In 1992, Megadeth followed up on their 1990 release of “Rust In Peace” with “Countdown to Extinction.” If you thought that “Rust In Peace” was a great album, “Countdown to Extinction” could be one of the greatest albums of Heavy Metal music. I remember, when this album was released and how all of the teenagers my age at the time went nuts over this album. We used to drive on the circuit in downtown Frederick with this album jamming as loud as we could.
The lineup for this album was vocalist and guitarist Dave Mustaine, bassist David Ellefson, lead guitarist Marty Friedman, and drummer Nick Menza. This album is a work of art lyrically and musically. Vocally, you have a very confidant Dave Mustaine who sounds great and is at the peak of his career. The aggression, the anger, and the psychotic mood swings on social issues of the time and inner struggles is brilliant. The way the music and lyrics were constructed and recorded makes this album to me, flawless. It flows evenly from song to song.
Musically, the entire album is very tight. For a Thrash Metal album, those elements are there, but they are much slower, aggressive, and heavier. Dave and Marty’s riffs are mind blowing. The leads are powerful. David’s bass is really good along with Nick’s drumming. Four men, ten classic songs and catchy tracks, equals one hell of a great album. It’s perfect!
What Megadeth has done here incorporated a more melodic heavy metal sound. Many people did not like that. But in the 1990’s, Thrash Metal was on the decrease as Grunge, Groove Metal and Nu Metal became more popular. It forced bands like Megadeth to adapt and change. This is a good start for the band. Although, people didn’t like the commercial feel or sound, it remains one of the best Heavy Metal albums of all time.
1. “Skin o’ My Teeth” 3:14
2. “Symphony of Destruction” 4:02
3. “Architecture of Aggression” 3:34
4. “Foreclosure of a Dream” 4:17
5. “Sweating Bullets” 5:03
6. “This Was My Life” 3:42
7. “Countdown to Extinction” 4:16
8. “High Speed Dirt” 4:12
9. “Psychotron” 4:42
10. “Captive Honour”