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Megadeth – Killing Is My Business…and Business Is Good

Label: Columbia Records
Format: CD
Released: 2018
Reviewed By: Rich Catino
Rating: 7.5/10

Originally released in 1985, two years after Dave Mustaine’s dismissal from Metallica, he returned full of anger, sex, drugs, rock n roll, and musical chops, ready for his revenge. Joined by, now, long time bassist David Ellefson, Chris Poland on lead guitar, with Gar Samuelson on drums, the album title alone you can see Dave meant, business. “Killing Is My Business” is the framework to the rest of Megadeth’s career, and an important creative foundation for the band to troubleshoot what does, and doesn’t work, for a Megadeth song. Case in point, ‘Mechanix’, originally written for Metallica (and became ‘The Four Horsemen’) is sped up for the Deth, and one of those arrangements that doesn’t quite deliver. Metallica’s reworked version is gold. Yet, like I said, “Killing” serves its purpose in several ways.


Opening ominous piano to ‘Last Rites - Loved to Deth’ sets a great mood before those vicious riffs and Dave’s scream kick in. The song establishes Mustaine’s trademark varied rhythmic patterns complimented by lead work. The title track follows with more riffing that is very characteristic to this album, heard throughout the Deth catalogue in the future. With that, ‘Rattlehead’ is a straight ahead early Exodus/Slayer type thrasher, nothing special really. ‘The Skull Beneath the Skin’ and ‘Looking Down the Cross’ foreshadow the focus of what was to come on the next album “Peace Sells, But Who’s Buying”, and gems ‘Devil’s Island’, ‘Wake Up Dead’, and ‘The Conjuring’. It’s that balance between technicality, great thrashy catchy pockets, and direction towards the hook. ‘Chosen Ones’ is “So Far So Good, So What” likeminded. And now closing out the studio tracks, ‘These Boots’ is really a below average choice (and rendition) for a cover, but is restored without the bleeped lyric from the previous remaster.
There are seven live tracks from different years, all of average quality, three demos, nothing special given the mix. All these songs would have been better on a separate disc because they interrupt the flow from the studio album. Better yet, a DVD with live footage from the time would have been more enjoyable.
Is there a difference between the 2002 and 2018 remaster?, maybe more space in the mix within separation of the bass and drums. Cd gatefold packaging is really lackluster, your basic lyrics and album recording info, etc, with a handful of old pics from the time underneath the lyrics.

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