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Megadeth - Warheads On Foreheads

Label: Ume
Format: CD
Released: 2019
Reviewed By: Rich Catino
Rating: 8.5/10

Megadeth celebrate their 35th Anniversary with the release of “Warheads On Foreheads”, a 35-track career retrospective including at least one song from each album selected by singer/guitarist Dave Mustaine. Now while many times greatest hits, best ofs, anthology’s sometimes include b-sides, live versions, these are all studio tracks. The debut is represented by the killer title cut “Killing Is My Business...And Business Is Good!”, Mustaine’s ‘Mechanix’ (also a version exists as Metallica’s ‘Four Horsemen’), and the straight ahead ‘Rattlehead’.
Sinister choices in the occult ‘The Conjuring’, ‘Devil’s Island’ (why are these two not in the setlist more often than not?), mosh pit starter ‘Wake Up Dead’, to the moody dark deep cut ‘Good Mourning / Black Friday’ off “Peace Sells” - Yes, minus the title track, an interesting, different choice I support. ‘Set The World Afire’ and ‘In My Darkest Hour’ are great to represent “So Far, So Good… So What”, but where is pounder ‘Hook In Mouth’? Instead of six from “Rust In Peace”?, which could have left off ‘Polaris’. ‘Five Magics’ and ‘Take No Prisoners’, plus the classics ‘Holy Wars’ and ‘Hangar 18’ and thrash metal gold.


Moving into the 90s, ‘Symphony Of Destruction’ and ‘Sweating Bullets’, the two hits from “Countdown To Extinction”, are given inclusions. Same with balladesque ‘Tout Le Monde’, ‘Train Of Consequences’, and the punchy romp of ‘Reckoning Day’ from the underrated “Youthanasia” album in 1994. ‘Angry Again’ a highlight from the 1995 EP “Hidden Treasures”. By the late 90s Megadeth hit a creative slump with two albums. ‘Trust’ was rightfully a catchy hit and ‘She-Wolf’ the two best choices from “Cryptic Writings”, yet ‘Wanderlust’ an alternative sign of the times experiment off the very forgettable album “Risk”. A change in lineup followed, with guitarist Marty Friedman and drummer Nick Menza exiting.
Kicking off the 2000’s, with Jimmy DeGrasso on drums and Al Pitrelli on second guitar, “The World Needs a Hero” album in 2001 (‘Dread and the Fugitive Mind’), were steps back in the right direction. ‘Blackmail The Universe’ off “The System Has Failed” (which was basically a Mustaine solo album) keeps the aggression going, followed by ‘Washington Is Next’ from “United Abominations” – two more albums with lineup changes. By 2009, Mustaine enlisted the talents of Chris Broderick on guitars, Shawn on drums, with bassist James Lomenzo, for Deth’s best album to date since Youthanasia, “Endgame”. ‘Headcrusher’ is just that and the title track also should have been included to represent such a cohesive assault. “Th1rt3en” (2011) was a great follow-up, akin to the album Countdown, ‘Public Enemy No. 1’ decent but the title track much better and representative of the albums variety, and Dave’s storytelling. ‘Kingmaker’, lead off track from 2013’s “Super Collider”, one of the better ideas from an ill received last collaboration with Broderick and Drover, with original bassist Dave Ellefson back for album two. With the talents of Brazilian guitarist Kiko Loureiro, four from the latest album “Dystopia”, brings Megadeth full circle in 2019.

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