At a retail cost of $65, Warchest is probably only for
hardcore Megadeth fans, and in that regard, I say up front
that it's totally worth it. I only had the sampler version of
the box set for review, which is missing many of the tracks I
would've liked to hear, but a perusal of the track listing on
Amazon has given me a basic idea of what's contained herein. But
first, the bitching: Notably absent are "99 Ways to Die"
from the Beavis & Butthead Experience, which was a
mostly average track but would've been nice to see on here since
it wasn't from a Megadeth studio album, and their vicious cover
of Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots." For those who
don't know, this song is no longer allowed because Sinatra took
affront to the savage re-imagining of her ONLY song worth mentioning
by Dave Mustaine & Co. So here it is, my callout to
Seriously Nancy, shut the fuck up. Take your goddamn royalties
and stop pretending like anyone cares about you and your pathetic
Now, for the good stuff: 6 of the 9 tracks from Rust In Peace
are contained in this set, which is good news to most fans, since
that seems to be their overwhelmingly favorite album. I say most,
because I personally didn't care for it; I thought most of the
album sounded the same from start to finish, and consisted of
lots of wanking. I prefer the out-of-control Megadeth albums where
Mustaine is so strung out that his slurred vocals are nearly incomprehensible,
or he's in such a foul and depressed mood that it affects the
entire album. That means I like Killing Is My Business
So Far, So Good, So What? and uh
basically sucked, but I think he found religion around that time
which ruined everything. For me, Countdown To Extinction
is probably their most accomplished album, and Cryptic Writings
was an excellent foray into what might best be called "pop-thrash."
Ha, I kinda like that phrase
although, now that I think
about it, albums 1, 3, 5, and 7 are my favorites, which I guess
Wait for it
The odd man out. (insert collective
Ugh. Sorry about that.
Other tracks (beyond the perfunctory, yet necessary studio ones)
I enjoyed seeing were "Angry Again" from the Last
Action Hero Soundtrack and the cover of "Paranoid"
from the NIB Black Sabbath tribute album. I particularly
like the mellow and restrained tone of "Angry Again"
that belies the seething rage contained with the subject character.
The hyper, frenetic angst that Megadeth applied to "Paranoid"
made it one of the critical faves of NIB and I'm glad it's
been spread around to yet another compilation. (I hope they still
have the ending where Mustaine has to yell at Nick Menza
to stop drumming after the song has ended.) I wish I could comment
on the post-Cryptic tracks, but since I haven't actually
purchased music on my own since delving deep into the music writing
gig, my knowledge of their subsequent catalog is lacking. Similarly,
I have no way to evaluate the DVD, which makes me think that Capitol
Records believes that music writers don't actually listen to their
promo crap before writing about it anyway. Either that, or they're
terrified we're going to file-share it to death, something I think
is a little unfounded when promoting a box set. Most of this stuff
is already available through file-sharing anyway, and the whole
point of a box set is to have that collectible "thing"
sitting on your shelf, with the nice case and booklet and other
fan stuff. To me, ripping a box set is kind of pointless, since
the very thing is one part status-symbol and one part uber-fan
But, I'm a cheap bastard now that music is freely thrown at
me, and while I would love to have such a thing, I can't make
myself plop down the necessary scratch for it. So please, Capitol,
c'mon, don't make me beg for it.
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