Megadeth is an American heavy metal band formed in 1983 by guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassist David Ellefson in Los Angeles, California. Along with Metallica, Anthrax, and Slayer, Megadeth is one of the “big four” of American thrash metal, responsible for its development and popularization. Their music features complex arrangements and fast rhythm sections, and lyrical themes of death, war, politics, personal relationships, and religion. In 1985, Megadeth released its debut album, Killing Is My Business… and Business Is Good!, on the independent record label Combat Records, to moderate success. It caught the attention of bigger labels, which led to Megadeth signing with Capitol Records. Their first major-label album, Peace Sells… but Who’s Buying? was released in 1986 and was a major hit with the underground metal scene. Substance abuse and personal disputes brought Megadeth negative publicity during this period. Megadeth has sold 38 million records worldwide, earned platinum certification in the United States for six of its fifteen studio albums, and received twelve Grammy nominations. Megadeth won its first Grammy Award in 2017 for the song “Dystopia” in the Best Metal Performance category. The band’s mascot, Vic Rattlehead, regularly appears on album artwork and live shows. The group has drawn controversy for its music and lyrics, including album bans and canceled concerts; MTV refused to play two of the band’s music videos that the network considered to condone suicide. Here are all Megadeath albums ranked.
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10. United Abominations (2007)
“Very consistent and thoroughly enjoyable album released by Megadeth! Having listened to all of their 00s albums and even written a review on Dystopia, I thought I might share my thoughts on this album specifically! It’s not my favourite Megadeth album and it doesn’t contain my favourite Megadeth track either, which incidentally comes from Cryptic Writings (Use the man – I can’t get over how good the guitar work on this piece is!) But I reckon this album as a whole is one tough beast! Very impressive quality overall, I can’t stress it enough! I was so pleased when I discovered this, it’s so timeless! “
9. Youthanasia (1994)
“When Youthanasia was first released in 1994, I , like many other Megadeth fans, was quite disappointed with the new direction Dave was taking. I pretty much gave up on them. Until recently.
I had the opportunity to see Megadeth a couple months ago on the Dystopia tour, and even tho there were some technical issues, they were totally badass. This sparked a new interest in their music. So I started collecting everything that came out after Countdown. Boy did I miss some great Megadeth music.”
8. Th1rt3en (2011)
“Having been a fan for 24 years and own all their albums I feel qualified to say that this is classic Megadeth all killer no filler material. When united abominations came out I felt it had a few good tracks but that the band might have run out of steam before being able to release a full album which could benefit from the big modern production sounds of recent years. How wrong was l , Endgame: was awesome and I suspected that it might be a great album to call time on a great band. Then low and behold Th1rt3en: Dave does it again but this time it reminds me of rust in peace/countdown to extinction era albeit still sounding fresh and powerful. Superb.”
7. So Far, So Good… So What! (1988)
“Megadeth second Album is a must for any metalhead. Great tracks, awesome lyrics, fast n load. This is where they broke into the metal world”
6. Dystopia (2016)
“After much listening, I have to say that in my opinion this is probably Megadeth’s best album overall. There are individual songs from previous albums that I like better (Holy Wars, Wake Up Dead, etc), but in terms of a Megadeth album that you can put in and play from front to back, this is my favorite. And I don’t make that statement lightly, I have been a fan since their first album K.I.M.B., which I have on vinyl.
Megadeth’s lineup has changed many times over the years, particularly in the lead guitar and drums roles, but I hope that Dave Mustaine keeps this lineup together; it really works and you can hear it in the music.
The Grammy they won for this album was well deserved.’
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5. Killing Is My Business… And Business Is Good (1985)
“The songs are uniformly great with great guitars and drums. If you like Megadeth and don’t have this CD then pick it up as there is no way you wont love it.”
4. Countdown To Extinction (1992)
“There’s no easy to make a next album after you have made one of the greatest albums ever. But you can try a best-seller instead of a better album. This was the first Megadeth album I ever heard. My brother borrowed me the album and I instantly fell in love with it. The album seem to have thrash influences but it had particled of the basic metal. I’d say that this album has also inspired many nu metal bands, as well as other thrash metal bands…Slipknot, Machine Head, Korn…just to name few. The lyrics are very political, the riffs are very good, they have very good hooks. “Countdown to Extinction” (the song) has awesome lyrics. I guess Dave’s mind has created something scary. “Skin’ o My Teeth”, “Symphony of Destruction”, “Sweating Bullets”, “Ashes in Your Mouth”, and hey I almost forgot “Captive Honour” which all are Megadeth as its best.”
3. Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying? (Capitol, 1986)
“It’s no secret that Megadeth fans are split on Dave Mustaine’s decision to remix most of Megadeth’s catalogue in 2004. Some fans like the remixes, but many others do not. I count myself among the latter group. In my opinion, many classic moments of the original songs were ruined due to certain instruments being too low or too high in the 2004 remixes. For example, in the original mix of “Good Mourning”, there’s a beautiful riff that harmonizes with the soaring lead guitar before the vocals begin. In the 2004 remix, the lead is mixed higher and the riff is mixed so low that it can barely be heard. The lead sounds hollow without that beautiful riff harmonizing with it. Also, the 2004 remixes (all of them) suffer from horrible compression that ruins the sound quality at higher volumes, and much of the drum tones have been replaced by triggers, giving the once natural sounding drumming the drab, drum machine-like sound of many modern metal albums.’
2. Endgame (2009)
“Endgame spurs out the continuing musical excellence of Megadeth. The album is not musically different from any previous releases. However, the lyrics of the album is notably mundane and despairing. Alike any Megadeth albums, which the lyrics are almost exclusively focused on politics or perspectives on human race with implications revolving political circumstances. “
1. Rust In Peace (1990)
“This album is so well done it is tough to find anything negative to say. This is the album that forced Metallica to make the black album, and Anthrax to make Persistence of Time. Both of those records took a turn towards the more radio-friendly. I think they understood that nobody was going to out thrash Megadeth at that stage.”