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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Peace Sells...But Who's Buying

Megadeth

1986

Peace Sells...But Who's Buying

Album Summary

Peace Sells... but Who's Buying? is the second studio album by American heavy metal band Megadeth, released on September 19, 1986, through Capitol Records. The project was originally handled by Combat Records, resulting in the original mix of the album being co-produced by Randy Burns. Capitol Records then bought the rights to the album and hired another producer named Paul Lani to mix it himself. The recording of the album was difficult for the band, because of the ongoing drug issues the members had at the time. Drummer Gar Samuelson and guitarist Chris Poland were fired shortly after the album's promotional tour for drug abuse, making it the last Megadeth album for Samuelson before his death and the last for Poland until he reappeared as a session musician on The System Has Failed. The title track, noted for its politically conscious lyrics, was released as the album's lead single. The album's cover art, featuring the band's mascot Vic Rattlehead in front of a desolated United Nations Headquarters, was created by Ed Repka. Peace Sells... but Who's Buying? is often regarded as a thrash metal classic and as an album that gave prominence to extreme metal. It has been featured in several publications' best album lists, including Robert Dimery's 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die and Martin Popoff's Top 500 Heavy Metal Albums of All Time. The album has been reissued several times over the years. In 2004, the album was remixed and remastered by Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine, with extensive liner notes detailing the album's background. In 2011, the three different versions were reissued as part of the album's 25th anniversary celebration. All of them with the exception of the 2004 mixes feature new remastering.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.99

Votes

5197

Genres

  • Metal
  • Hard Rock
Reviews
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Mon May 10 2021
3

Growing up Megadeth was always the band that played second fiddle to Metallica. Dave Mustaine got the boot via bus ticket from Metallica after all and decided that he needed to get back by playing faster and harder than Metallica ever could. This record is a good reminder of why they always came in second. There are riffs. Sooooooo many riffs. Mustaine is an amazing guitarist and the rest of the band excelled at speed and thrash. But this album in particular lacks the finesse and melody that pushed Metallica to the straosphere and that Megadeth would incorporate on later works like Rust in Peace. 2.5*

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Sat Jan 30 2021
4

There's just some phenomenal riffs on here, the technical guitar work is stellar. The only thing that I really can fault this album for is that I find some of the songs are hard to differentiate from one another, they sort of just blend into this thrashy hull in the middle without much to really set them apart

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Thu Aug 19 2021
4

Terrific album, I really enjoyed it. High energy, thrashy goodness with an unrelenting rhythm. It's intense and fast moving, but not too hard on the ears like some thrash is. "Good Mourning" has some legitimately lovely guitar work. The lyrics run the gambit from clever to overwrought, but Mustaine has a talent for vivid imagery. Fave songs: Wake Up Dead, Peace Sells, Bad Omen

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Sat Jul 24 2021
3

I never knew the vocalist/guitarist of Megadeath used to be in Metallica, makes sense. Regardless, in terms of Metal speed/thrash doesn't do much for me, at least in this form. Feels like the mix is boring and just kind of there. I'm sure this is a classic, but it's just ok to me. Obviously the guitar playing is well done, but yeah.

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Sat Jul 24 2021
3

This sounds very stupid to me but it's also fun, and not a bad thing to listen to if you just feel like turning your brain off. No, I will not be listening to all the live tracks.

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Wed Sep 15 2021
3

A heavy album that was pretty catchy but lost my interest about halfway through. 0RS

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Wed Dec 15 2021
3

Some nasty guitar licks and pretty cool concepts for an album. Overall, not a huge fan of thrash metal and this record didn’t change that, but props to the musicianship on display during the solos.

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Sun Apr 11 2021
2

It's not my kinda music at ALL but they're obviously skilled musicians.

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Fri Mar 12 2021
2

Megadeath were the first metal band I ever discovered and I probably watched the video for Symphony of Destruction (that I’d taped off MTV) hundreds of times. I don’t think I ever went as far as buying any of their stuff though. Didn’t love this album but it sent me off to go and re-listen to symphony of destruction which I still quite enjoyed, for old times’ sake. Won’t be putting this album on again but it’s put me in the mood to go and listen to a bit of Tool.

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Mon Jun 21 2021
2

Great guitar work but the Beavis and Butthead style of metal sounds even cheesier now than when this was released.

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Thu Jul 22 2021
2

When I was a kid, and maybe this is just where I grew up, but there was a choice you had to make - were you a Metallica guy? Or a Megadeth guy? Well, I heard the song Battery and decided I was a Metallica guy (even though Megadeth was a much cooler band name). But then later I heard the Megadeth song 'Go To Hell' and thought, oh, that's not bad. But after listening to this one, I gotta say - in the Metallica vs. Megadeth war, I'm still a Metallica guy.

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Wed Apr 14 2021
5

lol this has been one of my favourite albums since I was about 14. Not my fav Megadeth but still a damn classic. 5/5.

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Tue Oct 20 2020
5

The dawn of thrash as evidenced in Bad Omen and Black Friday. I remember those import bins during the 80's thinking the deliverance from hair metal was there, but they usually disappointed. But not this album. It was everything evil and harsh that I always imagined those others should have been. Where would music be today if we paid attention to this kind of music instead of that crappy hair metal?

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Mon Jan 25 2021
5

fav megadave album

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Tue Feb 02 2021
5

Nice good heavy beats

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Thu Jul 22 2021
5

Five stars. Why? Because it's Peace Sells...But Who's Buying by Megadeth, that's why

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Sat Jan 23 2021
5

Loved it. Will be listening to more Megadeth.

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Wed Jun 23 2021
5

doesn’t have the polished perfection of Rust in Peace, and album that was perhaps the epitome of thrash metal itself. But Peace Sells is a very different treat. A bit rough around the edges with some punk undertones but it’s technically complex and adventurous. Dave Mustaines snarling raspy vocals set against incredible musicianship and inventive songwriting and complex arrangements throughout. In Wake Up Dead and Peace Sells it also has two of Thrash Metals most icons tracks. As probably my favourite album by one of my favourite bands I’m probably a little bit biased with my scoring, but I still listen to this all the time and thinks it’s a genuinely special album.

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Wed Apr 14 2021
5

hell yeah brother. 10.

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Sat Jun 12 2021
5

First album in the list so far where I've listened to the album several times before. Not the best Megadeth, but shows the trajectory. Great thrash metal.

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Thu Jul 01 2021
5

So Metal. My face has melted

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Thu Aug 26 2021
5

This album was slick as hell. Loved the heavy energy and the clean vocals. It really is an excellent example of what metal should be.

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Thu Sep 09 2021
5

To get kicked out of Metallica and go on the record something like this - pretty incredible

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Mon Oct 25 2021
5

2nd Megadeath's album, 1986. The first Megadeath album I've listened so far. Great riffs and lyrics! Mustaine and bassist David Ellefson stated that they wanted to change the public perception of heavy metal by writing songs that contained socially aware lyrics. "Peace Sells... but Who's Buying?" is often regarded as a thrash metal classic and as an album that gave prominence to extreme metal.

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Fri Oct 29 2021
5

YES

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Tue Nov 09 2021
5

Really great thrash project and cementing Dave stepping out from Metallica. Devils Island is a jam

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Wed Nov 24 2021
5

Found some new Megadeth faves. Live versions on the album were really good too

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Thu Dec 30 2021
5

Almost technically perfect and one of the guiltiest pleasures so far. I try not to feel that way about music, so maybe it's subconscious recognition of some set of flaws. The sequencing leaves some gaps, but in sum I'm enchanted. Beautiful cover, too.

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Mon Apr 18 2022
5

This album shreds. Nuff said.

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Sun May 29 2022
5

Great metal album right from the start. I stick to general opinion here and claim that this one and Rust in Piece are their two best albums, as confirmed by the fact that both are included in the 1001 list. I listened to the 2004 cd remasters - not sure if there is some discussion on these (probably there is) but both cds sound excellent.. (afterwards I listened to the original Countdown to Extinction, which sounded ok but not so good as these remasters).

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Wed Jun 01 2022
5

The peak plateau is reached! A pinnacle of thrash metal.

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Mon Aug 22 2022
5

I'm Buying Hhhh

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Mon Sep 12 2022
5

I guess I’m buying, because I thoroughly enjoyed the album! It feels like there are aspects to enjoy on a multitude of levels, between the ever-shifting rhythm patterns in the kit and the high-flying runs in the guitar. Tons of fun!

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Sun Sep 18 2022
5

I found Rust In Peace energetic and quality but ultimately not for me. So I don't know why, if it was just my mood, but I'm finding so much more to enjoy here. Absolutely balls to the wall, don't give a fuck, and so good. Good Mourning/Black Friday is simply immense. Peace Sells, Wake Up Dead, obviously ace. There's only a couple of tracks here I don't completely love. Will have to revisit Rust in Peace. I remain unconverted to Metallica yet, but we'll see.

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Sun Sep 18 2022
5

9/10

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Thu Oct 27 2022
5

Great

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Sun Jan 22 2023
5

Megadeth's #2 album and just quality from start to finish

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Thu Jan 26 2023
5

Tune after tune, every song in this album has a charm to it, and the guitar in every song hits right.

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Thu Jan 26 2023
5

Megadeth is, if nothing else, just Dave Mustaine showing off his technical prowess. That’s plenty enough for me. Everyone’s playing as if their lives depended on it in this record; apparently letting two, though greatly heroin addicted, jazz fusion-musicians into your thrash band wasn’t that bad an idea. The only songs that disappoints and feels unnecessary is “I Ain’t Superstitious”. But when your album already contains songs such as “Peace Sells”, “My Last Words” and one of the greatest thrash songs of all time, “Good Mourning / Black Friday”, one miss is completely allowed.

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Fri Jun 25 2021
4

Good stuff. I don't listen to metal, but this is some good music here. Pleasantly surprised.

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Fri Dec 04 2020
4

This album is all killer no filler. Every track is fucking huge. It’s a shame it’s so poorly produced. The drum sound is shit The bass sound is shit The guitar sound is shit Dave Mustaine sounds like a pirate (this is merely an observation, and is in no way a negative) Interestingly, the original Randy Burns mix is significantly better than what was ultimately released. It’s well worth a listen.

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Wed Jun 02 2021
4

Rockin’

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Wed Feb 03 2021
4

Great album up and down, first Megadeth album but I really really enjoyed it. Perfect exemplification of the era and the genre. A little more diversity in style and it would be a perfect 5.

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Fri Jun 18 2021
4

\m/

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Sat Jan 30 2021
4

actually pretty sick

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Thu Jul 22 2021
4

Not my fave Mustaine & co., but I do like a bunch of these tunes. Dave’s voice is in full snarl at times, which just sounds cooler than the infamous nasal-whine he so often resorts to. But dang… “I Ain’t Superstitious”? Yeah, that should have never been put on this record (or any, perhaps). I have a sneaking feeling that when it comes to metal we’ll be seeing more from Maiden, Metallica, and Megadeth. We’ll get some Sabbath and Slayer. Maybe - *maybe* - one Anthrax record. And that’s probably it. If there’s anything metal on this list that was recorded after the year 2000 I’ll be stunned.

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Wed Feb 03 2021
4

I still have my copy of this around the house, somewhere.

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Wed Feb 03 2021
4

4

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Wed Apr 14 2021
4

accidentally listened to this out of order whoops. the music rips hard and it's not too long. as with most metal i like it better when they're not singing. 8/10

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Thu Mar 04 2021
4

Gran disco, aunque a veces se hace un poco plomizo y caduco.

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Wed Mar 24 2021
4

seems like this was intense in the 80s, but now it's more like a gritty catchy metal. raging against society and feels good while doing it.

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Sat May 15 2021
4

Saved Prior: None Off Rip: Wake Up Dead, The Conjuring, Peace Sells, Devils Island, My Last Words Cutting Edge: None Overall Notes: I considered myself a metal-hater, but it seems I have a soft spot for thrash. Probably stems from my time listening to the Madden '10 soundtrack every weekend as a kid, but I liked this. Do I get metal? No. But I get thrash. Wouldn't want anyone to know that I listen to this when I'm driving down the street, but it's great in doses.

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Mon Jun 07 2021
4

Great but not their best

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Wed Jun 09 2021
4

Great metal album. Thudding drums, interesting vocals that swap between growls and almost glam levels of yelling into the stars, and wild even at times sporadic guitar riffs make this an overwhelming experience in a good way. It's not as punishing as a lot of metal albums can be, it's more just a wild, propulsive and energetic good time.

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Tue May 11 2021
4

Partial listen

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Thu Jun 10 2021
4

Love the almost military groove at the end of wake up dead. It's really good, however the vocals don't gel with me.

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Mon Jul 05 2021
4

Great album!! 😄😄

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Tue Jul 27 2021
4

Считается одним из ключевых альбомов Megadeth. Это можно понять, ведь тут сформировалось оригинальный специфический звук группы, имеется пара знаковых треков. Но на оба пункта мне есть, что возразить. Будучи выгнанным из Metallica, Мастейн мало того, что попытался догнать и перегнать бывших сотоварищей, но и создать новый звук, который отличался бы от квартета Хетфилда и Ульриха. Вот тут интересный момент. Я обожаю треки авторства и соавторства Мастейна в рамках Metallica. Да и он забывать про них не хотел, один из них утащил с собой в Megadeth. Но развиваться стал в совершенно другом направлении. Я понимаю, что мог питать антипатию к творчеству Мастейна в школьные годы, когда был слепым фаном Metallica. Спустя десяток лет ухо стало всё же чуточку объективнее, думаю. Так вот, несмотря на то, что дискография Megadeth у меня уже несколько лет лежит на жёстком диске, я всё равно не перевариваю оригинальную специфику звука Megadeth. Меня сильно радуют композиции, которые в альтернативной вселенной могли бы достойно пополнить дискографию Metallica, и меня душат треки, которые являются наиболее самобытными для Megadeth, как и вся самобытность в звуке группы. Вокал Мастейна я научился переваривать, но не научился наслаждаться. Может быть, потому что это физически невозможно. Wake Up Dead и The Conjuring, Devils Island, Bad Omen звучат душно. Лучшее что в них есть – это гитарные соло, они хороши. Остальное вроде бы понятно, но просто не доставляет. Ритм-секции скучные, монотонные и репетативные. Вокальные партии блёклые. Вот Peace Sells уникальный случай. В ней присутствует мастейновская самобытность, сильный акцент сделан на вокальной партии, и при этом трек реально интересный, запоминающийся и доставляющий. Можно даже назвать умным, в нём довольно оригинальная прогрессивная структура. В общем, на этот раз Мастейн смог. Так, что до сих пор трек помнят, как помню, его услышать можно в GTA: Vice City. Good Mourning / Black Friday также феноменальный трек. Один из тех, по которым видно, что Мастейн действительно один из величайших гитаристов и правда талантливый композитор. Первая часть доставляет больше: прогрессивная структура, интересная мелодика, яркая вокальная партия. Вторая часть также весьма сильная, сопоставимая с Peace Sells. I Ain't Superstitious хоть и не цепляет, но и не душит, звучит оригинально, вносит приятное разнообразие в альбом. My Last Words снова маленький шедевр. Помню, в топе 200 альбомов от Metal Hummer редакция выделила именно этот трек в альбоме. Мастейн смог красиво альбом закрыть. Яркие вступление, рифы, соло, хуки, приятная вокальная партия. Так вот, два из трёх запавших в душу трека, GM/BF и MLW я вполне мог бы поставить в один ряд с классикой Metallica: поменяй вокал на Хетфилда, вышли бы отличные треки для их классических альбомов. Половина треков альбома – духота утомляющая. Но всё равно те треки, что удались – реально мощь, реально классика. Настолько, что даже духоту потерпеть можно. Но, конечно, не настолько, чтобы до пятёрки вытянуть. 7/10 Занимательно, что когда я в 1986 году передал свой комментарий Мастейну, тот учёл всё сказанное и выдал в 1988 году отличный альбом So Far, So Good... So What! В нём было улучшено хорошее и выкинуто душное, благодаря чему у нас имеется отличный альбом Megadeth, который можно поставить на одну полку с классикой метала. Только вот проблема в том, что так считаю только я (и, возможно, товарищ с Украины), а сам Мастейн, фанаты и критики преимущественно считают третий альбом шагом назад по сравнению с Peace Sells… but Who’s Buying? Что ж, их право. У первых трёх альбомов Megadeth была фишка – многоточия в середине названия. С одной стороны, придавало оригинальности, с другой – подталкивало создавать немного аморфные названия, которые обычные люди сходу не запомнят. Но в этом был какой-то авторский почерк, приятная индивидуальность. Наверное, жаль, что позже стандартизировалось. И, да, обложка хороша, одна из наиболее репрезентативных в дискографии Megadeth, да и в целом классической можно назвать.

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Thu Aug 12 2021
4

A lot better than I expected. Really nice bass lines. Lyrically it's pretty sound.

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Thu Aug 12 2021
4

Somehow I never listened to this and I really liked it.

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Sat Aug 14 2021
4

🤘🎸

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Mon Aug 16 2021
4

I'm not so sure that Metallica didn't hear this album and decide to change direction based on this. Awesome 80's metal! Favorite Tracks: "Peace Sells" "Devil's Island"

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Wed Aug 18 2021
4

Fuerza, riffs y contundencia. Interpretada a la voz magistralmente.

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Sun Aug 29 2021
4

Sou Metallica e tals... Mas respeitamos

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Thu Sep 09 2021
4

A lot of fun, good background

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Thu Oct 14 2021
4

Heavy metal. Guitarras potentes.

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Fri Oct 22 2021
4

Love a good metal album Not sure what stands out to me here. But I found this to be a very solid listen.

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Fri Oct 22 2021
4

Killer \_ _/

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Thu Oct 28 2021
4

Heavy metal. Guitarras potentes.

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Thu Oct 28 2021
4

Heavy metal. Guitarras potentes.

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Wed Nov 03 2021
4

Lekker rap en snel, niet zo iconisch als Rust in peace maar het blijft top

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Thu Nov 18 2021
4

Loved it

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Wed Nov 24 2021
4

Great example of the genre. Some unusual elements too, which makes it even better.

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Sun Nov 28 2021
4

4.1 - Apparently this album stands as a milestone in metal, and that esteem is well deserved. The guitar is undeniably awesome and the rhythms are crazy advanced without sounding pedantic.

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Fri Dec 03 2021
4

This is our second Megadeth album. Like for the other one, I surprisingly like Megadeth a lot more now than when I was a full-on metal head but just wasn't into old school thrash metal. Funny how tastes change like that. This one just wasn't quite as good as 'Rust in Peace' though, which got five stars from me. It's really solid, but not an amazing standout album.

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Fri Dec 10 2021
4

Hadn't heard before and really enjoyed it. The lead track I listened to a few times. Maybe I was just really in the mood!

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Sat Dec 11 2021
4

I liked this a lot. Some songs dragged a bit and felt too long, but most of it was great.

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Sun Jan 23 2022
4

I was taken by surprise at how much I enjoyed RUST IN PEACE from Megadeth earlier, but even so I wasn’t jazzed to have this come up at first. Guess I’m still not quite completely comfortable with my thrash metal side… take a deep breath and hit play… This is unmistakably Megadeth - it rocks hard and has several songs that frolic in what I was warned about with heavy metal. Just one listen to “The Conjuring” and I’m doing an Yelp search for nearby black conventicles... There are some pretty interesting lyrics that I really enjoyed. The title track “Peace Sells” is pretty great (‘What do you mean I ain’t kind? Just not your kind’). I love that sassy vocal delivery. Of course then there’s “Good Mourning/Black Friday” that seems to revel in gory murder. Not really my favorite subject and it wasn’t for me… although the guitar really is impressive. The demonic imagery seems poured on thicker on this album than on RUST IN PEACE. I didn’t like this album as well, but I’m still surprised at how listenable I find it.

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Wed Feb 02 2022
4

My least favourite of the big 4 but still love them. This is among their best albums.

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Wed Feb 02 2022
4

Easy listening!

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Thu Feb 24 2022
4

Good speed metal sound

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Sun Feb 27 2022
4

A highly dramatic and unified thematic work (the forms of evil). Epileptic, stormy and satanic. Metal... (7/10) FT: Wake Up Dead

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Sun Feb 27 2022
4

Rating: 7/10 Best songs: The conjuring, Peace sells

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Mon Apr 04 2022
4

A very solid metal album from the 'Deth

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Fri May 13 2022
4

Metallica WISHES they could've made this album. Better guitar work, better bass work (and the bass is actually audible), and WAY better drums (Lars is so overrated) I really like everything about this album except the vocals, but I'm getting used to them The 2nd half of the album is a lot better imo

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Wed Jun 01 2022
4

Album de metal classique. J'ai toujours aimé megadeth et cela est dans mes préférés. 4.5

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Thu Jun 09 2022
4

Struggled to rate this. Its pretty cheesy metal but it was fun! Squeeze a sympathy 4.

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Mon Jun 13 2022
4

I think my main issue with Megadeth is a lack of diversity in their sound compared to the other 3 of the Big 4. I'd listen to it again, but not while focusing on it.

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Mon Jun 13 2022
4

I think this one has grown on me. I first listened to it coming right off of Rust In Peace, and I compared it unfavorably to that masterpiece. But seeing it in its own light, its a damn fun thrash album.

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Wed Jun 15 2022
4

This is a fun album, classic thrash sound, good political messages with a bit of devil worship and face melting guitar licks. I found the songs and lyrics to be varied enough that I didn't get bored with the sound, and the shorter playtime also helped with that, definitely a strong entry in the thrash genre. Fav Tracks: Peace Sells, Good Mourning / Black Friday, My Last Words

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Wed Jun 15 2022
4

Pretty solid thrash record. It is an early contributor to the genre, so kudos for that. The tracks kind of blended together, I had a couple moments where I thought I was hearing songs for the second time, other than I Ain't Superstitious, which was a bluesy track that came out of left field. Enjoyable, fast, driving thrash metal that grows on you with multiple listens. As a big fan of early Metallica and Iron Maiden, this album has shown me that I will have to pay a little more attention to the early releases from Megadeth. Fave tracks: The Conjuring, Good Mourning / Black Friday

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Thu Jul 07 2022
4

first listen blistering guitar

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Thu Jul 07 2022
4

Two things The List has taught me: 1. Fuck jazz; 2. Megadeth aren't half bad. Thank you The List.

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Wed Aug 17 2022
4

This is cool mix of some modern stuff but really heavy rooted with blues. Got some chord progressions sound like something I’d make and I make great stuff

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Fri Aug 26 2022
4

Album dropped you off in hell 15 seconds in and left you there for 50 straight minutes

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Fri Aug 26 2022
4

This album is just full of energy right from the beginning. This is my 2nd megadeth album and i liked this one way more than the other. I thought it was going to go crazy the whole time, but they knew when to slow/quiet it down. Electric 7/10

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Thu Sep 01 2022
4

Classic Megadeth right here. Love the thrash and love the cover art even more.

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Thu Sep 08 2022
4

Great album! No wonder they copied themselves for the last 10 years

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Thu Sep 22 2022
4

Peace Sells and I’m definitely buying!

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Thu Sep 29 2022
4

Not my favorite Megadeth album but still pretty rad.

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