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Printable Version
11/20/03
Reviewed by -
Marco Passarelli
Megadeth
Peace Sells...But Who's Buying?
Released: October 14, 2003
Origination Year: 1986
Time: 36:12

Tracks: 8
Produced by: Dave Mustaine &
Randy Burns
Style: Studio
Format: DVD-Audio
Enhancement: MLP & DTS / Videos
Label: DTS Entertainment
Website:
www.megadeth.com


Track Listing
  1. Wake Up Dead
  2. The Conjuring
  3. Peace Sells
  4. Devils Island
  5. Good Morning / Black Friday
  6. Bad Omen
  7. I Ain't Superstitious
  8. My Last Words


Megadeth

Dave Mustaine:
Vocals / Guitars

Chris Poland:
Guitars

Dave Ellefson:
Bass Guitar

Gar Samuelson;
Drums

If only I could see myself now back in 1986; I would be horrified at what I saw! How could I possibly be listening to Megadeth? Willingly!!! What would have me turn to this?

Seventeen years of listening later, I am glad to say that I have recovered from my bout of “metalitus” and am no longer scared of all that is loud and heavy. Which is a good thing because I can now appreciate this classic album from one of metal’s most groundbreaking artists.

Impossibly angry, bleak, morbid and loud, Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying? contains all the elements necessary for 80’s heavy metal. And yet, there is a distinct contemporary feel to parts of the album, a familiarity that stems from the fact that many of today’s ‘nu-metal’ groups undoubtedly spent their formative years bashing away to Megadeth albums.

The first track, “Wake Up Dead” is akin to a sonic sucker punch – it hits you without any warning signs whatsoever; no intro, no buildup, it just jumps right into the first verse. Before you know it, Dave Mustaine’s trademark snarl is upon you and does not let up for the rest of the album. “Peace Sells” was another single from the disc (as was “Wake Up Dead”) and features the most famous opening bass riff in rock history – to the early MTV generation that is. Those 4 seconds were sampled and used as the intro music for MTV News for years. This song is the most politically fueled of the lot and rages against the machine harder than you could imagine and this is a full 6 years before that term came into being with another famously named band. One pleasant surprise is how coherent these songs are; everything is carefully arranged to ensure the maximum aural assault when needed but there are also times where the band brings the volume down a few decibels to allow the songs to breathe a bit. There also a sort of ‘prog-rock’ vibe that runs through tunes such as “Devils Island” and “Good Morning Black Friday” with their many time and feel changes. Dave Mustaine and Chris Poland must get praise for their rather sophisticated lead guitar work; this was no standard blues/ rock riffs, they were blazing through uncommon harmonic changes with ease and rocking all the while. Cool stuff indeed.

DTS Entertainment scores high marks once more for delivering a quality package with stunning sound quality. This 5.1 mix (by legendary Queen producer Mack) sounds tremendous: you will get lost in a sea of guitars as they envelope you from every angle. The clarity between the recorded tracks is also noteworthy; everything is spread evenly across the sound spectrum. While the guitars command the most space in the stereo mix, the drums and bass get plenty of room to breath in the surround mix. Unfortunately, I still cannot understand a word that Dave Mustaine says without having the lyrics in my hand but I’ll chalk that one up to artistic intention; it is certainly not a production fault.

Another way that DTS adds value to an already impressive reissue is by adding bonus materials that make it worthwhile and more importantly, essential, for fans to own. The two videos from the album “Wake Up Dead” and “Peace Sells” are presented in 5.1 as well as 2003 interviews with the band about the making of the album and their thoughts about the surround mix. Another cool feature is the “Devils Island” mix breakdown in which you can listen to that track in different ways allowing you to ‘play along’ with the band. You can solo Dave Mustaine or Chris Poland’s guitars, the bass and drums alone, the music sans vocals, etc.

If you are a heavy metal fan, you no doubt have had this album in your collection for years; yet, this 5.1 reissue is definitely worth getting, there is plenty of exclusive material here. For those who have never heard Peace Sells… there is no better way to hear one of metal's finest groups.

Copyright © 2002-2003 Matthew Rowe. All rights reserved.
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Disclaimer: various news pieces may state a specific media publication or program as a source. All other news is considered 'rumour' only. That goes double for release dates.

212 Frech
FC1810

"Even though most of the people I knew in my youth are gone, I still reach out to them..."
Norman Maclean - Paraphrase

"...we should enjoy every sandwich." -- Warren Zevon, 2003