I came back from the gym this morning with a real yen to hear "Architecture of Aggression" - or, as I was calling it until recently for some reason, "Architecture of Regression" - and eventually put on the whole disc for my sonic enjoyment. About three-quarters of the way through, I realized something that's been in the back of my mind for years; probably ever since I bought the CD as a lad: Countdown to Extinction is very dark record.
It's not the lyrics per se; Mustaine had been writing lyrics about war and destruction for years and Countdown... fits right in that same mold. The difference is in the music; for the first time there's not much thrashing, so the sound timbre doesn't have the frantic brightness that thrash brings to the mix. Instead, it's gloom and doom in both the words and the music. I remember listening to the spoken word part in the middle of "Countdown to Extinction" and freaking out thinking about all of that life disappearing, faster and faster. Previous Megadeth albums were like the Mad Max world of post-nuclear apocalypse, disease, death and the fight for survival. Countdown... was more like the moment the bombs go off, when your old life crumbles around you and you wonder if it's better to die in the fiery flash or try and survive with what's left.
It's also got Dave Mustaine singing about selling man pussy, which is a comic highlight to a Megadeth album if there ever was one.
AN NCS PREMIERE: PLAGUE THROAT — “MA NGA”
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