Has it really been twenty years already?
I still have that 90-minute cassette whose A-side contained my first copy of Megadeth’s Rust In Peace. Though I had already cut my teeth on other metal bands, I was wary of Megadeth at first. Their name alone seemed to embody everything that was supposed to be frightening and dangerous about heavy metal, and this particular 14-year-old Catholic boy was slightly less interested in rebellion than he was in avoiding having his soul devoured by a horde of demons. But from the moment the opening riff of “Holy Wars” stormed out of my speakers, I was hooked.
By the sound of the unrelenting maelstrom that followed, I came to understand why metal bands were so often accused of selling their souls to the devil. How else could they play this fast? This album was a beast. Its bones were Nick Menza’s byzantine rhythms. Its sinew, David Ellefson’s blurry bass lines. Its muscle, the furious riffage and downright acrobatic guitar solos provided by Dave Mustaine and Marty Friedman. And atop it all was Mustaine’s ferocious howling. Aliens, swords and sorcery, addiction, jilted lovers, war, war, WAR. From the very first listen, it was clear that this was a stone-cold thrash classic. Twenty years later, I still haven’t heard anything else quite like it.
Had the teenage me been faced with the prospect of these songs being available in video game form, his head certainly would have exploded. Now that it’s a reality, I’m still not sure how the adult me escaped that fate. Here’s hoping you survive too. I offer no guarantees.
These tracks will be available for purchase as Rust In Peace (Album) for $14.99 on Xbox 360 and PlayStation3, as well as individual tracks for $1.99 on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 system and $2 on Wii. The tracks will be available Feb. 9 for Xbox 360 and Wii and Feb. 11 for PlayStation 3.