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Megadeth - Behind the Music
Warner Vision/Warner Vision . R4 . COLOR . 76 mins . MA15+ . NTSC


Behind the Music is a series of made for television specials on varying musical artists, giving a behind the scenes look at the artist and their history. The focus this time around is heavy metal bad boys Megadeth. The difference with this release to the one that aired on US television is that here we have the extended version and a few extras.

When you utter the name Megadeth, parents cringe and teenagers pay attention. Well thatís the way it used to be in the mid-eighties when these thrash metal kings were at their peak. Nowadays, the name and the sound donít have the same shock impact they once did (or the same line-up) but the past antics of the band are there in the annals of rock history for the whole world to see. Forming in 1983, the intention was to become the hardest and fastest metal band in the world, the biggest obstacle to that crown was Metallica. The competition between the two bands raged for years and truly was a battle of the bands.

This is moreso the story of front man and creator Dave Mustaine as opposed to the story of Megadeth, but separating the two is practically impossible - the man lives and breathes his creation. From his early childhood at the hands of an alcoholic father to his discovery of drugs and alcohol himself, this tortured young man had only one thing in his sights, to become a rock musician. This was his intended future, even though he didnít believe he had one. Having once been a founding member of Metallica, he was not too happy at being sacked by them in 1981 for being too maniacal and made it his main goal in life to become bigger and better than his former band mates.

"I know what Iím doing and Iím doing what I know!"

This truly is the story of a self-destructive band for it was not only Mustaine that had an addiction to drugs. Spending their first few years completely oblivious to reality, they lived hard and fast with no fear of the consequences. Many line-up changes have occurred over the twenty-year history of Megadeth and many hotel rooms have been destroyed in the process, but the music remains. Selling over 20 million albums worldwide, they are not only fortunate to be still recording today, but also moreso to still be alive. Dave Mustaine, the "chief architect of Armageddon" has matured since those days, either through almost dying or from finally kicking his many addictions, but his passion for music is still there.

There are many interviews with former band mates and crew, as well as Alice Cooper and Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield from Metallica in this documentary. Being such a driven, drunken and aggressive person, the first expectation was that Mustaine would have made a lot of enemies over the years. Maybe they are out there but the people interviewed here had nothing but good things to say. There are snippets of songs, but fans expecting anything more in the way of music will be disappointed. There are some songs used to back the menus though and a full-length video in the extras. Either way, this is a very well made documentary that will be enjoyed by fans of the band and rock history alike.

The only minor disappointment with this release for me is the annoying ad break promos that appear every now and then. Obviously added when this went to air on American TV, could they have not been removed for the DVD release? Having said that though, they do not ruin the experience, they are just a slight annoyance.


Presented in full frame and therefore not 16x9 enhanced, the video transfer is of quite a high standard. Colours are vivid and true, although a little over-saturated at times. A lot of older footage is used and even the quality of this is good. Detail is generally good and blacks are deep. There is occasional aliasing, but nothing too serious with some minor artefacts and grain on the older footage used. It should also be noted that this is an NTSC release.

Audio supplied is a choice of Dolby Digital 2.0 or 5.1. There is little to choose between the two, the only major difference being mild use of the rear speakers on the DD 5.1 for atmospheric enhancement. The subwoofer doesnít get a lot of action, as this is mainly dialogue driven, but it does do a little work during the brief musical sections. Whichever your choice, you will be more than satisfied. Audio is clear at all times and synchronisation is never a problem.

Quite a few extras are supplied on this release - some good and some that are not what I would class as extras.

Moto Psycho Video is the full video that was too risky to show on MTV. Running for 3:14, thankfully the audio is again a choice of DD 2.0 or 5.1. Bonus Footage is a collection of footage not used in the main feature in the form of interviews. Discography is just that. It contains pictures of the bandís albums with text underneath stating the album title. There is no song listing, but a nice feature for those that are not familiar with the band is to see the clever titles used. Vital Stats is a fun feature with each current member of the band giving their vital stats. There's not too much information here, but it's good if you want to know their eye colour and what they would be if they werenít musicians. Web Links is simply links to the Megadeth site, the record company site and the VH1 site. Lastly is DVD Credits which is just one page of text on who was responsible for producing this release.

Overall this is a must have for Megadeth or heavy metal fans. A good insight into the creation of this band, the battle between Megadeth and Metallica and the tortured soul that is Dave Mustaine. Others will also enjoy this rockumentary, whether they can tolerate this type of music or not, as both the subject matter and the quality of production are very good. This is one of the best music documentaries out there so check it out.

Mega-loud, mega-fast, mega-good, Megadeth!

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  •   And I quote...
    "If heavy metal is like cannons going off then Megadeth are like napalm. "
    - Adrian Turvey
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          Akai DV-P2000
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          AKAI CT-29S55AT 68cm
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          Akai AM-SS1500
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