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3.35 | 13 ratings | 2 reviews
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Live album · 2002

Filed under Thrash Metal


Disc 1
1. Dread and the Fugitive Mind (4:13)
2. Kill the King (3:51)
3. Wake Up Dead (3:26)
4. In My Darkest Hour (5:28)
5. Angry Again (3:23)
6. She Wolf (8:17)
7. Reckoning Day (4:25)
8. Devil's Island (5:06)
9. Train of Consequences (4:31)
10. A Tout Le Monde (4:49)
11. Burning Bridges (4:57)
12. Hangar 18 (4:45)
13. Return to Hangar (3:55)
14. Hook in Mouth (4:41)

Total time 65:47

Disc 2
1. Almost Honest (3:58)
2. 1000 Times Goodbye (6:14)
3. Mechanix (4:37)
4. Tornado of Souls (5:47)
5. Ashes in Your Mouth (6:05)
6. Sweating Bullets (4:39)
7. Trust (6:47)
8. Symphony of Destruction (4:50)
9. Peace Sells (5:23)
10. Holy Wars (8:52)

Total time 57:12


- Dave Mustaine / Guitars, Vocals (lead)
- David Ellefson / Bass, Vocals (backing)
- Al Pitrelli / Guitars, Vocals (backing)
- Jimmy DeGrasso / Drums

About this release

Sanctuary, March 19, 2002.

Thanks to Unitron for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

2002’s ‘Rude Awakening’ is the first official live album by thrash metal pioneers Megadeth. Released 16 years after their formation (what took them so long?), it sadly comes during a somewhat weird time in the bands history. Having just gone pop rock with 1999’s ‘Risk’ and then attempting a return to their roots with the rather stoic and not-very-well-received ‘The World Needs a Hero’, the band were suffering greatly around the turn of the century, and just a year later would split up (thankfully they’d return eventually).

Somewhere amidst all the struggle and strife, they’d release this little nugget. However, with a rather weak sound, a mostly non-audible crowd, especially during the first half, and a line-up which just wasn’t resonating with fans (drummer Jimmy DeGrasso and guitarist Al Pitrelli both had the unfortunate job of being with the band during such troublesome times), ‘Rude Awakening’ is a pretty average release that leaves much to be desired.

All criticisms aside, there are a couple of things this album does right. The performances are all solid and tight (although Dave Mustaine’s vocals are a little grating at times), and the set list is pretty much spot on, covering every major track from the bands discography at that point in time. However, the aforementioned detriments far outweigh the strengths, and I’d much rather just listen to the original studio versions of any of these tracks.

A fairly disappointing live release, ‘Rude Awakening’ isn’t overly memorable and serves only as an addition to the Megadeth collection for die-hard fans. And hell, even the front cover is kind of goofy!
Vim Fuego
Musically, this album is good. Very good. Perhaps too good?

The guitars, bass and drums all have a good clean sound, but hey, after so many years in the business, Megadeth and their roadcrew must KNOW a good live sound. The riffs, soloing, leads, fills, and acoustic guitar parts are note perfect. The drums are aggressive, and Jimmy De Grasso shows he was more than just a hired gun, adding extra kick to some of the songs. Dave Ellefson's bass work has oft been ignored, but a good balance on the mix lets many of those fat, tasty bass lines rumble up through the sound. It all sounds good so far, so where's the problem?

It's Megadeth's Achille's heel, Dave Mustaine's vocals, which sound too good. There have been a number of reasons given as to why Mustaine stepped up to the microphone and stayed there. The official line was Megadeth couldn't find a good vocalist. Many other suspect it was Dave Mustaine's ego. Whatever the reason, Megadeth always managed to recruit excellent drummers and second guitarists, but never a singer.

Even loyal Megadeth fans have to admit Mustaine does not have the greatest vocal range in the world. The music has always been written to accommodate his vocals, but sometimes even that is not enough. At times, Mustaine sounds flat, off key, strained, and just downright out of place. “Reckoning Day”, for example, sounds very strained, with the correct notes seemingly just out of reach. He regularly misses the top note on “Devil's Island”. Mustaine sounds his best when he sings with a sneering growl, like on “In My Darkest Hour”, “Hook In Mouth” and “Angry Again”.

Is this a fair indicator of Megadeth live? The answer is no, it isn't. The vocals have been tampered with, tidied up and enhanced in the studio. While they're less than perfect on ‘Rude Awakening’, they're considerably worse on any other Megadeth live recording.

Moving away from the sound debate, this double album collection was never intended to be Megadeth's swansong, but it almost became a fitting tribute to a sparkling career. Dave Mustaine’s arm injury seemingly spelled the end of Megadeth, but as we know now, he recovered.

While some of the later material had a more commercial, slightly bland feel in the studio, dropped in alongside some of the old classics here it fitted flawlessly. “1000 Times Goodbye” sits very comfortably next to “Mechanix” (still superior to Metallica's “Four Horsemen” after all these years!), and the “Hangar 18” story is revisited on “Return To The Hangar”. Perhaps the best indicator of Megadeth's quality is that although this is a double live album, it seems to be over too quickly, but has a very satisfying feel to it.

Um… and does anyone else think the guy in bed falling from the skyscraper on the cover is supposed to be James Hetfield?!

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  • Unitron
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  • Daniel de Oliveira
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