Countdown to Extinction

Open the July issue of Details magazine and you’ll find photos of Megadeth front man Dave Mustaine relaxing in his luxurious Los Angeles home. Has he sold out? It’s far more likely — at a time when the nation’s favored political choice is ”none of the above” — that his sardonic speed-metal rage has gone mainstream. Megadeth’s fifth and meatiest album, Countdown to Extinction, seethes with angry politics, from the all-over-MTV single ”Symphony of Destruction” (about murderous, lying politicians) to ”Foreclosure of a Dream,” which holds a sampled George Bush sound bite — ” Read my lips,” what else? — up to savage ridicule. But the album offers rays of hope: ”Foreclosure” ends with a call for new economic ideas, and Mustaine’s nonpolitical songs about personal disasters, bitter in the past, now flash with self-mockery. The music has lost its former hurricane verve but keeps its crunch, and (a big mainstream plus) feels more rooted, even more melodic. So read my lips: In this year of rage, Megadeth might just follow Metallica to the top of the charts. A-

Countdown to Extinction
  • Music