There certainly hasn't been a shortage of Megadeth product these days with both hits and video collections along with live concert CD and DVD's that have brought the listener right up to the front row of their shows. Their continued dominance and relevance over an ever shifting musical landscape has proven that they are truly masters of what they do and while the lineups have changed over the years the main mastermind has always been Dave Mustaine. As the leader of one of Metal's most exciting bands the guitarist/composer/singer has mixed technical expertise along with a strong sense of political savvy and opinion which made albums like Peace Sells..But Who's Buying? and Rust In Peace immediate classics that still are as powerful today as when they were first released. The bands stellar career and accomplishments leads us to the release of Warchest – Megadeth's very first career-spanning collection of music and since it runs a little over six hours in time you just know there is a little bit of everything on it. I have to give Mustaine some credit with this release because he could have gone the easy route and released a boxed set that included almost every song that long time fans had in their collections already but he didn't. We saw this happen with KISS a few years ago who included some 80 album tracks on a 100 song boxed set. Instead Mustaine includes 33 never before released songs and when you are done listening to the "Greatest Hits" area of the collection on the first three CD's, you can then sit and enjoy a full live concert from 1990 recorded at Wembley Stadium in England. Perhaps this concert boiled the blood up enough and you need more Mega quite desperately, well then you can pop in the DVD that's in here which features a vintage performance from the Hammersmith Odeon in 1992. Did I mention that both of these performances on the last CD and DVD have never been seen before by the Metal legions? Each of these two concerts could have easily been released on their own, but here you have it all in one place. It is this kind of content that makes a boxed set such as this worth looking into more than others of its kind. The packaging was rather intriguing as well for it's a 3D visual of an ammunition belt across a footlocker and it slides neatly into a protective clear covering. Inside, the CD's and DVD are encased in highly decorated pages and one such page fits a massive booklet that brings you back to the bands beginnings and up to the present day. There are photos of all the lineups and comments from Mustaine himself along with a complete discography of the bands releases. Given there are 78 total songs on this thing and that it is selling for a very reasonable price makes me wonder who in their right mind would pass picking this one up. The appeal of something like this set is wide in scope for it can appease the diehard, impress the one who feels they have seen it all, and also educate the novice at the same time. It's the kind of set that shows very clearly that Megadeth is still standing high on the hill informing anyone who will listen and think for themselves when it comes to their Metal. It's clear that Mustaine hasn't run out of things to say yet based on the stellar work put forth on United Abominations, the bands 2007 release. With Warchest there is an even better way to help Metal legions everywhere celebrate a truly amazing career.
CD2: keeping score, Symphony Of Destruction, Go To Hell, Foreclosure Of A Dream, Architecture Of Aggression (demo), Skin 'O My Teeth (live), High Speed Dirt (live), Ashes In Your Mouth (live), Sweating Bullets (live), Breakpoint (session take), Angry Again, Train Of Consequences, Reckoning Day, New World Order, The Killing Road, Strange Ways, Paranoid, Diadems, A Tout Le Monde.
CD3: Trust, Almost Human, Use The Man, She-Wolf, A Secret Place (live), One Thing, Duke Nukem, Insomnia, Crush 'Em, Kill The King, Dread And The Fugitive Mind, Never Say Die, Moto Psycho, 1000 Time Goodbye, Coming Home, Kick The Chair, Of Mice And Men.
CD4: Intro/Rattlehead, Wake Up Dead, Hangar 18, Hook In Mouth, The Skull Beneath The Skin, The Conjuring, In My Darkest Hour, Lucretia, Devil's Island, Take No Prisoners, Peace Sells, Black Friday, Holy Wars – The Punishment Due, It's Electric, Anarchy In The U.K.
**** This entire CD features tracks recorded at Wembley Stadium, London England (10/16/1990)
DVD: Intro, Holy Wars – Punishment Due, Wake Up Dead, Hangar 18, Lucretia, Sweating Bullets, In My Darkest Hour, Tornado Of Souls, Ashes In Your Mouth, Peace Sells, Anarchy In The U.K.
**** The DVD was filmed at Hammersmith Odeon, London, England (9/30/1992).
As with many bands nowadays we find the membership roster changing over the years and it is rare to see a band with the same lineup for more than a couple of years. Megadeth was no stranger to lineup changes and the Warchest finds the talents of many incredible musicians featured along with Dave Mustaine. Those players in no particular years order are as follows: Glen Drover, Al Pitrelli, Marty Friedman, Jeff Young, Chris Poland, James LoMenzo, James MacDonough, Jimmie Lee Sloas, David Ellefson, Shawn Drover, Vinnie Colaiuta, Jimmy DeGrasso, Nick Menza, Chuck Behler, & Gar Samuelson.
Track Listing (CD1)
1. Killing Is My Business..And Business Is Good!
2. The Skull Beneath The Skin
3. Peace Sells
4. Wake Up Dead
5. Devils Island
6. Set The World Afire
7. Into The Lungs Of Hell
8. Anarchy/Problems (session take)
9. Hook In Mouth
11. In My Darkest Hour
12. No More Mr. Nice Guy
13. "dark themes"
14. Holy Wars..The Punishment Due (demo)
15. Tornado Of Souls (demo)
16. Five Magics (demo)
17. Hangar 18