THE BAND: Dave Mustaine (lead vocals, lead & rhythm guitar), Marty Friedman (lead & rhythm guitar), David Ellefson (bass), Nick Menza (drums & percussion).
THE DISC: (2004) This remixed version contains 15 songs clocking in at approximately 67 minutes. Included with the disc is a 18-page booklet containing a brief intro, band photos, song credits, song lyrics, and thank you’s. “Countdown To Extinction” was original released in 1992 with 11 total tracks. Recorded at The Enterprise, Burbank, CA. New producer – Max Norman. Label – Capital.
COMMENTS: Warning – do not trade in your original disc/album for this new remixed and remastered version of “Countdown To Extinction”. You need them both! This new enhanced version contains slightly different takes on the songs. Mustaine’s vocals appear (on some songs) like he’s in a deep echo chamber. Song intro’s, song ending’s, and some guitar solo’s sound completely different. In some songs, it even sounds like Nick Menza is using a different drum kit (from the orignal ‘92 release). In my opinion – these are classic NEW takes on classic songs (reminiscent of what Deep Purple just did with their classics “Machine Head” and “Burn”). On to the review of the disc… Like Metallica, Megadeth was originally known for lightning fast riffs and steady drums to hold the songs together. This kind of music played to a select group of listeners. Megadeth matured a little bit, got a new producer, slowed it down just a tad… and the result was “Countdown to Extinction”. A solid effort from start to finish. The old school Megadeth fans will say the band sold out (like old school Metallica fans said the band did with their 1991 “Black” album as well as “Load” in 1996). I’ve always believed that you simply can’t please everyone. With “Countdown To Extinction” though, I felt then as I do now – Megadeth reached so many more listeners with their new and improved sound. This isn’t the band’s best selling album for no reason. Mustaine and Friedman’s guitars are hard, crunchy and tight. Ellefson’s bass playing is thundering in the background. Menza’s drumming has been equalled on other albums, but never better than here. The first 6 songs are back to back metal classics. My favorite songs (even years later) are “Foreclosure of a Dream”, “This Was My Life”, “Sweating Bullets”, and “Symphany of Destruction”. The bonus tracks are great too – “Crown Of Worms” fits right into the spirit of the album. The 3 ‘Demo’ cuts sound stripped down and crisp – great takes! If you were not into Megadeth because of their trademark speed licks and thrash… I guarantee you will be pleasantly surprised by the results from “Countdown To Extinction”. In 1992, this was vastly different than anything else they’d ever done. This is easily my favorite release in the entire Megadeth catelog. Classic disc.