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MEGADETH - Youthanasia cover
3.68 | 104 ratings | 6 reviews
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Album · 1994

Filed under Heavy Metal


1. Reckoning Day (4:34)
2. Train Of Consequences (3:26)
3. Addicted To Chaos (5:26)
4. À Tout Le Monde (4:28)
5. Elysian Fields (4:03)
6. The Killing Road (3:57)
7. Blood Of Heroes (3:57)
8. Family Tree (4:07)
9. Youthanasia (4:09)
10. I Thought I Knew It All (3:44)
11. Black Curtains (3:39)
12. Victory (4:27)

Total Time: 50:02


- Dave Mustaine / Vocals, Guitar
- Marty Friedman / Guitar
- Dave Ellefson / Bass
- Nick Menza / Drums

About this release

Release date: November 1st, 1994
Label: Capitol Records

Thanks to Time Signature, The Angry Scotsman, progshine, diamondblack for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

"Youthanasia" is the 6th full-length studio album by US thrash/heavy metal act Megadeth. The album was released through Capitol Records in November 1994. It´s the successor to the majorly successful "Countdown to Extinction" from 1992. A tough album to follow up, but while "Youthanasia" didn´t sell quite as well as "Countdown to Extinction (1992)" did, it was still a huge commercial success for the band. The early- to mid 90s were arguably the peak of the band´s success and "Youthanasia" was released at the height of it.

All did not go smoothly within the band though, and there were frequent fights between the band members over the creative control of the songwriting, which lead vocalist/guitarist and band founder Dave Mustaine had been the driving force behind since the inception of Megadeth. Mustaine ended up giving the other members more influence on the songwriting, and "Youthanasia" as a result is probably the most "group" oriented release in the band´s discography. Most preceding Megadeth releases feature at least some older riff ideas or tracks, but "Youthanasia" was solely written in the studio as a collective.

While "Countdown to Extinction (1992)" certainly wasn´t the most thrashy of thrash metal albums, it still occasionally featured some pretty intense thrash metal riffs and rhythms. It featured quite a few traditional heavy metal leanings too though, and it´s down that road Megadeth continue on "Youthanasia". In fact "Youthanasia" features next to no riffs and rhythms which could be put in the thrash metal catagory. Mustaine now also sings more and shouts less, and the material on the album are predominantly accessible vers/chorus structured heavy metal, featuring heavy mid-paced riffs and rhythms, skillfully played guitar solos and great harmony work, and catchy choruses.

Highlights include "Reckoning Day", "Train Of Consequences", "The Killing Road", and the title track. The power ballad type track "À Tout Le Monde" should of course also be mentioned among the standout tracks. Doing something this melodic and mainstream was a first for Megadeth. It´s overall not an album with tracks standing out that much from the rest, as the quality and consistency of the material are generally high, and even the least remarkable tracks are still of a good quality.

"Youthanasia" features a well sounding, organic, and detailed production, which suits the more traditional heavy metal direction of the material. Upon conclusion it´s a high quality release by Megadeth, which earned them new fans, but probably also alienated a few older ones. The most concervative thrash metal listeners, who hadn´t already jumped ship after "Countdown to Extinction (1992)", probably did so after listening to "Youthanasia". It´s most certainly the sound of a band who have moved on, and that´ll always divide the waters. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.
It's 1994 and "the 90's" are in full swing. Metal is all but dead, with most of the genres big arena bands being relegated to smaller venues, grunge reigns supreme. But throughout all of this, many groups stuck to their metal guns, and in the case of Megadeth, released some of their most polished and confident albums.

1992's 'Countdown to Extinction' saw the band steer away from the thrash metal sound they helped pioneer to much mainstream success (as much as any metal band could have in the early 90's, anyway), and so 'Youthanasia' sees Dave Mustaine and his merry men delve deeper into a more stripped-down approach, and it sounds like they're settling quite comfortably with the idea of slowing down and focusing more on musical content than cramming as many intricate riffs as possible into each song. As a result, 'Youthanasia' has a lot more gusto and finesse than its predecessor.

Mustaine's vocals are also really starting to come into their own as well. While they've always been a bit of an acquired taste, he's certainly made the most of his somewhat unique voice, emphasizing his high range and renowned snarl to great effect.

With songs like 'Reckoning Day', 'Train of Consequences', 'Family Tree', 'Blood of Heroes', 'Addicted to Chaos', the hugely underrated 'Victory' and one of the bands strongest compositions, 'A Tout le Monde', 'Youthanasia' sees the foursome continue to evolve and grow. With a strong line up of musicians and a beefy production, this is easily some of Megadeth's finest and most often overlooked work.
Third album in a row for Megadeth's longest lasting line-up. There are no significant stylistic changes compared to the previous album but they made it all sound a bit smoother and bigger. That combined with some slower-pace material makes this a regular Metal album rather than Thrash Metal.

Back in the day when this was released I was very much into deth-mode and quite loved it, but over the course of the years it gradually turned into a bit of a disappointment. The songs (production) simply miss the freshness, bite and stroke of genius that blessed this band on"RIP" and "CTE".

I'll take two songs to point out the symptoms of deth-decline. Take "Train of Consequences" first, it's a song that suffers from generic melodies and riffs, not to mention the way too poppy chorus. I could list the same complaints about 'Addicted to Chaos', but will add the lethargic mid-paced beat that makes this song entirely forgettable. It's all nothing too bad, but just kind of 'meh', certainly when looking at this from a 2012 perspective, after enduring countless Megadeth albums since with this sort of songwriting and execution.

On the other hand, there's still fun bits like "Reckoning Day", "The Killing Road", "Youthanesia" and "Victory", which are all at least as good as the stuff on "Hidden treasures".

For newcomers to Megadeth I wouldn't recommend this album unless you already devoured all preceding albums (and maybe 'Endgame') and are still hungry for more. For fans, it's a nice occasional listen but there's too much mediocre songs and lazy playing.
From the outside of Youthanasia, you’d expect to get more of what Megadeth provided us with Countdown To Extinction. You have a familiar looking cover courtesy of artist Hugh Syme, but within we have something significantly different. This album takes on more of a hard rock and traditional metal sound and features little to no of the brand of thrash metal a Megadeth fan is accustomed to.

I honestly don’t mind seeing Megadeth going in more of a hard rock direction. There are some solid tunes on this album. “Reckoning Day”, one of the heaviest songs on Youthanasia, rocks pretty hard. The title track is also an interesting song, as is “The Killing Road”, and I like the melodic chorus of “I Thought I Knew It All”. However, even the stronger tracks still don’t rank among my favorite Megadeth songs.

The quality of Dave Mustaine’s vocals is always a topic of debate in metal circles. I think his voice suits Megadeth’s thrash metal style well, and he can be a rather competent singer as long as he doesn’t go overboard. In the case of this album, Mustaine’s vocals ruin quite a few of the songs for me. Much of his singing on “A Tout Le Monde” and the chorus of “Family Tree” are just some examples where his voice leaves me feeling a bit irritated.

I can recall a quote from Mustaine where he said that producer Max Norman advised the band to keep their songs to around a 120 beats-per-minute tempo, as this was a key to creating hit songs. Dave would have been wise not to follow these words. This is one of the main problems with this album: most of the songs are mid-tempo. Not exactly a bad attribute on it’s own, but you can literally have a metronome going during just about any song on the album and it will never drift off that click. It leaves much of the album sounding too stiff for my taste, almost as if the band is on autopilot when compared to the high-energy band of just a few years prior.

I can spin Youthanasia every once in a while, but not too frequently. I’d leave this album to those interested in seeing Megadeth go in a new direction, and fans of heavy rock might get a kick out of it.

Members reviews

In 1994, Megadeth's best days were certainly behind them, but they still had some good ideas and they still knew how to rock. Youthanasia lacks the raw metal fury of albums like Rust In Peace of Peace Sells, opting for a more straight ahead rock sound. The result is a kinder gentler Megadeth, which may be a turn off to the band's hardcore fans. There's even a ballad (in French, no less.) This kind of growth in a band's approach can be a great thing, but it also has the potential to alienate some fans.

All that being said, Mustaine knows songcraft, and there are plenty of winners to be found here. Elysian Fields, Family Tree, Youthanasia, Blood of Heroes and especially the album closer Victory, are all great tracks and make up for the handful of lesser songs that round out the record. It's not a masterpiece, but it's a solid set of songs that all but the most dogmatic metalhead should be able to enjoy.
Megadeth had an opus in 1990's Rust in Peace. Its successor, a darker, far less thrashy Countdown to Extinction was solid, but what's next? What we have here is an album with many social and political views, which caused controversy in many countries and retail music outlets. The views range from suicide, to insest, to drugs.

This is some of the best singing I've heard from Mustaine, and for once the music revolves around the vocals more this time and not Marty's complex riffs. Drummer Nick Menza still shines in many places, although this is no comparison to his work on Rust in Peace by any means. Also of note is the beautiful, spectacular cover art.

The opener "Reckoning Day" is a strong and (heavy) impressive cut. "Train of Consequences" was a chart hit for the band, dealing with drugs. "Addicted to Chaos" was also a hit, and it's one of my favorite tracks on the album: there's a nice opening drum solo by Nick that leads into a collage of nicely layered riffs. Dave's singing is incredible throughout. "A Tout Le Monde" is a sad song that is about the suicide of a friend. "Elysian Fields" deals with Heaven, of course, and "Killing Road" is a blistering song dealing with their struggles on the road. "Blood of Heroes" sounds like the Megadeth of old, with a beautiful guitar intro and great backing vocals. "Family Tree" is a sad song dealing with incest. "Youthanasia" is yet another heavy hitting song, which Dave depicts as "hanging children out to dry" (as protrayed on the cover of this album). Of other note is the final song, a clever speed-driven tune with lyrics composed of previous Megadeth song and/or album titles. A great way to close out an already great album. Many people probably despise this for not being the Thrash assault of earlier 'Deth albums. This is by no means a sell-out album: Dave is trying to get a point through and he succeeds. The songwriting and vocals of this album are what Rust in Peace were with the fantastic musicianship--although this is slower, it's somewhat as powerful. The negative side of this album is Dave and Marty's guitar expertise isn't show very well here, as seen on earlier albums. Scoop it up and give it a try.

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