Gig review: Megadeth, Glasgow

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Given his intense, decades-long feud with Metallica over, apparently, one of them kicking his dog, it would be a braver woman than I who would accuse Dave Mustaine’s Megadeth of mellowing out.

Megadeth - Academy, Glasgow

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Yet – whisper it – their latest album Super Collider has a gentler, almost melodic sound which has infuriated diehard fans of the faster-than-the-rest thrash metal which, along with Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax, they pioneered in the 80s. It’s understandable why Mustaine, now in his fifties, cleaned-up and a born-again Christian, might want to slow down. Yet while older metallers like Robert Plant or Ozzy Osbourne have managed to reinvent themselves, it’s hard to see the point of sedate thrash.

But if there’s a Megadeth backlash, it was not evident last night, as a near-sold out crowd seemed as fired up as Mustaine and his current line-up (bassist David Ellefson and two newer members) who delivered a relentless set. The focus, understandably, was on the older material, mostly from the Rust In Peace and Countdown To Extinction albums, but the band’s commitment to powering through made even the more recent stuff work.

There was just enough melodic variation to keep it from being sludgy, but it was really about the pace of those raging guitars and pounding drums, conveying the energy that made thrash so exciting in the first place. You probably can’t sustain it for a lifetime, but over a couple of hours, with the help of a passionate audience, they staved off the dying of the light for just a while longer.