Megadeth - So Far, So Good...So What?
Capitol Records Inc.
Heavy Metal
8 songs (34:30)
Release year: 1988
Megadeth, Capitol Records Inc.
Reviewed by Shane
Archive review

Generally speaking, the careers of Metallica and Megadeth can be seen to have numerous similarities to each other. From the thrashy beginnings of both bands with Kill ‘Em All and Killing is My Business…and Business is Good!, to producing classics such as Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets and Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying?, to somewhat of a transition phase with And Justice For All and So Far, So Good, So What!, to mainstream success with the black album and Rust in Peace and Youthanasia, which led to both bands selling out and alienating many of their old fans with Load, Reload and Cryptic Writings and Risk and finally concluding (so far at least) with the pathetic, so-called “return to their roots” with St. Anger and The World Needs a Hero. What’s the point of this revisionist history lesson? Well, similar to Metallica’s And Justice For All, opinions of metal heads are quite divided concerning So Far, So Good…So What! And similar to my opinion of And Justice For All, I love So Far, So Good…So What!

The album opens with the instrumental Into the Lungs of Hell, which is an extremely effective opener and a nice introduction to the album. Set the World Afire follows and begins with a nice heavy riff. The song is a solid head banger though out. It doesn’t take long to notice that the production is heavy on the reverb gives the music a somewhat hollow, yet still heavy feel and does the same to Dave Mustaine’s vocals. Personally, I like the sound that it gives to Dave’s voice because when his voice is clean, it isn’t exactly pleasing to the ears. Megadeth’s strength has never been Mustaine’s vocals. Dave’s voice isn’t buried in the mix or anything but fortunately a lot of the nasal ness of his voice is removed so I favour the change. Plus, it gives the album a unique and distinct sound differentiating it from other Megadeth albums.

Megadeth’s cover of the Sex Pistol’s Anarchy in the UK is the next track and this is another aspect of this album that has metal heads divided. I love the job Megadeth did with this song and this is my favourite version of it. It’s heavy and it kicks ass, plus the attitude of the original is retained. Speaking of attitude, Mustaine absolutely spits venom on track number seven entitled Lair. While I don’t think that the lyrics are supposed to be all that serious, Mustaine doesn’t pull any punches when he launches into a non-stop rant near the end of the song. The album ends on a more serious note with Hook in Mouth, which deals with the issue of censorship that was targeting heavy metal music during the late eighties. Given how risqué and extreme music has become since 1988, and given how acts such as Eminem have gained mainstream popularity, it is safe to say that the P.M.R.C lost the battle to censor music. Hook in Mouth is a Megadeth classic and follows in the vein of Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying with its political commentary. Another classic off of this album is one of Megadeth’s most popular songs, In My Darkest Hour. This is the most commercial song on the album, as the guitars are slowed down a notch but the lyrics are great and Dave’s performance is excellent as well. The song speeds up at the end providing some great head banging material.

While So Far, So Good…So What! may not be the classic that Peace Sells But…Who’s Buying? is, however, it is still a solid album though out, as every song is well done. Sure, it’s not as technical as Rust in Peace and the line up of the band isn’t as solid either but Dave Mustaine’s presence alone means that the guitar work is still exceptional (well Dave’s presence used to mean that back in 1988). The only problem with So Far, So Good…So What! that I have is that the album is too short. However, I like albums that are too short much more than albums that are too long and contain filler. Just be prepared to hit the repeat button on your CD player.

Killing Songs :
Set the World Afire, Anarchy in the UK, In My Darkest Hour, Liar, Hook in Mouth
Shane quoted 86 / 100
Jeff quoted 82 / 100
Jay quoted 90 / 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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