My Stain

So I was listening to Megadeth’s latest album, United Abominations, in preparation for their concert down in Singapore which I’m going to. YEAH!

Megadeth had always had my respect for keeping it real and keeping to thrash metal, unlike more successful counterparts Metallica. However, their latest album had a few songs that felt not quite epic.

The savior though is Sleepwalker, which stays true (or at least closest) to the classics. However, the song, just like every other song on the album, sounds as if they were trying to compress a 7 minute epic masterpiece into 4 minutes. How? By trimming off the trademark Megadeth intro! Blasphemy.

A classic Megadeth intro works like this:
– start with an interesting single-note riff
– add some metallic bass (soon, after you’re familiar with the riff)
– kick in the drums a few seconds later
– chug in the power chords
– modify the riff a bit… and then go into solo
– add a second guitar to the solo in harmony, which always makes it sound like a Japanese video game (which Dave Mustaine does soundtracks for, so this makes sense)
– jump back into rhythm

Each part is discrete. The order might change, but ultimately, you get to enjoy each level as it comes along.

Fortunately, some songs, like the title track, have a multi-part solo.

Even a song like Holy Wars… The Punishment Due (from the classic album Rust In Peace) had a 1:30 long intro, but it sounded much longer due to intricate composition and various segments. For some reason, Marty’s oriental/neo-classical solos tickle me. I bet you anyone familiar with the song would anticipate the solos and crunchy riffs so they could air-guitar along. Yngwie Malmsteen is too neo-classical for me; Marty with angry thrashin’ Dave is just nice.

Click here to check out the video on Youtube! (Please pardon the video quality of the past.)

Speaking of video games, check out Megadeth – Holy Wars – NES Style. Cute!

Five Magics, for example, had a kickass brooding intro, where the vocals only kick in at 2:06. Also note that they jump into a call-and-response, except instead of blues shredding it’s metal. Hangar 18 is restless and the solos come in at 1:24, again at 2:24… and goes on till 5:14 where the song ends. Some count the number of solos from Dave and Marty Friedman to be anywhere between 7 to 11 solos! Quite an interesting feat for a song with a cheesy video meant for MTV airplay.

The basslines are always metal. I mean, it sounds metallic.

I can’t wait till Friday!

2 thoughts on “My Stain

  1. Albert Ng Post author

    As someone who is also purist about spelling (yes, I read your archive), I urge that you spell the band by how it is spelt on their album covers – Megadeth.

    However, I doubt that rockers are businessmen; you’ll find them in more blue collar jobs and creative types. I think it’s cool when you meet someone on the bus who listens to something as obscure (well, Megadeth is not obscure, but on a bus it might be.)

  2. jayjayne Post author

    Ah, the powers of Megadeath!

    Classic for listening to opn the bus where one can syncophatically attach brain-draining riffs to a completely unmelodramatic situation!

    I used to imagine that stony-faced business men would turn into rock stars by night when I listened to Megadeath while stuck on public transport.

    Strange. But true.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.