Classic Album Review – Megadeth “Rust in Peace” 1990

  This is a tough one. Rust in Peace is a record that gets by on what it represents rather than how it sounds right out of the box. It’s the pinnacle of early period Megadeth, the orbit-reaching third stage of the rocket that took off with Peace Sells and soared skyward with So Far, So Good…So What? It’s the logical conclusion of their straight-up non-ironic speed and thrash movement, when it was still OK to follow up a political antiwar track with some stuff about wizards.

RIP has some Top 20 Megadeth songs on it, but they’ve done better. It has a couple of dogs on it too, but they’ve done worse. What it really has in its favour is a bit of swagger (as the band finally feel comfortable in their own skins) and some fantastic guitar playing by Mustaine and Freidman both. At its release, it also had a bit of luck in terms of timing. Fans happily pummeled by …And Justice for All the year before were looking for something with a bit more flash, Maiden were entering the stagnant years and many folks just weren’t ready for this thing called GWAR yet. Into this gap of expectation rode Megadeth with the answer for the day. It was clear that while the material had not matured, the players most certainly had. 

Rust in Peace is always worth a spin in the car on a hot summer day, but it’s really just a proof-of-concept that the band made to show their label and the public that they were ready for success. The fact that it was so well received allowed them the time , the tools and the means to make Countdown to Extinction. For that, it has my thanks. 7 out of 10 

One word of caution: the 2004 remaster is a bone of contention for many. It features clearer basslines (yay), new untreated vocals from Dave (boo) and a general air of sterility that removes much of the grit (and I think, the fun) from the record. Your mileage may vary.

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One Response to “Classic Album Review – Megadeth “Rust in Peace” 1990”

  1. […] Faustian Soldiers Heavy Music, Roller Derby & Madness « Classic Album Review – Megadeth “Rust in Peace” 1990 Thunder 72, Furies 51: Cruise a Success, Bruises Gained […]

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