MEGADETH — Rust in Peace (review)

MEGADETH — Rust in Peace album cover Album · 1990 · Thrash Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
SilentScream213
Nothing Megadeth did in the 80’s really struck me as all that amazing (no, not even Peace Sells…) but Rust in Peace is almost as incredible as the legends tell.

Megadeth has long avoided my praise due half to Dave’s poor vocals and lyricism and half to the total absence of real feeling in the otherwise impressive playing. Here, the band improve their already strong technique to enter Tech Thrash territory at times, but much more importantly they add a heavy dose of intelligent and evocative melodies that serve the song instead of simply showcase talent. The first few tracks have earworm riffs for days, just galloping one after another, only stopping for equally fantastic solos.

Dave’s vocals aren’t good here, however, he has found the sweet spot in making them work with the music, and most of the time they work really well. Holy Wars is the best example, as he switches between angry snarling about government, to a rough, desperate croon that actually sounds pained when playing the role of The Punisher lamenting what he’s been through. His voice doesn’t always hit right, but here it works much better and more often than anything they’d done prior. The lyrics range from very good to not so great, but they almost always manage to be better than the shallow words of their 80’s output.

There’s so much energy and good technique that even the weaker songs on the album are quite good. However, it is certainly a glaring weakness that side A is so, so much better than side B. Once you get halfway through, you’ve very little to look forward to in comparison of the awe-inspiring material that starts you off. In terms of high points though, this album reaches heights that are absolutely deserving of its praise.
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