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Megadeth - Killing is My Business....And Business is Good: The Final Kill Award winner

Megadeth
Killing is My Business....And Business is Good: The Final Kill
by Marcos "Big Daddy" Garcia at 03 August 2018, 7:57 AM

In the 80’s, when I was a young Metalhead, things were pretty faster, a lot of new bands to hear at the same time. In the USA, there were many Metal tendencies coexisting at the same time. Thrash Metal was young as well, and some bands that would be giants in the future were releasing their earlier albums. Furious for being fired from METALLICA a few days before the recording sessions of “Kill ‘Em All”, the lead guitarist Dave Mustaine founded MEGADETH, with the idea of creating a band that was better than the previous one in all aspects. And when I heard on a K7 tape “Killing is My Business… And Business is Good” back in 1986 (the things were a bit slower in this aspect on those days), I had the idea that he didn’t beat METALLICA, but created a fine musical work as well. Today, after 33 years of its original release, we have “Killing is My Business….And Business is Good: The Final Kill” in hands. But what we could expect of it?

About this version: this is a remix and remastered version of the original tapes. I must thank Dave for that, because he and the band spent the money for the recording sessions on drugs on those days, so they had to rush and do things as they could. Now we can have a better idea of what the band did, even being as crude as you could expect from an independent album from those days. But about the music, it’s simply that old form of making Thrash Metal when this label wasn’t used (in those days, Power Metal was the used name of the genre), with the same elements we can hear on his previous band (of course it can be expected, because Dave was a driving force in METALLICA’s writing songs process), and with tons of nasty energy. Of course it’s excellent!

Along with the original tracks (including the problematic version for Lee Hazelwood’s song “These Boots”), we have live versions of some songs, and the ones from 1984 Demo Tape “Last Rites”. So we can say that “The Final Kill” (please, lend me to use this short name) is really a great chance for us all. The restoration of “The Final Kill” was done by the careful hands of Mark Lewis (mixing) and Ted Jensen (remastering), and the sound quality had a great boost, allowing we all to hear some musical arrangements and details that we couldn’t in the original. No, it didn’t damage what we heard before, but made it all sound complete. It’s a finest work including the better art for the cover (please, let’s be honest: that original plaster skull was nasty even on those days).

Being honest, this new sound quality boosted the pleasure of hearing old classics as “Killing is My Business… And Business is Good!” (this time, we can hear clearly the bass guitar), the nasty “The Skull Beneath the Skin”, the fast and catchy arrangements of “Rattlehead”, the whiplashing “Chosen Ones” and “Looking Down the Cross”, and their version for “These Boots”. Or, you all already know that “Mechanix” is almost the same of “The Four Horseman”, but with different lyrics (maybe Dave composed it all at first, as it is presented here). But to hear the live version for “Killing is My Business… And Business is Good!”, “Rattlehead”, “Chosen Ones”, and “Mechanix” is a priceless pleasure. The original versions from the Demo Tape of “Last Rites / Loved to Deth”, “The Skull Beneath the Skin” and “Mechanix” makes of “The Final Kill” an essential item on every Metalhead collection.

Hear it, buy it and note as the band evolved a lot since those earlier and romantic days.

Originality: 10
Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Last Rites / Loved to Deth
2. Killing is My Business… And Business is Good!
3. The Skull Beneath the Skin
4. Rattlehead
5. Chosen Ones
6. Looking Down the Cross
7. Mechanix
8. These Boots
9. Last Rites / Loved to Deth (1987 London, UK)
10. Killing is My Business… And Business is Good!  (1986 Denver, CO)
11. The Skull Beneath the Skin (1990 London, UK)
12. Rattlehead (1987 Bochum, Germany)
13. Chosen Ones (1986 Denver, CO)
14. Looking Down the Cross (1986 Denver, CO)
15. Mechanix (1986 Denver, CO)
16. Last Rites / Loved to Deth (1984 demo)
17. The Skull Beneath the Skin (1984 demo)
18. Mechanix (1984 demo) (Remastered)
Lineup:
Dave Mustaine - Vocals, Guitars, Piano
Chris Poland - Guitars
David Ellefson - Bass
Gar Samuelson - Drums, Timpani
Record Label: Century Media
     


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