Rating:
9.0
Megadeth - Countdown To Extinction
6 July 1992


01. Skin O' My Teeth
02. Symphony Of Destruction
03. Architecture Of Aggression
04. Foreclosure Of A Dream
05. Sweating Bullets
06. This Was My Life
07. Countdown To Extinction
08. High Speed Dirt
09. Psychotron
10. Captive Honour
11. Ashes In Your Mouth
12. Crown Of Worms [2004 re-release bonus]
13. Countdown To Extinction [demo version] [2004 re-release bonus]
14. Symphony Of Destruction [demo version] [2004 re-release bonus]
15. Psychotron [demo version] [2004 re-release bonus]


It's not easy for any band to recover from the success of its last album, above all when it has brought the house down, as Rust In Peace did. Yet Megadeth has made it. Better than that, they have coontinued on their momentum with the same lineup (Mustaine, Ellefson, Friedman, Menza). And this Countdown to Extinction, besides being the sales record for the band, is a real masterstroke.
Made in 1992, Countdown to Extinction has proved itself different from Rust in Peace, especially because of the structure of the riffs, widely purified.
The listening begins with the fast "Skin O'My Teeth", which is an excellent and very catchy appetizer. But the greta sensation comes from the second track "Symphony of Destruction", that can be considered like the hit of the album, so much that its simple and repeating riff strikes by its ingenuity. Certainly Dave Mustaine shows that he really owns the art of creating success. Besides, it must be noticed that the quality of the vocals has never been that good, languorous and radiant on the bewitching "Foreclosure of a Dream", or dangerously aggressive on "Sweating Bullets". On these last tracks the inventiveness of the four men reaches the sublime and the dizzy. "Architecture of Aggression" and "Psychotron" create darker and more disturbing atmospheres than the rest of the album with perfect guitar playing.
Because the most impressive is the real duel that Mustaine and Friedman fight, alternating for the solos, with for example the very quick "High Speed Dirt", which is a sign of the good form of the four men. It's the same thing on the wonderful "Ashes in your Mouth", devastating by its power and proving itself a highlight for Megadeth. Then, "Countdown to Extinction" is a track a bit on the fringes of the rest of the album but it is a pleasant song with a remarkable tune. To end with this, "This was my life" is a very good track that, like the preceeding one, is quite lively. The main criticism on this album is about the general sound, which may sometimes be too perfect, that is, too cold compared to the hot boost of Rust in Peace. But this fault is too minimal to turn one's back on this album.
Countdown to Extinction is an album that cannot be ignored, and not having it is a crime.


Band profile: Megadeth
Album: Countdown To Extinction


 


written by Gorey | 22.09.2003


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

Rating:
8.2
"Oh my God, really?!?! It's number 2?' is what came out of my mouth, but inside, I was pissed. I wanted that number one spot." (from commentary in the remastered version)

These words are the perfect exemplification of the spirit in the making of this album. The drive to make good music was leaving, and replacing it was a drive for commercialism. Now don't get me wrong, this is a good album, but it was also the beginning of the decline in Megadeth's music, a decline that would last for for the span of four albums respectively, until their redeeming 2004 release of "The System has Failed." But enough about this, let's talk about the quality of the album.

Read more ››
published 14.01.2009 | Comments (11)

Guest review by
Thyroid

Rating:
8.9
Megadeth, band with multiple personalities. Like a schizophrenic family member, you just have to love it. All Megadeth albums have strong identities, some of them being softer and more melodic - ok, commercial - and some of them more raw and thrashy. Dave Mustaine has always recreated Megadeth's skin over and over again, but the biggest leap in Megadeth's musical evolution happened between albums So Far, So Good... So What! (1987) and Countdown To Extinction (1992).

Read more ››
published 30.11.2011 | Comments (13)



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Doc Godin - 30.04.2007 at 01:07  
Not quite as good as Rust in Peace IMO. But still great, probably my 3rd favorite megadeth album. And I definitly see what you mean by a cold sound to it. almost over produced in a way.
Warman - 30.04.2007 at 19:26  
Could be their best album, at least Mustaine's vocals is better than ever!
Bitch Boy - 01.05.2007 at 03:00  
One of their best albums. There are some of my Megadeth favorite songs such as "Foreclosure of a dream" or "Symphony of destruction". What I like the most from this one is the good riffs and the intelligent lyrics.
Dangerboner - 01.05.2007 at 07:29  
I'm going to have to disagree with all of you. Since this album is so accessible, it gets old quickly. Yeah, there's some good songs on it, but it's such a step down from their previous four albums. Dave's vocals are a little more whiny, and the slower tempo bugs me. However, I'm impressed that there are guitar solos on practically every song. Most mainstream metal bands don't do that.
Syk - 15.05.2007 at 06:16  
This album and Symphony are some of the most overrated things in metal, not having it is fine and recommended... more arguments here if they're wanted
BurbotsRevenge - 18.12.2007 at 06:42  
"But the greta sensation" a small spelling error, but good review nonetheless just starting to enjoy megadeth, ill have to check this out...
Opium - 18.12.2007 at 07:30  
The rating and praise are far from what I had in mind. This album gets terribly bland and monotonous FAST. I acutally prefer Youthanasia to this, tbh. What makes this album even worse in the spoken section in "Sweating Bullets" is that Mustaine's voice is beyond irritating here. "Psychotron" just makes me shudder, too.
Warman - 18.12.2007 at 19:00  
Psychotron is a damn catchy song!
Samuel550 - 09.05.2008 at 10:59  
Now that everybody has blown they're wad on the lousy argument that this album is overrated(that goes for you too, Syk), allow me to add my two sense by saying I can care less how accessible the music on Countdown is or how bland it makes the music for some people. Because in my mind, if a metal album has to be commercial or accessible, this is what it should sound like. 'Symphony of Destruction' has just as much catchyness as 'Peace Sells' or 'Hangar 18' and is easily one of the best songs on the album, the main riff of which is something I can chug along to for days. Other standouts include the opener 'Skin of My Teeth' which is one of the best Megadeth intros ever and 'Sweating Bullets' which has by far the best solos on the hole album.

So yeah, Countdown is a deffinte buy for fans who don't cencern themselfs with how fast they wan't Megadeth to play and just enjoy good metal music. If your too pig headed to look past the accessibility then thats too bad, but for me personally, I couldn't look at my Deth collection without this gem.
warfromwithin - 17.10.2008 at 01:48  
Great album... one of the perfect albums out there... very seldom you listen to an album where you never had to skip to the next song, or worse, turn your player off, it's just great, not the album that will make you headbang all the time but it certainly has great production, arrangements, sequence and lyrics..
BitterCOld - 10.01.2009 at 07:45  
Megadave were better when their music was fast, intricate, and interesting. this album was their attempt to compete yet again with megadave's nemesis, metallica (now hardrockica) and see if they could compose an album simplistic and catchy enough for radio play and with plenty of singles to make for videos for eMpTy Vee.

as a big megadave fan from back when i got "Peace Sells" on cassette this album was every bit the horrid disappointment that "The Black Album" was.

this album, the black album, and carcass' "swansong" stand as landmarks in letdown.

it's a 4, imo.
Dangerboner - 10.01.2009 at 07:54  
Yeah I don't really like this album either. After a couple of plays it just got old.
Collin - 18.01.2009 at 00:50  
Written by Guest on 09.05.2008 at 10:59

Because in my mind, if a metal album has to be commercial or accessible, this is what it should sound like.


I definitely agree with this guy. If all commercial music sounded like this album, I'd be a happy mainstream music fan.

CTE is my second favourite Megadeth album after Peace Sells (yes, before Rust In Peace). Indeed it is more accessible and much less thrashy, but it is also shows a big progression in the songwriting department. The loss of speed and aggressiveness is balanced by the great melodies and the amazing catchiness of, well, every song. Besides, I think this is the best vocal performance ever produced by Mr Mustaine - this is especially blatant on songs such as "Architecture Of Aggression", "Foreclosure Of A Dream" and "Countdown To Extinction". So, yeah, I agree with the review, a big 9 for me.
snook - 17.03.2010 at 20:13  
Well... I can understand some of the negativity towards this album from a stand point of a fast paced, crunchy , rippin' guitar thrash fan, because they expected something like their previous albums, which CTE isn't.

I, on the other hand, think that this album is quite good actually. I'm always open when a band decides to change their approach a little bit (in a good way of course. Not like Metallica's Load/ReLoad)

I certianly can't see how overproducting can be declared an argument. So it's well produced... Nothing wrong with that. What? Does it neccessarily have to be recorded with a cell phone in somebodies garage?

Also... Dave's voice was irritatingly whiny in Peace Sells too.

And I don't really care if Mustaine wanted to make money, get the hoes or beat Metallica with this album.
Or if this album isnt a 100% raw, fast and destructive. It still has some kickass songs which are always enjoyable to listen to.

I'd give it a nice 8
Doc Godin - 18.03.2010 at 07:34  
Written by snook on 17.03.2010 at 20:13

I certianly can't see how overproducting can be declared an argument. So it's well produced... Nothing wrong with that. What? Does it neccessarily have to be recorded with a cell phone in somebodies garage?

I think it really depends on the music. For example, Darkthrone. Can you imagine their music with slick, clean production? No, because the raw, dirty sound really fits their music. I think in this case the production fits the music though.
snook - 18.03.2010 at 16:45  
Which also depends on the person himself. That's one of the reasons i'm not really fond of raw black metal. The fidelity... There is a line between a little more raw garage sound and almost unhearable low-cost production on seemingly every aspect of the music.

Although I must say that black metal bands sound at least 5 times better live, at least in my experience. But again... it depends on the sounding.
ErnilEnNaur - 08.08.2011 at 21:38  
Great album, one of Megadeth's best definitely. The fact that two of their albums are far superior to a gem like this is a testament to their greatness.

Also, am I the only one who thinks "Captive Honour" is one of the coolest (and funniest) songs they have ever created? A lot of people seem to overlook that one for some reason.

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