05. Train Of Consequences 3:31
06. Reckoning Day (Live) 4:01
07. A Tout Le Monde 4:22
08. The Killing Road 3:50
09. New World Order 3:47
10. Trust 5:10
11. She-Wolf 3:37
12. Insomnia 4:15
13. Prince Of Darkness 6:27
14. Kill The King 3:43
15. Dread & The Fugitive Mind 4:22
16. Foreclosure Of A Dream 4:22
17. Symphony Of Destruction (Live) 3:49
18. Peace Sells (Live) 4:16
The Urban Dictionary defines a nutswinger as ‘someone who hangs from someone’s nuts…someone who follows ever move they make’. As generally unspecific as such a description may be, it does, for better or worse, accurately summarize my feelings for Heavy Metal titans Megadeth. Hell, let’s be honest; for as long as I can freakin’ remember, I’ve been a disturbingly dedicated fan of all things Mustaine and Mustaine-related.
Sure, I may have temporarily lost touch with my inner Vic Rattlehead circa Risk once the group embarked on its much-maligned Dan Huff-led experimental phase, but I still found solace amid my well-worn copies of Rust In Peace, Countdown To Extinction and Youthanasia. Not surprisingly, when I was initially approached regarding writing a review of the group’s latest ‘…Greatest Hits…’ compilation, I was only more than happy to oblige.
On the stellar Anthology: Set The World Afire (2008), an expertly assembled thirty five song, two disc collection of deftly-executed Heavy Metal, each track, beginning with the somewhat primitive (albeit highly effective) “Mechanix”, a scalding, Jeff Young-fueled take on the Sex Pistols classic “Anarchy In The U.K.”, and the eerily relevant “Holy Wars…The Punishment Due”, instantly commands the rapt and undivided attention of all parties involved, myself most definitely included. Engulfing both the able and feeble-bodied alike (i.e. you, the increasingly faithful reader) amid a virtual sonic tidal wave of menacing proportions, the veteran group proves their mettle ‘…early and often…’ without, believe it or not, resorting to the ridiculously shameless, chart position and payola-driven tactics typically utilized by the genre’s so-called crème de la crème.
Continuing with the delightfully thought-provoking “Hangar 18”, the quasi-autobiographical “Sweating Bullets”, and the cautionary lament “Skin O My Teeth”, the now-legendary combinations of vocalist/guitarist Dave Mustaine, guitarists Chris Poland, Jeff Young, Marty Friedman, Al Pitrelli and Glen Drover, bassists David Ellefson and James “Jlo” LoMenzo , and drummers Gar Samuleson, Chuck Behler, Nick Menza, Jimmy DeGrasso, and Shawn Drover steamroll ahead with what can only be described as a sickening ease.
Armed with a breathtaking array of razor-sharp riffs and shred-laden solos, the group wastes little--if any--time bridging the more than considerable distance between their much-celebrated roots and the Platinum-encrusted present, ultimately resulting in a collection of material that carefully chronicles the group’s prototypical past.
With Mustaine personally overseeing the remixing, remastering and in some cases, outright reconstruction, of the group’s Capitol Records-era catalog, the culminate results of the frontman’s painstaking efforts are proudly displayed throughout. While obviously not nearly as all-encompassing as 2007’s brilliant Warchest (and far more well-appointed than 2005’s oft-overlooked Greatest Hits: Back To The Start), other standouts, including the maddeningly infectious “Angry Again”, the stunning, emotionally-charged “A Tout Le Monde”, and the equally impressive closer “Peace Sells” (taken from the group’s previously unreleased 1992 performance at San Francisco’s Cow Palace), go a ridiculously long way towards re-solidifying the legendary quartet’s already undeniably well-deserved reputation as a creative and commercial force not to be ignored.
Was there truly a need to add yet another ‘…Best Of…’ collection to the group’s already massively sprawling catalog? Not necessarily. But then again, is too much of a good thing really all that bad? Not surprisingly, the majority--if not all--of the decidedly ferocious, nostalgia-inducing wares contained herein are seemingly guaranteed to appeal to even the most pessimistic of Thrash Metal elitists, a much-welcomed and increasingly rare characteristic that makes the career-spanning behemoth that is the mighty Anthology… one of the group’s most thoroughly enjoyable multi-disc compilations to date. Thus, if you have once again found yourself less than enthused with the glut of painfully mindless din and clatter that is so often the mainstream, then this, my friends, might just be the high octane cure for what ails you. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.
This album maybe doesn’t add that much to your Megadeth collection but it does contain some previously unreleased tracks, remastered tracks and some live tracks (which were recorded at the Cow Palace in 1992.)