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Megadeth: Countdown To Extinction (Deluxe Edition)

Dave Mustaine revisits his silver age

In 1992, thrash metal was almost dead in the water. Megadeth had begun a slow slide towards commercial territory, which resulted in some truly dismal albums by the end of the 1990s, but in 1992 they still retained some balls, as Countdown To Extinction proved.

Neither 1990’s Rust In Peace nor 1986’s Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying? sold as many units as Countdown…, which is a staple of melodic, not-quite-extreme metal that sounds even better in this beefed-up form all these years later. Dave Mustaine focused on writing anthemic songs such as Symphony Of Destruction and Sweating Bullets rather than penning murderously fast or brutal riffs.

Old-school thrash fans may miss his early albums’ palpable sense of threat as a result, but there’s no arguing with the glossy sheen of the production, or those fists-aloft choruses that were always Mustaine’s strong point.

Along with new liner notes, poster, postcards and an elegant lift-top box, this expanded reissue includes a 1992 live set from Cow Palace and is a stark reminder that when Megadeth were good, they were very, very good.

Joel McIver is a British author. The best-known of his 25 books to date is the bestselling Justice For All: The Truth About Metallica, first published in 2004 and appearing in nine languages since then. McIver's other works include biographies of Black Sabbath, Slayer, Ice Cube and Queens Of The Stone Age. His writing also appears in newspapers and magazines such as The Guardian, Metal Hammer, Classic Rock and Rolling Stone, and he is a regular guest on music-related BBC and commercial radio.