Back in March, we took a look at five times Megadeth just totally annihilated the listener with their white-knuckle, clenched-teeth thrash. We did it then because the band was releasing a new anthology and it made us look back. Today, we present to you five more times ’deth just absolutely killed it, and we’re doing it because we’re wishing Dave Mustaine all the best after his recent throat cancer announcement.
Today, we’re looking ahead, because we know Mustaine can do this and the band will be delivering thrash for many more years to come, with MegaDave leading things as always. We look ahead by, yes, looking back, one more time, at five more times Megadeth was totally unstoppable.
5. 2:24 of 5:15 of “Hangar 18”
It’s not that we forgot it last time, it’s just that “Hangar 18” is such an ass-kicker it overwhelmed us trying to find out exactly what part of the song rules so much, because it all rules. But we’ve got parameters here, so let’s go for this section, perhaps the craziest duelling guitar solos ever in a thrash song; I’m not even a huge guitar solo guy, but this is a pleasure to listen to every single time, especially when you take into account how the band is slowly ramping things up behind the blazing fret mania until everything just explodes.
4. 0:14 to 0:43 of “Symphony of Destruction”
What now? I know it’s easy to want to just hit up the band’s more raging thrash classics when looking at the moments that define Megadeth, but when this huge groove opened this song, at a time when huge grooves dominated, it was jaw dropping, and it still sounds killer today. “Symphony of Destruction” is just a massive monster of a track, simple but not knuckle-headed, grooving but not pandering, Megadeth absolutely locking in and locking down on this grown-up-thrash track for the ages.
3. 2:40 to 3:43 of “Wake Up Dead”
I love this tangled, tense song, a look into the mind of a troubled young Mustaine, things barely making sense until it all stops then comes back in with that huge groove, the band pulling things back together just before Mustaine loses it entirely and bringing this song to a dramatic and headbangable close. A ballsy way to start an album, “Wake Up Dead” feels less like a song than it does the documentation of a horrible night of a life lived wrong. We’re happy to hear the tale though, and we’re happy that Mustaine pulled it together enough to be able to look back at it all and write songs like this, which will live on forever in thrash’s classic canon.
2. 3:23 to 3:31 of “Five Magics”
Well, now is as good a time as any to admit I fucking love it when Mustaine runs down what exactly “the five magics” are during this most incredible Rust in Peace tune. Give me wizardry indeed. Thermatology? Of course. El-ec-tricity? You bet. But it’s not just the humor and slight absurdity that comes with singing along to this totally raging eight seconds, it’s that Megadeth were able to pull this off: here is Dave Mustaine, listing off various magics, and it sounds awesome. He could read my shopping list to me and it would be a thrash classic.
1. 2:40 to 2:50 of “Tornado of Souls”
Yeah, we’re getting pretty Rust-heavy here, but, well, you heard the damn album? (Kidding: of course you have.) It’s the defining Megadocument, so here we are, looking at one of the album’s more concise and melodic ragers, “Tornado of Souls” just having tons of amazing, chilling moments, although none cutting to the chase quite as quickly as these 11 seconds, Mustaine laying down the law, seeing the light, future looking bright, and every single listener feeling pretty damn good themselves every single time this part of the song races past them. Victory. Thanks, Dave. May there be many victories in your future.