Megadeth - Rust In Peace - Review
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critics' view

Picture a short, single track that barely comes to three minutes, is packed with speed metal fury, managing to cram in an intro, a worthwhile body, and a solid outro. Nicely pieced together, no real flaws, and an overall great song. This song goes by the title "Poison Was The Cure", and it just so happens to be the worst track on the world famous record known as Rust In Peace. Yeah nothing new, right? But that's the way I justify this being the number one thrash metal record ever made. Mostly, it's because it takes every single element that made the previous three records great, extracted those tactics, and blended them into a perfect beverage, like the greatest girly drink on an island vacation that you've ever had. Except there's no worrying about any egos with publicly playing Megadeth's finest work (although who cares about that anyway?). The famous, heavy metal closer from the self titled Van Halen album is another entity to compare this to. And why would I mention that crushing ear splitter from 1978 in a Rust In Peace review? Because that track title describes exactly what Dave and co. were at the time; on fire!

Never mind the fact that the Friedman/Menza duo was in full form, it's the craftmanship of the previous musicians that make this beast what it is, and without them, our 1990 lineup wouldn't be able to draw from them. That's right, this utilizes punky attitudes and heated messages, builds off of suspense, and evenly distributes stripped down simplicity along with progressive aspects, and I think anyone could agree that this is the closest Megadeth ever came to prog. For starters, the track layout doesn't follow any templates, not even the short bass heavy marching tune known as "Dawn Patrol". "Holy Wars…. The Punishment Due" is the obvious contender for this, shifting time signatures and rhythm patterns left and right. Personally, I believe the title track does that even better, with the famous drum intro and steady yet speedy bulk of the song, fading into a mean neck puncher of an album closer. If it all did this though, it wouldn't be as special. You need those speedballs of angry energy and more accessible, as well as shorter tunes. "Take No Prisoners" is a great example, possibly being the best track on here. I mean really, can anyone turn down that buzzing bridge that connects the start of the song to the meat of these few minutes? Of course, the more famous "Tornado Of Souls" is probably what comes to mind most of the time, and that one certainly does everything justice too.

Another advanced technique beyond all of the shifts in tone and lack of generic assery is the placement of the solos along with standout moments on the bass being everywhere. I've already touched on this a little bit, but solos are used as more than just breaks from the vocals. They're used as short transitions in almost every track, they also at times take the place of a verse, and in no way does it ever disappoint. There's no need to go into Marty Friedman worship, his genius playing should be known by all by now. Hopping basswork and all-over the board drum kicks are generally inserted around these areas to fry it up even hotter. Unlike on So Far, which uses rawness to its advantage, Rust blasts through with a very clean production, allowing for an easier listen, and a more refined product. Of course, this version contains a few demos (thank God it's demos and not remixes) that allows you to hear them in primitive form. As cool as it is, the rawness is no match for this beauty. Plus, you also get the short, yet fun "My Creation", another unreleased one. So really, there's no going wrong.

Yeah, yeah, you probably all knew most of that, if you even made it this far. But nonetheless, my interpretations of this draws from previous works, trims the fat, and sprinkles a little bit of everything in to make it so masterful. I highly doubt every single person has seen it that way, and the next time you give this a spin, I encourage you to think about that. Mustaine say's he's mastered five magics, but truly, this is nine magics (and then some).

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