on March 27, 2006
KIMB holds a special place in many Metalhead's hearts for being such a departure from medium-paced, carefully thought out song structures. This album is blazingly fast, and seems to race right to the end of it's relatively short running time, but you'll have windburn by the time it's all over!
Dave Mustaine's drug dependancies are quite obvious here. A simple listen to the highly aggressive structuring of each track will reveal the intensity, energy, and anger of the man at that time period. In fact, I dare say that if it were not for the incredible skill of Gar Samuelson on drums (a former jazz-fusion player), the album could have been reduced to an absolute mess. Odd-time signatures run rampant throughout the album, but the double-whammy assault of Samuelson on drums, and Chris Poland on guitar manage to add a very keen sense of harmony and flow from beginning to end.
The tracks themselves are quite bleak and angry, but contain a high octane energy and a sneering sense of humour that keep the material from becoming depressing. This album is driven by rhythm, first and foremost, with melody coming in a somewhat distant second. It certainly isn't the greatest Megadeth offering, nor the most technically precise, but it's a debut album that refused to settle in nicely, and instead just drove through the doors like a Mack truck. It certainly gives Metallica's "Kill Em' All" a solid one-two punch, being faster, harder, more complex, and a bigger joy to listen to.
on November 12, 2004
There have been some reviews of this re-release by people who obviously don't know much about WHY it was re-mastered & re-mixed. This isn't just a case of CDs sounding better than analog tape. There are some guitar parts on this that weren't even on the original release. Those aren't newly recorded parts either, they were recorded with the rest of the original album. Not only that, but it sounds to me like there are alternate takes of guitar and vocal parts used here. The way it sounds now is the way the band wanted it to sound back then, with full advantage taken of advances in sound technology. As for the people complaining about the bleeping in "These Boots", they obviously never read what Dave Mustaine wrote in the CD booklet about it. For legal reasons, the song would have either been left off or altered the way that it has been. For those who don't want it on the album: make a copy of the CD and leave "These Boots" off.
Dave Mustaine's unceremonious and ugly departure from Metallica in the early 1980s is the stuff of heavy metal history books. Mustaine's heavy drug and alcohol use fueled his loose-cannon temperament; itself fueled by the seething rage and angst of a messy childhood, an abusive father, and an inferiority complex. In short, the perfect cocktail for manic, terrifying heavy metal rife with lyrics certain to anger Sunday churchgoing parents and left wingers everywhere. 'Killing Is My Business' was the first aural delivery by Megadeth, the band Mustaine formed for the sole purpose of getting revenge on Metallica, and it has stood as a vital pillar of the early thrash metal movement to this day.
Low production values and frequent spats with Combat Records meant that the original version of 'Killing' never lived up to the band's original vision. The Expanded Remix edition rectifies all of these issues, right down to the album artwork, making it a better, stronger, more cohesive record. The new remix is much more full, and sounds wonderful, with Gar Samuelson's thundering drums in the middle of the frantic guitars, instead of wedged in the background. Samuelson's fluent jazz fusion skills marry perfectly with the remix, creating a sense of fluency within Mustaine's psycho-violent song structure. David Ellefson's bass guitar hangs like a dark canopy over the cacophony of aggressive riffs and screaming solos, never intrusive, yet never far away. Then there's the tag team of Mustaine and Chris Poland, both of whom bounce back and forth between skin-shredding rhythm work and blazing solos, each attempting to outdo the other. Where Mustaine is a chaotic wrecking ball of rhythm genius, Poland is far more diverse, and able to hit notes and scales that most other guitarists would be unable to do, thanks in part to a finger injury endured in his past. 'Killing's' songs are just as you remember them. 'Last Rites...Loved to Deth' is a trip into possessive madness on the rails of rapid-fire double bass kick and noisy riffing with an off-time verse and sloppy (on purpose) lyrics that serves as the launchpad for the entire album, propelling its frantic vertical pace at the speed of light, and serving as one of the album's strongest tracks. 'Killing Is My Business' is a tongue-in-cheek ode to the Marvel Comics character The Punisher. The song jumps back and forth between biker rock and speed metal, sticking to a straightforward approach right up until the end. 'The Skull Beneath The Skin' tells the tale of Megadeth's mascot, Vic Rattlehead, giving insight into the dark occult ceremony that turns him into the being which would later shift his attention towards political and social issues. 'Rattlehead' is a blindingly fast anthem that glorifies the sheer fun of rock n' roll music, while 'Chosen Ones' pays goofy tribute to the killer rabbit from Monty Python's Holy Grail. This double-dose of snicker is traded for a much more somber tone with 'Looking Down The Cross,' Mustaine's own interpretation of what Jesus Christ might have felt at the time of his death. 'Mechanix' is a re-working of Metallica's 'Four Horsemen,' ditching the latter's fictional elements for a focus on sexual double entendre. The album closes with 'These Boots,' a cover of Nancy Sinatra's original song, but with portions of the lyrics bleeped out due to legal red tape. Mustaine goes into detail in the liner notes regarding the reason for this approach, but unfortunately, it ruins the song. Because of this, the Remix album falls short of 5 stars to a respectable 4.
Sonic purists tend to cry the blues whenever a Remastered or Remixed version of their classic albums is released. Personally, I want to hear albums the best way possible, with full sonic range and dynamic quality enhanced. You can't get that on the original version of 'Killing,' but the Remixed edition is the best you're going to hear this landmark thrash metal classic. Turn it up, shatter the windows, and irritate your neighbors.
on July 3, 2004
Im only 14 years old but Megadeth is my favorite band. All that kids listen to is crap like rap and wannabie rockers. This is one the most underated Speed/Thrash Album. Metallica's "Kill em All" was the first thrash album but Megadeth made it faster, harder, and meaner. It might take a while for new listeners I would recomend "Rust in Peace" or "Countdown to Extinction." The demos on this CD are pretty cool and the commentary by Dave Mustaine and David Ellefson on each track are really cool.
Last Rites/Loved To Death (9/10)
Killing Is My Business...And Business Is Good (11/10)(The best track)
The Skull Beneath The Skin (10/10)
Chosen Ones (9/10)
Looking Down The Cross (9/10)
Mechanix (11/10)(Pretty much "The Four Horsmen" by Metallica but two times faster and two times better)
These Boots (4/10)(Would be a 9/10 but the F*king blips kill it)
This is a great Megadeth album but very very far from thier best. They're just getting warmed up.
on May 23, 2004
I have the old version of the cd but I have listened to the remastered version and there's not much difference, the original didn't have bad production anyway. As for the bonus tracks, the cover of These Boots just sucks because of the annoying beep, the demos aren't bad but aren't something you're gonna listen to much.
The band is talented at this early stage. Kerry and Dave? Excellent guitar work, but their song writing is still undeveloped and although amazing skill is shown, things can get a tad boring occasionally. Also, they are very fast and the solos are damn excellent! Dave's vocals are pretty annoying, but they get better as time goes by on other albums. Drumming is pretty good. Nothing too special, but not bad by any means. Better than Lars Ulrich! The bass is fantastic but in some songs it's very hard to hear.
Some of the lyrics are stupid, but then again so are some of Metallica's, although their debut was better. Do I have a problem with Dave getting kicked from Metallica? No way! It worked for the better. Now after that happened we ended up with two great thrash bands instead of one!
As for the songs there is some filler(probably not intentional, as I said their song writing skills aren't fantastic yet), and that coupled with Dave's vocals led me to the verdict that this album deserves 3 stars, not a bad cd, but not essential. If you're an old fan, it's up to you whether you buy it or not, new fans, start elsewhere.
on May 6, 2004
Well, here we go, time to buy another version of a classic album you already own. Don't get me wrong, this album is excellent, and provides a stunning document as to what a band can do when they don't yet see the potential profit to come. But that aside, I noticed some bitching about how the sound quality isn't what was expected. So they took the same master tracks they recorded WAAAAAY back in 1985, mixed them together digitally instead of analogously, pooped it out on a CD that I bet was "digitally mastered", and here we are. A long time ago (not as far back as 78s), LPs were recorded in one track mono. Along came two track stereo LPs, and record companies started reissuing mono recordings as "stereo", and would cheese it up by echoing the mono track in the second "stereo" track, to "enhance" the recording. Well, what do you think this is? Record companies reissuing albums on CD, and claiming they sound better when really, all you're hearing is the wider, flatter dynamic range inherent of CDs over their antiquated analogous counterparts. In other words, THIS IS WHAT THE MASTER TAPES SOUND LIKE. You can't change that. You can't make that better. You can't add detail that isn't there. Don't be duped by orwellian terms. Buy it if you don't own it, or you want the bonus tracks, not because you think it's going to sound better than your record or tape, or older CD.
on April 4, 2004
This is probably Megadeth's most undderated album.Although Hit Parader magazine was smart enough to put this in the Top 100 Hard Rock CDs Of All Time most critics overlook this album.Although not as good as Peace Sells or Rust In Peace it is better than Countdown To Extinction which had I felt was a little too commercial(but still had a lot to like).This album hints at the direction they would be taking with Peace Sells.More punky and dark than either Rust In Peace or Countdown To Extinction, this album remains one of the classics of mid eighties thrash.I remember walking into a record store when the album first came out and I liked the name of the band and was to curious to find out what it sounded like I was definitely not disappointed.I guess Im sort of a wuss which is probably why I like the moderated thrash stuff more than the extremes of Slayer or even Pantera.Still this stuff is still pretty heavy just more accesible which is one of the reasons it remains a classic.If youre a Megadeth fan and dont already own it whats wrong with you?Do anything you can to pick it up.
on February 25, 2004
I first started listening to Megadeth a little under 2 years ago. I've always liked em but never been that big of a fan. Sure Rust in Peace is a great album, and Countdown and Peace Sells are both good, but those last 2 never seemed to be as good as they were made out to be. None of there other albums were nearly as revered as those three, and if they weren't going to be even on the level with Peace or Countdown I didn't see any real need to run off and pick any of them out right away. I dunno about the rest of their discography, but I was foolish to put off picking this up for so long. I may be the only person alive who feels this way, but I think this is much, much better than Peace or Extinction, and even tops Rust in Peace, as well.
I have not heard the original version, but I can tell you that this version sounds fabulous. This version sounds multitudes better than the other thrash albums from the era. It sounds way, way better than Peace Sells or Rust, and even better than Countdown, imho. It's got great clarity, perfect balance and still plenty of power. On top of this, Mustaine's typically subpar vocals are much better here. I would dare say he's even 'good' on this album, for the most part.(This is especially important, because Megadeth were actually atypically good at writing vocal melodies, which were, obviously, hurt by Mustaine's not so good voice.) The album is very solidly constructed as well. The songs are generally short, all between 3-5 minutes, but they are always complete and nicely formed. Plus they still manage to have plenty of great leads with out just tacking them on endlessly, as they would later do. The rhythm section is just great. Gar never impressed me too much in Peace Sells, but perhaps I'll have to go re-evaluate his work there after hearing. He's not the very best thrash drummer, but he's pretty distinctive and very tasteful throughout. As an added bonus, you can actually hear Ellefson's bass, and he's got some nice lines and a few very brief, but entertaining leads.
In the end, the reason I like this album best is simply cause I think it's got better songwriting then the others. It's very consistent, with the only slip-up being Chosen Ones, which isn't bad, just kinda average. The obvious standout is Looking Down the Cross, which is easily my favorite Megadeth song. It kinda seems like a darker, more ominous Hallowed be They Name. It has loads of atmosphere, blazing solos that always compliment the song, great melody without sacrificing the riffage, intense and powerful vocals and is instantly memorable despite not having a chorus. An all time classic. The title track, Rattlehead and Loved to Deth are all first class straight up pounding metal tracks. The title track is especially terrific, and is a perfect condensation of what thrash is all about. The Skull Beneath the Skin is a bit more along the lines of Looking Down the Cross, and is probably the second best track here. Not as much atmosphere or melody, but it's still unconventionally structured, and has got plenty of powerful riffwork. The much famed Mechanix is quite good, despite having the stupidest lyrics of any song I can think of. Fortunately, I don't care about lyrics at all. (on a side note, I prefer The 4 Horsemen. The middle break they added absolutely makes that song, and the riffs sound better played a bit slower. Mechanix is still cool though. On a further tangent, yeah I think this is better then Kill 'em All, but that ain't really a valid comparison since this came two years later. In many ways, Kill 'em All is Dave's debut album even though he didn't play on it. Both Dave and Metallica got a whole lot more experience in those 2 years, and frankly it would be a lot more valid to compare this to Ride the Lightning. But enough of that.) These Boots is found in an edited form here. I've never heard the original, and it would probably be better if it weren't edited, but it's still quite good. (and the prolonged beeps are kinda amusing) It's a joke song that work as both a joke and a song, so it's quite worth while. The demo tracks are a waste of time, but they didn't cost me any extra so who cares.
Anyways, this is a damn good thrash album, and one of high historical improtance to boot. Pick it up.
on November 29, 2003
This was not only my first megadeth album, but my first real thrash album, sure i have old metallica albums but nothing as ferocious as this. so it took a bit of getting used to, after my first listen i knew i'd love it once it get used to it. so after about a week of listening, a whole new world opened up infront of me. i was in love with this cd. every song, with the exception of These Boots, was in my head all day at school. before i knew it i was bringing this into my guitar teacher for months getting him to show me how to play Rattle Head and Mechanix. the gutiar work is AMAZING, i haven't heard any other band's guitar playing move me so much, Dave Mustaine and Chris Poland, i don't know much about bass, but David Elefson's bass solo in Chosen Ones is nothing short of cool, i also know nothing about drums, but Gar Samuelson was a madman. I've read that alot of people don't like Dave's voice, and i don't know why, i love daves voice- i think it fits in perfect. Even today this album is insanely heavy. my favorite songs are Rattle Head, Chosen Ones, Looking Down The Cross (SPEAK NO EVAAAAAL!) and Mechanix, that's not to say that the others aren't slamming though. Warning, if you buy this you'll probably end up buying anythign and everything else Megadeth or Dave Mustaine has ever or will ever do. this album rocks, through and through, it's the Blizzard of Ozz of Thrash and just an amazing cd.
on October 26, 2003
This album sounds so much better than the original - it's unbelievable!. Gar Samuelson's drums are the main improvement, they sound f#ckin great! My favorite songs are KIMB (the title track, which Mustaine wrote about the punisher (comic book character), Looking down the cross, which has great lyrics and music. The Mechanix is the best song, Mustaine wrote this song before even joining Metallica, then Metallica jacked it from Mustaine along with several other great songs. Mustaine's version is much faster and I like it better. The situation with "these boots" just sucks. Lee Hazelwood, the author of the song threatened to take legal action against Mustaine if he didn't edit out everything that Hazelwood wanted him to (most of the bleeps aren't even bad words!). Fortunately I was able to find an old used copy of this album, which is the only version that has the song unedited, it's a great cover. That's the only problem with the album. I'm not going to write anymore cause I'm tired. If you want a smart detailed review of this cd read der kommissar's review, it's really accurate and honest.