Back in the early 80’s Megadeth’s main guy Dave Mustaine was part of Metallica. They kicked him out of the band for being too drunk or too drugged, pretty unceremoniously. Mustaine got his head together enough to form Megadeth with Chris Poland (guitar), Dave Ellefson (bass) and Gar Samuelson (drums). This album was their first release. A classic in my book.
Metallica certainly went on to bigger fame and fortune overall but I think Mustaine really captured the thrash element that was emerging at that time. Megadeth’s catalog went on to include quite a few classic albums with various incarnations of the band. All pushed very complicated guitar riffs, insane solos and in my opinion have a better legacy than Metallica.
This album hints at what’s to come in the future for them. Somewhat jazzy, very heavy, cool guitar work and a lot of rebellious attitude. I think Mustaine was always fighting to prove he was better than Metallica and while it really wasn’t needed, maybe it did drive him to have a great career.
Don’t get me wrong, back in those days I was a fan of both bands. But after Metallica released “Master of Puppets” it went downhill for me. I wasn’t a fan of any other album. I liked some songs from various albums they made, but never as a whole package. Losing Cliff Burton in that tragic bus accident affected those guys, especially when they were just getting monumentally huge. I think his death sapped some of the soul out of the band so much that they really never recovered musically.
Megadeth however went on to create a good number of albums that work as a whole. They kept the thrash yet evolved, lyrically were more consistent and just were more consistent overall. They’ve had their share of ups and downs with drugs and what not but every time I saw them live they kicked ass, The last time I saw them was about 10 years ago and they were fantastic.
If you’ve never heard the band, there’s no better start than the beginning with Megadeth. They go from great to legendary. I’ll always consider them superior to Metallica though the argument is old and tired, and has been for years. But, I still run into people who wanna (almost always in good fun) have the argument. Megadeth, hands down.