“One of the columns I was excited to have you involved in is our Metal Riot ‘Deep Cuts’ series. I’d like you to do MEGADETH!”
That was the line that stood out to me when I got my welcome to the Metal Riot world. I was on my lunch break from my day job inside a Stewart’s station when I got this message and in my joy, let out a very loud “OH FUCK YEAH!!”, much to the displeasure of a woman and young child sitting at the table next to me. I can only assume her displeasure was because I get to listen to a lot of MEGADETH and call it ‘work’, and she can’t. Really, there is no other logical explaination I can come up with. MEGADETH has been one of my top favorites for as long as I can remember, so I really was excited to be asked to write about them. I got into the band while collecting movie soundtracks as a kid. “Go To Hell” from the Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey soundtrack was my introduction to the band, but “Angry Again” from Last Action Hero is what really snagged my attention.
So now, I’ve got the impossible task of narrowing down the band’s 30 year career of killer tunes down to only 3 cuts. We all know the mega-classics. “Trust”, “Holy Wars…The Punishment Due”, “Symphony Of Destruction”, “Peace Sells”, etc. have all been staples in the band’s setlist for years. I wanted to pick out some tunes that don’t seem to get as much love. Obviously, I had to leave out a ton, so gems like “44 Minutes”, “The Disintegrators” and “Die Dead Enough” will have to wait until we do another write up.
For what 3 songs made the “Cuts” snarl and sneer HERE.
1. My Kingdom
The closing track of the epic The System Has Failed album. This track jumped out at me when I first heard the album. I had just recently seen the movie Excalibur for the first time a few days prior, and I had heard a lot of lines from the movie sang by Mustaine here. “Drink from the chalice and be reborn and the land with me, it will change and transform”. Everytime I hear this song, I can’t help but think of Merlin creating the fog dragon, and when I see the movie, I gotta follow it up with the album! They accompany each other so well.
The 13th, and closing track of MEGADETH’s “TH1RT3EN” album, which is their 13th album, this is possibly one of Mustaine’s best written songs lyrically. A bit of an autobiographical piece, Mustaine brings up that he started his path to music at the age of 13, and that he’s “stood here 13 times, and I’m still alive!” as he put it. That’s a lot of 13s. I think he even recorded the album with his amps up to 13, which is 2 more than Nigel Tufnel, so there’s that too.
3. I’ll Be There
Yes, I went with the ballad off of 1999’s Risk. I was surprised this song hadn’t been a single off the album. In those days, I feel like it would have been well recieved and gotten some radio airplay. Instead, they went with “Breadline” and “Crush ’em”. No judging, I’m sure those seemed like great ideas at the time. This song had always had a special place with me since I first heard it, but when I heard it on the live “That One Night” CD/DVD, it got that much better for me. The live version just feels so much more real and sincere.
BTW, while I spent some time home snacking on doritos and reviewing MEGADETH’s albums, I decided I will never do sit ups at home, because I absolutely hate the idea of domestic abuse.
editor’s note: Morgan here. Props to Drew for finding some more recent gems hidden on newer albums and not taking the obvious route and going only old school to be safe. AND something off Risk! Dangerous and hotly debated terrain for Megadeth fans. As a bonus I thought I’d include this excerpt from a Marty Friedman interview I did for this site once:
MYE: A good friend of mine Dave from a death metal band called Cold War Survivor really wanted me to ask you what is your favorite solo you played during your time in Megadeth. I hope you don’t mind answering that.
Marty Friedman: Honestly, I don`t know. Any solo that “made it to the record” was something that I was happy with at the time, which means I was pretty much equally satisfied with any of them. If he is in a band, I`m sure he will know what I mean by that. If I was forced to answer, I think I remember liking “Vortex” quite a bit at the time.