Megadeth - Peace Sells...But Who's Buying?
Capitol Records Inc.
Speed/Thrash Metal
8 songs (36.12)
Release year: 1986
Megadeth, Capitol Records Inc.
Reviewed by Aleksie
While Killing Is My Business started a pint-sized pit in ingenuity, the magic year of thrash provided Megadeth with a major label deal and inspiration to bring forth a Classic of apocalyptic proportions.

Wake Up Dead paints the perfect picture of a hangover hell that is drilling through your skull after some huge partying. The Conjuring evokes some awesome, demonic riffs that are selling souls by the pound (don’t mind the Genesis-pun) straight into the arms of Lucifer. The title track is one of my all-time favourite metal anthems – on every level. It has the compositional power of the legendary bass intro, fist-pounding beats, finger-breaking soloing and a murdering pace-change as the furious ending lets loose with the double bass drums. It has the brightest best of Dave Mustaine’s venom-filled vocal delivery and magnificent, sarcasm-drenched lyricism. I still consider the chorus, “Peace Sells, but who’s buying?” to be the finest depiction of human nature in music ever. Even though the Reaganistic years of 1980s war mongering and fire arm-fellatio were the inspiration for this track, it’s frightening to listen to the lyrics and see how little has changed in 20 years to this day. Frightening to the point of laughter. Even the politically/”moshically” charged video of the track is pure gold, especially the middle where the young punk is watching mayhem on TV and daddy-o comes in asking “What is this garbage? I want to watch the news!” and changes the channel to a sight of the Gipper spreading his shoulders upon hearing tough questions about war. Then the kid firmly replies, “This IS the news!” and changes the channel back to a sight of bombing, flames, tanks, dollar signs and death. Brilliance!

I now must admit, that Peace Sells is bit of a troublesome album for me, because I consider it a pure Classic but it has a track that I don’t like. Devils Island gets the skip almost every time I listen to the record. It is not a bad song but I just don’t personally enjoy it. Perhaps it’s is the horribly boring chorus or the fact that it comes right after the world-shattering title track…I don’t know, it’s just not in my good books. I’ve had countless debates with friends of mine over this, but a conclusion hasn’t been reached. The solos are scorching and the ending is very effective with pummelling drums, but the whole thing doesn’t work. Luckily Good Mourning/Black Friday saves the day with an ominous acoustic intro that leaps into furious double bass-artillery in pulverizing fashion. Bad Omen mixes the same haunting elements with a speed-metal slaughter that is nothing short of relentless. The song features a bit more progressive touch in the beats and guitar work that hooks the listener nicely. The cover of Willie Dixons blues-number I Ain’t Superstitious is both funny and extremely moshable, and it gets my feet jiggy as well. All in all an excellent track, a statement can also be said of the album closing My Last Words – a veritable banquet of twisting monster-riffs, burning lead guitar and bloodying, pit-swirling rhythms.

Although some hifi-wankers (me included) might shun the rough production, it suits the music perfectly. For those who want better sounds, look no further than the remastered edition released in 2004 with alternative mixes of four tracks off the original album as bonus tracks.

In my mind, this is Megadeth’s zenith of metal. They produced awesome material afterwards with Rust In Piece and Countdown To Extinction as examples, but Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying? is my favourite. Megadeth displayed its more complex, twisting style of thrash (compared to the simplistic, meat-and-bones mayhem of Slayer) to near perfection, which no doubt influenced countless bands from that point on, from hardcorish punk groups to progressive metal widdlers. Extra points are given for some of the greatest cover art in history. Drop the bombs, Vic! The United Nations is going for sale, cheaper than ever!

Killing Songs :
All of em...except Devils Island
Aleksie quoted CLASSIC
Other albums by Megadeth that we have reviewed:
Megadeth - Dystopia reviewed by Goat and quoted 78 / 100
Megadeth - Super Collider reviewed by Goat and quoted 59 / 100
Megadeth - Th1rt3en reviewed by Goat and quoted 83 / 100
Megadeth - Cryptic Writings reviewed by Goat and quoted 78 / 100
Megadeth - Endgame reviewed by Goat and quoted 91 / 100
To see all 18 reviews click here
21 readers voted
Your quote was: 98.
Change your vote

There are 41 replies to this review. Last one on Wed Jul 12, 2006 10:34 pm
View and Post comments