Posts Tagged ‘Countdown To Extinction’

51fhehoazvl._sx331_bo1,204,203,200_It has been quite a long time since the last Heavy Metal Book Report was done on the blog, but we are promising more of these for 2019. The book that we are profiling for you guys today is none other than the autobiography of one of the most polarizing and controversial figures in thrash metal. I am talking about Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir that was written by Dave Mustaine of Megadeth and Joseph Layden that was released August of 2011. All anyone had known about Dave before this point is that he was booted out of Metallica and has been trying to escape their shadow ever since. Dave was definitely fulfilling the purpose of explaining at least his side of the story so that we know the whole truth or at least one side of it. We get the whole story starting right from the beginning of his days growing up in two different religious house holds with one focused on Christianity and the other a Jehovah’s Witness way of life. We learn of the events that Dave always felt led up to his dismissal in New York, but we hear his side which was a very lonely trip back to California on that bus ride home. We read about the start of Megadeth through a very funny chance encounter with the second longest reigning member of Megadeth in David Ellefson who Dave lovingly called Junior. We also read about all the successes and failures that would follow for Dave all the way up to the point of this book being released.

91tksfippnlOne of the things I loved about the book is that you really do get to read the struggle that Dave went through always being the guy who was booted out of Metallica. It seemed that all Dave wanted was just a chance to talk with the guys, but something always happens that sets him back. In Chapter 13, he talks about his newfound sobriety and the birth of his first child Justis. Eventually when it became time to tour, he had a Monsters Of Rock tour to do with Metallica and Diamondhead to which he made every member of his band sign a sobriety pack. He talks about how he saw James and all he wanted to do was talk to him, but here is where it gets a little rough for Dave. He recounts, “The nice guys in Metallica had a twisted sense of humor. They invited me into their dressing room, where a big plate of what appeared to be cocaine sat beckoning and unattended.” Obviously, this crushed Dave to great extents because he said they knew what lengths he went to to stay sober, but they didn’t care. One of the things that always astonished me in this book is that no matter what current or past member he discusses, he treats them with respect in the book and he explains their exit. The best story is how every drummer would replace his predecessor beginning with the late Gar Samuelson. There are a lot of great stories in the book that he tells like how he almost dated Belinda Carlisle to his every day struggle with addiction as well as all the different managers he has gone through over the years. I am definitely going to give the book 4.2 stars out of five for a final grade. It never disappointed me at any point in the book.

megadeth-dystopia_japan_edition-frontalJust as we have done for the last couple of weeks, we are covering albums by bands that won at the 6TH Annual Monster Entertainment Awards. We have already covered the album of the year (Post Pop Depression by Iggy Pop) and the rock album of the year (Gore by Deftones). So, it’s only natural that we move down the line to the next which is the metal album of the year which was taken home by Megadeth for their 15TH studio album Dystopia. In a way Dystopia was a return to form for Megadeth after lackluster sales plagued their previous album. The band had some new players for the album in Kiko Loureiro (Guitars) and Lamb Of God drummer Chris Adler (who recorded the record with the band, but is not a permanent member). Together they joined Dave Mustaine (Lead Vocals/Guitars) and David Ellefson (Bass) in recording what was a huge step in the right direction as the album debuted at number three on the Billboard Top 200 charts making it the second highest charted album in the band’s history (Countdown To Extinction debuted at number two). The album also peaked in the top 5 in six other countries and the title track earned the band their first Grammy after 11 failed attempts for Best Metal Performance.

megadeth-dystopia_japan_edition-trasera1. The Threat Is Real– The song is everything you would want to hear from Megadeth as it’s fierce, in your face, and reminds of me of Rust In Peace era Megadeth. Dave Mustaine is still writing his fierce politically driven lyrics of world destruction and it still sounds fresh. 5/5

2. Dystopia– The title track that won the band the Grammy for Best Metal Performance features some really amazing guitar work from Loureiro and Mustaine that sort of reminds me again of Rust In Peace. The song is about a world that is not ok in any way shape or form. 5/5

3. Fatal Illusion– I have always been a huge fan of Dave Mustaine and the lyrics that he writes as in this one about a prisoner so evil and against society that nothing can kill the evil inside him even the lethal injection. There is a cool bass section in the track that showcases Ellefson’s amazing abilities. 5/5

4. Death From Within– A cool track on the album about an enemy that is constantly is under attack in war that he waits for the perfect moment to enact revenge. 4.5/5

5. Bullet To The Brain– A cool drum cadence starts off the track with some acoustic guitars before the band kicks into overdrive. The track is an interesting take on relationships about how man give in easily to sex when they think they are winning, but they are really losing. 4/5

6. Post American World– an interesting commentary on the way the world is today. We all complain about what is happening in America even though we feel safe, but what if all of that changes and America falls? What will we look like in Post American World? The music reminds me a lot of The World Needs A Hero era Megadeth. 5/5

megadeth-dystopia_japan_edition-cd7. Poisonous Shadows– The track opens more with the clean/acoustic guitar playing before the band turns up the energy in a track about someone who holds some sort of guilt inside of them and they let it manifest. I love hearing Farah Siraj’s vocals in the background, it adds to the track. 5/5

8. Conquer Or Die– A very cool instrumental track on the album that showcases what these guys can do. I think Kiko adds some of that Brazilian flavor to this track and it’s very cool. 5/5

9. Lying In State– An in your face track right from the get go that is hammering and is classic Megadeth. The track is about the government and how they distract you fromt he real issues that are going on as our society is in decline. 5/5

10. The Emperor– The track has more of a hard rock flavor to it then the rest of the album and it may be the band showcasing their influences in a track about a president who thinks he is King, but doesn’t realize he is a joke. 4/5

11. Foreign Policy– This is the band’s cover of California punk band Fear’s track that is actually pretty kick ass. Check it out cause it sounds like something Suicidal Tendencies should have covered. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– Sadly I do not know if Chris Adler will return to the fold for future albums, but this was truly an amazing record. It was definitely Megadeth moving in the right direction and they deserved the Grammy and the win here. Kiko Loureiro is an amazing edition to the band and I can not wait to here what else he brings to the table. I am giving the album 4.7 stars out of five for a final grade.

 

CountdownToExtinctionAs 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.

countdown back1. 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

Megadeth-Countdown_To_Extinction-CD7. 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.

bw-Nick-MenzaI have said it time and time again that 2016 has been one hell of a bad year if you are a fan of metal or rock music. We have lost everyone from Lemmy Kilmister (the end of Dec 2015), David Bowie, Glenn Frey, Prince, and now we have lost former Megadeth drummer Nick Menza at the age of 51 yesterday in Los Angeles. Apparently, Nick was onstage last night at The Baked Potato in Studio City with his band OHM when he collapsed after just the third song of the set and authorities have not yet commented on the cause of death at this time. Nick was best known for his nine years that he spent in Megadeth for what I felt was an iconic lineup that also featured Marty Friedman. The band recorded some of it’s most iconic albums in Rust In Peace, Countdown To Extinction, Youthanasia, and Cryptic Writings (which would end up being his swan song from the band). Most of the classic tracks you hear live are Nick Menza Megadeth tracks because that is how iconic that line up was. After Megadeth, he had been in several bands like Orphaned To Hatred, Deltanaut, and OHM which featured former original Megadeth guitar player Chris Poland.

nickmenzasolo2014_638Marty Friedman took to Facebook to comment saying, “We all know the great and unique drummer that Nick Menza was, but he was also a trustworthy friend, a hilarious bandmate, as well as a very loving dad. I`m beyond sad, did not see this coming at all. RIP Brother.” Dave Mustaine also commented on Twitter saying, “TELL ME THIS ISN’T TRUE! I woke at 4 AM to hear Nick Menza passed away on 5/21 playing his drums w/Ohm at the Baked Potato. .” OHM commented on Facebook as well saying, “RIP Nick Menza. In the brief time I knew you, it was a pleasure. We will miss you “Machine”.” It is sad to hear, but in one way at least he passed doing what he loved to do and that is playing the drums. R.I.P. Nick Menza (July 23, 1964-May 21, 2016)

metallica_mustaineMarch 11, 1983 might be a day that has absolutely no significance for some people in the world unless you are a true metal head. Some people may remember that on this day, Pakistan successfully conducted a cold test of a nuclear weapon or that Burt Reynolds, Jane Fonda & Katharine Hepburn won awards at the 9TH annual People’s Choice Award that year. For us metal heads, it was a different event that seemed insignificant at the time, but had some major effects in the music world. You see, Metallica traveled to New York to record a record, but when they got there, they gave Dave Mustaine his walking papers and Kirk Hammett walked in to the role of a lifetime as the new lead guitarist. It changed the course of history because Metallica went on to become the biggest metal band of all time releasing one hit record after another. Meanwhile, Dave Mustaine went home to Hollywood to an uncertain future, but once he got on his feet, he would start arguably the second or third (depending on your perspective) biggest band from the Thrash Metal scene in Megadeth after throwing a plant at David Ellefson’s air conditioning unit. Things were not all that shabby for Dave Mustaine who went on to create what I believe to be some of the most iconic records in Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying, Rust In Peace, Countdown To Extinction, etc.

metallica-1983-metallicacomRegardless of what happened to Dave Mustaine, Metallica were poised to be the biggest band in the world in my opinion, but I believe it benefited them to release Mustaine because the better dynamic was in place with Lars “running” the show (which that can be argued as well). Dave Mustaine was a born leader and as he describes in his book that they were constantly clashing heads because there were too many chiefs so you know it wasn’t going to work. Depending on whose side you are on, Dave did have an essential part in the beginnings of Metalllica as he is credited with being a writer on four tracks on Kill ‘Em All. The groundwork for his firing was laid down as described here by Scott Ian of Anthrax, “I was with them on April 9, 1983, when they were playing L’Amour with Vandenberg and the Rods. Vandenberg were onstage in the middle of the afternoon sound checking, and Mustaine was already hammered. He was in the middle of the floor of the venue, and as soon as they ended a song he started screaming at them that they sucked and they should get the f–k off the stage. [Anthrax/Metallica manager] Jonny Z pulled him away. But I didn’t think any of that s–t was enough to get him kicked out of the band. The guy is arguably the godfather of thrash metal. He wrote a lot of the riffs on Kill ’Em All and even some of Ride the Lightning. Without Dave Mustaine, maybe thrash metal never would have happened. At least in the beginning, he was the driving force, artistically.”

OlineupBrian Slagel of Metal Blade Records reflects on why he was let go, “Dave was an incredibly talented guy, but he also had an incredibly large problem with alcohol and drugs. He’d get wasted and become a real crazy person, a raging maniac, and the other guys just couldn’t deal with that after a while. I mean, they all drank of course, but Dave drank more…much more. I could see they were beginning to get fed up of seeing Dave drunk out of his mind all the time.” The firing of Mustaine as I stated before drove the man to become the legend in his own right as his only goal was to prove that if Metallica could do it so couldn’t he and he wanted blood. In 2009, James Hetfield commented on the situation saying that their reconciliation was needed because , “It’s obvious that he had the same drive as us — he went on to do great things in Megadeth. … He’s an amazing, talented person.” I for one have always thanked Metallica for kicking out Dave Mustaine because as he says in the Rock Icons episode that, “we wanted to be the up most heaviest, ultra furious metal band period. Doesn’t sound like my last band” and that is exactly what we all received. So forget the idea of being sad over a firing that happened 32 years ago and count the blessings while popping in So Far, So Good… So What into your stereo and bang those heads cause I know that I will.

It’s another Saturday which can only mean one thing and that is I have another Soundtrack Saturday pick for all of you. In the early 90’s Arnold Schwarzenegger was still a huge star and one of my favorite 90’s films with him was Last Action Hero which also starred Austin O’Brien, Charles Dance, Anthony Quinn, and so many more. One of the cool things about the soundtrack is that 80’s metal was still a big thing and it was mixed with some of the 90’s metal acts as well. The soundtrack featured the likes of Def Leppard, Alice In Chains, Tesla, Queensryche, but I decided to choose a track from one of my all time favorite Thrash Metal acts in Megadeth. Dave wrote the song in one day apparently while he was going through a rough stage. The song is called Angry Again and it was written at a time when he was on drugs again and he was mad at everyone from the band to some industry people. He describes the track, “I wrote ‘Angry Again’ right after I got out of a treatment center in Arizona. They had done one of those happy little 1990s interventions where everybody who’s not loaded gets to point the finger at everyone who is. And the day I got out of rehab, they threw me into a studio in Phoenix where I wrote ‘Angry Again’ for the movie The Last Action Hero.” The song was written around the time that Countdown To Extinction was written so it has that awesome sound that the album possessed. The song ended up earning the band a Grammy nod for best metal performance which was their fourth nod at the time. It’s definitely one of my favorite Megadeth songs, so you should check it out below and bang that head.