Top positive review
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As Scott Ian said 'my favourite of the big four debuts'
on 10 January 2008
When originally released to cd 'killing is my business' was an ok debut album. The talent of Megadeth was there for all to see, but the cd was never going to be up there amongst my favourites. Its very difficult to give a lot of air time to a disc which had such bad sound production.
'Killing' was always a back burner Megadeth title for me as I would rather play almost anything by the boys except this album. Also compared to the other 3 of the big 4, I must admit preferring show no mercy and kill em' all. Therefore, it must be said 'Killing' lay dormant for many years, gathering dust and totally forgotten.
Forward to Xmas 2007. I was fortunate to receive Warchest as a gift and the very first two tracks were remastered versions of the title track 'Killing' and 'skull beneath the skin'. Now, at this point it really is difficult to put into words what I was hearing. Was this really the same piece of music I'd virtually buried almost 20 years ago in the darkest reaches of my cd collection?
The sound quality of these 2 tracks sounded absolutely stunning. I've got SACD and dvd-a., and I'm not lying by saying this 'ordinary cd' was competing very strongly along side either of those formats without even being in 5.1. These two tasters had me rushing to the computer to purchase the remastered version of 'Killing' several years after its release.
On receiving and playing the whole remastered 'Killing' it is quite clear which of the so-called big four really was top dog. Whilst not being the biggest, Mustaine and Megadeth were the baddest and the best, laying down tracks that really do stand up today even better than at the original time. The sound quality of what is on offer here is better than most new recordings by metal bands. New life breathes thru every instrument. Ellefson plays bass lines that didn't exist at the time due to shocking production. Gar Samuelson shows his drumming genius and would undoubtedly be the very best of metal drummers if still alive today. Mustaine's vocals and all guitar work by himself and Poland sound meaner, cleaner and just totally stunning.
It's amazing that such an understated and underrated debut should be brought to life and reanimated providing nothing less than total shock and awe 25 years after its original release. The truth being that this collection of tracks have grown better and better with the passage of time. Dig out your Kill em all and tell me if the same applies (I think not).
The downside to the disc is track 8. These boots. This version is sensored. Basically, everything Mustaine sings is bleeped from start to finish, begging the question why even bother putting the track on the disc in the first place? I guess Mustaine was proving a point. The reasons for the sensoring can be found in the liner notes of the cd booklet. The other thing to mention are the three so-called bonus tracks, which are basically 3 demos of mechanix, last-rites and the skull. Once again unnecessary as these demos sound absolutely awful. Although it is funny to hear Mustaine singing and sounding like he's 12 years old. I guess he wasn't far off. These demos exist only to pad out a very short album.
One last point to mention: Looking down the cross, in my opinion, is one of the very best metal tracks ever made. It didn't dawn on me till I listened to the remaster. Buy it, it's cheap and it's essential listening for any metalheads out there.