MEGADETH

(UNITED STATES)

SO FAR, SO GOOD, SO WHAT!

(1988)
LABEL:

CAPITOL

GENRE:

THRASH

TAGS:
Rasping vocals, Technical
"Undeniably a step below "Peace Sells", "So Far, So Good, So What?" is however a little more masterful, Megadeth seeming to have found the good balance between speed soli and a heavy tone."
NIURK (27.05.2009)  
4/5
(0) opinions (0) comment(s)
"So Far, So Good, So What? is the album of confirmation for Megadeth, proving to fans, competitors and detractors that Dave Mustaine is a force to be reckoned with from now on, despite drugs, alcohol and the line-up problems already beginning to emerge, with Chris Poland and Gar Samuelson ruthlessly ousted from the band. Was this the result of the despotism of a leader who wanted to retain total control over his band, or the effects of all kinds of excesses and paranoia? Interpretations vary, but all agree that this was Prince Dave's doing.

But it's important to understand the context in which this album was born. Two years earlier, "Peace Sells" had laid the foundations for widespread recognition, and above all for a unique style that would have to be defended and enriched to stand up to the competition, with Slayer and Metallica continuing to produce major works in their field. The story goes that Dave Effelson, Mustaine's only comrade-in-arms, was approached by Metallica to succeed the tragically deceased Cliff Burton.

We suspected that it would be difficult to reproduce the "Peace Sells" explosion, but the Megadeth's youth gave us hope that they could at least give us a good dose of technical Thrash without denying themselves, which they did without hesitation! 'Into The Lungs Of Hell' plunges us into the band's own tormented yet terribly gripping atmosphere. A deluge of swirling riffs settles over a square, millimetric bass/drum rhythm, a surge that ends as abruptly as it began, leaving only the distant radio sound of the Ink Pistols declaring "I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire" in the background.  

More directly invoking the Punk influences perceptible on the first opuses, Megadeth offers us a cover of the Sex Pistols anthem, 'Anarchy In The U.K.', giving it just the right amount of extra darkness and heaviness to deliver a very good re-reading. The noticeable tendency towards a slightly slower pace is confirmed on the next track, the mystical 'Mary Jane'. Here, Dave's voice seems to emerge from beyond the grave, and the melodic line becomes heavier, pierced by strange vocal interventions, then shifts again to Thrash territory with syncopated riffs and lightning soli.

But the very reason for the existence of "So Far, So Good, So What?" finally comes from the dark mid-tempo 'In My Darkest Hour', featuring Dave Mustaine's best vocal performance to date. The track picks up speed halfway through, giving us a typically heavy, calming finale. The last two tracks, 'Liar' and 'Hook In Mouth', join '502' in the category of good songs, catchy and effective without being transcendent.

Undeniably a step below "Peace Sells", "So Far, So Good, So What?" is however a little more masterful, Megadeth seeming to have found the good balance between speed soli and a heavy tone. Dave Mustaine has made considerable progress with his vocals, and seems more sure of his abilities and intentions than ever, structuring his music in a still perceptible ambient chaos. It's not quite consecration, but it's already confirmation, and we're more than ever eager to hear what's next!
- Official website

TRACK LISTING:
01. Into The Lungs Of Hell - 03:30
02. Set The World Afire - 05:48
03. Anarchy In The U.k. - 03:01
04. Mary Jane - 04:24
05. 502 - 03:29
06. In My Darkest Hour - 06:26
07. Liar - 03:20
08. Hook In Mouth - 04:48

LINEUP:
Chuck Behler: Batterie
Dave Mustaine: Chant / Guitares
David Ellefson: Basse
Jeff Young: Guitares
   
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