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Megadeth Rude Awakening (Live)

By Sefany Jones, Contributing Editor
Wednesday, March 20, 2002 @ 5:47 PM


(Sanctuary)

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After much anticipation, Megadeth has released their first-ever live CD, Rude Awakening. The songs were recorded live in Arizona, although the original recordings were to take place in Argentina. However, due to the consequences of the September 11th incident, they stuck closer to home.

This CD contains two discs jam packed with nothing less than true metal. The cover work may have a familiar feel to it… it was done by Storm Thorgerson, who was responsible for the imaginative artworks on Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd album covers.

The discs contain 24 mind-annihilating songs. Tracks come off of Killing Is My Business, Peace Sells, But Who’s Buying?, So Far So Good… So What?, Rust In Peace, Countdown To Extinction, Youthanasia, Hidden Treasures (assorted soundtrack singles), Cryptic Writings, Capitol Punishment, and The World Needs A Hero. There are no tracks from Risk, however.

So, this is a LIVE album. I’m not going to rehash every Megadeth song from 1985. Chances are, if you like raw, pure rhythmic metal, then you are already a fan of Megadeth. If you have just recently latched on to the concept of Megadeth, this is a great album to have, especially if you can’t afford to start at the beginning of their collection. This album contains the best of the best here.

Disc One… great selection of tracks! Mustaine, Pitrelli, Ellefson, and DeGrasso are as tight as they come. Personally, I think the better songs were “Train Of Consequences,” “A Tout Le Monde,” “Return To Hangar” and “Hook In Mouth.” These tracks are the ones on this disc that really give you that “live” feel… the roaring audience, Mustaine’s vocals intertwining with the audience, Pitrelli’s vocals harmonizing in, grittier bass riffs, and that smashing, unprocessed pounding of the drums.

Too many of the songs will start with a dull cry from the crowd, and then lob over to a studio sound, a little too cleaned-up. Sure, the songs all masterfully performed, but I like to hear the screaming of the fans, the little imperfections, the live additions that are thrown in, like when the band stops mid song, and you hear nothing but the constant looping tempo of the bass and drums, over and over, until the crowd gets all worked up, then BAM! They kick back into the song, harder and louder. Like in the middle of “A Tout Le Monde,” you hear the fans singing the lyrics, without any assistance from Mustaine. Gives you the whole concert feel – like you are there.

Disc Two… the complaint I had with Disc One is totally eradicated here! Here is the down and dirty, crude, organic power of Megadeth live on stage. You get your heavy metal classics such as “Sweating Bullets,” “Symphony Of Destruction,” “Peace Sells” and “Holy Wars.” The noise from the fans swarms in and out through the songs appropriately. Mustaine’s surly voice snarls with unadulterated conviction. Pitrelli pipes in too infrequently, which is a shame because his vocals add a fantastic contrast. Maybe I’ll get kicked in the ass for saying this, but Pitrelli is to Mustaine, as Sambora is to Bon Jovi. You know what I mean? They harmonize so well together. Anyway, Disc 2 seems to have a little more interaction with the crowd, a more pumped up vibe, a harder edge.

The disc really offers up the heavyweights later in the “set.” By the time you’ve gotten to the near end of Disc 2, you’ve probably downed a couple of drinks, you’re relaxed, and the music’s sucking you in -- you feel like the house lights are just about to come on and you’ll need to go back home. But you’ll already be home, and you can start the concert all over again! And again, and again…

Disc One:

01. Dread And The Fugitive Mind
02. Kill The King
03. Wake Up Dead
04. In My Darkest Hour
05. Angry Again
06. She-Wolf
07. Reckoning Day
08. Devil's Island
09. Train of Consequences
10. A Tout Le Monde
11. Burning Bridges
12. Hangar 18
13. Return To Hangar
14. Hook In Mouth

Disc Two:

01. Almost Honest
02. 1000 Times Goodbye
03. Mechanix
04. Tornado Of Souls
05. Ashes In Your Mouth
06. Sweating Bullets
07. Trust
08. Symphony Of Destruction
09. Peace Sells
10. Holy Wars

Rude Awakening is now out and stores, and the live DVD/ VHS will be available on April 9th. It will include interviews, b-roll footage, studio footage of the recording of The World Needs A Hero, and bonus concert footage.

****1/2


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