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Review: "Countdown to Extinction" by American Heavy Metal Band Megadeth

Updated on December 29, 2022
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Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

Countdown to Extinction is one of the most important albums in heavy metal history

Countdown to Extinction is the 5th studio album by American heavy metal band Megadeth and in 2017 it has been 25 years since its release and that’s one of the reasons that we have to take a look back at the album that helped Megadeth become part of the mainstream American music scene. Still present on the album is the heaviness, anger, and aggression that we heard on 1990’s Rust in Peace. If there was any wonder how good the band would end up being with a more mainstream release, those concerns were put to rest very shortly. This is the second album with the classic Megadeth lineup of Mustaine, Marty Friedman, Nick Menza, and David Ellefson.

The cover depicts a person that is in prison and his body is so worn out. The album raises awareness about the US justice system as well as the flaws of our government. It is still a great album even 25 years later.
The cover depicts a person that is in prison and his body is so worn out. The album raises awareness about the US justice system as well as the flaws of our government. It is still a great album even 25 years later. | Source

Analysis of the Songs Skin O' My Teeth & Symphony of Destruction

The first song called "Skin O’ My Teeth" is a song about someone that has become a wreck physically. He is really wounded and in lots of pain and there is some doubt as to whether he will survive from his injuries. "Symphony of Destruction" is a classic Megadeth song with good bass lines. The song is on the Japanese version of the album Youthanasia as a bonus track. There is a good guess that Skin O’ My Teeth was deemed to be significant because in 2002, Finnish melodic death metal band Kalmah would cover this song on their album called They Will Return. With this first song, there is the feel that this album will not be like Rust in Peace.

Why is "Foreclosure of a Dream" a song that we should all pay attention to?

Foreclosure of a Dream is a perfect example of how the American Dream has been eroded over the years. As US politicians have had plans to make the system dignified and balanced for all, those plans have been replaced by tax cuts for only the wealthiest people in the United States. There is even a sound clip of George H.W. Bush’s phrase “read my lips.” If there was ever going to be a political breakthrough, there is always the borrowing of money from other countries by the US.

"Countdown to Extinction" Song Only

Pay attention to the title track it has a crucial message that may come back to hurt humanity if we are not careful

"Foreclosure of a Dream" may not be one of the most well-known songs on the album but it surely has an important message that we can all remember.

The song "This Was My Life" is another classic song and this one is about the fact that since human beings have sinned since the beginning of time, the penalty for this is death. If you commit a crime, you will have to do the time. "Countdown to Extinction" is a song about the possibility that the world may end. Dinosaurs eventually became extinct and the song raises that important question of whether human life will survive or whether it will cease to exist. As Dave Mustaine famously says in the song: “no more left only one.”

High Speed Dirt & Psychotron Are Two More Strong Songs

High Speed Dirt is a very exciting song about going on a bike ride that may cause the rider to die if he is not careful. Psychotron is a song about a bionic robot that is organic but he is not a cyborg. He is programmed to kill and assassinate those that he sees in his path.

How is the Rest of the Album Countdown to Extinction?

"Captive Honour" is a song about a criminal that has just been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of getting parole. By this point in the album it is a virtual certainty that Countdown to Extinction is the finest album to have the classic Megadeth lineup. There are very few flaws with this album and we could argue that the band was at its peak with this album. At the first writing of this review, it was my perspective that Megadeth would see a steep and steady decline until 2001 when they regained their form. Is that still the case in 2021? No, Megadeth did not really experience a deep sloppy decline as I had thought before. They changed and just tried to become more of a part of the mainstream music scene in the 1990s. Countdown to Extinction might as well be classified as an album that met its demand with the times. It still very much has that metal kind of vibe to it as you will hear especially in the last song of the album.

"Ashes in Your Mouth"

Favorite song on the album Countdown to Extinction

What is your favorite song on the album Countdown to Extinction?

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"High Speed Dirt"

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2017 Ara Vahanian


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