What’s interesting about this album is that this is the first time that Megadeth didn’t put Vic Rattlehead in their album cover. Well you can’t expect a band that has a mascot to be in all of their album covers, do you? With or without Vic, it doesn’t affect the quality this album has because Megadeth still is focusing on war, politics, or anarchy like they’ve did in their other albums, but “Countdown to Extinction’s” main theme is on the insane asylum, psychological issues, and supernatural beings. The songwriting in this album is creative as ever with more variety of song themes such as “Skin o’ My Teeth” which is a phrase from the Bible into very well crafted song about using it as an insult to your rival. But then I started to see that Megadeth is becoming a bit more artsy with tracks such as “Symphony of Destruction,” and “Foreclosure of a Dream” using instruments that isn’t in your typical Metal Band such as instrumental orchestra.
I admire the combination to create more varied songwriting and more diversity of furthering Megadeth’s songwriting. I like to think of those tracks as a more matured level of Megadeth which is something that I don’t expect to go well for a Trash Metal band. But if artsy songs bore you, don’t worry, we still have that Megadeth wildness that we all know and love such as “High Speed Dirt,” & “Countdown to Extinction.” “Countdown to Extinction” (song) had some of the catchiest guitar solos I’ve heard from this band and love listening to it again and again. But in furthering the songwriting of Megadeth, they had songs that are themed in the insane asylum, like “Psychotron,” “Ashes in Your Mouth,” & especially “Sweating Bullets.” Let me tell you all reading this, “Sweating Bullets,” is not only my favorite Megadeth song, but also one of my favorite metal songs. It is the most creative Heavy Metal song that’s on the topic of Split Personality. I love that Dave Mustaine is singing about him and act like he’s there are multiple personalities of him haunting him and every time he’s not in control something bad has happened that his other personalities have done and they’re forcing Dave himself to do what they are doing. That is so awesome and it’s the perfect song to pretend that you have split personality disorder.
It takes the formula of a big-band jazz song or a garage band where all the instruments stop playing for the lyrics/solo to be heard and once he say a lyric, the band plays their instrument. I gotta say, as twisted, as dark, and as creative this album is, it’s definitely one of my favorite Megadeth albums. Sure it wasn’t as wildly spectacular or all throttle as to their last album “Rust in Peace,” but the highlight of this album is that the tracks in “Countdown to Extinction” are arguably the most creative songwriting the band has ever made. It explores so many dark themes and yet it keeps the listeners so amused and entertained with how catchy the melodies go.
- Sweating Bullets
- Countdown to Extinction
- Symphony of Destruction
The Top Lister’s album score – 6 / 5