SKULL66

MEGADETH, Killing is My Business…And Business is Good! (reissue)   (2002, Loud)

The skull:
This joins Devastation’s Idolatry as one of few albums to make the Skullection twice. The first goes all the way back to Skull15, where Friar Johnsen took a look at the original cover from 1985. And there’s really no beating the original, but this updated version makes some kind of sense, adding the newer and more popular Megadeth logo to a painted interpretation of the original cover concept. That concept? A metal plate riveted across the skull’s eyes and figure eight-ish hooks in mouth. The chains from the original design are here attached to big earpieces that almost look like headphones. The bones ‘n’ blades behind the skull add some sizzle to the overall design. The skull even has a couple pieces of spinal column attached, but not enough to disqualify it under the “no skeletons” rule. A pretty snazzy looking cover, the added accoutrements are nice, but the original is still where it’s at.

The music:
I guess Loud Records is some short-lived subsidiary of Capitol Records or something. And it was they who put out this reissue of Megadeth’s excellent debut. Friar Johnsen ably spoke to the importance and awesomeness of Killing… in his earlier review, and I concur 100%. Special mention needs to be made of “Looking Down the Cross,” which might be this Friar’s favorite-ever Megadeth song, but there’s a large handful of others contending for that title. This remixed version of Killing… is good, and while I prefer the wiry, thin sound of the original, the beefier, bassier mix here works pretty well too. There are a lot of sonic differences between this and the original, and if you love this album as much as we do, you’ll look for any excuse to have the thrill of buying it again. What’s frustrating is the bleeped-to-shit version of “These Boots,” which might have been better excised entirely. Even more frustrating is how they (“they” being Mustaine?) fucked with the original track order, placing “These Boots” at the end and not in position four as on the original. Extra bonus comes in the first ever official issuing of their three-song 1984 demo, a super-raw, ultra-frantic view into the band’s earliest recorded material. Like the album itself, it totally kills. They don’t make ’em like this anymore, that’s for sure.
— Friar Wagner

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