United Abominations is the eleventh studio album by the American heavy metal band Megadeth. Released on May 8, 2007, United Abominations is the first Megadeth release distributed through Roadrunner Records, and was recorded with an all new lineup excluding the band's singer, guitarist, songwriter, and frontman Dave Mustaine. While touring to promote the album, guitarist Glen Drover left the band for personal reasons and was replaced by Chris Broderick. Therefore this is the only studio album featuring Glen Drover, although it was not his only release with the band.
United Abominations was well received by critics and debuted at number eight on the Billboard 200, the highest chart position for the band since 1994's Youthanasia. Greg Prato of Allmusic stated Megadeth "sound reborn" on United Abominations. The lyrics of the album deal with politics and the state the world is in, with Ed Thompson of IGN stated the album is the band's most politically charged. The album was named the number one metal album of 2007 by Guitar World.
Prior to the release of United Abominations, Megadeth signed a recording contract with Roadrunner Records. The band had troubles with music rights involving two former labels that carried Megadeth, Capitol and Sanctuary Records. This is the first Megadeth album since the 2004 album The System Has Failed, which was released through Sanctuary. While on tour to support The System Has Failed, Megadeth frontman, guitarist, and vocalist Dave Mustaine contemplated breaking up Megadeth to record as a solo artist. At a sold-out concert in Buenos Aires, Mustaine stated the band would stay together. The show in Buenos Aires, at which this information was announced, was recorded and released on CD and DVD as That One Night: Live in Buenos Aires.
Megadeth had a new band lineup, aside from Mustaine, comprising Glen Drover (guitar), James LoMenzo (bass guitar), and Shawn Drover (drums). Mustaine chose these people for full time members rather than session musicians. He stated that he liked the Drovers' "sibling chemistry" and Lomenzo is a "legend". Now, however, the "legend" has been replaced with a "god". Megadeth's original bassist (David Ellefson) returned to Megadeth prior to the Rust In Peace 20th Anniversary Tour.
Writing and recording
Mustaine stated he did not "go into making this record with any pre-conceived notions". He said some of the lyrics on United Abominations were written about his frustration with his past record labels, stating "a lot of that translated into the intensity on the record." Mustaine wrote the songs for the album in an attempt to "stir something in the minds of the listener". The lyrics of the album are mostly written about the choices the American government make that Mustaine finds are foolish. Mustaine stated recording the new songs was "super fun", despite having troubles with some of the complex music and vocal usage. All of the lyrics and all music, with the exception of one song, were written by Mustaine. "Never Walk Alone... A Call to Arms" was co-written by Mustaine and guitarist Glen Drover. When bassist James Lomenzo was asked about the lyrics of the album, he said to "talk to Dave about that". Although most of the band had no writing credits on the album, they stated that they were excited about recording the music.
Cristina Scabbia Cropped.jpgthumb150pxleftCristina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil performed guest vocals on "À Tout le Monde (Set Me Free)". She appeared on stage with Megadeth to perform the song in Australia and Italy.
United Abominations was recorded in 2006 at SARM Hook End Studios, London, England; the Steakhouse, Studio City, California; Big Fish Encinitas, California and Backstage Productions. Additional overdubs were recorded at S.I.R. rehearsal studio, Hollywood, California and Mustaine Music, Fallbrook, California. Most of the record was tracked in England because frontman Dave Mustaine admired the fact that his favorite band, Led Zeppelin, previously recorded there many times. Mustaine produced the album, with additional production handled by Jeff Balding and Andy Sneap.
At track 8, "À Tout le Monde (Set Me Free)" is a remake of "À Tout le Monde" originally appearing on the 1994 album Youthanasia. The song is a more uptempo version of the original song, and features Lacuna Coil vocalist Cristina Scabbia singing backing vocals. Scabbia stated she was "really surprised about it because 'À Tout Le Monde' is a song that I've always loved. It was a big surprise for me to get this invitation —I was really honored to be part of it." Mustaine chose Scabbia over three other choices because of her "reign in the heavy-metal business".
The song "Gears of War" is featured on the soundtrack to the video game of the same name. Initially, the song had no lyrics; however, Microsoft approached Megadeth, asking to use the song in Gears of War. The band accepted the offer and wrote lyrics for the song, but it was too late to use the lyrics in the version for the video game, as the game was near completion.
All artwork for the album was selected from a contest held by DeviantArt. The contestants were asked to design a new version of Vic Rattlehead, the band mascot which appears on nearly every Megadeth album cover. Mustaine chose from the top 11 finalists to be included in the CD booklet. The cover was unveiled in August 2006, of which the image depicts the United Nations headquarters in flames and being destroyed by flying oil barrels. Vic Rattlehead (the Megadeth mascot) and the 'Angel of Deth' are pictured in the foreground. Although the cover of the CD was not the winner of the contest, Mustaine chose it as his favorite picture, and wanted it for the cover. No photographs of the band were taken for the CD booklet, leaving the entire design as fan-made artwork.
Release and promotion
Megadeth (5).JPGthumb175pxrightDave Mustaine on tour promoting United Abominations
United Abominations was originally set for an October 2006 release, but with the scheduled release date rapidly approaching, Mustaine told Billboard magazine in August 2006, "We're putting the finishing touches on it. We've got a little more work before it's finished, but it should be out some time next year." The completed album was leaked on to the internet in April 2007 and the first official pressing of the album was released exclusively in Japan on May 8 and contained a cover of the 1970 Led Zeppelin song "Out on the Tiles". The album was released internationally with a missing track on May 15, and a day later in the United States. A week after its release in the United States, the album had sold nearly 60,000 copies in the first week and debuted at number eight on the Billboard 200, 10 places higher than the band's previous album, 2004s The System Has Failed. The album debuted at number two in Finland, five in Canada, and the top 30 in seven other countries.
Megadeth started touring in March 2007 in support of the album in Canada opening for Heaven & Hell and Down, followed by a North American tour opening for Heaven and Hell and touring with Machine Head. On this tour, which lasted until May, the band debuted the songs "Gears Of War", "Washington Is Next!" and "Sleepwalker". After the Heaven and Hell tour, Megadeth started the worldwide Tour of Duty, which lasted until March 2008. Megadeth also toured in Australia on Gigantour with Static-X, DevilDriver, Lacuna Coil, and Bring Me the Horizon as supporting acts. At one concert in Australia and in Italy (Milan), Cristina Scabbia performed on stage with Megadeth for "À Tout le Monde (Set Me Free)".
United Abominations received generally positive reviews, and was thought of as a return to form for Megadeth by critics. Don Kaye of Blabbermouth.net said the album "is an unabashedly guitar-driven album, stuffed with riffs and leads coming from all directions. The sense of explosive instrumentation under precise control that was a hallmark of early Megadeth efforts is back, which means that Megadeth, in many ways, is back too." About.com reviewer Chad Bowar stated the album "is the best Megadeth album in at least a decade." Greg Prato of Allmusic praised the album, stating "Megadeth's crunchy, venomous thrash has remained intact. Megadeth were never afraid to show off their prog-worthy chops, and the 2007 lineup appears custom-made for tackling 'tricky bits'. Mustaine and company certainly sound reborn." Rolling Stone reviewer Evan Serpick noted a downside to the album, stating it sounded too much like all of the band's previous albums. Ed Thompson of IGN praised the album and its political lyrics, saying "cranks out so much attitude, so much opinion, and so much firebranded speech that the album could be mistaken for a political rally." Commenting on the Megadeth's new lineup, Jon Weiderhorn from MTV said "Once again, the system is fully operational." United Abominations was voted the best metal album of 2007 by the reader's poll in the June 2008 issue of Guitar World and the Brave Pick of 2007 by Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles.
On July 10, 2007, a rebuttal was posted by Mark Leon Goldberg on the United Nations affairs blog against the accusations made in the title track of the album, "United Abominations". Goldberg reviewed the song verse-by-verse, pointing out what he believed were false accusations. The blog stated that "we at UN Dispatch refuse to let Megadeth's witless screed go unchallenged. We listened so you don't have to".
Category:Roadrunner Records albums
tr:United AbominationsThis text has been derived from United Abominations on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0
Megadeth is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California, formed in 1983. Founded by guitarist/vocalist Dave Mustaine and bassist David Ellefson following Mustaine's departure from Metallica, the band has since released 12 studio albums, three live albums, two EPs, 26 singles, 32 music videos, four compilations and one box set. As a pioneer of the American thrash metal movement, Megadeth rose to international fame in the 1980s and was ranked as one of the "Big Four of Thrash" along with Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax, who were responsible for creating, developing and popularizing the thrash metal sub-genre.
Megadeth has experienced numerous line-up changes, due partly to the band's notorious substance abuse problems. From 1983 to 2002 — and as of February 8, 2010 — Mustaine and Ellefson are the only original members of the band, with Mustaine being the only constant member. After finding sobriety and securing a stable line-up, Megadeth went on to release a string of platinum and gold albums, including the platinum-selling landmark Rust in Peace in 1990 and the Grammy nominated, multi-platinum Countdown to Extinction in 1992.
Megadeth disbanded in 2002 after Mustaine suffered a severe nerve injury to his left arm. However, following extensive physical therapy, Mustaine reformed the band in 2004 and released The System Has Failed, followed by United Abominations in 2007; the albums debuted on the Billboard Top 200 chart at #18 and #8, respectively. Megadeth, along with their new lead guitarist Chris Broderick, released their twelfth studio album, titled Endgame, on September 15, 2009, which debuted at #9 on the Billboard 200, marking Megadeth's fifth top 10 album.
In the band's 26 active years, there have been over 20 individuals that have all officially been a part of the group at different times, with Dave Mustaine and David Ellefson being the only original members still in the line up to this day. Megadeth is known for its distinctive, technical instrumental style, often featuring dense, intricate passages and trade off guitar solos, as well as for Mustaine's recurring lyrical themes including politics, war, addiction, personal relationships and religious themes. Megadeth has sold over 25 million albums worldwide, with five consecutive albums being certified platinum or multi-platinum in the USA. The band has also been nominated nine consecutive times for Best Metal Performance.
Early days (1983–1984)
Two months after lead guitarist Dave Mustaine was fired from Metallica due to drinking, drug use, violent behavior and personality conflicts with James Hetfield,Lars Ulrich and former bassist Ron McGovney,Cecolini, Vinny. "Foreclosure of a Team", November 1998, Metal Hammer, reported by . Retrieved January 20, 2007. Mustaine and bassist Dave Ellefson formed Megadeth in Los Angeles. Mustaine later said, "After getting fired from Metallica, all I remember is that I wanted blood. Theirs. I wanted to be faster and heavier than them.""Killing Is My Business... and Business Is Good" remastered album notes. May 2002, Loud Records, 9046–2.
According to Mustaine, the name "Megadeth represents the annihilation of power. We spell the name phonetically because the meaning to us is the same as you get out of the dictionary; it's hypothetical body count after a nuclear fallout. It's a million deaths, and we want to leave our audience shell-shocked wherever we go." Fueled by the desire for revenge,Ling, Dave. "At the Start It Was About Revenge", September 1999, Metal Hammer, reported by . Retrieved November 28, 2006. Mustaine elevated the intensity of Megadeth's music, speeding up existing songs such as "Mechanix," which Metallica's new line-up adapted into the slower paced "The Four Horsemen." After unsuccessfully searching for a vocalist for nearly six months, Mustaine decided to handle lead vocal duties himself, while also serving as the band's primary lyricist, main songwriter, and co-lead and rhythm guitarist.
Early in 1984 Megadeth recorded a three song demo, the so-called 1984 Demo, featuring Mustaine, Ellefson, and Rausch, which contained early versions of "Last Rites/Loved to Death," () "Skull Beneath the Skin" and "Mechanix." Kerry King (of Slayer fame), covered a handful of live dates while the band sought a permanent replacement. After just a few shows in 1984, Lee Rausch was replaced by fusion drummer Gar Samuelson.
On the strength of their three song demo, Megadeth signed with the New York based independent label Combat Records, and in December added second guitarist Chris Poland, a friend of Gar's from the fusion scene.
Killing Is My Business... and Business Is Good! (1985–1986)
Early in 1985, the band was given $8,000 by Combat Records to record and produce their debut album. However, after spending half of the album's budget on drugs, alcohol, and food the band was forced to fire their original producer and produce the album themselves. Despite the resulting poor production, Killing Is My Business... and Business Is Good!, released in May 1985, was a well-received effort that blended elements of thrash, and speed metal.Huey, Steve. "Killing Is My Business... and Business Is Good! AMG Review", at . Retrieved November 16, 2006.Bregman, Adam. "Killing Is My Business... and Business Is Good!" Remastered version AMG Review, at . Retrieved November 16, 2006.
The album features the first of many cover songs performed by Megadeth; a speed metal version of Nancy Sinatra's classic "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" (), with lyrics altered by Mustaine. The song sparked controversy in later years when the song's original author, Lee Hazlewood, deemed Mustaine's changes to be "vile and offensive" and demanded that the song be removed from the album. Under threat of legal action, the song was removed from all pressings released after 1995. In 2002, however, the album was re-released with a partial version of the song, though with the altered lyrics censored by a "beep." In the Killing Is My Business... deluxe edition liner notes, Mustaine is strongly critical of Hazlewood, and notes he received royalties for almost 10 years before objecting to the altered version."Killing Is My Business... and Business Is Good" remastered album notes. May 2002, Loud Records, 9046–2.
In the summer of 1985, the group toured the United States and Canada for the first time, supporting Killing Is My Business... with Exciter. During the tour, new guitarist Chris Poland abruptly left the band, and was replaced by touring guitarist Mike Albert. Poland later rejoined Megadeth in October 1985 however, shortly before they began work on their second album with Combat Records.
Peace Sells... but Who's Buying? (1986–1987)
Originally completed in March 1986, Megadeth's second album again suffered from Combat Records small recording budget, and the band was initially unhappy with the final mixed product. Frustrated by the small independent label's financial insufficiencies, Megadeth signed to major label Capitol Records, who also bought the rights to the new album. Capitol hired producer Paul Lani to remix the recordings, and in November 1986, more than a year after recording began, Capitol released Peace Sells... but Who's Buying?. The album marked Megadeth's commercial and critical breakthrough,Huey, Steve. "Peace Sells... but Who's Buying? Review, at . Retrieved November 16, 2006. eventually selling more than a million copies in the US alone.
Considered to be a landmark thrash metal album, Allmusic cited Peace Sells... but Who's Buying? as "One of the most influential metal albums of its decade, and certainly one of the few truly definitive thrash albums."Birchmeier, Jason. "Peace Sells... but Who's Buying?" Remastered version AMG Review, at . Retrieved November 23, 2006. The album's title track "Peace Sells" () was chosen to be the band's first music video, receiving regular airplay on MTV's Headbangers Ball. "Peace Sells" ranked #11 on VH1's 40 Greatest Metal Songs"VH1 40 Greatest Metal Songs", May 1–4, 2006, VH1 Channel, reported by . Retrieved September 10, 2006. and the opening bass line was used for years as the theme for MTV News. Peace Sells... but Who's Buying? was the first Megadeth album to feature art by Ed Repka, who redesigned the band's mascot to the current standard, and designed much of the band's artwork in later years.
In February 1987 Megadeth was added as the opening band on Alice Cooper's Constrictor tour, followed by a brief tour supporting Mercyful Fate in the US. Cooper, alarmed by the band's drug habits, summoned them to his bus one night to warn against constant excessive drug use. In March of that year, Megadeth began their first world tour as a headlining act in the United Kingdom, which featured support bands Overkill and Necros.
After years of problems stemming from substance abuse, both Gar Samuelson and Chris Poland were fired from Megadeth in July 1987, following the final show of the tour in Hawaii. Mustaine claimed that Samuelson had become too much to handle when intoxicated, and even had replacement drummer Chuck Behler flown out for the last few dates of the tour, fearing that Samuelson would not be able to finish with the band's commitments. Mustaine claimed that Poland had sold band equipment to fund his increasing drug habit, detailed in the song "Liar," which is also dedicated to Poland. Samuelson later died in July 1999 due to liver failure, while Poland managed to overcome his addiction. Poland was initially replaced by Jay Reynolds of Malice, but as the band began work on their next album, Reynolds was replaced by his own guitar teacher Jeff Young, who joined Megadeth six weeks into the recording of their third album.Gomes, Celesete. "So Far, So Good for Megadeth", August 1988, Rock, reported by . Retrieved October 13, 2006.
So Far, So Good... So What! (1987–1989)
With a major label recording budget, and producer Paul Lani behind the desk, Megadeth spent five months recording their third album, So Far, So Good... So What! The recording process was again plagued with problems from the beginning, due in part to Mustaine's ongoing battle with addiction. Mustaine later said: "The production (of So Far, So Good...) was horrible, mostly due to substances and the priorities we had or didn't have at the time."Birchmeier, Jason. "So Far, So Good... So What! Remastered Review", Allmusic, at . Retrieved November 15, 2006. Mustaine also clashed with Lani, beginning with Lani's insistence that the drums be recorded separate from the cymbals (an unheard of process for rock drummers). During the mixing process, Mustaine and Lani had a falling out, and Lani was replaced by producer Michael Wagener, who remixed the album.
In January 1988 Megadeth released So Far, So Good... So What!, and while the album was eventually certified platinum in the US, it was initially panned by critics, with Allmusic complaining that the album "lacked conceptual unity and musical bite", and that it "wants to sound threatening but mostly comes off as forced and somewhat juvenile".Huey, Steve. "So Far, So Good... So What! Review", Allmusic, at . Retrieved November 15, 2006. So Far, So Good... featured the song "In My Darkest Hour," () with music written by Mustaine as a tribute to fallen Metallica bassist Cliff Burton. The song remains a fan favorite, and has been performed at nearly every Megadeth show since. So Far, So Good... also featured a cover version of the Sex Pistols' "Anarchy in the UK", with lyrics altered by Mustaine (who later admitted to hearing them wrong).
In June 1988, Megadeth appeared in Penelope Spheeris' documentary film The Decline of Western Civilization II: The Metal Years, which chronicled the Los Angeles heavy metal scene of the late 1980s, mostly focusing on glam metal. The video for In My Darkest Hour was filmed by Spheeris (who also directed the "Wake Up Dead" and "Anarchy in the UK" videos), and appears in the final scene of the movie. In Megadeth's 1991 Rusted Pieces VHS, Mustaine recalls the movie as a disappointment, which aligned Megadeth with "a bunch of shit bands".Megadeth: Rusted Pieces VHS, released January 1, 1991 by Capitol Records/EMI, Inc, UPC 077774001335, at . Retrieved November 20, 2006.
Megadeth began their world tour in support of So Far, So Good... opening for Dio in Europe in February 1988, later joining Iron Maiden's 7th Tour of a 7th Tour summer tour in the US. Noticing problems developing with drummer Chuck Behler, Mustaine brought drummer Nick Menza in to act as Behler's drum technician. As with Gar Samuelson before him, Menza was to be ready to take over for Behler in the event that he could not continue with the tour.Doreian, Robyn. "The Big Four", September 1990, Hot Metal Magazine, reported by . Retrieved November 16, 2006.
In August 1988, Megadeth appeared at the Monsters of Rock festival at Castle Donnington in the UK, alongside Kiss, Iron Maiden, Helloween, Guns N' Roses, and David Lee Roth, performing to an audience of more than 100,000 people. The band was soon added to the "Monsters of Rock" European tour, but dropped out after the first show due to Dave Ellefson's drug problems. Shortly after that appearance, Mustaine fired both Chuck Behler and guitarist Jeff Young, and canceled their scheduled 1988 Australian tour. "On the road, things escalated from a small border skirmish into a full-on raging war," he later recalled, "I think a lot of us were inconsistent (on the 1988 tour) because of the guy we were waiting for after the show."Niles, Eric. "Rust in Peace", September 1990, Music Connection, reported by . Retrieved October 13, 2006.
In July 1989, Nick Menza was hired to replace Behler on the drums. Unable to find a suitable lead guitarist in time, Megadeth recorded a cover version of Alice Cooper's "No More Mr. Nice Guy" () as a three piece band. The version later appeared on the soundtrack to the 1989 Wes Craven horror movie Shocker. While the band was holding auditions for the new lead guitarist in the summer of 1989, Mustaine was arrested for driving while intoxicated and possession of narcotics, having crashed into a parked vehicle occupied by an off-duty police officer. He entered court-ordered rehab soon after, and got sober for the first time in ten years.
Rust in Peace (1990–1991)
Following Mustaine's new found sobriety, Megadeth began a lengthy search for a new lead guitarist. Lee Altus of Heathen was among those who auditioned, as was Eric Meyer of Dark Angel fame. Meyer had been invited to join the band following Chris Poland's departure, but had declined in order to remain in Dark Angel.
Dimebag Darrell Abbott of then-obscure Pantera also auditioned, and was initially offered the spot. Darrell, however, would not join without his brother, Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott, and, having already hired Nick Menza, the band was forced to turn Darrell down.
In 1987, a 16-year-old Jeff Loomis (of Sanctuary, and later Nevermore) auditioned. Afterwards, Mustaine complimented Loomis on his playing, but rejected him because of his age.Metal-Rules.com, Nevermore Interview with Jeff Loomis at . Retrieved April 28, 2007. Loomis later saw Cacophony with Marty Friedman and Jason Becker on tour, and told Friedman, who had just released his first solo effort, Dragon's Kiss in 1988, of the experience. Friedman eventually auditioned for the spot, but was initially rejected by Mustaine for having multicolored hair. However, after undergoing what Mustaine called "Rock School 101", Friedman officially joined Megadeth in February 1990.Stix, John. "A Founding Forefather of Thrash", 1990, Guitar for the Practicing Musician, reported by . Retrieved October 13, 2006.
A revitalized Megadeth entered Rumbo Studios in March 1990 with co-producer Mike Clink to begin work on what would become their most critically acclaimed album to date, Rust In Peace. For the first time in their career, the band worked sober in the studio, alleviating many of the problems faced recording previous albums. Clink was also the first producer to successfully produce a Megadeth album from start to finish, without being fired."Dave the Human, Mustaine the Artist", September 1990, Holy Wars... The Punishment Due single, reported by . Retrieved October 13, 2006.
Released worldwide on September 24, 1990, Rust in Peace was a hit with fans and critics alike, debuting at #23 on the Billboard Top 200 in the US, and #8 in the UK.Rock Detector's Official website. "Rust in Peace chart positions", at . Retrieved November 16, 2006. The album showcased a much tighter sound, with Mustaine's writing style adopting a rhythmically complex progressive edge, prompting Allmusic to cite Rust in Peace as "Megadeth's strongest musical effort".Huey, Steve. "Rust In Peace Review", Allmusic, at . Retrieved November 15, 2006. The album featured the singles "Holy Wars... The Punishment Due", () and "Hangar 18", () both of which received music videos, and remain live staples. Rust in Peace went on to sell more than a million copies in the US, and received Grammy nominations in 1991 and 1992 for Best Metal Performance.
In September 1990, Megadeth joined Slayer, Testament and Suicidal Tendencies for the European "Clash of the Titans" tour, and in October, they were added as the opening band on Judas Priest's Painkiller tour, culminating with a performance to 120,000 people in January 1991 at Rock in Rio 2 festival in Brazil. Following the success of the European tour, a "Clash of the Titans" US tour began in May 1991, featuring Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax and opener Alice in Chains. In July, Megadeth's "Go to Hell" () was featured on the Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey soundtrack, and shortly after "Breakpoint" was featured on the Super Mario Bros soundtrack. In 1991, Megadeth also released their first home video, Rusted Pieces, which contained six of the band's music videos, along with a video interview with the band.
Countdown to Extinction (1992–1993)
In January 1992, Megadeth entered Enterprise Studios in Burbank, California with co-producer Max Norman. Norman, who had mixed Rust in Peace, would be integral in Megadeth's resulting musical makeover, pushing for shorter, less complicated, and more radio-friendly songs.Huey, Steve. "Countdown To Extinction" AMG review, at . Retrieved November 20, 2006. The band spent four months in the studio with Norman, writing and recording what would become Megadeth's most commercially successful effort, Countdown to Extinction. The album was the first to feature writing contributions from each band member, and was even named by drummer Nick Menza.Summers, Jodi. "Deth Metal!", March 1992, Metal Hammer, reported by . Retrieved October 22, 2006.
On July 14, 1992, Capitol Records released Countdown to Extinction. The album was an instant hit, debuting at #2 on the Billboard Top 200 album charts in the US, and #5 in the UK.Billboard's Official website. "Megadeth album chart positions", at . Retrieved November 16, 2006. Anchored by the Mainstream Rock hits "Symphony of Destruction" (#29), "Foreclosure of a Dream" (#30), and "Sweating Bullets" (#27),Billboard's Official website. "Megadeth singles chart positions", at . Retrieved November 16, 2006. the album quickly went double platinum in the US, and received a Grammy nomination for Best Metal Performance in 1993.
The album's title song, "Countdown to Extinction" also gave Megadeth the distinction of being the only metal band to ever win the "Doris Day Music Award", presented to the band by the Humane Society of the United States in 1993 for "spotlighting species destruction and the horrific 'sport' of canned hunts".Humane Society of the United States' Official website. "1993 Genesis Awards", at . Retrieved October 13, 2006.
The band released their second home video Exposure of a Dream, in November 1992, continuing in a similar to fashion to Rusted Pieces, the release featured all music videos previously released from Countdown. Megadeth began their world tour in support of Countdown to Extinction in December 1992 with Pantera and Suicidal Tendencies, followed by a North American tour beginning in January 1993 with Stone Temple Pilots. Just one month into the North American tour, however, the band was forced to cancel all remaining shows, including dates scheduled in Japan, as Mustaine again fell into substance abuse, and ended up in the hospital emergency room.Chirazi, Steffan. "Trial by Fire", October 1993, RIP, reported by . Retrieved October 13, 2006. After a seven week stint in rehab, Mustaine emerged clean once again, and the band returned to the studio to record "Angry Again", () a song which was featured in the 1993 film Last Action Hero, and later nominated for a Grammy in 1994.
In June 1993 Megadeth returned to the stage, appearing as "special guests" at Metallica's Milton Keynes Bowl Festival, marking the first time the former bandmates played the same stage in ten years. The pairing prompted Mustaine's on stage announcement that "The ten years of bullshit is over between Metallica and Megadeth!", although problems would later resurface between the long-feuding bands. In July, Megadeth was added as the opening act for Aerosmith's Get A Grip US tour, but due to contractual disputes, and on stage remarks made by Mustaine about Aerosmith's "advancing" age, Megadeth was removed from the tour after just seven dates.Ling, Dave. "Get in the Van", January 1998, Metal Hammer, reported by . Retrieved October 21, 2006.
Following their canceled US tour, Megadeth returned to the studio to record "99 Ways to Die", () a song that appeared on The Beavis and Butt-Head Experience, a compilation album featuring songs intercut with commentary by Beavis and Butt-head, released in November 1993. The song was later nominated for a Grammy in 1995 for Best Metal Performance. At the same sessions, "Paranoid" was recorded for a Black Sabbath tribute album. Paranoid was often performed as an encore.
Early in 1994, Megadeth again teamed up with co-producer Max Norman to begin work on the follow up to Countdown to Extinction. With two members of the band now residing in Arizona, initial work began at Phase Four Studios in Phoenix. A few days into pre-production, problems with Phase Four's equipment forced the band to seek out an alternative studio. Mustaine, however, insisted on recording at his home state of Arizona, and no suitable recording facility could be found in time. At the request of co-producer Norman, the band opted to construct their own recording studio inside of a rented warehouse in Phoenix, Arizona, later dubbed "Fat Planet in Hangar 18". While the studio was being constructed, much of the pre-production song writing and arrangements took place at Vintage Recorders in Phoenix (a studio which would also be used for MD45 and both Mustaine and Friedman solo projects). For the first time in their career, the band wrote and arranged the entire album in studio, and included basic tracks recorded live by the whole band at the same time.
Recording of the album was captured on video, and later released as Evolver: The Making of Youthanasia.
Following eight months in the studio, Youthanasia was released on November 1, 1994, Oct.31st 1994 (Halloween ) saw a live broadcast on MTV of "Night of the Living Megadeth" which introduced the new songs to a wide audience for the first time. Youthanasia debuted at #4 on the Billboard Top 200 album chart in the US. The album was certified gold in Canada in just thirty minutes, and was certified platinum in the US faster than any other Megadeth album. With producer Max Norman still pushing for a slower, more commercial sound, Youthanasia followed the stylistic shift that began with Countdown to Extinction.Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Youthanasia" AMG Review, at . Retrieved November 16, 2006. While still retaining core metal elements, the album focused on stronger vocal melodies and more accessible, radio friendly arrangements.Birchmeier, Jason. "Youthanasia" Remastered version AMG Review, at . Retrieved November 16, 2006. The band even enlisted noted fashion photographer Richard Avedon to further their new image, dropping their jeans and t-shirts for a more style conscious look.Merkle, P.J. "Megadeth: Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered", May 1995, Hit Parader, reported by . Retrieved October 22, 2006.
A sticker on initial releases of Youthanasia advertised the then-new concept of a band website, affectionately known as "Megadeth, Arizona". Fans could chat in the "Mega-diner", correspond with the band through email, request songs to be played live, and read columns and tour diaries written by band members.
Youthanasia's first single, "Train of Consequences",() reached #29 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock charts, and in November 1994, Megadeth appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, performing the album's second single, "À Tout Le Monde". ()Boerio, Jeff. "Megadeth: Online and Onstage", 1995, On Eleven Magazine, reported by . Retrieved October 22, 2006. "À Tout Le Monde" also received a music video, which MTV refused to play, thinking its lyrics were an endorsement of suicide.
Live support for Youthanasia began in South America in November 1994, and would span eleven months, becoming Megadeth's most extensive tour to date. The band was joined by Corrosion of Conformity in both Europe and the US, and Flotsam and Jetsam, Korn and Fear Factory in the US. The tour culminated with an appearance at the Monsters of Rock festival in Brazil, co-headlining alongside Alice Cooper and Ozzy Osbourne. In January 1995, Megadeth appeared on the soundtrack to the horror film Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight with the song "Diadems". Megadeth also contributed a cover version of "Paranoid" () to Nativity in Black, the first Black Sabbath tribute album. The band's version of "Paranoid" was nominated for a Grammy in 1996 for Best Metal Performance, Megadeth's sixth nomination in as many years.
In March 1995, Megadeth released a special edition of Youthanasia in Europe, containing a bonus disc entitled Hidden Treasures. The bonus disc featured every one-off song by Megadeth, from film soundtracks, compilations, and tribute albums, including a new recording of the Sex Pistols' "Problems". Due to fan demand, the bonus disc was released as its own EP in the United States and Japan in July 1995.
During the summer of 1995, the band underwent changes on the business side. Manager Ron Lafitte was hired by EMI Records and essentially disbanded his Management company. Megadeth later signed with ESP Management, and hired a new "creative manager" Bud Prager, a previous manager of both Foreigner and Bad Company. As with Max Norman before him, Prager would go on to be highly influential in shaping the direction of the band.
Cryptic Writings (1996–1998)
Following an extensive world tour in support of Youthanasia, Megadeth took time off late in 1995. Mustaine began work on MD.45, a side project with vocalist Lee Ving of Fear. Drummer Jimmy Degrasso ( who had been playing in Alice Cooper's Band for the South American Monsters of Rock Tour months previous) was brought in. Sessions were recorded and Vintage Recorders, and Dave also started work on a home demo studio.
Marty Friedman constructed a studio in his new home in Phoenix and started work both there and at Vintage Recorders on a solo project.
In September 1996, Megadeth began working on songs for their next album in London, tentatively titled Needles and Pins. The writing process was closely supervised by new manager Bud Prager, who also contributed musical ideas and lyrics to the songs. Many lyrics, and even song titles were changed at the request of Prager. Regarding Prager's writing influence, Mustaine later wrote "I figured maybe this guy (Prager) could help me get that intangible 'Number One' record I so badly wanted" Due to a problem with the album's original artwork, the album cover was replaced with a "voodoo symbol", and renamed Cryptic Writings.
On June 17, 1997 Capitol Records released Cryptic Writings. The album debuted at #10 on the Billboard Top 200, and was Megadeth's sixth consecutive studio album to be certified gold in the United States.Blabbermouth.net Official website. "Megadeth - Album Sales Update", at . Retrieved November 16, 2006. Cryptic Writings scored Megadeth their highest charting single to date, the #5 Mainstream Rock Track, "Trust", () which was also nominated for a Best Metal Performance Grammy in 1998. Press response to the album was mixed,Wiederhorn, Jon. "Cryptic Writings" Rolling Stone Review, at . Retrieved November 16, 2006.Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Cryptic Writings" AMG Review, at . Retrieved November 16, 2006.Birchmeier, Jason. "Cryptic Writings" Remastered version AMG Review, at . Retrieved November 16, 2006. but the album would go on to score four top 20 Mainstream Rock Tracks, including "Almost Honest" (#8), "Use the Man" (#15), and "A Secret Place" (#19) .
When asked about the eclectic nature of the album, Mustaine later said "We divided it into thirds. One part of the record was really fast and aggressive, one third of it was the really melodic, in between stuff, and then the final third was really radio-orientated music like Youthanasia."Wiederhorn, Jon. "Last Men Standing", June 1998, Guitar World, reported by . Retrieved October 13, 2006.
After more than a year away from the stage, Megadeth returned as a live act in June 1997, beginning a world tour with The Misfits, and later touring in the United States with Life of Agony and Coal Chamber. In July Megadeth joined Ozzfest 98, but halfway through the tour, drummer Nick Menza discovered a tumor on his knee, and was forced to leave the tour to undergo surgery. He was replaced by Jimmy DeGrasso, temporarily at first. Following the tour, however, DeGrasso replaced Menza permanently, after Mustaine claimed that Menza had "lied about having cancer".Ferres, Nick. "An Ugly American", March 2001, Rockmetal.pl, reported by . Retrieved November 16, 2006.
In 1998, computer game development company 3D Realms announced that they would be using two unreleased Megadeth tracks on their promotional album Duke Nukem: Music to Score By. First was a rendition of the Duke Nukem theme song "Grabbag", originally composed by Lee Jackson, and second was a Megadeth song originally recorded in 1995, "New World Order", which later appeared on the remastered edition of Hidden Treasures.; 3D Realms, August 9, 1999. Retrieved 12 March 2009. A demo version of this song had already featured on the 1994 Japanese edition of Hidden Treasures, but this was included on the remaster of Youthanasia instead.
Following the band's first real radio success with Cryptic Writings, Megadeth opted to again work with country pop producer Dann Huff in Nashville on their eighth studio album, which began in January 1999. The writing of the album was again supervised by manager Bud Prager, credited with co-writing on five of the album's twelve songs."Risk" album notes. August 31, 1999, Capitol Records, 7243-4-99134-0-0. Prager convinced Mustaine to grant producer Dan Huff more control over the recording process. "When it comes to Risk", Mustaine later wrote, "there'd been people in there playing and I wouldn't even know who they were or where the parts came from, and I'm not used to that. I was a little bit intimidated by the success we had with Cryptic Writings, so when it came to creating new material after that, it's like being "power-drunk" - you want more. After the success with "Trust", I thought to myself "wow, we've had a number one hit." We'd had four top five hits in a row, so why would I not want to give Dan even more control when it comes to the producing part on the next record? So I did, and it backfired."Hjelm, Fredrik. "It Wasn't Fun Anymore", 2001, Shockwaves Online, reported by . Retrieved October 21, 2006.
Released on August 31, 1999, Risk was both a critical and commercial failure, and led to a backlash from many longtime fans.Birchmeier, Jason. "Risk" Remastered version AMG Review, at . Retrieved November 16, 2006.Billerey-Mosier, Roger. "Risk" Album Review, September 1999, at . Retrieved November 16, 2006. Although recent Megadeth albums had incorporated mainstream rock elements alongside a more traditional heavy metal sound, Risk was virtually devoid of metal, featuring instead dance, electronica, and disco influences. Risk was Megadeth's first release since 1985 not to be certified gold or higher in the US. The album's lead-off single, "Crush Em", () appeared on the Universal Soldier: The Return soundtrack, temporarily as World Championship Wrestling's entrance theme for Bill Goldberg and later became an official NHL song, played during hockey games.Music-Reviewer.com. "Risk" Album Review, November 1999, at . Retrieved November 16, 2006. Singles were made out of Crush 'Em, Breadline and Insomnia.
In July 1999, Megadeth recorded a cover version of the Black Sabbath song "Never Say Die", which appeared on the second Nativity in Black tribute album.
They began their world tour in support of Risk in September 1999, playing alongside Iron Maiden during the European leg. Three months into the tour, longtime guitarist Marty Friedman announced that he would be leaving the band, citing musical differences. As Mustaine later explained: "I told (Marty) after Risk that we had to go back to our roots and play metal, and he quit."Blabbermouth.net. "Dave Mustaine Slams Former Bandmates, Defends His Current 'Boys' ", at . Retrieved November 16, 2006. Megadeth enlisted guitarist Al Pitrelli, formerly of Savatage, Alice Cooper, and currently of Trans-Siberian Orchestra, as Friedman's replacement in January 2000.
Megadeth returned to the studio in April 2000, to begin work on their ninth studio release. However, one month into production the band was given the opportunity to join the "Maximum Rock" tour, alongside Anthrax and Mötley Crüe. Megadeth put the recording on hold, and toured North America throughout the summer of 2000. Early into the tour, Anthrax dropped off the bill, allowing Megadeth to play an extended, co-headlining set.
Megadeth and Capitol Records parted ways in October 2000, after fourteen years. The label returned the band's newest recordings, and in return released a greatest hits record, Capitol Punishment: The Megadeth Years. The album also featured two new tracks, "Kill the King", and "Dread and the Fugitive Mind", () both of which showcased the band's return to their metal roots following Risk.
The World Needs a Hero (2001–2002)
In November 2000, Megadeth signed with new label Sanctuary Records. The band returned to the studio in October to put the finishing touches on their next album, which had been near completion before the band joined the "Maximum Rock" tour six months earlier. Following the overwhelming negative response to Risk,Huey, Steve. "The World Needs A Hero" AMG review, at . Retrieved November 20, 2006. Mustaine fired manager Bud Prager, and decided to self-produce Megadeth's next album. The World Needs a Hero, the first Megadeth album since Peace Sells... but Who's Buying? to be written entirely by Mustaine (with one contribution from Al Pitrelli on "Promises"), was released on May 15, 2001 to mixed reviews.Engels, John. "The World Needs A Hero" Review, June 14, 2001, at . Retrieved November 19, 2006. While the album marked a return to form following the attempted mainstream rock direction featured on Risk, some critics felt the album fell short of expectations.Eldefors, Vincent. "The World Needs A Hero" Review, 2001, at . Retrieved November 19, 2006.Chandrasekhar, Chaitra. "The World Needs A Hero" Review, Published In "The Tech" newspaper on May 15, 2001, Volume 121, Number 26, archived at . Retrieved November 19, 2006. Mustaine himself likened the album to be the first major turn of a huge ship at sea, trying to right itself and get back on course. The album's lead off single, "Moto Psycho", () reached #22 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock charts, also receiving regular airplay on VH1's Rock Show.
Touring in support of The World Needs a Hero began in the summer of 2001 in Europe supporting AC/DC, followed by an American tour with Iced Earth and Endo in September. The tour was cut short however, following the attacks on America on September 11, the band were forced to cancel all scheduled dates, including a DVD shoot set in Argentina. Although they did perform one show at the Commador Ballroom in Vancouver, B.C. on September 12. Instead the band played two shows in Arizona in November, which were filmed and later released as Rude Awakening, Megadeth's first official live release. The DVD went gold on July 23, 2002. In February 2002, Bill Kennedy remixed and remastered Megadeth's first album, Killing Is My Business... and Business Is Good!, with modern mixing and mastering techniques used on modern metal albums, and added bonus tracks.Megadeth's Official website, "Timeline", 2006, at . Retrieved October 11, 2006.
In January 2002, Mustaine was admitted to the hospital to remove a kidney stone. While undergoing treatment, he was administered pain medication, which triggered a relapse. Following his hospital stay, he immediately checked himself into a treatment center in Texas. While at the treatment center, Mustaine suffered a freak injury causing severe nerve damage to his left arm. The injury, induced by falling asleep with his left arm over the back of a chair, caused compression of the radial nerve. He was diagnosed with radial neuropathy, which left him unable to grasp or even make a fist with his left hand (a condition known as Saturday Night Palsy).
On April 3, 2002, Mustaine announced in a press release that he was disbanding Megadeth, officially due to his arm injury.Megadeth's Official website, "Megadeth Disbands Press Release", 2006, at . Retrieved November 15, 2006. For the next four months, Mustaine underwent intense physical therapy five days a week.Epstein, Dan. "Die Another Day", August 2003, Guitar World, reported by . Retrieved October 21, 2006. Slowly, Mustaine began to play again, but was forced to "re-teach" his left hand.
In order to fulfill contract obligations with Sanctuary Records, Megadeth released a compilation album, Still Alive... and Well? on September 10, 2002. The first half of the album contains live tracks recorded at the Web Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona, on November 17, 2001. The second half of the album contains studio recordings taken from The World Needs a Hero.
Following nearly a year of recovery, including physical and electric shock therapy, Mustaine began work on what was to be his first solo album. The new material was recorded with session musicians Vinnie Colaiuta and Jimmy Sloas in October 2003, but the project was put on hold when Mustaine agreed to remix and remaster Megadeth's eight album back catalog with Capitol Records. Mustaine re-recorded some parts that were lost over time, or altered without his knowledge in the initial mixing process.
The System Has Failed (2004–2005)
Jimmy DeGrasso by bigdrumthump.jpgthumbFormer Megadeth drummer Jimmy DeGrasso performs, 2004
In May 2004 Mustaine returned to his newest recordings, intended as a solo effort, but due to outstanding contractual obligations with the band's European label EMI, he was forced to release one more album under the "Megadeth" name.Nalbandian, Bob. "Dave Mustaine Interview", August 28, 2004, Hard Radio.com, reported by . Retrieved November 19, 2006. Mustaine decided to reform the band, and contacted the fan favorite "Rust in Peace line-up" to re-record backing tracks on his latest songs. While drummer Nick Menza initially signed on, Marty Friedman and Dave Ellefson were both unable to come to an agreement with Mustaine.Nalbandian, Bob. "Dave Mustaine Interview", August 28, 2004, Hard Radio.com, reported by . Retrieved November 19, 2006. Menza was dismissed shortly after he began rehearsing with the band again. Mustaine states, "It just didn't work out. We tried for two weeks to get everything to happen, and it just didn't click. Five days before the tour started, I had to send him home." Regarding longtime bassist Ellefson not returning to the band, Mustaine said: "Dave lied to me in the press, he said that my arm injury was fake, went around town and slandered me. We made him a really good offer (to rejoin the band) and he said no. I mean, if I give you an offer and you don't take it, it means no, right?""Interview with Dave Mustaine of Megadeth", July 20, 2004, Metal-Temple.com, reported by . Retrieved November 19, 2006. The resulting album became the first ever Megadeth recording not to feature Ellefson. Original lead guitarist Chris Poland (from the 'Killing is My Business' and 'Peace Sells' era) was hired by Mustaine to contribute guitar solos to the new album; the first time the two musicians had worked together since Poland's dismissal from the band in the 1980s. Poland opted to serve as a studio musician only, as he wished to remain focused on his own jazz fusion project OHM.
On September 14, 2004 Megadeth released their comeback album, The System Has Failed on Sanctuary Records in the US and EMI in Europe. Heralded as a return to form,Birchmeier, Jason. "The System Has Failed" AMG Review, at . Retrieved November 19, 2006. Revolver magazine gave the album four stars, calling The System Has Failed "Megadeth's most vengeful, poignant and musically complex offering since Countdown to Extinction."Megadeth's Official website press release "Megadeth: Announce dates for "BLACKMAIL THE UNIVERSE TOUR" and band line-up as new CD ‘THE SYSTEM HAS FAILED' hits stores", September, 2004, reported by . Retrieved November 19, 2006. The album debuted on the Billboard 200 chart at #18, and was led by the radio single "Die Dead Enough", () which reached #21 on the US Mainstream Rock charts. Mustaine announced that the album would be the band's last, followed by a farewell tour, after which he would focus on a solo career.Megadeth at Sauna crop.jpgthumbleft200pxMegadeth (June 2005) 2004–06 line-up. (l-r) Shawn Drover, MacDonough, Mustaine, Glen Drover
Megadeth began the Blackmail the Universe world tour in October 2004, enlisting touring bassist James MacDonough (Iced Earth), and guitarist Glen Drover (Eidolon, King Diamond). While in rehearsal for the tour, drummer Nick Menza parted ways with the band, as he was unable to prepare for the physical demands of a full US tour.Brave Words.com "MEGADETH Tour Manager Talks About Drummer Nick Menza's Departure", November 5, 2004, reported by . Retrieved November 19, 2006. He was replaced just five days before the first show by Shawn Drover, brother to new guitarist Glen Drover, and also a member of the Canadian thrash metal band Eidolon. The band toured the US with Exodus, and later in Europe with Diamond Head and Dungeon.
In June 2005, Capitol Records released a greatest hits album to replace the now out of print Capitol Punishment, entitled Greatest Hits: Back to the Start, which featured the new remixed and remastered versions of songs from the first eight albums.
In the summer of 2005, Mustaine organized an annual heavy metal festival tour, dubbed Gigantour. Megadeth headlined the inaugural run with Nevermore, Anthrax, Fear Factory, Dillinger Escape Plan, Life of Agony, Symphony X, Dry Kill Logic and Bobaflex. Performances from the Montreal and Vancouver shows were filmed and recorded for a live DVD and CD, both of which were released in the summer of 2006.
Metalmania 2008 Megadeth James LoMenzo 02.jpgthumbright130pxJames LoMenzo at Metalmania 2008.
On October 9, 2005, following the successes of The System Has Failed and the Blackmail the Universe world tour, Mustaine announced on stage in Argentina to a sold out crowd at the Pepsi Music Rock Festival that Megadeth would continue to record and tour with the line "... And we will be back!." This concert was officially released on DVD as That One Night: Live in Buenos Aires in March 2007. The DVD went gold on July 19, 2007. The 2 CD version was released on September 4, 2007.
In February, 2006 bass player James MacDonough parted ways with the band for what MacDonough called "personal differences".Blabbermouth.net "Ex-MEGADETH Bassist MACDONOUGH: 'There Is No Animosity Here' ", February 20, 2006, at . Retrieved November 20, 2006. He was replaced by bassist James LoMenzo, who had previously worked with David Lee Roth, White Lion and Black Label Society. On March 16, 2006 the new Megadeth line-up made their live debut headlining the Dubai Desert Rock festival held in the United Arab Emirates, alongside Testament and 3 Doors Down.
On March 21, 2006, Capitol Records released a two disc DVD titled Arsenal of Megadeth, which included archive footage, interviews, live shows, and many of the band's music videos. Due to licensing issues, movie soundtrack videos, as well as videos not released by Capitol Records were not included on the DVD. However, the DVD still featured the songs No More Mr. Nice Guy and Go to Hell from Hidden Treasures. The DVD went gold on July 27, 2007.
Second installment of the Gigantour was launched in fall of 2006, Megadeth headlining the inaugural run with Lamb of God, Opeth, Arch Enemy, Overkill, Into Eternity, Sanctity and The SmashUp. Gigantour 2006 also continued with 3 dates in Australia, line up included Soulfly, Arch Enemy and Caliban. Performances from the Sunrise, Florida show were filmed and recorded for a live DVD and CD, both of which were released in the spring of 2008.
United Abominations (2006–2009)
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Metalmania 2008 Megadeth 001.jpgthumbright200px2008–2010 line-up, performing live at Metalmania in Spodek, on March 8, 2008.
In May 2006 Megadeth announced their eleventh studio album, entitled United Abominations, was near completion. Originally scheduled for release by Roadrunner Records in October 2006, Mustaine announced in August 2006 that the band were "putting the finishing touches on it", and it was rescheduled for release on May 15, 2007.Blabbermouth.net "MEGADETH: New Album Pushed Back To 2007", 23 August 2006, at . Retrieved November 27, 2006. United Abominations is the band's first studio release to feature members Glen Drover, Shawn Drover, and James Lomenzo. In March 2007 Dave Mustaine announced at the Megadeth forums that a new version of "À Tout le Monde (Set Me Free)" would be released on the album. It features a duet with Cristina Scabbia of the band Lacuna Coil, and was to be the first single from the albumForums.megadeth.com "À Tout le monde (Set Me Free)", 3 March 2007, at until it was replaced by "Washington Is Next!".
Metalmania 2008 Megadeth Chris Broderick 01.jpgthumbleft130pxChris Broderick at Metalmania 2008.
United Abominations was released on May 15, 2007. It debuted a week later at #8 in the US, the band's highest charting position since 1994's Youthanasia, and sold 54,000 copies in its first week. In March 2007 Megadeth commenced a tour through Canada and the United States as an opening act for the newly-reformed Heaven & Hell, along with Down on Canadian dates and Machine Head on US
dates, followed by a summer festival tour through Europe. In September 2007 Megadeth returned to the United States as the headline act on their Tour Of Duty tour, which also included the Pacific rim and the third installment of Gigantour which was launched in Australia in November 2007, line up included Static-X, Lacuna Coil, DevilDriver and Bring Me the Horizon.
On January 13, 2008, Dave Mustaine confirmed that Glen Drover had quit Megadeth to focus on his family, and was replaced by Chris Broderick (formerly of Nevermore and Jag Panzer).
The new line-up made its live debut in Finland on February 4, went on Tour Of Duty tour in Europe as the headline act and returned to UK the same month and US in the spring for Gigantour 2008. Dave Mustaine wanted a shorter lineup so each band had a good chance to put on a show. The 2008 installment of the tour featured In Flames, Children of Bodom, Job for a Cowboy, and High on Fire (and Evile for the UK and Scandinavia tour).
Also Megadeth did Tour Of Duty tour in South America and Mexico in May and June 2008. Commenting on leaving the band, Drover said "I am aware of the rumors that I left Megadeth to focus on family life. My family life has always been my priority. In the end, I was unhappy with the situation, which magnified me wanting to spend more time with my family and realizing that it's time for me to move on to the next chapter in my musical career, I have a lot of great memories and met a ton of great people along the way, both fans and people in the industry."
Mustaine said he is happy with Drover's decision and is pleased that his replacement is Broderick. Mustaine also said "Chris is doing just fine." Former Nevermore bandmate Van Williams commented that Megadeth is "getting one hell of a good player, more importantly they're getting a great guy to hang out with and a true friend." Broderick said "I realize I have some big shoes to fill and I will do my best." With regards to what kind of an addition Chris Broderick will be for Megadeth, Dave Mustaine in an interview said "...thoroughly thrilled with Chris... it reminds me a lot like when Ozzy found Randy Rhoads." A compilation album called Anthology: Set The World Afire was released on September 30, 2008.
Megadeth embarked on the "Priest Feast" European tour with headliners Judas Priest and openers Testament in February and March 2009. Dave Mustaine was invited by Metallica to attend their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction; Mustaine congratulated them respectfully and stated due to winding down European tour with Judas Priest he would be unable to attend the ceremony. Megadeth and Slayer co-headlined Canadian Carnage, the first time they had performed together in more than 15 years. Opening acts for the four shows that occurred in late June were Machine Head and Suicide Silence.
As of May 19, Megadeth had finished recording the album and on June 18, the album title was revealed to be Endgame. On May 27, 2009, Dave Mustaine confirmed all 12 songs are complete and they are currently mixing and mastering the record. As mentioned by Dave Mustaine on the syndicated radio show Infowars, the name of the album Endgame is an homage to the Alex Jones documentary of the same name.
The release date for the "Endgame" album was announced on the Megadeth official website as September 15, 2009, and Metal Hammer magazine's website were the first to review the album track by track. Megadeth began its Endgame tour on November 14, in Grand Rapids, Michigan and ended on December 13, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Tour featured Machine Head, Suicide Silence, Warbringer, and Arcanium. In January 2010, Megadeth was set to embark on the "American Carnage" tour with Slayer and Testament, both giants of the thrash and heavy metal scene. The tour was scheduled to begin on January 18, but was ultimately postponed until later in the summer due to Tom Araya's back surgery. Several weeks later, Megadeth's "Head Crusher" was nominated for a 2010 Grammy.
Megadeth in Haapsalu 2010.JPGthumbright250pxMegadeth in Haapsalu, Estonia in 2010.
Megadeth also announced a "Rust in Peace 20th Anniversary Tour", which began on March 1 as a month-long North American tour with support from Testament and Exodus. During the tour, Megadeth played Rust In Peace in its entirety and Testament played The Legacy in its entirety. As of February 8, 2010, and prior to the start of the "Rust in Peace 20th Anniversary Tour", original bassist Dave Ellefson rejoined Megadeth after eight years. He stated in an interview for Classic Rock magazine that Megadeth drummer Shawn Drover contacted him and had said that bassist James LoMenzo was declining and had told him that "if ever there was a time for you and Dave to talk, now is it."
In recent news, Megadeth have been working on a new song entitled "Sudden Death" and to which Mustaine claims "won't be ready for a half a year at best." However, it appears in the video game Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock. On June 18 IGN posted a video showcasing the completed version of the song on the game. Accompanying Sudden Death on the game will be Holy Wars... The Punishment Due and This Day We Fight!. On September 7, 2010, the band released Rust in Peace Live on CD, DVD, and BluRay, recorded at the Hollywood Palladium via Shout! Factory.
Megadeth, along with Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax performed on the same bill for the first time ever on June 16, 2010 at Bemowo Airport (Warsaw, Poland). It was the first performance of that bands played as a part of Sonisphere Festival series, one of the following (Sofia, Bulgaria, June 22, 2010) was sent via satellite in HD to cinemas. They also went on to play in Zurich, Switzerland (June 18, 2010), Prague, Czech Republic (June 19, 2010), Athens, Greece (June 24, 2010), Bucharest, Romania (June 26, 2010) and then in Istanbul, Turkey (June 27, 2010), Knebworth, UK (July 8, 2011), Amneville, France (July 9, 2011) also as part of the Sonisphere Festival. This was the first time that Megadeth and Metallica played the same stage since June 1993, and only the second time since 1983 that he, Hetfield, and Ulrich have shared the same stage.
On September 24, 2010, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax will begin The Jägermeister Music Tour in Dallas, TX. Megadeth will continue to play their 1990 album Rust In Peace in its entirety, while Slayer will perform their Seasons in the Abyss album, which was also released in 1990. Also, on September 24, 2010, Megadeth released the new track Sudden Death on iTunes. On September 28, Roadrunner Records made the track available for streaming on its website. On October 21 the finale date of Jägermeister Music Tour in fall of 2010, Kerry King joined Megadeth on stage, at the Gibson Amphitheater in Hollywood, California to perform Megadeth's classic "Rattlehead" which was the first time in 26 years that Kerry King has shared the stage with Megadeth since he played with the band during Megadeth's very first shows in 1984.
In an October 2010 interview with Crypt Magazine, Shawn Drover stated plans on a new upcoming Megadeth album: "Yeah, we’re certainly talking about it. Right now we’re in tour mode, but we’re starting to discuss our game plan for next year, and I envision next year we’ll be recording a new record." Later that month, Roadrunner Records submitted Sudden Death for consideration for Best Metal Performance, The Right to Go Insane for Best Hard Rock Performance and Rust in Peace Live for Best Rock Album at the 53rd Grammy Awards. "Sudden Death" was nominated, making it the band's ninth.
New album (2010–Present)
On November 17, 2010, Dave Mustaine has officially announced in the Megadeth Cyber Army Chat Room that Megadeth will soon be recording their 13th album in Vic's Garage (Megadeth's Studio). Dave Mustaine said these words about the new upcoming album; "So, right now I have Ken Eisennagel, you may remember him from the last two records doing engineering for all of the pre-production phases of Megadeth records? Well, he is here going over all of the new Megadeth stuff that I am working on… believe it or not we have five songs almost finished for the new Megs record already!" The album name and release date is still to be announced. On December 18, 2010, it was announced that Megadeth and Slayer will join forces once again for European Carnage Tour in March and April 2011.
Megadeth is also confirmed for fourth annual of Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival in July and August 2011. On January 25, 2011, another Big 4 show was announced, this time in the USA. The gig will take place on April 23, 2011 in Indio, CA at the Empire Polo Club. This is the only scheduled stop in the USA for now, this will also be the first time all of the Big 4 members play on the same stage in the USA. On January 31, Dave Mustaine posted the following on his Twitter: "In the studio today working on guitar parts! Love you all. DSM", suggesting that the recording process for the follow-up to Endgame has begun. During an online chat with members of the band's fan club, Mustaine has revealed that the band has completed 5 new songs for the next album. Mustaine also noted that the new album is turning out to be "more like Endgame."
The band will also be touring with Disturbed and Godsmack for the 4th annual Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival.www.rockstarmayhemfest.com/bands
As Megadeth's primary lyricist, Mustaine is known for his often controversial, political, and more recently, personal lyrics. War and nuclear war are common topics, including the military-industrial complex ("Architecture of Aggression", "Hangar 18", "Return to Hangar" "Take No Prisoners"), and the aftermath of war ("Dawn Patrol" "Ashes In Your Mouth"). The name Megadeth is a deliberate misspelling of the word megadeath, a term coined in 1953 by RAND military strategist Herman Kahn to describe one million deaths, popularized in his 1960 book On Thermonuclear War.Kahn, Herman. On Thermonuclear War (Princeton University Press), ISBN 0-313-20060-2 Politics are also a common theme to many Megadeth songs, such as Mustaine's scathing assessment of Tipper Gore, the PMRC, and music censorship in the song "Hook In Mouth".Birchmeier, Jason. "So Far, So Good... So What!" Remastered version AMG Review, at . Retrieved November 20, 2006. Mustaine takes an environmentalist stance in "Countdown to Extinction" and "Dawn Patrol",Palmer, Robert. "Rust in Peace Rolling Stone Review, at . Retrieved November 16, 2006. and shuns dictators in songs like "Symphony of Destruction". The UN is criticized for its ineffectiveness in "United Abominations" and "Peace Sells". Mustaine's general cynicism regarding politics shines through on tracks like "Peace Sells", "The World Needs A Hero" and "Blackmail the Universe".
Controversial and misunderstood lyrics have also caused problems for the band, as the music video for "In My Darkest Hour" was banned from MTV in 1988 when the music channel deemed the song to be pro-suicide."So Far, So Good, So What!" remastered album notes. July 24, 2004, Capitol Records, 72435-98626-2-0. The music video for "À Tout le Monde" was later banned by MTV, again wrongly interpreted as being pro-suicide, when in fact it was written from the perspective of a dying man, saying his last words to his loved ones."Youthanasia" remastered album notes. July 24, 2004, Capitol Records, 72435-98623-2-3.
Addiction is also a common theme, as in "Use the Man", "Burnt Ice", and "Addicted to Chaos", about a former substance abuse counselor who died of a drug overdose."Cryptic Writings" remastered album notes. July 24, 2004, Capitol Records, 72435-98625-2-1. Recently, some lyrics have taken on religious themes, such as "Never Walk Alone... A Call to Arms", which supposedly is about Mustaine's relationship with God, and "Shadow of Deth", with spoken lyrics taken directly from Psalm 23 of the King James Bible. "My Kingdom" and "Of Mice And Men" also feature Christian lyrics.
Mustaine dabbled in black magic in his teenage years, which became the theme for the song off the Peace Sells album, The Conjuring. Mustaine stated that it was emotionally difficult to play because of his rebirth into Christianity. "I put two hexes on people, and they both worked and the result was just what I was asking for," he explained. "Now, it took forever to get that Satanic depression off of me because it's just like playing with a Ouija board. You open the doorway to the dark side, and spirits come through. It took almost 20 years to get rid of that Satanic depression. I did it when I was 15, and I don't think I got free of it until I was in my mid-30s.You ask yourself, 'How is it possible that this is happening to me?' Well, because you flirted with the devil and you put a hex on somebody and you put another hex on somebody, and, well, you owe him. And that's why I have a problem playing 'The Conjuring' today." Ultimate-guitar.com, 02/08/2010.
:For more details on this topic, see Dave Mustaine feuds and rivalries.
Dave Mustaine is notorious for making inflammatory statements in the press, usually regarding feuds and problems with former bandmates and other bands, including Slayer and Metallica. Perhaps most well known is his long standing feud with Metallica members James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, stemming from his ejection from the band, and the method in which it was conducted, as well as disagreements on songwriting credits. This feud has since been resolved, and Mustaine and the members of Metallica are once again on friendly terms.The Realms of Deth. "Megadeth Vs. Metallica", at . Retrieved November 16, 2006.
In April 1988, at a concert in Antrim, Northern Ireland, Mustaine "unknowingly" dedicated the final song to the IRA.... And Bootlegs For All "Megadeth — Live in Antrim, Ireland, 1988", at contactmusic.com "Mustaine's Terrorist Blunder", December 11, 2005, reported by . Before the final song, "Anarchy in the UK", Mustaine said, "This one's for the cause!" A fight amongst the audience ensued, as Protestants took offense and, according to Mustaine, the band had to travel in a "bulletproof bus" for the remainder of the tour of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Mustaine later alleged that he had been misled as to the meaning of the expression "the cause" by T-Shirt bootleggers outside the venue where they were performing. This incident served as inspiration for one of Megadeth's most well-known songs, "Holy Wars... The Punishment Due".
In July 2004, former bassist Dave Ellefson sued Mustaine for $18.5 million in Manhattan Federal Court. Ellefson alleged that Mustaine short changed him on profits and backed out of a deal to turn Megadeth over to him when they disbanded in 2002.Blabbermouth.net "Former MEGADETH Bassist Sues DAVE MUSTAINE For $18.5 Million", July 15, 2004, reported by . Retrieved November 20, 2006. Ellefson also accused Mustaine of locking him out of merchandise and publishing royalties. The suit was dismissed in 2005,Blabbermouth.net "MEGADETH: DAVID ELLEFSON's $18.5 Million Lawsuit Dismissed ", January 16, 2005, reported by . Retrieved November 20, 2006. and Mustaine filed a countersuit, which was later settled out of court.
Also sparking minor controversy was Mustaine's announcement that Megadeth will not play certain songs live anymore, due to Mustaine's new identification as a Christian.Blabbermouth.net "DAVE MUSTAINE Says He Won't Play PISTOLS' 'Anarchy' Because Of 'Anti-Christ' Reference", August 1, 2005, reported by . Retrieved November 20, 2006. In recent years Dave Mustaine has become a Born again Christian. In May 2005 Mustaine also allegedly threatened to cancel shows in Greece and Israel with extreme metal bands Rotting Christ and Dissection, due to the bands' perceived anti-Christian beliefs, which in turn caused the two bands to cancel their appearances.Kerby, Jeff. "Dave Mustaine Speaks to KNAC.com From Gigantour", 24 July 2005, at . Retrieved October 11, 2006.
With over 25 million albums sold worldwide, ten top 40 albums (including 5 top 10 albums), 18 top 40 Mainstream Rock singles, and nine Grammy nominations,Rock On The Net's Official website. "Grammy Awards: Best Metal Performance", at . Retrieved October 13, 2006. Megadeth remains one of the most successful heavy metal bands of all time.Megadeth's Official website, "Megadeth Behind the Music Press Release", 2001, at . Retrieved November 15, 2006. Of the "Big Four" thrash metal bands (Megadeth, Metallica, Anthrax, and Slayer), Megadeth is second only to Metallica in sales and commercial success.
As an early pioneer of thrash metal, Megadeth helped pave the way for the burgeoning extreme metal movement of the late 1980s and early 1990s, and is often cited as an influence by later metal acts, including Pantera, Bullet for My Valentine, Arch Enemy, Lamb of God,Blabbermouth.net, "MEGADETH, ARCH ENEMY, LAMB OF GOD Members Discuss GIGANTOUR", September 16, 2006, at . Retrieved November 23, 2006. and In Flames.Blabbermouth.net, and "IN FLAMES Bassist Says Meeting RONNIE JAMES DIO Has Been An Inspiration", October 19, 2006, at . Retrieved November 23, 2006.
Peace Sells... but Who's Buying? is considered a landmark in the history of thrash metal, with Allmusic calling the album "One of the most influential metal albums of its decade, and certainly one of the few truly definitive thrash albums", as well as "one of the best beginning-to-end metal albums ever". In May 2006 VH1 ranked "Peace Sells" #11 on the 40 Greatest Metal Songs of all time countdown. In addition to this, Rust In Peace was named the 3rd greatest thrash metal album of all time by Metal Hammer magazine. "Peace Sells...But Who's buying?" was placed 11th.
In 1993, Megadeth became the first and only metal band to win the Humane Society's Genesis Award for the title track of their Countdown to Extinction album.
In 2004, Guitar World magazine ranked Dave Mustaine and Marty Friedman together at #19 on the 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Guitarists of All Time."Guitar World's 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Guitarists of All Time", January 23, 2004, Guitar World Magazine, reported by . Retrieved November 23, 2006. Megadeth are also ranked 69th on "VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock" list.
In 2009, after the release of Endgame, BBC regarded Megadeth as "most consistent heavy group". BW&BK mentions that even in 2009, "Megadeth are still driven by hunger" for new material and they do not repeat themselves. About.com asserts that "More than a quarter century after their formation, Megadeth is still at the top of their game."
Awards and nominations
* Dave Mustaine – lead vocals, guitar (1983–2002, 2004–present)
* Dave Ellefson – bass, backing vocals (1983–2002, 2010–present)
* Chris Broderick – guitar, backing vocals (2008–present)
* Shawn Drover – drums, percussion (2004–present)
* Killing Is My Business... and Business Is Good! (1985)
* Peace Sells... but Who's Buying? (1986)
* So Far, So Good... So What! (1988)
* Rust in Peace (1990)
* Countdown to Extinction (1992)
* Youthanasia (1994)
* Cryptic Writings (1997)
* Risk (1999)
* The World Needs a Hero (2001)
* The System Has Failed (2004)
* United Abominations (2007)
* Endgame (2009)
ReferencesThis text has been derived from Megadeth on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0