Reviewed by Austin Powell, Fri., Dec. 7, 2007
Megadeth's Dave Mustaine is thrash metal's pre-eminent master of puppets, wielding nihilistic tales of Orwellian warfare and nuclear holocaust through an unwavering march of guitars. Mirroring Slayer's Soundtrack to the Apocalypse in both content and packaging, Warchest is a career-spanning 4-CD/1-DVD collection that provides the group's essential ammunition and includes a 32-page color booklet, detailed discography, and a fair amount of audio commentary. The veteran Bay Area outfit bears its influences throughout like a coat of arms, boasting covers of Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper, and a session take of the Sex Pistols' "Anarchy in the U.K." and "Problems." Vintage Megadeth cuts from Killing Is My Business ... and Business Is Good, Peace Sells ... but Who's Buying?, and Rust in Peace rightfully dominate the first two discs and both the live album, at London's Wembley Stadium in 1990 and featuring Diamond Head vocalist Sean Harris on "It's Electric," and the stellar DVD, shot two years later at Hammersmith Odeon. The third disc plays Russian roulette, only a few real bullets in the chamber between 1997's Cryptic Writings and 2001's The World Needs a Hero ("Trust" and "Kill the King"), but shoots to kill with the closing coupling of "Kick the Chair" and "Of Mice and Men" from Megadeth's 2004 comeback, The System Has Failed, following Mustaine's bout with radial neuropathy and the return of guitarist Chris Poland. This Warchest was built for the bunkers.