Thursday, February 12, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Killing is My Business...and Business is Good!, by Megadeth

Imagine how you would feel if your family betrayed you and stabbed you in the back in one of the worst ways possible. Not a nice feeling, is it? Such emptiness, anger, and depression raged through the heart of a young Dave Mustaine after being kicked out of Metallica. Mustaine then took these feelings and started on a new path: to get back at those who wronged him by forming a band even better than Metallica. One with more anger, more speed, more spirit. He did just that when he formed the band he still fronts to this day: Megadeth.

You can tell all of the emotions and strife coursing through Mustaine were still quite fresh when listening to Megadeth's first album Killing is My Business...and Business is Good!, which was released in 1985. This is thrash metal at its roots and finest. Every last track is played at lightning speed and with thunderous animalistic passion. Where much of Mustaine's former band's songs were more epic heavy riff based, Megadeth's songs are more focused on pulsing its front man's indignation through the listener's ears as quickly as possible with melodic guitar licks to bring up the rear.

Now I imagine when you think thrash metal the piano and organ aren't exactly the first things that pop into your mind, are they? Mustaine decided to change things up a little with the opening track to Killing is My Business titled Last Rites/Loved to Death. The song begins with a sinister piano melody that is then underlined by what sounds like a pipe organ. Once the keys fade out however, the fastest guitar riff I have heard in all my days kicks in and is quickly joined by the rest of the band coming in pounding and banging. It almost feels like a roller coaster ride when you listen to this song. It starts you off kind of gentle but then jerks you onto one hell of a wild ride.

Mustaine threw another curve ball on Killing is My Business with a cover/parody of a classic Nancy Sinatra track: These Boots. The reason I say parody is because it sounds almost nothing like the original in that it is very much a speedy brutal Megadeth track and Mustaine replaced many of the lyrics with his own brand of obscenity. When this caught the attention of the original writer Lee Hazelwood, Mustaine was forced to take it off the album for the longest time until later on he was allowed to put a censored version on. Mustaine found a way around this however by including a live uncensored version on the 25th anniversary edition of the Megadeth album Peace Sells... But Who's Buying?.

I can't recommend Killing is My Business enough if you want to listen to some real thrash metal that isn't Metallica. There is a lot more genuine heart, soul, and emotion in this album. As I said earlier in the review, this is thrash metal at its best. Granted, Megadeth would go on to release better quality songs and gain higher skilled musicians, but nothing matches the unadulterated brutal honesty in this debut release. In my opinion, Mustaine definitely achieved his goal of making a better band than Metallica. From the very beginning he showed them just who the real musician and lyricist of the group was.

Killing is My Business...and Business is Good!, by Megadeth receives 4 out of 5 stars.

Track List:

1. Last Rites/Loved to Death
2. Killing is My Business...and Business is Good!
3. The Skull Beneath the Skin
4. Rattlehead
5. Chose Ones
6. Looking Down the Cross
7. Mechanix
8. These Boots

Buy the album on Amazon:

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