According to The Oxford Dictionary, a megadeath (or megacorpse) is one million human deaths, usually the result of a nuclear explosion. Megadeth is a heavy metal band, formed by Dave Mustaine and David Ellefson following the former’s exit from Metallica in 1983. One look at the artwork on this album should make an immediate connection between the two. The political messaging seemed a bit dated when I first heard this a dozen (or two) years ago, but sadly, it couldn’t be more relevant in our current hellscape. Peace Sells….but Who’s Buying? nicked its title from an article in Reader’s Digest, and was Megadeth’s first major label record. It was a step up in terms of both production and songwriting, with clearer sonics and socially conscious lyrics leading it to be massive influential to the underground thrash and speed metal scenes. No sludgy brick-walled guitars or makeup here, y’all. “Peace Sells” begins with a spine-tingling bass riff and energetic solos, with a pummeling, shouting-and-shredding second half. (Check out the video for a hilarious cameo from none other than Jello Biafra.) “Good Mourning” features an intro of delicate (almost pretty) chords and stadium-sized reverb on the drums, a bit of respite from the punishing snares and fragmented guitars of “Black Friday”. “I Ain’t Superstitious” is a plugged-in version of the Willie Dixon blues classic (made famous by Howlin’ Wolf), a clever take on the aggressive Chicago blues of the original. The disc ends with the mosh-ready guitar textures of “My Last Words”, clockwork toms signaling the end to this 36 minute adrenaline rush. The album cover features an airbrushed illustration by “The King Of Thrash Metal Art” Ed Repka and features their mascot Vic Rattlehead. (Did you know he’s meant to represent “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil”? I didn’t.) This appears to be the first legitimate colored vinyl edition of this album, and uses the same masters as the 2008 Capitol Records reissue. Packaged in a high-gloss jacket with printed inner sleeve.
- transparent dark purple vinyl pressing
- high-gloss sleeve and printed insert
- limited edition
- music label: Capitol 2018
reviewed by BYRON MAIDEN 07/2019