In the world of Heavy Metal, Megadeth are top level leaders. The creation of Dave Mustaine, who previously was a part of Metallica, Megadeth would go on to become Thrash Metal icons. Led by tremendous guitar work, some of their most legendary albums would have to include the 1985 debut Killing Is My Business… and Business Is Good!, but also 1988’s So Far, So Good… So What!. Looking deeper into the cast of musicians behind Megadeth at the time, some key pieces would have to include Bassist Dave Ellefson (on both albums) and Guitarist Jeff Young (for So Far, So Good… So What!). To exceptional players, together they join forces for Kings of Thrash.
A band formed to celebrate the golden age of Thrash Metal, Kings of Thrash first made their live debut in October of 2022. A line of west coast shows, the lineup included both Ellefson and Young, but former Megadeth Guitarist Chris Poland, Powerflo Drummer Fred Aching, and Vocalist Chaz Leon. Very solid, and piquing the interest of many Metal lovers, the initial performances included both Killing is My Business…and Business is Good, as well as So Far, So Good…So What!. Performing each album in its entirety, the show held at Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood, California is what they would like to call ‘the best of the west’… and it was captured for a special CD/DVD set.
Called Best Of The West – Live At The Whisky A Go Go, the two CDs & one DVD were put together for release by Cleopatra Records. Signing on with the label in early 2023, it was released on March 24th and is justifiably dubbed The MEGA Years because it not only includes both the aforementioned Megadeth records in their entirety, but also select tracks from 1986’s Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying?; such as “Good Mourning” “Devil’s Island,” as well as “Peace Sells.”
Rather cool, the live performances mix and match these songs from the classic Megadeth records for a lively concert of speedy, energetic Thrash. Making for a seventeen-song set in all, the tone, mood, and intent is spot on. Through it all you get to experience three key members of the band’s early years rock out on stage sounding extremely tight, but also proving that their bond is still strong. If anything, it also shows that through music, even when there are dark spots in time, we can triumph together and find light again.
Breaking down the physical format edition a bit further, the performance is split with seven songs for disc one, ten for disc two; both of which sound live, yet crisp. This is while the entire performance is presented visually on the DVD, and it is well worth watching more than once. Furthermore, the package is put together nicely and a perfect edition to any Megadeth fan’s extended collection.
Beyond this, Kings of Trash marched forward in 2023 with shows all the way through December 16th where they mixed in additional deep Megadeth cuts such as “I Ain’t Superstitious,” “Dawn Patrol,” “Holy Wars,” among others. A celebration of great tunes, it will be exciting to see what 2024 will bring next for the band. Until then, pick up a copy of Best Of The West – Live At The Whisky A Go Go, because Cryptic Rock gives this set 4 out of 5 stars.