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Metal - Released January 1, 2012 | Capitol Records

Booklet
Megadeth guns for arena thrash success and gets it on Countdown to Extinction. Following the lead of 1991's Metallica, Megadeth trades in their lengthy, progressive compositions for streamlined, tightly written and played songs more conducive to radio and MTV airplay. Cries of "sellout" seem pointless when the results are artistically (as well as commercially) successful; songs like the mega-hit "Symphony of Destruction," "Skin O' My Teeth," "Foreclosure of a Dream," and "Sweating Bullets" are among the band's best. © Steve Huey /TiVo
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Metal - Released January 1, 2010 | Capitol Records

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Metal - Released January 1, 2008 | Capitol Records

Booklet
Megadeth fans who felt short-changed by 2005's 17-track Greatest Hits: Back to the Start and crushed beneath the formidable weight of 2007's five-disc Warchest box will revel in the perfectly balanced brutality of Anthology: Set the World Afire, a two-disc (33 tracks) chronological rendering of the heavy metal pioneers' entire catalog. Along with the usual suspects like "Trust," "Peace Sells," "A Tout le Monde," "Hangar 18," "Wake Up Dead," and "Symphony of Destruction," Set the World a Fire includes two previously unreleased live recordings, as well as two demos, one an ultra-rare recording of "High Speed Dirt," a track cut immediately after Dave Mustaine left Metallica. From the raw, Southern California thrash of 1985's Killing Is My Business...And Business Is Good! to the tech-heavy, progressive metal of 2007's United Abominations, this Anthology presents a deafeningly clear and succinct argument as to why Megadeth has managed to stick around for so long, while others acts laid down their guns in their wake. © James Christopher Monger /TiVo
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Metal - Released January 1, 2004 | Capitol Records

Megadeth's follow-up to the hit Countdown to Extinction lacks the focus of its predecessor, but Youthanasia makes up the difference with more accessible, radio-friendly production and tighter riffs. Unfortunately, they have abandoned some of the more experimental, progressive elements in their music, but those are hardly missed in the jackhammer riffs of tracks like "Train of Consequences." © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Metal - Released January 1, 2004 | Capitol Records

A largely uninspired effort recorded with a new guitarist and drummer, So Far, So Good...So What! lacks the conceptual unity and musical bite of Peace Sells, which helps push much of its lyrical material into the realm of self-parody, as Mustaine rants about the PMRC, the apocalypse, ex-girlfriends, and other people he is angry with, while hinting at the depth of his substance abuse problem with "502," a paean to driving drunk. The album wants to sound threatening but mostly comes off as forced and somewhat juvenile; typical is the embarrassing cover of "Anarchy in the U.K.," which is played in Megadeth's tightly controlled riffing style and without the looseness of the original, making it sound stilted and stiff -- and Mustaine doesn't even get the lyrics right. This one is for diehards only. © Steve Huey /TiVo

Metal - Released January 1, 2004 | Capitol Records

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Arguably Megadeth's strongest effort and a classic of early thrash, Peace Sells combines a punkish political awareness with a dark, threatening, typically heavy metal world-view, preoccupied with evil, the occult, and the like. The anthemic title track and "Wake Up Dead" are the two major standouts, and there is also a cover of Willie Dixon's "I Ain't Superstitious," which takes on an air of supernaturally induced paranoia in the album's context. The lines between hell and earth are blurred throughout the album, and the crashing, complex music backs up Dave Mustaine's apocalyptic vision of life as damnation -- his limited vocal style is used to great effect, growling and snarling in a barely intelligible fashion under all the complicated guitar work. Vital, necessary thrash. © Steve Huey /TiVo
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Metal - Released January 1, 2004 | Capitol Records

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Metal - Released January 1, 2003 | Capitol Records

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Metal - Released January 1, 2003 | Capitol Records

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Metal - Released January 1, 2001 | Capitol Records

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Metal - Released August 31, 1999 | Capitol Records

In many ways, Megadeth's career trajectory has run parallel to Metallica's; both bands started out as speed-metal outfits, then broadened into technically adept progressive thrash, and in the early '90s, streamlined and slowed down their songs for mass-market acceptance. While that mainstreaming process was initially viewed as both commercially and artistically successful, it also meant that neither band represented heavy metal's cutting edge any longer. As MTV combined its appetite for new trends with decreased music programming, Megadeth found themselves unable to rely on it or a cultish underground fan base to promote their music. So, they began to concentrate on a medium that had all but ignored them during the '80s: album-rock radio. Certainly, radio had become more willing to accept their music as time passed, and Megadeth cultivated that more conservative audience with polished production and reduced fury. And that's what they continued to do with 1999's Risk. To their credit, Megadeth never went as far as trying to reshape their sound around AOR's rampant '70s worship, so even if their music lost a good deal of its danger and excitement, it has aged gracefully (something that can't always be said of Metallica's '90s output). Risk is not much of a departure from its two predecessors; more reflective, melodic, and conventional than the Megadeth of old, it delivers a well-played set of hard rock tunes suitable for metal and AOR fans alike. Some of those tunes are catchier than others, and they're enough to carry the album if you're a fan of this style. Even if the album's title is a misnomer, it's startling to see Megadeth still around -- and still successful. © Steve Huey /TiVo
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Metal - Released June 17, 1997 | Capitol Records

While Metallica was busy climbing to the top of the thrash-metal heap, Dave Mustaine and Megadeth were quietly carving out a niche for themselves, distinguished by intelligent songwriting and a progressive approach that avoids erratic genre-jumping. Mustaine's breadth of song subjects continues to expand on CRYPTIC WRITINGS, with topics ranging from stalkers ("I'll Get Even") and drug addiction ("Use The Man") to Armageddon wrapped in a cloak of punk anarchy ("The Disintegrators") Some of CRYPTIC WRITINGS' cooler touches include the electric sitar on "A Secret Place" and the acoustic guitar, mellotron and synths on the multi-part opening track "Trust". Throughout the album, guitarist Marty Friedman displays the exponential growth his playing has undergone since his days with Cacophany. His impressive sense of rhythm comes to the fore on "Almost Honest" and "Have Cool, Will Travel." © TiVo
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Metal - Released January 1, 1996 | Capitol Records

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Metal - Released January 1, 1995 | Capitol Records

Culled from various soundtracks and tribute albums, and featuring a new cover of the Sex Pistols' "Problems," Hidden Treasures may have a number of rare tracks, but it doesn't have many first-rate songs, with only "99 Ways to Die" making much of an impression. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Metal - Released January 1, 1991 | Capitol Records

XYZ wasn't the best heavy metal/hard rock band that came out of Los Angeles in the 1980s; the headbangers weren't in a class with Guns 'N Roses or Mötley Crüe, although their work was generally decent. That is certainly true of Hungry, which didn't go down in history as one of metal's all-time masterpieces but isn't a bad album either. XYZ never claimed to be the most innovative band in the world, and Hungry is far from groundbreaking. But while the material is derivative, it's also satisfying and enjoyable. The CD's most memorable and inspired tracks (which include "Face Down in the Gutter" and "When the Night Comes Down") point to the fact that when they really got going, the Angelinos did have a way with a hook and a riff. Also noteworthy is a forceful cover of Free's "Fire and Water." To its credit, XYZ doesn't try to provide a carbon copy of the original -- the headbangers put their own spin on Free's song and demonstrate that "Fire and Water" could be relevant to the hair metal scene of 1991. Unfortunately for XYZ and other hair bands, that scene wouldn't last much longer -- when Nirvana and Pearl Jam exploded commercially in 1992 and alternative rock took over in a major way, hair bands like XYZ suddenly found themselves being ignored by MTV. But that doesn't make Hungry and other XYZ releases any less decent. © Alex Henderson /TiVo
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Metal - Released January 1, 1991 | Capitol Records

An energetic double-disc live set that touches on nearly all of the group's hits up through Flesh and Blood, plus many of their better album tracks, Swallow This Live is of definite interest to the devoted Poison fan. Of course, it's largely over the top and has moments of excess -- the 6:30 drum solo and the 9:30 guitar solo being prime examples -- but that nicely sums up the spirit of the time period. Four new studio tracks are included as an added enticement. © Steve Huey /TiVo
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Metal - Released January 1, 1990 | Capitol Records

A sobered-up Mustaine returns with yet another lineup, this one featuring ex-Cacophony guitar virtuoso Marty Friedman and drummer Nick Menza, for what is easily Megadeth's strongest musical effort. As Metallica was then doing, Mustaine accentuates the progressive tendencies of his compositions, producing rhythmically complex, technically challenging thrash suites that he and Friedman burn through with impeccable execution and jaw-dropping skill. Thanks to Mustaine's focus on the music rather than his sometimes clumsy lyrics, Rust in Peace arguably holds up better than any other Megadeth release, even for listeners who think they've outgrown heavy metal. While the whole album is consistently impressive, the obvious highlight is the epic, Eastern-tinged "Hangar 18." © Steve Huey /TiVo
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Metal - Released January 1, 1989 | Capitol Records

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Metal - Released January 1, 1988 | Capitol Records

A largely uninspired effort recorded with a new guitarist and drummer, So Far, So Good...So What! lacks the conceptual unity and musical bite of Peace Sells, which helps push much of its lyrical material into the realm of self-parody, as Mustaine rants about the PMRC, the apocalypse, ex-girlfriends, and other people he is angry with, while hinting at the depth of his substance abuse problem with "502," a paean to driving drunk. The album wants to sound threatening but mostly comes off as forced and somewhat juvenile; typical is the embarrassing cover of "Anarchy in the U.K.," which is played in Megadeth's tightly controlled riffing style and without the looseness of the original, making it sound stilted and stiff -- and Mustaine doesn't even get the lyrics right. This one is for diehards only. © Steve Huey /TiVo
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Metal - Released September 19, 1986 | Capitol Records

Arguably Megadeth's strongest effort and a classic of early thrash, Peace Sells combines a punkish political awareness with a dark, threatening, typically heavy metal world-view, preoccupied with evil, the occult, and the like. The anthemic title track and "Wake Up Dead" are the two major standouts, and there is also a cover of Willie Dixon's "I Ain't Superstitious," which takes on an air of supernaturally induced paranoia in the album's context. The lines between hell and earth are blurred throughout the album, and the crashing, complex music backs up Dave Mustaine's apocalyptic vision of life as damnation -- his limited vocal style is used to great effect, growling and snarling in a barely intelligible fashion under all the complicated guitar work. Vital, necessary thrash. © Steve Huey /TiVo

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Capitol Records in the magazine
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