- Megadeth: Dave Mustaine (vocals, guitar); Marty Friedman (guitar, background vocals); David Ellefson (bass, background vocals); Nick Menza (drums, background vocals).
- Recorded at The Enterprise, Burbank, California from January 6 to April 28, 1992.
- Megadeth achieved massive success with their aggressive fourth album, RUST IN PEACE, and its follow-up, 1992's COUNTDOWN TO EXTINCTION, combined the band's trademark thrash metal with hints of the more mainstream territory that would be further charted on the subsequent YOUTHANASIA. However, on COUNTDOWN, Megadeth never sacrifice their characteristic crunch. "Symphony of Destruction" and "Skin o' My Teeth" boast a slightly streamlined sound, but the anger, sarcasm and signature snarl of frontman Dave Mustaine remain wholly intact. By this time, many major thrash groups had started slowing things down a bit, and Megadeth showed they could be just as powerful doing midtempo rockers as they could with high-velocity barnstormers. As always, Mustaine's dark lyrics tackle a range of personal, social and political topics, the former best exemplified by the multifaceted "Sweating Bullets," which features Mustaine carrying on a dialogue with his own tortured psyche.
Spin (12/92, p.69) - Ranked #20 in Spin's list of the `20 Best Albums Of The Year' - "...Not many metal bands can muster the formidable chops Megadeth exhibits on COUNTDOWN..."
Entertainment Weekly (7/24/92, p.59) - "...Megadeth's fifth and meatiest album...seethes with angry politics...The music has lost its hurricane verve but keeps its crunch, and feels more rooted, even more melodic..." Rating: A-
Q (9/92, p.78) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...Megadeth play a multi-layered, highly-charged style of metal guitar music that's fast, flashy and infectious...Megadeth will take you one louder..."
Reflex (11/10/92, p.73) - "...impressively clean, streamlined, and sharp...brimming with killing riffs...[singer] Mustaine's never sounded more confident, verbally and vocally..."