Review by MartinDavey87 for Megadeth - Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good! (1985)
Surely every heavy metal fan knows the story of Dave Mustaine being kicked out of Metallica and forming Megadeth? Right? No? Ok, I'll wait here while you quickly look it up.
With Megadeth, Mustaine had one goal, and that was to create something faster, heavier and more extreme than his former band. It's arguable, but I'd say he succeeded. 'Killing is My Business' certainly has a raw, ruthless energy to it, and whilst it oozes bloodthirsty hatred towards Hetfield and Ulrich, it sadly comes at the expense of the actual compositions.
Sure, the riffs are fast, the vocals are full of spite and bitterness, and the songs rage with angst and rebellion, but to be honest, it quickly becomes very repetitive. The horribly tacky and rushed production makes most of the riffs indistinguishable, and the guitar solos sound like nothing more than an annoying, high-pitched flail of notes. And I'm fairly sure a five-year-old could come up with more interesting vocal melodies than this.
There's only really one or two memorable moments on this album. 'Last Rites – Loved To Deth' is probably the only song I'd consider passable, whilst all the others have the odd riff here or there, but there really is nothing that can truly save this debut. Then there’s ‘Mechanix’, the infamous song that Mustaine introduces as; “There’s their version, and there’s OUR version”. Sentimentality aside, Metallica's version (titled 'The Four Horsemen') is simply better in every way.
Megadeth are a fantastic band, and this is really the only record of theirs I don’t like. I've got to believe that if this was the debut from any generic thrash metal band in the 80's, they probably never would have made it to the 90's. Thankfully for Mustaine, he was a member of the genres biggest band and had garnered himself a cult following that gave him the opportunity to progress past this album. And to be fair, most metalheads in the 80's loved it regardless. 'Cause they'd buy anything anyway.
God-awful debut, but better things are coming.