Megadeth - So Far, So Good... So What? review


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Band: Megadeth
Album: So Far, So Good... So What?
Release date: November 1988

01. Into The Lungs Of Hell
02. Set The World Afire
03. Anarchy In The U.K. [Sex Pistols cover]
04. Mary Jane
05. 502
06. In My Darkest Hour
07. Liar
08. Hook In Mouth
09. Into The Lungs Of Hell [Paul Lani Mix version][2004 re-release bonus]
10. Set The World Afire [Paul Lani Mix version][2004 re-release bonus]
11. Mary Jane [Paul Lani Mix version][2004 re-release bonus]
12. In My Darkest Hour [Paul Lani Mix version][2004 re-release bonus]

Stuck in between the genre-defining classics of Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? and Rust In Peace lies the sleeping giant that is So Far, So Good... So What?. The 2004 re-release of this album finally allows the music to shine through and makes a solid case for the album as more than the awkward middle child that it seemingly has gone down as in the discography of Megadeth.

(Before entering the review proper I must emphasize this pertains to the 2004 re-release; the production and mix vastly improves on the mess the original was.)

Featuring not only the widely recognized great of "In My Darkest Hour", the record includes overlooked gems that can hold their own amongst the greats that adorn the band's history. The sole album from the line up featuring Jeff Young on guitar and Chuck Behler on drums, it is a solid slab of thrash from the group.

Featuring probably the greatest ode to freedom of speech ever written in "Hook In Mouth", Mustaine and company are on fire; "Mary Jane" plays with tempos and rhythms to keep you enthralled throughout. "Set The World Afire" is a good old dose of undiluted thrash punctuated by some great guitar work from Young and Mustaine. "In My Darkest Hour" needs little explanation of its greatness; it is one of the greatest thrash songs in existence. Mustaine's songwriting prowess is on top form throughout this record; the lyrics are top notch, with all of the aforementioned and "Liar" showing he is a multi-talented genius.

The band are on top form behind their respective instruments. Ellefson adds yet more reasons why he is one of the best bass players in metal; he manages to punctuate the guitar madness that is "Into The Lungs Of Hell" by sheer force of talent. Behler is more than capable behind the kit, though I'm not too keen on the sound of his snare drum. Young deserves more praise than he gets for his place in Megadeth, as his work adds a lot to many of these tracks. Mustaine is much his usual self, a visceral guitar player and carrying the songs well behind the microphone, though you can really hear his inebriated state.

"Anarchy In The UK" is the weak link of the album (and the weakest of 3 covers that spanned the band's first three records); not offering much in the way of anything, it plays itself out and feels like a temporary detour before the band gets back on with the album with "Mary Jane". "Liar" comes close to generic thrash but the guitar solos that litter the track elevate it above that level (plus the pure bile spouted by Mustaine is like a car wreck you can't look away from).

So Far, So Good... So What? is an album that deserves to be more fondly remembered, one of the greatest thrash releases from one (if not the) greatest thrash bands of all time; seek it out and bask in its wonders.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 8

Written by omne metallum | 15.05.2020


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Guest review by
Arian Totalis
With possibly the cheesiest album cover ever, this album was the most experimental of Megadeth's career. Unfortunately, it was before the recording of this album that Gar Samuleson and Chris Poland were thrown from the band, a very tragic loss. But this album is a great recovery from the loss of such great players. With new recruits Jeff Young on Guitar and Chuck Behler on skins, this new line up was ready to rip some fuckin' heads off. So far things were good, but so what? It doesn't matter as long as they keep kicking ass.

published 15.01.2009 | Comments (9)


Comments: 2   Visited by: 15 users
16.05.2020 - 05:40
I prefer the original, the Megadeth remasters take out the grit and leave only some nice shiny polish. to each their own but i'd put their remasters in the trash.
16.05.2020 - 23:54
Written by ZeroTheHero on 16.05.2020 at 05:40

I prefer the original, the Megadeth remasters take out the grit and leave only some nice shiny polish. to each their own but i'd put their remasters in the trash.

We seem to have a lot in common when it comes to taste, but I've got to disagree with this. Listening to the remastered version of for example Hook in Mouth I can't find a lot of shine or polish there. For me the way Mustaine vomits out the lyrics on that one has pretty much defined what you call "grit" in music. I presume you grew up with the original versions, which would explain your fanatical fondness for them.

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