Tag Archives: Thrash Metal

Megadeth’s Albums Get Ranked Up!

Formed and pretty much run by ex-Metallica guitarist Dave Mustaine, Megadeth has always been a household name among metal die-hards and casual listeners alike.  Though the band has had ups and downs, they have always been hailed as the most consistent of the Big Four. To celebrate the upcoming album and rumored 2016 tour with Suicidal Tendencies we have decided to make this current installment of Alternative Nation’s “Ranked Up” series on Megadeth.


Super Collider (2013)

After an awkward commercial rock phase, Megadeth started coming back strong with albums such as The System has Failed and Endgame. Somehow it led to this. Here Megadeth combine elements of post-grunge and glam metal. Funny considering Dave Mustaine always called glam “Gay Los Angelos Metal”. Some tracks, such as “Burn“, start out with good intros, but then turn for the worst within seconds. Even the most open-minded fans will have a hard time finding merits to this train-wreck.


Risk (1999)

Risk is one of the most infamous releases from the Big Four and Megadeth’s second most infamous album. Like the title implies the album was a big risk for the band as it was a pretty experimental release. The song “Crush’Em” sounds like an attempt at industrial, “Breadline” sounds like something 3 Doors Down would make while,  “Insomnia” sounds like a failed attempt at atmosphere. The closest this album has to a good song is “Prince of Darkness“, which starts out decent but goes downhill fast. Fans blamed the contemporary nu-metal trend for this album, but Dave Ellefson claimed Risk was a reaction against it.


Th1rteen (2011)

2011 was a strange year for metal albums; many bands released albums of unbelievably bad quality, such as Morbid Angel’s llud Divinium Insanus and Metallica and Lou Reed’s Lulu. While those albums were weird experiments gone wrong, Th1rteen is the exact opposite, pretty much being Megadeth by numbers. The album is just filled with generic song writing and recycled riffs, making it completely forgettable.


The World Needs a Hero (2001)

After the negative reactions to Risk, Megadeth decided to go back to their roots. Guitarist Marty Friedman would leave the band, move to Japan, release a J-pop album (not making this up) and be replaced by Al Pitrelli. While the album was a return to form, it was very bland and forgettable. Some tracks, such as “Promises” sound like they could have come from Risk.


Cryptic Writings (1997)

Continuing the path of their previous album, Cryptic Writings is more of a rock release then a thrash one. The album sold very well even getting it a platinum status and the song “Trust” still appears in the band’s set lists. However musically,  Cryptic Writings is only okay and sort of was an omen of what was to come next.


Youthanasia (1994)

After Countdown to Extinction gave the band more mainstream attention, their next album, Youthanasia gave them a more mainstream sound. This album is most known for the hit song “Train of Consequences” and the ballad ‘A Tout le Monde“. While far from their best release, Youthanasia is still an alright record.


Countdown to Extinction (1992)

By 1992 most of the 80’s thrash bands were putting out embarrassing albums, but Megadeth showed the world they still had it. The album is most known for the singles “Skin O My Teeth“,”Sweating Bullets“, and “Symphony of Destruction“. The deep cuts on this album are cool to especially “Psychotron” and “High Speed Dirt“.


So Far So Good… So What! (1988)

Megadeth’s third album is also their most underrated. Originally panned for its bad production and “Anarchy in the U.K.” cover, this release is usually considered to one of the band’s worst. However, if one gives the album a chance they shall find some great tracks such as “Liar” and “In My Darkest Hour”.


The System Has Failed (2004)

After ten years of okay to bad albums, Megadeth finally gave fans the comeback they had been waiting for. Guitarist Chris Poland who played on the band’s first two albums came back and gave this record an old school Megadeth feel. This was also the first album not to feature long time member Dave Ellefson who would not return till 2010. While the album has some cheesy tracks like “Of Mice and Men” it also has plenty great ones such as “Black Mail the Universe” and “Die Dead Enough“.


United Abominations (2007)

In 2004 the band showed they were coming back strong. Three years later they show it even more with United Abominations.  Chris Poland was swapped out for Glen Drover and his brother Shawn Drover joined on drums. Some of the best tracks from this album include “A Call to Arms”, “Washington is next” and the Japanese bonus track “Black Swan“.


Endgame (2009)

Continuing the path the band was on in the 2000’s, Endgame is the best post-Rust in Peace album. Glen Dover was replaced by Chris Broderick who brought with him amazing guitar work. This album is filled with awesome energy and technicality. Tracks like “This Day We Fight” and “Headcrusher” showed the world that Megadeth were still at the top of their game.  Sadly this moment didn’t last forever…


Killing is Business… and Business is Good (1985)

Megadeth’s debut is still one of their best. Self produced by the original line up of Dave Mustaine on guitar and vocals, Chris Poland on guitar, Dave Ellefson on bass and Gar Samuelson on drums, this debut is their rawest effort to date. Some of this album’s gems include “Rattlehead“, “The Mechanix” and the cover of the Nancy Sinatra classic “These Boots“.

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Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying (1986)

Containing the same exact line up as Killing is Business, Peace Sells is the band’s breakthrough album. The band got signed to Capitol Records and the production values went up. This is also the first Megadeth album to have politically charged lyrics something that would become a stable of the band, though also had songs with satanic lyrics such as “The Conjuring“. Other great tracks include “Peace Sells“, “Wake up Dead” and “Devil’s Island“.


Rust In Peace (1990)

Megadeth’s best album is also one of the best metal albums of all time. Added to the band was guitar master Marty Friedman who would stay with the band throughout the 90’s. Marty’s technical guitar playing brought some of the best riffs and solos ever created to the table. “Holy Wars“, “Tornado of Souls“, “Hangar 18“, “and “Poison was the Cure” and just about every track on this album is a classic. The band would celebrate this album with a tour that consisted of them Slayer, Anthrax and Alice in Chains. In 2010 the band would do an anniversary tour for the same album with Slayer and rotating openers Anthrax and Testament.

10 Astonishing Metal Bands From Israel

This June, yours truly will be making the third trip of his life to Israel. In honor of this upcoming trip, I’ve decided to do some reflecting on my favorite bands from the country home to “The Holy Land”, in order of formation date. Metal is viewed as sacrilegious particularly in Israel. Many venues will not host shows on the Sabbath. Despite this, several of the bands below have endured the controversy and have become well-respected in the metal underground.

Salem – Tel Aviv – Formed in 1985

The name was taken from the horror film “The Witches Of Salem”. Their style is a blend of death and doom metal with occasional oriental influences. Drummer Nir Nakav, has stated in an interview for the documentary “Global Metal”, that their lyrics pertaining to Jewish suffering has had the band butting heads with Varg Vikernes (despite Varg admitting to appreciating the music). In 1994, they released their debut full-length Kaddish. The title pertains to the Mourner’s Kaddish, a prayer for dead relatives, included in three daily synagogue services.

The opening track, “The Fading”, received regular airplay on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball. The 9th track on Kaddish, “Ha’ayara Bo’eret” (The Burgh is Burning), is a cover of an Israeli folk song, sung in Hebrew, and its lyrical content is associated with the suffering of Jews during the Holocaust. They’ve released 4 other studio albums since then, and in 2011, Kaddish was re-released. A special concert to commemorate the re-release took place in Tel Aviv, where GN’R guitarist “Bumblefoot” joined the band on stage.


Orphaned Land – Bat Yam – Formed in 1992

A progressive metal band which incorporates elements of Middle-Eastern and Arabic music. Each of their albums contain the concept of two extremes clashing; Shadow to Light, East to West, Past to Present, or God to Satan. Their lyrics have often promoted a message of unity and peace between Judaism, Islam, and Christianity.

Their debut on Century Media Records, Mabool, tells the story of three angels, one from each of the Abrahamic religions, on a journey to warn humanity of a flood invoked as punishment for its sins. Despite several biblical references in their lyrics, most members of this band identify as agnostic or atheist. Overall, the one message this band wants to relay to all who listen is as follows: “People should be judged by their hearts and inner sincerity, not their religious beliefs.”


Melechesh – Jerusalem – Formed in 1993

They may be residing in The Netherlands now, but Melechesh have a history in Israel and are still being marketed as a band from Jerusalem. Their name derives from two words with Aramaic and Hebrew origins. The meaning of the conjoined words is “King of Fire”. Up until 1998 the band recorded and gigged in Jerusalem where they were harassed by law enforcement officers with deeply held religious beliefs, prompting their relocation to The Netherlands. Their debut was controversially titled As Jerusalem Burns. They refer to their sound as Sumerian metal. Just think Absu, but with more oriental influence. On their most recent album, Enki, from this year, they had the opportunity to collaborate with Max Cavalera.


Distorted – Bat-Yam – Formed in 1996

They took influence from progressive and gothic metal bands and an oriental influence from their country-mates Orphaned Land. They didn’t release a debut album or tour outside of the Tel-Aviv area until 10 years after forming. The success of the debut, Memorial, earned them a deal with Candlelight Records.


Winterhorde – Haifa Region – Formed in 1999

Originally called Autumn Palace, they changed their name to Winterhorde two years later after some soul searching and line-up changes. The success of their demo grabbed the attention of Greek label Burning Star Records. The label would release their debut album, Nebula, prompting positive feedback and demand for Israel’s answer to theatrical melodic death/black metal to tour Europe. Their 2010 sophomore album Underwatermoon was met with similar positive response, and the band is currently working on album number three, Maestro. They have shared the stage with several international acts with similar musical influences. Such includes Keep Of Kalessin, Negura Bunget, Crematory, and later this year they are due to open for Ne Obliviscaris in Tel-Aviv.


The Fading – Tel-Aviv – Formed in 2000

They began at the dawn of the new millennium as Excessum, then changed their name to “The Fading” (me thinks named after the opening track on Salem’s debut) in 2006. Two years later, The Fading competed in Israel’s division of the Waken Metal Battle for a spot on the WET stage at that year’s Waken Open Air. They competed against several Israeli metal bands including one with their former producer, and won. They also won the global division of the Waken Metal Battle, held while they played the festival. Their prize as such, was a record deal with the festival’s record label. Under this deal the band recorded their debut album, In Sin We Find Salvation.

The success following the debut, has earned them the opening spot on several shows with international metal bands coming through the Middle-East. They are often matched up with melodic death metal favorites such as In Flames, Children of Bodom, and Arch Enemy. In 2013, the band announced work on a sophomore album, self-produced. As of this year, they have announced via Facebook that ‘Till Life Do Us Part, is due to be released later this year.


Nail Within – Tel-Aviv – Formed in 2001

Like The Fading, Nail Within play melodic death metal, though the latter is a little more aggressive and thrashy. While recording their debut album in Germany, the band got to meet figures of the Teutonic Thrash Metal scene, as well as At The Gates singer Thomas Lindberg, all whom made guest appearances on the eponymous album. The band ended up being short-lived, breaking up soon after their release show, yet being highly influential to Israel’s melodeath scene. They played a one-off reunion show in Tel-Aviv with Salem’s drummer as well a guest appearance by Thomas Lindberg.


Dagor Dagorath – Afula – Formed in 2003

Filed under Tolkien-named metal bands. Specifically, their name refers to “The Battle Of Battles”. They faced a four-year hiccup due to some members’ mandatory civic duty of military service. Hence their debut album, Yetzer Ha’ra, was released 6 years after their formation. They have been featured in an issue of Metal Hammer UK as well as the first volume of Burning Roots, an anti-nsbm compilation.


Whorecore – Tel-Aviv – Formed in 2003

A six-piece grindcore/death metal act, from “The city that never stops”. Known for playing as many shows as they can with a total disregard for venue or audience. They are considered Israel’s best live actin the punk, grind, and metal communities. They have two full-lengths under their belt, with their debut album, Protection, released in 2006. Also featured in “Global Metal”. “Supporting violence against stupidity since 2003” (Facebook excerpt).


Hammercult – Tel-Aviv – Formed in 2010

Considered a supergroup in Israel’s metal scene that featured two members of The Fading. Their unique blend of thrash and death metal won them the Israeli Waken Metal Battle of 2011, as well as the Global Waken Metal Battle that same year. They’ve done several European tours with the likes of D.R.I., Sepultura, and Napalm Death. Their first album, Anthems Of The Damned, was released by German label Sonic Attack in 2012. Continuing to promote their second album, as well as a potential third album, they will be the support act for Overkill’s show in Tel-Aviv this June.


Honorable Mentions:

Acropolis – Melodic Power Metal with Trance influences  – Tel Aviv

Buzzer – Stoner/Sludge Metal – Tel-Aviv

Edited by Doug McCausland