Megadeth: Countdown To Extinction – 20th Anniversary Edition
I can’t believe it’s been 20+ years since Megadeth released their second masterpiece in a row, Countdown To Extinction. Although not as fast or intricate as its predecessor, Rust In Peace, Countdown is far more aggressive in its lyrical content and without mincing words is indeed a “perfect” album. The production is top-notch as are the performances from each band member. I challenge anyone to find a single note on this recording that feels like it doesn’t belong.
I know it’s a cliché, but I truly do believe that if Countdown were to come out today, it would still sound fresh and be just as relevant in the current state of America. Mustaine is always at his best when he is pissed off.
What also made Countdown so amazing at the time of its release was that it proved this line-up of Megadeth (easily it’s most popular) was no fluke. They were locked in, focused and ready to set the world afire (forgive the cheesy reference to a previous Megadeth song title, but they really were on “fire” at this point.) What really gave Megadeth that extra special something now was the guitar mastery of Marty Friedman, who was probably the first guitarist that could play circles around Mustaine when it came to soloing. “Ashes In Your Mouth” is a great example of just how well these two worked together and is not only an epic closer to the album but is also an amazing showcase piece for every band member. Countdown, of course, gave us other classics such as “Symphony of Destruction,” “Sweating Bullets,” “Skin O’ My Teeth” and “Foreclosure of a Dream.” But like I said, this is a perfect album and every song is a classic.
This release features a re-mastered version of the original album (none of that extra stuff from the 2004 remixed version) and a sweet live recording of the entire Live At Cow Palace show that features an amazing set of songs from Peace Sells through Countdown. Yes, this is the third time around the block for this album. But is it worth picking up? There’s no question about it—hell yeah!