Megadeth Warchest

Thrash titans Megadeth open their Warchest, the long-awaited four-CD/one DVD box with 33 previously unreleased cuts. The track listing stretches from their 1985 debut up through 2004’s Sanctuary swan song, The System Has Failed. Demos of "Tornado of Souls” and "Five Magics” contain no backing vocals, highlighting front-man Dave Mustaine’s gargly, unadorned vocals. Live versions of "High Speed Dirt,” "Take No Prisoners” and "Black Friday” are fabulous, as are covers of Kiss’s "Strange Ways” and Diamond Head’s "It’s Electric” (joined by DH vocalist Sean Harris). The DVD, featuring Megadeth’s best commercially available, multiple-camera, pro concert footage, is worth the purchase alone. Filmed in 1992 at London’s Hammersmith Odeon at the band’s creative peak, Mustaine and crew blaze through definitive readings of "Tornado of Souls,” "In My Darkest Hour” and "Hanger 18.” Lengthy shots of Nick Menza’s stand-up drumming and Marty Friedman’s phenomenal fretwork are a boon for diehard fans. While some may decry the exclusion of certain favourites ("Rattlehead”) and rarities ("99 Ways to Die”), Warchest is comprehensive and indicative of Megadeth’s true influence on modern metal. (Capitol/EMI)