Rating:
8.2
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]


"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.

Guitar for this album, though while not quite up to par with "RIP" is still quite good. The traditional thrash strong structure is notably altered, but the spirit of thrash is still present, with trade off solos and strong rhythms to back them. However, the alteration in the sound can clearly be heard in the rock influence of the guitar playing, and more simplistic structures/time signatures. There's even a blues solo in the song "High Speed Dirt" performed by none other than Mr. Marty Friedman himself.

The drumming is very good, right around the same level as their previous release, except that certain simplistic passages can be found on "Symphony of Destruction" and "Sweating Bullets." The intro to the song "Skin O' My Teeth" is pretty good, and the fills on "Architecture of Aggression" are pretty clever.

Bass? Well, read my last four Megadeth reviews, and you'll see that I share a similar opinion for this one. The bass on the title track is probably my favorite, with a leering intro that makes love to your ears, and carries through strong for the entirety of the track. The bassline on "Foreclosure of a Dream" too, is quite impressive.

Lyrically, I would call this album Sub-Par. There are lyrics which are, quite frankly, a lot worse than they could have done. For instance, why write a song about skydiving? There ARE good lyrics on the album though, such as Symphony of Destruction, Sweating Bullets, Foreclosure of a Dream, and Countdown. For the most part, However, I was unimpressed.

To re-iterate a point: while this album may be the start of their decline, it's still a worthwhile purchase. Certainly it isn't the same ol' thrashtastic Megadeth that we're used to, but the songs are still very good, and worth looking into. Just make sure that if you get this album, you have their previous four first, just so you have priorities out of the way. Either way though, through the release of this album, Megadeth began their own countdown to a temporary, but real extinction.

Album Highlights: Skin O' My Teeth, Architecture of Aggression, Countdown to Extinction, Captive Honor.


Band profile: Megadeth
Album: Countdown To Extinction


 


written by Arian Totalis | 14.01.2009


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
Gorey

Rating:
9.0
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.
published 22.09.2003 | Comments (17)

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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Richard - 14.01.2009 at 20:32  
This is probably my second favourite Megadeth album (after Rust In Peace). I don't have the remastered version, I bought the original when it came out, so I don't have the bonus tracks.. But there are some damn good songs on here, despite it being noticeably more accessible.

Ashes In Your Mouth is a real grower and standout for me, and could be considered more in keeping with their older style. Symphony of Destruction is one of those songs that everyone likes when they hear it, and Sweating Bullets sounds a bit like 'Sweaty Bollocks'.

Agreed about the song about skydiving, very silly!
terrorist - 03.03.2009 at 02:22  
My favorite album,definetly one of the best in Metal.Song, Countdown To Extinction is my favorite one,it sounds so dark when Dave starts to sing,and the lyrics are awesome!!!
K†ulu - 04.03.2009 at 07:11  
I wonder what that commentary you mentioned in the beginning is. My CD seems to not have it.
Arian Totalis - 04.03.2009 at 16:45  
Written by K†ulu on 04.03.2009 at 07:11

I wonder what that commentary you mentioned in the beginning is. My CD seems to not have it.

It's included in the re-released version. Dave has comentary/events happening during the time of the recording at the begining of every re-release.
K†ulu - 04.03.2009 at 17:36  
Written by Arian Totalis on 04.03.2009 at 16:45

Written by K†ulu on 04.03.2009 at 07:11

I wonder what that commentary you mentioned in the beginning is. My CD seems to not have it.

It's included in the re-released version. Dave has comentary/events happening during the time of the recording at the begining of every re-release.

that's weird... i've a got the re-released version, but it has a booklet which starts from the track list and goes on with lyrics, with some pictures between them. But that's it... no commentary. But the CD seems to be the original CD, not a bootleg...
Marcel Hubregtse - 04.03.2009 at 18:03  
Written by K†ulu on 04.03.2009 at 17:36

Written by Arian Totalis on 04.03.2009 at 16:45

Written by K†ulu on 04.03.2009 at 07:11

I wonder what that commentary you mentioned in the beginning is. My CD seems to not have it.

It's included in the re-released version. Dave has comentary/events happening during the time of the recording at the begining of every re-release.

that's weird... i've a got the re-released version, but it has a booklet which starts from the track list and goes on with lyrics, with some pictures between them. But that's it... no commentary. But the CD seems to be the original CD, not a bootleg...


Are you sure you have the 2004 re-release by Captial Records? It also features 4 bonus tracks. And like Arian said the booklet starts with commentary on the album by Mustaine which he signs off with "love and bruises, dave mustaine" then it is followed by megadeth is: original credits: original thanks: remix and remsater: then some thanks and the tracklist and then commentaryon the bonus tracks and only on page 7 do the lyrics start
K†ulu - 04.03.2009 at 18:56  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 04.03.2009 at 18:03

Written by K†ulu on 04.03.2009 at 17:36

Written by Arian Totalis on 04.03.2009 at 16:45

Written by K†ulu on 04.03.2009 at 07:11

I wonder what that commentary you mentioned in the beginning is. My CD seems to not have it.

It's included in the re-released version. Dave has comentary/events happening during the time of the recording at the begining of every re-release.

that's weird... i've a got the re-released version, but it has a booklet which starts from the track list and goes on with lyrics, with some pictures between them. But that's it... no commentary. But the CD seems to be the original CD, not a bootleg...


Are you sure you have the 2004 re-release by Captial Records? It also features 4 bonus tracks. And like Arian said the booklet starts with commentary on the album by Mustaine which he signs off with "love and bruises, dave mustaine" then it is followed by megadeth is: original credits: original thanks: remix and remsater: then some thanks and the tracklist and then commentaryon the bonus tracks and only on page 7 do the lyrics start

The above description only applies to Peace Sells record, but both Countdown and Youthanasia don't have any of that stuff. However they are definitely the 2004 Capitol Records re-release and they are marked with "remixed / remastered" in the margin. The designs of the back covers are the same and all have bonus tracks... weird, ha?
Marcel Hubregtse - 04.03.2009 at 19:00  
Written by K†ulu on 04.03.2009 at 18:56


The above description only applies to Peace Sells record, but both Countdown and Youthanasia don't have any of that stuff. However they are definitely the 2004 Capitol Records re-release and they are marked with "remixed / remastered" in the margin. The designs of the back covers are the same and all have bonus tracks... weird, ha?


Yes, weird indeed, cause the Youthanasia & So Far, So Good... So What! 2004 Capitol re-releases I have also have the same set-up as my Countdown re-release.
Arian Totalis - 04.03.2009 at 21:53  
Yeah, all my Megadeth albums are Capitol Records re-releases with the exception of "The System Has Failed." Which I should probably review soon....
Syk - 19.09.2009 at 09:52  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 04.03.2009 at 19:00
Written by K†ulu on 04.03.2009 at 18:56
The above description only applies to Peace Sells record, but both Countdown and Youthanasia don't have any of that stuff. However they are definitely the 2004 Capitol Records re-release and they are marked with "remixed / remastered" in the margin. The designs of the back covers are the same and all have bonus tracks... weird, ha?
Yes, weird indeed, cause the Youthanasia & So Far, So Good... So What! 2004 Capitol re-releases I have also have the same set-up as my Countdown re-release.
Regional variants, perhaps? I think I've seen two different versions of remasters for at least one of the 85-90 albums (yes, ignoring the 2002 KIMB) at one store here in NZ

Crappy album, decent review, and High Speed Dirt is fine. It's my favourite track after Ashes... the other songs can Go to Hell
Angry Chair - 28.09.2012 at 01:43  
Really good album, this is their second best album after Rust in piece (obviously)

Symphony of destruction is very catchy and addictive aswell.

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