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Countdown to Extinction (Remastered)

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Album Review

The remixed and remastered Megadeth albums released in 2004 aren't your typical cash-ins. They're stark improvements over the originals: group leader Dave Mustaine did the remixing and remastering himself, making especially significant revisions to the earlier albums, and he includes insightful liner notes for each reissue, including track-by-track commentary for the bonus tracks, as well as lyrics and period photos. The reissue of Countdown to Extinction, like those of the albums that postdate it, isn't all that different from its original incarnation. Megadeth was a big-budget band by this point and afforded itself top-shelf production. So, unlike the band's earlier albums from the '80s, there's not too much to improve upon with Countdown to Extinction. Even so, Mustaine does slightly improve upon the album's already glossy sheen, especially bringing his vocals to the fore (think "Sweating Bullets") and giving the bottom end a little more oomph. Of course, the sheen of Countdown to Extinction has always been a thorny issue with some longtime fans, and this further polishing isn't likely to remedy those too-slick criticisms that have increasingly dogged this album with the passing of time. To go back to 1992 for a moment, you should remember that the almost chart-topping Countdown to Extinction was a major turning point for Megadeth as well as for the thrash metal movement they'd helped lead throughout the late '80s. For a thrash metal band to debut at number two on the Billboard album chart (a slim notch below Billy Ray "Achy Breaky Heart" Cyrus' Some Gave All) would have been unimaginable a few years earlier, when Megadeth and their thrash ilk were on the cutting edge of the metal underground — firmly antithetical to pop-metal chart-toppers like Poison and Mötley Crüe. So it's curious to ponder what the hell happened in a few years' time. Such a chart-topping position (Mustaine writes in the liner notes that he was "pissed" upon learning of his number two debut — because he'd "wanted number one") was as much a result of Megadeth's growing acceptance among the metal community at large as it was the band's more mannered songwriting (much in the spirit of Metallica's mannered songwriting on their 1991 self-titled, black album — make of that what you will). For instance, the speed is toned down here — significantly! — the singing is quite melodic, and the songwriting is very lyrical, all of this well illustrated on the pair of heavily rotated MTV favorites: "Symphony of Destruction" and "Sweating Bullets." Given how little the remix of this album differs from its original mix, the bonus tracks should be the primary draw: an okay Diamond Head tribute of sorts titled "Crown of Worms" and a trio of demos, most notably an interesting version of "Symphony of Destruction" that resembles the live version recorded for the Rude Awakening, Rovi

Customer Reviews

A very well done close-to mainstream album!

A masterpiece that destroys the Black Album! Heavy, and the twin soloing!
1. Skin O' My Teeth: 9.5/10; Didn't care for this in the beginning, but after I listened to it, I said what the heck this is cool.
2. Symphony of Destruction: 10/10; A Megadeth classic!
3. Architecture of Aggression: 9.25/10; A dark, cool song.
4. Foreclosure of a Dream: 9.75/10; An amazing song about the government ruining people's lives.
5. Sweating Bullets: 8.75/10; About how Dave Mustaine fights his demons.
6. This Was My Life: 9/10; Decent, cool solo.
7. Countdown to Extinction: 10/10; I have nothing to say but the best off this album and pretty catchy.
8. High Speed Dirt: 9/10; A really heavy track!
9. Physcotron: 8.75/10; A cool song.
10. Captive Honour: 10/10; Another great song came up again!
11. Ashes In Your Mouth: 10/10; A great song the end a true album.
Average rating of this album: 9.45/10; An awesome album! In my opinion, destroys any mainstream Metallica album.
Recommended tracks:
All of them

Pretty good

Architecture of Aggression, Sweating Bullets, Countdown to Extinction, Psychotron, and Captive Honor are my favorites. The others are good too.

Great Shift To Mainstream Metal (not awful like the black album...OH CONTROVERSY) 9.75/10

Instead of defending Megadeth for everything they do and attacking Metallica or something for selling out and Megadeth didn't I EMBRACE the fact that Countdown To Extinction is Megadeth's real sellout album...And overall one of Megadeth's best: AMAZING production great sound and yeah awesome

Skin 'O My Teeth:9.5/10
Symphony Of Destruction:10/10
Architecture Of Aggression:10/10
Foreclosure Of A Dream: 9.75/10
Sweating Bullets:10/10
This Was My Life:10/10
Countdown To Extinction:8/10
High Speed Dirt:9.75/10
Captive Honor:9.75/10
Ashes In Your Mouth:10/10


Formed: 1983 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Metal

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

After he left Metallica in 1983, guitarist/vocalist Dave Mustaine formed the thrash metal quartet Megadeth. Though Megadeth followed the basic blueprint of Metallica's relentless attack, Mustaine's group distinguished themselves from his earlier band by lessening the progressive rock influences, adding an emphasis on instrumental skills, speeding up the tempo slightly, and making the instrumental attack harsher. By streamlining the classic thrash metal approach and making the music more threatening,...
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