Metal Hammer (UK) - - Reviews - CHRIS CHANTLER

Killing Is My Busi­ness… And Busi­ness Is Good! – The Fi­nal Kill


Mus­taine’s de­but rocket gets cal­i­brated to per­fec­tion

emerg­ing a Cou­ple

of years af­ter Me­tal­lica, Slayer and An­thrax had set the world buzzing with the rad­i­cal new sound of thrash metal, Me­gadeth’s 1985 de­but has al­ways been eas­ily over­looked. The rough pro­duc­tion and cheap sleeve seemed to be­to­ken a band in a mad rush to get their name out there; un­der­stand­able, af­ter Dave Mus­taine’s un­cer­e­mo­ni­ous sack­ing from Me­tal­lica and sub­se­quent venge­ful urge to best his ex-band­mates. Also, Me­gadeth’s more pro­found and pop­u­lar follow-up Peace Sells… But Who’s Buy­ing? dropped a year later, for­ever over­shad­ow­ing the ram­shackle in­no­cence of the de­but… At least, un­til now.

Pre­vi­ous reis­sues of this al­bum have im­proved the am­a­teur­ish pro­duc­tion, but maybe went too far the other way, sound­ing un­nat­u­rally beefed-up and mod­ernised. This is the Goldilocks edi­tion; everything is just right. Fans of the late Gar Sa­muel­son’s one-ofa-kind jazz-thrash drum per­for­mance might be dis­traught to hear that his ex­plo­sive 80s snare has been tight­ened up and di­alled down, but his ex­tra lev­els of dou­ble-kick ath­leti­cism – es­pe­cially ev­i­dent to­wards the end of the au­da­cious Mechanix – will take fresh breath away, Mus­taine hav­ing wo­ven bits of pre­vi­ously un­heard al­ter­nate takes into the mix.

Some are glar­ing, oth­ers more sub­tle, but the whole ef­fect is of an al­bum not just remixed but re­born, a liv­ing en­tity with new sur­prises to of­fer. The 1984

Last Rites demo is ap­pended, plus there is a par­tic­u­larly nice touch: each al­bum track per­formed live (ex­cept the goofy Nancy Si­na­tra cover), taken from rare record­ings circa 1986-90, re­cently lib­er­ated from Me­gadave’s loft.

As Mus­taine’s open­ing cry of rage ush­ers in a vol­ley of in­ci­sive, high-speed early tech-thrash clas­sics with bags of char­ac­ter – Look­ing Down The Cross, the ti­tle track and the ir­re­sistible lovesong to head­bang­ing, Rat­tle­head – de­liv­ered with piss and vine­gar by a highly unortho­dox, fear­somely ta­lented band, we can fi­nally give this de­but the at­ten­tion it de­serves.


Me­gadeth: tweaked to per­fec­tion

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