Emerging onto the thrash metal scene a couple of years after the likes of Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax had already set the world alight with their sound, Megadeth spawned from the fury of Dave Mustaine in his sacking from Metallica. This moment, however, spawned one of the pinnacle albums of the genre (in my opinion, anyway) – ‘Killing Is My Business… And Business Is Good’.
2018 marks Megadeth’s 35th Anniversary, and to mark the momentous occasion the band have re-released this album under the new mantle ‘Killing Is My Business… And Business Is Good: The Final Kill’, earmarking it as the definitive version. The men still piloting the Megadeth crusade after all these years are Mustaine (vocals/guitar), David Ellefson (bass/backing vocals), Kiko Loureiro (secondary guitar/backing vocals) and Dirk Verbeuren (drums/percussion).
Now, I know what you’re thinking – What more can we add to an album that can rightfully considered one of the best metal albums ever? There’s three components that make up the reimagining, and we will cover all three in our look at the Goliath album. These points are;
- The remastered tracks
- The live audio tracks
- The bonus demo tracks
Just like any typical remaster, the bulk of the album is made up of the classics from the original, although now Megadeth’s anger comes through a hell of a lot more cleaner, and concise. Whilst the three opening tracks (Last Rites / Loved to Deth,
Killing Is My Business…And Business Is Good!, and The Skull Beneath the Skin) sound brilliant, Rattlehead is a true beneficiary of the treatment these classics have received; the cleaner deliverance definitely highlights some tones you might not have picked up on with the original, and does nothing but highlight the trademark Megadeth sound. The same can be said for Mechanix, especially that of Mustaine’s vocals, with tracks Chosen Ones, Looking Down the Cross and These Boots rounding out the “remastered” portion of the album – of which These Boots being a cover that originally didn’t make the album, so enjoy that one Megadeth fans!
Whilst the sounds are a lot cleaner, they still maintain the gritty integrity that Megadeth had laced throughout, making it a more enjoyable yet genuine delivery. Listening to the revamped classics again reignited the fire that burns within me for the band – they might never hold a flame to the mantle that Metallica sits upon, but on their own merit will still go down in history as one of the great Heavy Metal bands, make no mistake.
Now, the first of the new additions to the album …
THE LIVE AUDIO
The album contains seven live audio tracks that were accessed from VHS tapes that Mustaine discovered in his attic, and what a better time to release them to the world but with the marking of their 35th Anniversary of rocking the f**k out!? These tracks are compiled from different shows, and whilst on a remastered album these live audio tracks are suitably rough, they capture that early Megadeth live fiery sound perfectly.
These live tracks consist of;
Last Rites / Loved to Deth (live) (1987 London, UK)
Killing Is My Business…And Business Is Good! (live) (1986 Denver, CO)
The Skull Beneath the Skin (live) (1990 London, UK)
Rattlehead (live) (1987 Bochum, Germany)
Chosen Ones (live) (1986 Denver, CO)
Looking Down the Cross (live) (1986 Denver, CO)
Mechanix (live) (1986 Denver, CO)
It might come down to personal taste, but the live audio is borderline more enjoyable to listen to than the remastered classics. You’re listening to a then fresh on the scene, straight out of Metallica Mustaine pour raw emotion into his performances, and that highlights the raw ambition of a man who wanted to be the best.
Finally, we turn attention to the final three tracks on the album…
THE BONUS DEMOS
Yes, you heard correctly. The set also includes Megadeth’s 1984 three track demo, which just like the live audio transports is back to the beginning. The muffled audio, the youthful exuberance… it’s definitely one hell of a time warp, that’s for sure. The demo was comprised of three tracks – Last Rites / Loved to Deth, The Skull Beneath the Skin, and Mechanix – and whilst these are also remastered and provided more clarity, the 80s soaked integrity isn’t hindered in the slightest. If you’re a long time ‘Deth fan, these tracks will get you excited!
There’s no denying this album is going to divide the Metal World, some already labelling this project as messy, amongst other things that aren’t really “user friendly”. But in all honesty, when hasn’t something Megadeth have produced caused an argument amongst Metal Fans? Look past the rough exterior, and you’ll find some gems buried within, especially those in the live portion of the album. Like them or not, 35 years is a huge achievement, and some can only hope that Megadeth are far from over.
Order your copy of Killing Is My Business… And Business Is Good: The Final Kill out now from Century Media Records HERE!