The Importance of Being Metal: Megadeth-Countdown to Extinction

Megadeth-Countdown to Extinction
1992; Capitol Records

1. Is It Any Good?

No, not really.

I mean, okay: I'd be lying if I said it was an outright horrible album. It's not. It does a few things right. "Symphony of Destruction" is an intense, driving anthem for the ages that's likely to make the listener feel just a bit giddy, if they're of a sinister mind. "Skin O' My Teeth" has one of the best lyrics I've probably ever heard-"I need a ride to the morgue/That's what 911 is for." The title track is alright. And "Psychotron" is based off of a Marvel supervillain named Deathlok, so...there's that.

But aside from that? Here's the scoop: "Skin O' My Teeth" and "High Speed Dirt", as much as I enjoy the former, are the same fucking song. "Sweating Bullets" takes the growly, muppetesque vocals from "Peace Sells" and overuses them to the point where they turn from "funny and devilish" to "retarded and boring". "Captive Honour" is just dumb as fuck, straight up. Check out this little snippet of spoken-word genius:

"I hereby sentence you to be incarcarated with no possibility of parole for life."

"Life?! Whaddaya mean life?! I ain't got a life!"

Was reading that funny? That's probably because you didn't read the first line as being spoken in a southern accent and the second line as being spoken by Dave Mustaine not caring if he sounds like a lazy dipshit.

And the rest of the songs? I don't even remember what they sound like. I stopped listening to one of them not two minutes ago and I'm drawing a blank. That's the real problem with this album overall, is that it's just boring as fuck. It's exactly like their first four albums, just watered down to the point where it stops being heavy metal and starts being hard rock. And no matter what Wikipedia lists the genre as, you can be sure as shit there's nothing to thrash to here.

2. Is It "Influential?"

God, I certainly hope not. Although...chugging guitar riffs? Ham-fisted political statements? Goofy vocals?

Well, I guess we've found the inspiration behind System Of A Down.

3. Is It A Good Entry Point For Beginners?

This was one of the first metal albums I'd ever listened to in full, and even at 14 years old, when I didn't know anything about anything and couldn't tell you what "good" metal was if my life depended on it, this album still put me to fucking sleep. Countdown To Extinction is considered something of a classic, but in my mind the only notable thing about it is that it was the last Megadeth album ever released that wasn't so bad that playing it could be considered a threat equivalent to flashing a switchblade in a dark alley.


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