Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Megadeth - Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? (1986)

The year 1986 is one of the finest years in metal, especially when it comes to the sub genre thrash metal. It was in this year both Slayer released "Reign In Blood" and Metallica released "Master of Puppets", two of the greatest metal albums of all time. Besides them, we also have the Dark Angel release "Darkness Descends", Kreator's "Pleasure To Kill" and the Flotsam & Jetsam release "Doomsday For The Deciever". It was also on this year Megadeth got their big true breakthrough with the album "Peace Sells... But Who's Buying?".

The title has an interesting story behind it. Apparently, Mustaine came up with it while searching for food at a place he had crashed on (should be noted that he and the rest of the band was homeless and broke at the time), and he stumbled upon a Readers Digest magazine that discussed over peace, saying that it is good and all, but nobody wanted to buy the concept of it. The album itself has a lot of both social and political awareness in its lyrics, which is also reflective in the album cover where we see the band's mascot Vic Rattlehead as a realtor, trying to sell a UN building that lies in ruins. It is a side of Mustaine that is both good and bad.

When it comes to the music, it is a continuation on what the band did on "Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good!", times 3. The riffs are faster and tougher, the speed is insane and the cover (this time the Willie Dixon song "I Ain't Superstitious") is once again filled with alternated lyrics that would enrage all fans of the original artist. Dave and co. thrashes like there is no tomorrow, but does it with such precision that would make surgeons jealous.

All of the songs have a red string going through them, all starting off pretty slowly, but is steadily accelerating in speed further into the song. You would think that it would make the album monotonous, but there is no lack of variety thanks to the instrumentation in the songs. That would not have mattered very much anyway, because Dave have written 7 killer songs that are all magnificent in their own way. From the catchy title track and groovy "Devils Island" to the seemingly never ending "Good Mourning/Black Friday", "Peace Sells" is over filled with great thrash tunes, making the album an instant classic.

Unlike Peace, this album both sells and is bought by others. It is really no coincidence why this album lunched the career of Megadeth. "Peace Sells" is an amazing masterpiece that still holds up very good, 28 years after its release. If it was not for that questionable cover and the short play time, I would rate this album as one of the all time best, all categories. 1986 was indeed the finest year for thrash metal, and this album is just another proof for that fact.

Songs worthy of recognition: Good Mourning/Black Friday, Wake Up Dead, Peace Sells, Devils Island, My Last Words

Rating: 9,5/10 Bad Omens

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