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Kings of Thrash: Best of the West…Live at The Whisky A Go Go

Kings of Thrash formed a couple years ago when Megadeth founders David Ellefson and Jeff Young felt the need to hash out some early Megadeth tunes. Ellefson solidified the idea at a book signing at the Chiller Theatre Expo in Parsippany, New Jersey, when a fan inquired when and if he would perform live early Megadeth material. That got the ball rolling and Kings of Thrash was born. Here is the full band lineup:

Chris Poland (lead and rhythm guitars)
Jeff Young (lead and rhythm guitars)
Chaz Leon (lead vocals, lead and rhythm guitars)
Fred Aching (drums and percussion)
David Ellefson (bass guitar and backing vocals)

After a few times performing live, the band returned to the famous club to record the performance. There is certainly no shortage of energy in the set and fans of classic Megadeth will want to check this out. The supergroup draws on early Megadeth, from the albums Killing is My Business…and Killing is Good (1985), Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying? (1986), and So Far, So Good…So What! (1988). After the brief symphonic instrumental “Last Rites”, the band goes in full force with “Rattlehead”, digging deep into some early thrash as the band’s tight rhythm section and shredding guitar solos really dial it in. The roughly strewn vocals are decent enough and give the music some added intensity. “The Skull Beneath the Skin” has the band slashing and burning through tempo changes, wild rhythmic alterations, and neo classical shredding. “Good Mourning/Devil’s Island” starts with mellow guitar before the doom and heavy thrash begins in earnest. The vocals and riffs are absolutely menacing. Another pounding rhythm and heavy chug makes “Wake Up Dead” a blistering slab of metal. The mid to fast paced “In My Darkest Hour”, rounding out the first CD, is one of my favourite tracks.

The second disc continues with the heaviness and doesn’t let up for a second. It begins with the trippy musical interlude “Orange Light”, followed by “Into the Lungs of Hell” and its awesome breakdown riffs, the blistering pace of “Set the World Afire”, and the screaming guitar solos in “Chosen Ones”, it all makes for quite the wild ride.

Also included is a DVD of the entire set, all seventeen tracks. The performance is both intense and intimate, totally relying on the music rather than elaborate set designs and special effects. For this venue it makes perfect sense.

This is a solid metal performance which should pique the curiosity of Megadeth fans both near and far. Also of note, Kings of Thrash are working on new material which should indeed prove interesting.

A Cleopatra Records release.

CD 1
1. Last Rites
2. Rattlehead
3. The Skull Beneath the Skin
4. Good Mourning/Devil’s Island
5. Wake Up Dead
6. 502
7. In My Darkest Hour

CD 2
1. Orange Light
2. Into the Lungs of Hell
3. Set the World Afire
4. Killing is My Business…and Business is Good
5. Chosen Ones
6. Liar
7. Hook In Mouth
8. Mechanix
9. These Boots Are Made for Walkin’
10. Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying?

DVD - Same track listing as CD1 and CD2

Added: May 20th 2023
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 787
Language: english

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