Along with Master of Puppets and Seasons in the Abyss, Rust in Peace is one of the greatest metal albums of all time! So when I heard Dave Mustaine was remastering the Megadeth catalog, I HAD to get my hands on a fresh copy!
Let me start with the high notes… The musicianship is OUTSTANDING. The instruments are crisp and clear, with lots of insane riffing and rapid fire drumming annihilation! You can even hear the thumping bass line, which I never heard on the original cassette or CD (except for the obvious bass intros to Five Magics, Poison Was The Cure, and Dawn Patrol). As far as the music goes, the remastered version of RIP certainly delivers! Buuuuuut…
Okay, here we go… For those of you who have never heard Rust in Peace, stop reading right here. Turn your computer off, drive to the store and BUY IT NOW!!! You MUST own this cd!!! Rust in Peace veterans read on…
Dave Mustaine BUTCHERED the vocals!!! Did he re-sing them? I’m no sound or recording expert, but I can certainly tell when a beloved recording that I’ve been listening to since I was 14 years old (I’m 27 now) has been altered. As everybody knows, Take No Prisoners and Five Magics have entirely new vocals, but upon further inspection, I’ve realize most of the album – if not all – has new vocals as well. Just listen to the low Vic Rattlehead vocals of Polaris, the chorus of Lucretia, and the jumble of words in Poison Was The Cure… you can tell the vocals are different. It’s very noticeable in the parts where the rest of the band sings back up (“The warheads will all rust in peace!”, and the “Hey!” chorus of Lucretia), and since they weren’t around for the remastering process, the difference is clear. And of course, we’re all reeling over the butchering of Five Magics (even the printed lyrics are different!)
Has Dave Mustaine pulled a George Lucas on us and changed a beloved product just because he thinks he can make it better? I heard something about Capitol losing the vocal tracks to Take No Prisoners… did the same happen to all the songs? At least an explanation in the booklet would have been nice. Are the rest of the remasters the same?
You know Dave, it IS possible to remaster an album without altering its content. Just look at Slayer’s pre-Reign in Blood catalog… the production is so bad, even the remasters sound like [...] But at least they didn’t change the content of the recordings. And that’s where the remastered Rust in Peace FAILS.
Of course you could just pretend the first 9 tracks don’t exist and buy it just for the demos and the old unreleased track My Creation (it’s only 1:34 minutes long… er, short!). The booklet is actually pretty cool, with an introduction by Dave Mustaine and several band photos from that time period. It seems my particular copy is factory-pressed incorrectly. The lyric sheets to Holy Wars and Hangar 18 are cut in half, with Dave Ellefson’s forehead appearing on the bottom of the page, and his neck on the top. Looks like a factory mistake, but I don’t mind, it just it makes it a little more rare. Any other fans out there have messed up copies too?
I give the remastered version of Rust in Peace four stars because I can’t bear to give such a masterpiece anything less. If not for the new vocals, it would’ve been an EASY five.