Tune Talk Battles: Metallica vs. MegaDeth

Willie Williams, Staff Writer

This is the first time that I’ve decided to put two rivalry bands together. So today, I’m gonna be choosing between Metallica and MegaDeth. Which metal band is better? Now don’t get me wrong, I love Metallica and MegaDeth. I’ve actually saw MegaDeth just last year on their “Dystopia” tour. But, just because I’ve seen them play live, doesn’t mean that all my Metallica shirts and albums don’t mean anything to me. Now, Metallica started in 1981, with MegaDeth’s current front man, Dave Mustaine, as the lead guitar, James Hetfield was on the rhythm guitar and vocals, with Lars Ulrich on the drums and Cliff Burton was playing the bass. Dave’s behavior with the band was very unsettling with the rest of the group, as all of the band members said that Dave was overly aggressive, abusive, a huge alcoholic, and way too deep into drugs. Dave was kicked out of Metallica in 1983 just before the release of Metallica’s very first album “Kill ‘Em All”, and Dave came up with his own band, MegaDeth.

Dave was very unhappy that Metallica used the song that he wrote, “The Four Horseman,” but whenever he asked for the song before Metallica put it on the album, Hetfield told Mustaine that it was under Metallica’s name, and the song was intended for Metallica so it was indeed their song, not Dave’s. In 1983, Dave recruited bass guitarist Lee Rash, drummer Dijon Carruthers, and guitarist Greg Hadevidt. They didn’t actually release anything until 1985 and that was whenever “Killing Is My Business… and Business Is Good!” was released.  Nobody seemed to pay attention to that album since Metallica came out with their greatest album, at least I think it’s the best album, “Ride the Lightning” the year before and people were still listening to that one.

MegaDeth didn’t actually come to the spotlight fully until 1986 whenever “Peace sells…But Who’s Buying?” was released and of course, the song MegaDeth is  best known for,“Peace Sells.” While this one song was being playing on rock radio stations worldwide, Metallica came out with yet another breakthrough album, “Master of Puppets.” This was actually funny because it not only seemed that Dave copied off of Metallica’s logo, but he also made sure to wait until Metallica released an album so he could release his own with his band. This year was not only the breakthrough for metal music, but it was also tragic, since Cliff Burton, Metallica’s bass player had died in a bus accident on September 27th, 1986, as he was only 24 years old. Burton is mostly known for his introduction in the song “From Whom the Bell Tolls” from Metallica’s “Ride the Lightning,” as it sounds like a great guitar solo from Kirk Hammett,  but it was actually a bass solo that Burton played.

Metallica recruited Jason Newsted to take the place of Burton due to his death, and did not release anything in 1988 and that was whenever “…And Justice for All” was released and MegaDeth of course also released another album, “So For, So Good…So what!” which I’ve actually never heard of. My dad is the MegaDeth fan so he probably knows all about this album,  but I don’t recognize any of these MegaDeth songs. I only know from “Peace Sells” to MegaDeth’s 1990 album, “Rust in Peace,” which got MegaDeth back into the spotlight with songs like “Holy Wars…The Punishment Due,” “Hangar 18,” and “Rest in Peace….Polaris.” Metallica waited a year after, probably getting tired of being copied by Mustaine, and came out with “The Black album,” which had “Enter Sandman,” “The Unforgiven,” “Sad But True,” “Holier Than Thou,” and so many more great songs. Dave was actually interviewed about this album and said the only good song is “The Unforgiven” which is what my dad says, but we obviously don’t have the same taste in music since he said “Ride the Lightning” is a waste of money and time, and it’s Metallica’s “worst album.” Don’t ever listen to my dad about music.

Anyways, back on track in 1992, “Countdown to Extinction” was released by MegaDeth and Metallica actually stayed silent while this album came out. This album contained great metal hits like “Skin of my Teeth,” “Countdown to Extinction,” “Symphony of Destruction,” and “Sweating Bullets.” About two years later they released another album, “Youthanasia,” and still nothing from Metallica as Metallica was on a huge tour for their “Black album.”

I’ve actually still have yet to listen to “Youthanasia,” so no opinions from me there. In 1996, Metallica finally came out with an album titled, “Load,” where MegaDeth waited until 1997 to come out with “Cryptic Writings,” but Metallica came right back out with “Reload,” which got Metallica got more fame with their song “Fuel,” which almost everybody knows. And just before the 2000’s hit, MegaDeth released “Risk.”

Every two or three years a new album was released for each band. Not only in my opinion but in metal fans opinions, MegaDeth was having much better hits and success than MegaDeth between 2003 and 2008. They had albums like in 2004 when “The System Has Failed” was released and that really had an effect on me and my childhood, as I love that album. 2007 had “United Abominations,” and in 2009 they had released “Endgame.” All of those albums were actually destroying Metallica albums like “Death Magnetic.” But no need to worry, Metallica fans, because MegaDeth came out with “Super Collider” and lots of fans were putting the hate on that album. I personally haven’t even listened to it yet, so I don’t know if it truly is horrible or not, but I’ve heard buzz that’s MegaDeth worst work between 2000 to 2013.

In 2016 both of these bands released great and very extremely successful albums, Metallica’s “Hardwired to Self-Destruct,” and MegaDeth’s “Dystopia.” It took me a very long time to think and pick my favorite album between these two albums, I finally decided that I definitely listen and appreciate Metallica’s album way more than MegaDeth’s. I couldn’t believe that people were dissing both of these bands new albums, saying they should go back to what they did back in the 80’s, but honestly I love both of these new albums. Now, MegaDeth already went on tour for their Dystopia album, and I’ve already seen them play live in Pittsburgh, but Metallica is actually working on a fall tour starting in October and they’re actually coming to the United States, and they’re playing in the Bryce Jordan Center on a Saturday. I plan on going to this concert with a few friends and my mom is actually coming with me, as she used to like a few Metallica songs back in the day, but I’m looking forward to seeing them play live with all the really cool pyrotechnics they’ve got. I honestly really look up to Kirk Hammett as a guitar player, and if I was to change my music playing genre from alternative rock/grunge to heavy metal, I would definitely look up to Kirk. Alright, now that I’ve covered everything between these bands, I’ve very clearly made my choice clear that Metallica has won this battle, as they changed thrash metal with “Ride the Lightning,” “Kill ‘Em All,” “Master of Puppets,’ and so on, but they’ve continued to rock the world even though albums like “Reload,” and “Load,” as well as “Death Magnetic.” While they haven’t gotten them all the way to the top, it got them somewhere. Metallica will always be the supreme to MegaDeth.