As reported earlier in the week, former Megadeth drummer Nick Menza passed away while performing on stage. So as a tribute to him, I have decided to cover a Megadeth record for this week’s album of the week. The album I chose from his catalog is Countdown To Extinction, the band’s fifth album and the second to feature the classic lineup of Nick Menza (Drums), Marty Friedman (Guitars), Dave Mustaine (Vocals/Guitars), and David Ellefson (Bass). The album was a drastic change for the band in terms of sound because out were the fast as hell, face melting riffs and in were more intricate riffs and better song writing (at least in my opinion). The album was also a very trying time for the band as far as recording was concerned because curfew in Los Angeles at the time was 6PM due to the riots that followed the Rodney King beatings. The album was very successful for the band as it went two times platinum and peaked at number two on the Billboard Top 200 charts. The album was nominated for a Grammy for Best Metal Performance while the title track won he Humane Society’s Genesis Award for raising awareness for animal rights which is pretty cool.
1. Skin o’ My Teeth– The track starts off sounding off with a sonic fury that sounds like a more refined thrash track. The tracks lyrical deals with someone who failed at committing suicide. 5/5
2. Symphony Of Destruction– One of my favorite tracks on the record that starts with a symphonic/opera like beginning before we get into that chugging bass riff from Ellefson. The tracks lyrics deal with a guy who is put into power while the government while the public is led by a phantom government. 5/5
3. Architecture Of Aggression– the track starts off with gunfire and a missile launch before you get your signature Megadeth thrash sound. The track deals with global conflict as far as the lyrics are concerned. 4.5/5
4. Foreclosure Of A Dream– Lyrically one of my favorite songs on the album because we can certainly relate to the lyrics even today. It’s one of those songs whose lyrics will always stand the test of time and never sound outdated. The lyrics deal with economic concerns and social inequality. 5/5
5. Sweating Bullets– One of my other favorite tracks on the record that deals with schizophrenia. Mustaine explains, “I wrote that about myself. It was pointed out to me that I’m kind of schizophrenic and that I live inside my head. Which is something I don’t subscribe to, but I enjoyed the theory nonetheless. I think all of us are sweating bullets all the time. Society’s a joke right now, and people are getting more and more hostile. When you think about having an evil twin or schizophrenia, I think a lot of us are schizo, because we live inside our heads. There’s someone we all confer with; it’s called our conscience. Some people cannot control their other side; it takes them over. Everybody has that psychotic side. Everyone has a thing that will make them snap.” 5/5
6. This Was My Life– an interesting track that deals with relationships gone bad. Mustaine explains, “I had the very seedy, sordid love affair that took place over six years, and I’ve gotten a lot of great songs out of it. She’s probably biting her nails, wondering what this album’s gonna say about her! This particular song is about a time I wanted to kill her. I’m laying in her bed, and she’s examining my head, and my feeling of being under her microscope is the part of me that hates. I know I’m going to get her back, but that when I do, I’m throwing my own switch on an electric chair, buying my own ticket. It’s a confession of the madness I felt at the time.” 4/5
7. Countdown To Extinction– A track whose title came from an article that Menza read in a Time Magazine about there concerns for the future of the planet environmentally. 4.5/5
8. High Speed Dirt– A track that talks about Dave’s obsession with skydiving and the trill behind it. 4/5
9. Psychotron– A cool track with a cool bass line from Ellefson and machine like guitar riffs whose lyrics deal with Marvel Comics character Deathlok. 4.5/5
10. Captive Honour– A very melodic track in the beginninfrom Megadeth before the verdict is handed down and the track gets heavier. It’s a track whose lyrics deal with prison and the consequences of it. 4/5
11. Ashes in Your Mouth– Sonically very impressive from the start with the guitar fury in a track that is about the negative aftermath of war. There is some serious playing in this track that will blow you away. 4/5
My Final Thoughts– Peace Sells is by far my favorite Megadeth record of all time, but this one falls close to number two. It’s definitely one of my favorites of the classic era besides Youthanasia. The classic lineup era was definitely the best era for Megadeth and this album solidified that. It’s an amazing album from the first guitar riff to the very last. It’s sad that Nick Menza passed away because I was hoping for him to rejoin Megadeth, but we know that was never going to happen. I am going to give this record 4.7 stars out of five for a final grade.