Megadeth - Rude Awakening

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Sanctuary
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 118:08:00

Megadeth have finally released their first ever live album entitled Rude Awakening, a double live disc offered by the harbinger of old(ish) bands - Sanctuary Records/Metal-Is.

Just to put your minds at peace, this is a good, but not great, live album from long-time metal favourites Megadeth. Recorded over two nights (like the Queensrÿche and the multiple night Tesla albums, also emanating from Sanctuary Records), Megadeth delve into all facets of their past and their present, parading their wares from across their well received history. Firstly, let's re-check their current line-up. Rude Awakening features Megadeth stalwarts Dave Mustaine (g/v) and David Ellefson (b) along with relative newcomers to the band Jimmy DeGrasso (d - ex-Y&T, ex-Suicidal Tendencies) and Al Pitrelli (g - ex-Savatage). Of course, Nick Menza (d) and Marty Friedman (g) are gone so I was EXTREMELY surprised to hear the outstanding quality of the music spewing forth from Jimmy and Al. Although they've been touring quite a bit recently, so it shouldn't be that much of a surprise but after hearing other replacements not living up to past members, it was a pleasure to hear Jimmy and Al perform with such professionalism. Dave's voice is mostly a hit affair but there are a couple of mistakes, in particular when he needs to get "high" like on "Train Of Consequences," "Mechanix," and "Reckoning Day." But it's a live album so it doesn't affect it that much.

Megadeth have really worked at getting the music just right and on Rude Awakening there have been minor changes in tempo/rhythm on some songs ("Mechanix" & "Sweating Bullets"), extended solos ("Train Of Consequences," "Tornado Of Souls," & "Symphony Of Destruction"), and a prodigious drum solo by Jimmy on "She-Wolf." Although the band play exceptionally well, it sounds like they are playing, not pumped full of excitement and adrenalin, but rather leisurely and uninspired. I'm not sure whether this is a problem with the long touring or with the final mix, but it makes the album somewhat unenthusiastic and laboured. The sound just seems too low, which means you have to turn it up loud on the stereo, plus, as a frontman, Dave is rather, well, boring. Sure, I want to hear the music, but I want to hear what else is going on, but there isn't much. Another point about the sound is that the crowd is "removed," meaning that it doesn't sound exciting, as the live atmosphere is diminished. A couple of other minor problems are that there are no tracks from Risk (that may be a godsend for some, but they shouldn't have discounted the album completely) and finally that the female vocalist from "1000 Times Goodbye" didn't make a guest appearance. The studio version has heaps of character but this lacks the charisma of that version.

Moving back to the positive though is the song selection - almost everything is on here and it is probably the biggest highlight about the album. Other positives include the crowd on "A Tout Le Monde" and "Peace Sells?" (outstanding crowd participation), the professionalism that the band perform with, and playing "Hangar 18" and "Return To Hangar" one after the other - brilliant. The album finishes off with one of the finest musical moments of our time - "Holy Wars - The Punishment Due."

Overall, Megadeth have put together a commendable release that will be lapped up by almost all Megadeth fans. A full-blown live album has been a long time coming and it represents their career on two enjoyable and diverse live discs.

[This review originally appeared November 2002 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Disc One: Dread And The Fugitive Mind (4:12) / Kill The King (3:50) / Wake Up Dead (3:26) / In My Darkest Hour (5:28) / Angry Again (3:22) / She Wolf (8:17) / Reckoning Day (4:24) / Devil's Island (5:06) / Train of Consequences (4:30) / A Tout le Monde (4:49) / Burning Bridges (4:56) / Hangar 18 (4:45) / Return to Hangar (3:54) / Hook In Mouth (4:40)

Disc Two: Almost Honest (3:57) / 1000 Times Goodbye (6:14) / Mechanix (4:36) / Tornado Of Souls (5:47) / Ashes in Your Mouth (6:04) / Sweating Bullets (4:38) / Trust (6:46) / Symphony Of Destruction (4:50) / Peace Sells (5:22) / Holy Wars (8:51)

Dave Mustaine - vocals, guitar
Al Pitrelli - guitar, backing vocals
David Ellefson - bass
Jimmy DeGrasso - drums

Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good! (1985)
Peace Sells But Who's Buying (1986)
So Far, So Good ... So What (1988)
Rust In Peace (1990)
Countdown To Extinction (1992)
Youthanasia (1994)
Hidden Treasures (1995)
Cryptic Writings (1997)
Live Trax (EP) (1997)
Cryptic Sounds (No Voices In Your Head) (EP) (1998) Risk (1999)
Breadline (EP) (2000)
Capitol Punishment: The Megadeth Years (2000)
The World Needs A Hero (2001)
Killing Is My Business (Deluxe Edition)
Rude Awakening (2002)
Still, Alive...And Well? (2002)
The System Has Failed (2004)
Greatest Hits: Back To The Start (2005)
United Abominations (2007)
That One Night: Live In Buenos Aires (2007)
Warchest (box set) (2007)
Anthology: Set The World Afire (2008)
Deep Cuts (EP) (2009)
Endgame (2009)
Rust In Peace - Live (2010)
Th1rt3en (2011)
Super Collider (2013)
Countown To Extinction: Live (2013)
Dystopia (2016)

Rusted Pieces (VHS) (1991,oop) Exposure Of A Dream (DVD, oop) (1992)
Evolver: The Making Of Youthanasia (VHS) (1995)
Rusted Pieces (DVD, UK only) (2000)
VH-1 Behind The Music (Extended Version) (VHS/DVD) (2001)
Rude Awakening (live) (DVD) (2002)
Video Hits (DVD) (2005)
Greatest Hits: Back To The Start (DVD) (2005)
Arsenal Of Megadeth (DVD) (2006)
Gigantour (DVD) (2006)
That One Night: Live In Buenos Aires (DVD) (2007)
Gigantour 2 (2008)
Rust In Peace Live (DVD/BR) (2010)
The Big Four: Live From Sofia, Bulgaria (DVD/BR) (2010)

Genre: Other

Origin US

Added: January 31st 2005
Reviewer: Gary Carson
Artist website:
Hits: 986
Language: english


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