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 May 11, 2002
This review doesn't have anything to do with the music, as this disc has been around forever and you should already know the magnificent nature of this groudbreaking artistic masterpiece.
What this does have to do with is how much BETTER this album actually sounds now that Dave and Dave have taken the master tapes back in the studio and remixed the ... out of it. My God...it's brilliant. I mean, it sounded OK for being recorded in '84. But due to some well documented money squandering (well, of what money there was) on the part of Mustaine and Co., the album ended up sounding like a cheap demo. But, for a cheap demo it literally changed the face of hard music. Because of this fact it sorted grated on you after time. It was neat that it had a gritty quality to it, and by no means did it [stink]. But now...OOOOOH...it actually sounds better than Peace Sells and So Far, if you can believe that. You can really hear everything as it was meant to be heard...and FELT. It's super evil...super heavy and Faster Than ..., baby!! The demo tracks included are kind of cool to hear as it gives you an idea of the process, but the main quality of this release is it's new life. It's like hearing a brand new release from Megadeth...the OLD Megadeth which I miss very much.
The only negative thing about this release is that it was made after the legal battle that Megadeth had with the rights to publish "These Boots". The actual owner of the music did not allow Mustaine to use the lyrics, so now the singing is pretty much bleeped out throughout the whole track. While this is dissapointing, it doesn't take away from the rest of the CD. It's actually quite funny at times.
I'm really glad that Dave and Dave decided to do this, because it just made a brilliant work 1000% better. I absolutely recommend picking this up. It'll change you.
on April 23, 2002
When Dave Mustaine put Megadeth together after he was booted from Metallica, their debut "Killing is My Business...and Business is Good" was loud, violent, and an underneath it all middle finger to James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich. Of all the bands that put out remastered albums (Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and Ozzy to name a few), it seems this time it has been done right. Mustaine and Dave Ellefson have remixed "Killing is My Business" very meticulously, making it sound fresh and vibrant while adding a new dimension to a mediocre album. Also included are several rough demos that show Mustaine's further disdain towards Metallica, including a cover of "These Boots" which is sadly without its profanity filled lyrics because of Lee Hazelwood rescinding the rights to the song, but it still has a rather darkly humerous quality to it. The new album cover is lightyears beyond the original cover and is an overall good re-packaging deal. ...[Guitarist] Scott Ian includes some written commentary as well, and Mustaine and Ellefson have presented track by track liner notes. If you allready have the original, this reissue is worth a listen, but if you don't own the original then pick this up.
on March 26, 2002
I was told to avoid buying this album for quite a while because of the poor sound quality. Logically, I had nothing to lose, being a rather new and yet hard-core Megadeth fan, when this album finally got a remaster.
For the most part, I would rather be listening to any other Megadeth album than this. I do like the stuff on here though. To really get what is on this disc, one has to read the booklet that came with it. Each of the original seven songs has comments from either Mustaine or Ellefson or both, and there is an explanation as to why the version of These Boots on this CD is the way it is. I find it hilarious that it's even on here like that, especially after reading the booklet!! Also, go to Megadeth's website to find the uncensored version of These Boots that would have gone on this disc. You really think Mustaine and the gang would leave his fans hanging like that? ;)
The demos are exactly that: very low quality versions of finished products, but I like hearing that sort of thing sometimes.
on March 24, 2002
Everybody else who has reviewed this CD seems to comment mostly on the sound quality. Since they've probably already told enough about that, here's a review of the music:
Last Rites/Loved to Deth - Absolutely incredible! Brutal riff with creepy lyrics make this cut the album's best. 5/5
Killing is My Business...and Business id Good! - Excellent title track. Again, nice guiter with odd but still cool lyrics. 5/5
Skull Beneath the Skin - Another good one that explains the creation of Vic Rattlehead. 4/5
Rattlehead - Heavy, good guiter work, pretty strange lyrics though. 4/5
Chosen Ones - The weakest track on the entire album. Still, it's not that bad. 3/5
Looking Down the Cross - Pretty good, just never grew on me. 4/5
Mechanix - Originally a Metallica song but still done to perfection by Mustaine&Co. A great closer. 5/5
Overall the songs are good, and the production(which was horrid on the original) has been very noticably improved to produce a good debut of one of the giants of thrash.
on March 2, 2002
It was summer 1985. My friends and I had been partying to the likes of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Motley Crue. In the midst of beer and bongs, somebody puts on a record that was to become my personal speed metal epiphany, "Killing is my Business..." I'm sure my jaw must have dropped as the intro "Last Rites" smashed reeling into "Loved to Deth". Thereafter my world of music was to be forever changed. Although "Rust in Peace" is perhaps my all time personal favorite metal album, "Killing" provides the pure fury and angst of Dave Mustaine in his prime. This album can still send cold shivers down my spine. The newly remixed and remastered version shows with renewed clarity the passion and sheer virtuosity of this band, and showcases Mustaine's talent as the consummate rock guitarist. The demo tracks reveal even more vehemently the pure venom, hunger and determination of Dave at this period in his life - purely insane riffs of blood, guts and darkness. Unfortunately, the countdown to extinction began after "Rust". With each successive album, Megadeth began the long, slow process of decay known as sell out. No longer focused and hungry, but satiated with the deth knell of the business industry, Megadeth is no longer the vicious animal of yesteryear. "Hero" was a half-hearted attempt to return to some semblance of those glory days, but only managed a few rare sparks of that black flame which burned in the heart of the great guitar master of "Killing". If you like the original for it's raw and distorted sound quality, simply play this new version and stick your head in the sink with the garbage disposal on! And so kiddies, the production and clarity of this classic album can now be experienced at the top end of the volume knob. Crank it up and relive the essence of what real metal is all about. Remember Dave for the true talent and genius he was (and to be fair, still has the potential to be). Vic says, "RATTLE ON"!!
on February 10, 2002
In the Early 80's, 4 bands sparked something that started a revolution in the music industry. Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer, and MEGADETH. Back then, production wasn't what it is today, the band was so high they didn't know an amplifier from a toaster oven, and they were poor as dirt. Those problems, combined with Combat Record's mistake of loosing the intended artwork, really caused this album some problems in the early going.
Now, in 2002, you can relive the glory of what this Thrash Metal classic accomplished. It's all there... the liner notes, the correct lyrics, AMAZING production, the originally intended artwork, and a picture of the Megadeth original lineup to boot. If that's not enough, they have also added These Boots in a special edition format, and the three song demo that got them signed.
This album is a MUST HAVE for all fans of Thrash Metal and/or Megadeth. The late Gar Samuelson would be proud!
on February 18, 2002
Finally, a remastered album that sounds like its been redone.
While this album won't do anything to change the minds of anyone not into this genre of music, those who own the original will notice a great deal of improvement.
The most noticable improvements are with Dave Mustaine's vocals and Gar Samuelson's drums. You can actually understand what the hell Dave's rambling on about.
The songs where the sound quality really shines are "Looking Down The Cross" and "Killing Is My Business.."
Even "Mechanix" sounds louder.
Too bad about the censored version of "These Boots" though. Not their fault, it's explained in the booklet.
The demos included really show where Dave was headed with this band, even if his vocals are a little funny sounding at the time.
A good buy for a 'Deth fan, or someone into old-school metal.