Megadeth - Countdown To Extinction
Capitol Records Inc.
Megadeth Metal
11 songs (47'26)
Release year: 1992
Megadeth, Capitol Records Inc.
Reviewed by Jack
This album and I had a weird love affair. In fact I had been following Megadeth since 1988 and I really like all of their previous efforts. But before this album came out, I literally got absorbed by the death metal wave and kind of rejected the speed and thrash stuff I had been previously listening to. So when this album came out, I listened to it with the ears of death metal aficionados and really disgusted it. A couple of years later though, I was spending some studying time in Boston. The father of my host family had this album in his car and we used to listen to it while on the way to school with some other Metallica stuff. After several severe repeated listens, I just fell in love with that album and I consider it Megadeth's best record ever.

I know many people consider Rust In Peace being Megadeth’s best album, but this one has so much more to offer. First of all, it’s the first time ever Dave Mustaine was able to release an album with the same line-up. Holy Wars had the lion’s share for itself on Rust In Peace, but on this fifth album, Dave Mustaine's songwriting reached its absolute peak as each song is carefully composed, but still they are all different from one another. The style remains a blend of speed and thrash metal à la Megadeth sauce with it’s typical thrash riff, but this is the first time the songs are great all the way through as they somehow sound great one by one. The haunting Symphony Of Destruction has a lot for itself, but each track has a somewhat personal sound and feels like it really works for the whole album. A track like the opener Skin Of My Teeth has a lot of the older Megadeth sound with its hard riff and killer melodies as well as a catchy chorus, but on the other hand a song such as Foreclosure Of A Dream or the very much Maiden influenced Psychotron create a darker and more disturbing atmosphere which shows the band’s ability to alternate very rhythmical tracks and powerful metal ballads.

Dave Mustaine remained the principal composer as Megadeth is or was his own baby. This guy had a real talent for creating great songs with sumptuous melodies and complex melodic riffs that will echo in yours ears for years. Throughout this album he showcased a constant maturity and improvements with shorter and more concise riffs that on his previous album. He also came up with some of the greatest lyrics ever written in the world of heavy metal and some of them might haunt you for decades (Countdown To Extinction) if you care a little about the living creatures that share the blue planet with us selfish humans. He also did an awesome vocal job on this album as his nasal voice sounds better than on any other Megadeth album before. He stretched his voice to actually try to sing rather than just snarl and his voice sounds much better in my humble opinion. It’s maybe due to the fact that guitar hero Marty Friedman's amazing guitar work forced Dave to come out with the best he could. The twin guitars are still crunchy and the melodic solos completely mindblowing. The guitar tandem is backed up by the other tandem consisting of the great bass job by Dave Ellefson and the amazing drumwork by Nick Menza. I saw Megadeth touring in 1990 and I consider it the ultimate Megadeth line-up ever.

The only sour note about the record is the cover. Why did they not keep Vic Rattlehead on the front cover ? It looks as if Iron Maiden released an album without Eddie on the artwork. I mean the cover still looks great, but I prefer the back cover with Vic playing with the counting frame as if counting the remaining endangered species of our world. This album is to me definitely the best Megadeth has ever achieved although it has been released only a year after Metallica’s best selling ever Black Album and Countdown To Extinction might suffer of the comparison as Mustaine has always been driven by a tightening complex towards his ex band mates. Megadeth successfully handled the transition into the '90s by becoming more popular without sacrificing their metallic edge, but his ex band mates could not say as much.

I am forced to give this album the maximal quotation as there's nothing to throw on this masterpiece. Period.

Killing Songs :
They are all great but Symphony Of Destruction, Foreclosure Of A Dream, Countdown To Extinction are my personal favorite ones
Jack quoted CLASSIC
Jeff quoted 95 / 100
Other albums by Megadeth that we have reviewed:
Megadeth - Dystopia reviewed by Goat and quoted 78 / 100
Megadeth - Super Collider reviewed by Goat and quoted 59 / 100
Megadeth - Th1rt3en reviewed by Goat and quoted 83 / 100
Megadeth - Cryptic Writings reviewed by Goat and quoted 78 / 100
Megadeth - Endgame reviewed by Goat and quoted 91 / 100
To see all 18 reviews click here
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