Metal Album Reviews: Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good! - Megadeth
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21-03-2013, 03:46 AM (This post was last modified: 22-03-2013 01:00 AM by ELK12695.)
Metal Album Reviews: Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good! - Megadeth
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Backround and history

For those with the provided knowlegde, knows the impact Megadeth had on the metal scene. Seen as the "heavier" brother of Metallica, Dave Mustaine and the multitude of artist that helped the band to reach the top, Megadeth has risen to legendary status among the metal circuts. And to start off what will be a series of album reviews, we start off with the humble begininng of the band, the album "Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good!" from 1985.

During 1982 and '83, Dave Mustaine was the lead gitarist of Metallica. In '83 Mustaine was booted off the band because of his alcohol and drug abuse, voilent rages and other personal issues with the band. Mustaines reaction was first sorrow, then anger. He wanted to kick Metallica's ass, and form a band even more deadly. While in L.A, Mustaine recruited bassist Dave Ellefson, and was later approached by drummer Gar Samuelson and gitarist Chris Poland (Poland joined after Kerry King of Slayer rejected Mustiane's offer to join). After so, Mustaine searched high and low for a vocalist, but in the end gave up and decided to do it himself. Megadeth, was now born.

All through 1984 Megadeth toured, attempting to earn money for food and drugs. Giving off a more deadly and rough style than Metallica, record label Combat Records caught eye of the band, and signed a contract with the band. Mustaine and the band was given 8000 $ to record an album, but in the end the money went almost only to food and drugs. Mustaine was then forced to produce the album himself, but in the end the album was released in May 1985.

The album, track for track

The album kicks off with the song Last Rites/Loved To Death (not Deth!). An instumental intro goes off before the song really starts. The song is about a relationship that kills;literally. The lyrics are brutal and rough and the same goes to the music, which takes unexpected turns and shapes during the runtime. This is where the talent of Samuelson really shows, and it also has a bit unpolished solo by Mustaine, but that only makes it better. Mustaine also pushes his untrained voice to the limit on this song. What we end up with is a great opening track. Next is the title track, which starts off with a rock & roll like riff structure, but it later goes over to a more thrash like pattern. The next song, The Skull Beneath The Skin follows the same pattern like the first song on the album. It is however slower, but it has a insanely catchy riff in the opening, accompanied by a great solo by Mustaine. The next track is a a thrash cover the classic song "These Boots Are Made For Walking". The song is simply called These Boots on the album. These Boots has a kickass bassline intro from Ellefson, but musically it's the last similarity, since the song goes twice as fast the original and of course, it's metal. The lyrics are also changed by Mustaine; the lyrics are now more vulgar and straight-foreward. The song has a total of four solos, all by Poland, now showing off this man's talent. Next up is perhaps the best song off the album, Rattlehead. The song is pretty much about Megadeth's mascot Vic Rattlehead, which would paint the covers of Megadeth albums to come, including this one. This song is all Gar Samuelson; his speed and precision on this song is off the charts, showing off that Samuelson is a worthy contender to sametime artists Dave Lombardo and Charlie Bendante within the art of double bass drumming. Poland and Mustaine also get to show off some great riffs and solos on this song. What is next is Chosen Ones. This song very much rock & roll and get a little tideous for the ones who wants speed and heavy riffs. You never feel like the song kicks off, and stays a little too long on itself. The same applies to the next song Looking Down The Cross. As you might have guessed, it's a Christ perspective song about, well, you know what happened to the guy. The song isn't biblecal though, no annoying qoutes in the lyrics. Musically, the song will sound similar to Megadeth songs in the future, and it's the closest this album has to a ballad. But as said, you never feel this song kicks off. It's a little too long and drags on without much energy. It took another year before the formula of slower songs were perfected by the band. Last song! To finish the album is (The)Mechanix. This the original version of what later became Metallica's "The Four Horsemen". Mechanix is very similar, but has different lyrics and is faster. This song was partly a taunt towards Metallica, sending a message that Megadeth is faster and better.

Production and sound

Even for 1985 standards, this album is horrible in its mixing. The lack of funds that was used to make the album speaks for itself on the original mix. However, many bands at this time had similar problems with their sound and recording, so it is forgiveable from a effort point of view. On the other side, many songs contains errors and rather unfinished takes of solos. It does drag the album down a bit. The original album cover is a simple skull with the similarites of Rattlehead, but looks clumsy and lowbudget, and that is exactly what it is.

There is of course a solution to this problem. In 2002, the album was re-mastered, and it fixed many problems with the sound, making it even better to listen to. It also includes bonus demo tracks from the Megadeth vaults, aswell as a new album cover. However, the re-master version has problems aswell; the main problem being the fact that Megadeth was in threat of a lawsuit for the changing of the lyrics in the song These Boots, resulting that the vulgar lyrics that made the song work was bleeped in proper 90's talkshow fashion. It's very annoying. One can also say that the drum toms are hard to hear.

Final Verdict

As a debut album, Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good! is a great start for a great band, even with it's many errors. It stands out as a thrash metal record in it's purest form, and it is a worth to give it a listen.

Rating: 7/10

Re-mastered version




Original Mix, 2011 custom re-mastered version (These Boots is not censored)



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21-03-2013, 08:44 PM
RE: Metal Album Reviews: Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good!
Not real familiar with this one.

As an aside,I've always thought Megadeth had better album titles than Metallica ever did.
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31-03-2013, 11:35 AM
RE: Metal Album Reviews: Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good! - Megadeth
On general principal, I have a lot more respect for Megadeth than Metallica. As a black-sheep in my own family, I never liked the way Metallica bullied Jason. His replacement is the man who helped Sharon desecrate Ozzy's first two albums by re-recording the bass and drums (to screw the original musicians of of their royalties). Metallica helped launch the lawsuit war against their fans, and their most recent albums are some of the worst examples ever of loudness-war mastering.
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01-04-2013, 12:04 AM (This post was last modified: 01-04-2013 12:10 AM by Buddy Christ.)
RE: Metal Album Reviews: Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good! - Megadeth
Megadeth is usually in my Top 3 bands, depending on my mood. As a kid, I discovered a Countdown to Extinction cassette tape and used to blast that while lifting in my garage with plastic weights and a space heater. Then I found Rust in Peace and Youthanasia (my favorite, even though it was criticized in the same way Metallica's black album was. I consider Mustaine, Friedman, Menza, and Ellefson to be the "true" Megadeth.). Consequently, I've never really had reason to listen to Killing IMB. Same with Metallica's Kill em All.

I hate how Dave feels the need to remaster everything he's ever done. Now all the songs don't sound quite right. Still, while Metallica has crashed and burned, Megadeth is still producing good stuff.

As far as the album goes, I know Mustaine still hates and regrets the album cover. In a documentary he complained that it just looked cheap and amateurish, but it was too late to change it.

"Ain't got no last words to say, yellow streak right up my spine. The gun in my mouth was real and the taste blew my mind."

"We see you cry. We turn your head. Then we slap your face. We see you try. We see you fail. Some things never change."
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