MEGADETH — So Far, So Good... So What! (review)

MEGADETH — So Far, So Good... So What! album cover Album · 1988 · Thrash Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Stooge
Among the classic Megadeth albums that spanned the first decade of their recording career (1985-94), this one sometimes gets lost in the shuffle. I’m sure part of that has to do with one of their least stable lineups, with Jeff Young and Chuck Behler now on lead guitar and drums respectively. While not quite the players that Chris Poland and Gar Samuelsson were, the new duo certainly holds their own on their lone Megadeth studio album.

The version I own is the 2004 re-issue, when Mustaine felt the need to tweak with the whole Megadeth catalog. Though I haven't heard the original version in years, I think this version sounds nice. From what I can remember, two of the most notable changes were increasing the volume of horns in the intro of "Into The Lungs Of Hell", and he also added an extended guitar intro for "In My Darkest Hour".

This album starts incredibly with the pair of "Into The Lungs Of Hell" and "Set The World Afire". What energy!! "Into The Lungs Of Hell" is a no-nonsese, let 'er rip-style of instrumental. Spacious riffing pushes the focus on some high-octane leads. Contrasting with that approach, "Set The World Afire" contains some of the coolest riffs in the Megadeth discography. I think it might have been the first song Mustaine wrote for Megadeth, and thankfully it made the cut for this album after being omitted twice. Closing tracks "Liar" and "Hook In Mouth" bring similar levels of aggression, especially in Mustaine's vocal performances ("Liar" being inspired by troubles with ex-bandmate Poland).

With the third cover song in as many albums, Megadeth opt for a more practical choice with the Sex Pistols' "Anarchy In The U.K.". It's very loyal to the original aside from some allowable deviations (swapping U.S.A. for U.K. being one). Sex Pistols' Steve Jones even guests on the track.

I’d say the main difference between this album and Peace Sells is that there is a slight tradeoff in technicality in favor of more melody. "Mary Jane", "502", and "In My Darkest Hour", which may be some of the most melodic songs Mustaine had penned at the time, are good examples of this. Each one is fairly accessible despite still very-much being rooted in thrash. Mustaine sings throughout most of these tunes (as opposed to his normal growl), and does a solid job too.

Excellent thrash album well worth picking up!
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