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Rust in Peace review (critique needed)

Discussion in 'Your Reviews' started by HadesRagnazrath, Jul 2, 2017.

  1. HadesRagnazrath

    HadesRagnazrath Active Member

    Apr 11, 2015
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    Megadeth took what most would consider some sort of substance induced misstep with 1988's somewhat strange sounding 'So Far, So Good...So What!'. The album was quite good in my opinion, however it is virtually impossible to argue against the fact that it lacked whatever elements made the band's previous album, 'Peace Sells...But Who's Buying?' such a great thrash opus. 'Rust In Peace', released on the tail end of the thrash scene in 1990, is Megadeth's bounceback from whatever trap they had fallen in two years prior. Not only is this a great album, it has a mystique about it that gives it a lot of power and impact. The first riffs of the epic and dynamic thrasher "Holy Wars...The Punishment Due" open the album, and they cut like knives. The production is concise and sharp, with a heavy, more spacious edge that is very unique to 'Rust in Peace'. It sounds perfect. I also must clear up something at this point. The remastered editions have been subject to some patchwork; from what I've heard, some of the tracks have re-recorded vocals, and from what I can hear, this is fairly self-evident, however I am pretty sure that the other instruments have been re-mixed slightly. Either edition will have the same power to kick ass, but go for the original if possible for purposes of authenticity.

    'Rust in Peace', while being a continuation and intensification of Megadeth's classic sound, also sees the band taking steps into new realms; some being quite far and extravagant. Track two, "Hangar 18" proves this with its odd and very guitar-centric section. This is considered by most to be one of the highlights of the album, however I can't say that it does too much for me. The first half is sort of soft and kills the momentum set forth by the opener, and the second half, while technical, isn't too interesting. That said, it is not a bad song at all. "Take No Prisoners" introduces us to a whole new world of brutality and technicality, one surpassing only slightly that of "Holy Wars". The track extensively employs gang shouts, and sets a very belligerent mood. Whatever deficits were created by the last track by this point have been decimated and forgotten.

    On the previous album, there was a lack of the Occult themes present on the first two albums. In all honesty, I think that by this point, the band had grown out of it, but they nonetheless included "Five Magics" on Rust in Peace. It is another shred-heavy sing with some interesting bass from the underrated Dave Ellefson as well. Throughout this album, he throws in some fucking great fills, and while he is using a plectrum, his skill is still impressive. The lyrics slip into the background here, and rightly so as they aren't interesting; the only spirit they invoke is humor.

    Some fans do not like the next track. "Poison was the Cure" is an extremely fast track that is over as quickly as it started. It sends the album in a darker direction, one that it will continue in from here on out. It deals with Dave Mustaine's past encounters with drugs. At this point, it should be noted that drugs appear to play less of a role here than they did in the past. This results into a much more focused and cohesive sound, with the album working very well as one entity. The musicianship also seems tighter, despite being faster and more demanding. It is said sometimes that drugs inspire good music, and that may be true in some cases, but here we see the exact opposite. The next two tracks bring more melodicity to the table. "Lucretia" begins with some soft lead work, and takes on a fairly dark sound as it becomes a midtempo thrasher with catchy, signalong vocal lines. "Tornado of Souls" takes a similar melodic formula and does something much more with it. In a stylistic reprise to the early songs on this album, the riffing returns to the focal point. The guitar work here is incredibly intricate, and we get a more Metallica style piece with Dave's spin on it here.

    Reminding the listener of "Five Magics", the album starts to get very weird again. A very dark, eerie bass riff carries "Dawn Patrol". The vocals, either Mustaine or Ellefson's, are low, and delivered in a very dark dark manner. The lyrics deal with the environmental consequences of human misdeeds such as pollution and nuclear warfare.

    "We end our lives as moles in the dark of Dawn Patrol"

    A drum intro, followed by more brutal thrashing opens "Rust in Peace...Polaris". The lyrics combine the darkness of nuclear warfare with humor, injected in the form of some strange double entendres. Dave sings from the point of view of a nuclear warhead, and his delivery is extremely powerful. The warhead seems to mock it's measly human creators as it describes its future doings. The song is a very catchy track, and it thrashes all the way to its ending, closing the album. Unfortunately, 'Rust in Peace' seems a little bit too short at this point. Either way, the album is Megadeth's pinnacle and a necessity for anyone working on their extreme metal collection.

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