Yell! Magazine’s Holy Trinity Series: Three Iconic Megadeth Albums

Megadeth Portrait 1986

Megadeth Portrait 1986

Christian doctrine teaches that God exists in three beings (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), creating a trinity otherwise known as “Godhead.” Basically, all are one and none exist without the other. This is somewhat the basis for Yell! Magazine’s Holy Trinity series.

What we present here are three elements from a particular medium and/or genre (be it three albums from a band, a musical genre, a film director, a genre or sub-genre of film, video game franchise or developer/publisher, etc.) that must be owned, heard, viewed, or played in order for a “fan” to achieve completion. For example, if someone is a heavy metal fan, their album collection is incomplete without the eponymous Paranoid, from Black Sabbath. However, owning the latest Justin Bieber album trumps everything, making you a true fan of everything and the messiah.

Holy Trinity: Megadeth

You’ve heard of Megadeth, right? It would be hard to imagine any Heavy Metal fan who hasn’t and who isn’t familiar with the band’s history. If you’re not, you might wonder why Metallica is a part of this discussion — and you might want to turn in your license to bang your head.

Megadeth might not be as big as Metallica in terms of mainstream appeal, but their name is often mentioned in the same breath as “Metallica.” So, whether or not you’ve actually heard their music, you’ve no doubt heard of Megadeth.

A lot of metalheads have a preference for Megadeth over Metallica. Their argument being that Dave Mustaine is a better songwriter and a better guitarist than Kirk Hammet. Most metal fans will also say that Megadeth has had better rummers than Lars Ulrich. On any given day, however, most will give vocal preference to James Hetfield, especially in the early years. And it would be pretty stupid if anyone tried to argue that Cliff Burton was second fiddle to any Megadeth bassist.

On the flip side, there are a lot of metal fans who can’t stand Dave Mustaine and/or Megadeth. It’s understandable; there’s been a lot of senseless drama through the years. But in those years there’s been some amazing music.

With that, let’s get to the Megadeth Holy Trinity, or, What do you mean you don’t have these Megadeth albums, you jackass?

Peace Sells… but Who’s Buying?/Rust in Peace

Megadeth peace sells but whos buying coverThere’s a little bit of cheating going on here in order to get a broader sense of the Megadeth Holy Trinity. These two albums, Peace Sells… but Who’s Buying? and Rust in Peace are the quintisential Megadeth albums, and I’ve always considered them sisters, two sides of a coin so to speak.

Peace Sells… but Who’s Buying? was Megadeth’s second full-length album and the one that put them on the map. With Musatine, Chris Poland, Gar Samuelson, and David Ellefson (my favorite lineup) on board for round two, Peace Sells defined this Megadeth era and it’s the one that Lars Ulrich essentially said, “Oh shit!” about. Many critics and musicians consider this to be the genre-defining album for American Thrash Metal.

Peace Sells by Megadeth on Grooveshark

Megadeth - Rust In PeaceWhere Peace Sells was essentially a Hulked up jazz album, Rust in Peace was a more refined thrash album. It was faster, more intricate, it had more and extended guitar solos, it was an accomplished album that managed to balance a growing rage with a blossoming maturity. If Peace Sells… was the thrash foundation, Rust was the house.

Rust was the first album to feature Marty Friedman (guitars) and Nick Menza (drums), establishing what would become Megadeth’s longest running lineup. It’s also the lineup that many fans consider the best. Rust also expanded upon many of the same lyrical themes found on Peace Sells…, such as Mustaine’s personal issues, politics, the occult, and, for the first time thanks to Menza, UFOs and alien consipiracies.

No more cheating. I promise. So, what else is on the Megadeth holy trinity? Find out after the jump…

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