“Anthology: Set The World Afire” by Megadeth

Artist: Megadeth
Title: “Anthology: Set The World Afire”
Label: Capitol Records/EMI Music
Release Date: 9/30/2008
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 4.5/5

It seemed like only yesterday that we found this very label releasing a “Greatest Hits” compilation by those stalwarts of the Heavy Metal way Megadeth and while it was true that the release would deliver the goods when it came down to pure and intelligent Metal, the time had clearly come for the game to be upgraded and for this idea to be visited once again. That Greatest Hits package was a single disc seventeen track affair and it managed to cover a lot of ground which definitely served the needs of the bands fan base but now with the labeling being that of an Anthology, we would now get two discs and the material would span some thirty three tracks. From top to bottom, everything that you expect to find on such a release is here to be enjoyed and examined from an early career to most recent viewpoint. Of course with the band now being on Roadrunner Records, we don’t find anything from their latest album “United Abominations” but we do go up as far as “Risk” and “Cryptic Writings”. All of the staple tracks from the bands beginnings are here and while it seems as though every song that we found on “Greatest Hits” is made available here, we do find that “Symphony Of Destruction” is a live version and “Mechanix” this time around is the original for on the hits release a couple of years ago gave us a remix from 2002. A second live track is offered up with a rousing version of “Peace Sells” from 1992 and if that doesn’t please you enough there is a demo track called “High Speed Dirt” from a 1992 session to enjoy. The bonus content was good enough in my opinion but with a release like this I lean towards the classic tracks that made me a fan of the band in the first place. They provide a several page booklet but it really doesn’t offer much to that kind of fan who loves to read something while the album is playing. It just lines out the individual tracks and lets you know what album they have originally come from. There are a few but not a lot of photos between these pages to enjoy as well and these depict four different lineups of the band from across the years.

The timing of this anthology’s release struck me as interesting because it arrived on the shelves only a few short weeks after the “long-awaited return” of Metallica who had just delivered their latest studio album “Death Magnetic”. Having heard that release I was happy to find the band returning to a truer format and sound and above all one that properly depicted them as a Heavy Metal band. The most interesting part of that release when I had listened to it, was finding that Metallica had finally opted to go back to the roots of that which made them great in the first place as opposed to continuing their stagnation with material that we found on the likes of “Re-Load” and “St. Anger”. This being sad, I can now go back and say that when comparing all of that to a full body of Megadeth work is that the band for the most part had always remained relevant and true to their nature. There was never any real experimentation with slowing it down or changing the groove and instead it was always balls to the wall Metal. I give Mustaine tremendous amounts of kudos and respect for his resolve never being anything less than firm and I feel that when comparing them album to album has brought far more Metal that inspired and promoted individual thought than his peers could have ever hoped to do. Each of them might have had a snag release here and there but pound for pound Metallica released far more turkeys into the wild than Megadeth ever has. Congrats Dave on a job well done, we raise the lighters to you and of course the ever famous horns. The label has also released a gigantic boxed set called “Warchest” and this is something for the collector and diehard fan to take a look at. It even comes in a super cool looking bullet laden case. Talk about something impressive for your CD shelves. There is a DVD in there as well with a vintage show and the CD’s include rarities and outtakes.

Track Listing:
1. Mechanix
2. Rattlehead
3. Peace Sells (But Who’s Buying)
4. Wake Up Dead
5. Devil’s Island
6. Anarchy In The U.K.
7. Set The World On Fire
8. Into The Lungs Of Hell
9. In My Darkest Hour
10. Holy Wars…The Punishment Due
11. Tornado Of Souls
12. Hangar 18
13. Take No Prisoners
14. Go To Hell
15. Sweating Bullets
16. Crown Of Worms
17. High Speed Dirt (demo)
18. Skin O’ My Teeth
19. Ashes In Your Mouth
20. Breakpoint
21. Angry Again
22. Train Of Consequences
23. Reckoning Day (live)
24. A Tout Le Monde
25. The Killing Road
26. New World Order
27. Trust
28. She-Wolf
29. Insomnia
30. Prince Of Darkness
31. Kill The King
32. Dread And The Fugitive Mind
33. Foreclosure Of A Dream
34. Symphony Of Destruction (live)
35. Peace Sells (live)

Official Website: http://www.megadeth.com

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