Month of Megadeth: Countdown to Extinction
After the success of Rust in Peace, Megadeth aims for the number one spot. A calculated balance between radio friendly song structures and a scorching line-up ready for immolation makes Countdown to Extinction one of the few heavy metal records with pop sensibilities that won't make you hurl.
PETA protesting against the use of fur. Even though I support seal clubbing, I must admit I prefer women without fur. I prefer them naked too.
There's nowhere you can really go after a record like Rust in Peace. Of course, if Megadeth became louder and heavier, nobody would have complained. But Countdown to Extinction is a very good record, despite being lighter than its predecessor.
The 2004 remixed and remastered version features demos for the tracks "Countdown to Exctinction", "Symphony of Destruction" and "Psychotron". In the liner notes, Mustaine claims he felt a certain energy in the studio after about a week of recording. This energy told him that this record is the big one. The demos reveal just how perfectionist they were at this stage. Friedman and Mustaine tracked their guitars through tuners to ensure everything is perfect for the final recording.
Listening to the album, one can't help to notice this clinical perfectionism seeping through each track. Instead of sterilising the record, it helped to highlight the nuances in Megadeth's often complex tracks.
I used to listen to this album on cassette deck. My dad had a cassette of bird calls which was quickly transformed into a second generation copy of Countdown to Extinction. It made our mandatory game drives much more enjoyable for me, despite the fact that I got a hiding and gave my dad a headache.
The CD – now ripped to Megadeth mp3 for convenience – is in a state of pure digital perfection. Listening to it is truly awesome. Like Divine Intervention by Slayer, I can't really be objective about this record because I grew up with it. If you get a hiding for it, or if you get taken to the principal's office for a record, it automatically scores five skulls.
- "Crown of Worms" features lyrics written by Sean Harris of Diamond Head. Mustaine tried to write music in a classic Motorhead style to fit the lyrics. I am grateful that they included this hard to find track on the remixed and remastered version.
- "Countdown to Extinction" is a song about canned hunting. The track won accolades from PETA and other pussies. Canned hunting is obviously much different than frolicking around in an animal's natural habitat with a hand weapon, so in this case I support PETA's views.
- "Ashes in Your Mouth" has some of my favourite guitar solos of all time.
- "Psychotron" is one of several Megadeth tracks about comic book characters. In this case, the topic is Deathlok, the demolisher.
This is part of the month of Megadeth series on the Necro Files. All the posts of the series are listed below:
- Skin o' My Teeth
- Symphony of Destruction
- Architecture of Aggression
- Foreclosure of a Dream
- Sweating Bullets
- This Was My Life
- Countdown to Extinction
- High Speed Dirt
- Captive Honour
- Ashes in Your Mouth
- Crown of Worms
- Countdown to Extinction (Demo)
- Symphony of Destruction (Demo)
- Psychotron (Demo)
- David Ellefson: bass.
- Marty Friedman: guitar.
- Nick Menza: drums.
- Dave Mustaine: guitars, vocals, rehab.