Megadeth: Countdown to Extinction [1992]

Released July 14, 1992
Recorded Between January 6 and April 28, 1992
Genre Thrash metalheavy metal
Length 48:27
66:29 (Remaster)
Label CapitolCombat
Producer Max NormanDave Mustaine

Countdown to Extinction is the fifth studio album by the American heavy metal band Megadeth. It was released on July 14, 1992 through Capitol RecordsCountdown to Extinction is Megadeth’s best-selling album, eventually achieving double platinum status. The album also produced the band’s most successful hit singles, “Symphony of Destruction“, “Sweating Bullets“, “Skin O’ My Teeth” and “Foreclosure of a Dream“, videos were made for all singles and also for “High Speed Dirt”. This was the last album to feature theCombat Records company logo on the back of the album.

Countdown to Extinction was nominated for Best Metal Performance at the 1993 Grammy Awards and the title track of the album won the Humane Society‘s Genesis Award, making Megadeth the only heavy metal band to be given this honor.

According to the 2004 remastered version liner notes, Mustaine was upset with the album only reaching number two on the charts (behind Billy Ray Cyrus), and thus set out to make a number one album.

In 2012, in recognition of the album’s 20th anniversary, the band kicked off a 20th anniversary tour in South America, playing the album in its entirety.[1] In addition, a 20th anniversary special edition of the album is to be released.

Track listing

No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. Skin o’ My Teeth Mustaine Mustaine 3:14
2. Symphony of Destruction Mustaine Mustaine 4:03
3. “Architecture of Aggression” Mustaine Ellefson, Mustaine 3:35
4. Foreclosure of a Dream Ellefson, Mustaine Mustaine 4:16
5. Sweating Bullets” (5:27 on the 2004 rerelease) Mustaine Mustaine 5:03
6. “This Was My Life” Mustaine Mustaine 3:43
7. “Countdown to Extinction” Ellefson, Menza, Mustaine Friedman, Mustaine 4:19
8. “High Speed Dirt” (4:21 on the 2004 rerelease) Ellefson, Mustaine Mustaine 4:13
9. “Psychotron” Mustaine Mustaine; Friedman (solo fills) 4:42
10. “Captive Honour” Ellefson, Mustaine Friedman, Menza, Mustaine 4:15
11. “Ashes in Your Mouth” Mustaine Ellefson, Friedman, Menza, Mustaine 6:11
Total length:


1. Skin O’my Teeth


I had wrists donning slits
Flowing constantly
My broken body in a wreck
Wrapped around a tree
A crosswalk hit and run
The finish line for me
People clutter in the gutter
Take a look and see

No escaping pain
You belong to me
Clinging on to life
By the skin o’my teeth

My blood flows through the streets
Deluge from the wounds
Empty jars of sleeping pills
On the dresser in my room
My wet brain neighbor cranes
His neck in time to see
The white lights a train
Bearing down on me

[Solo – Marty]

I won’t feel the hurt
I’m not trash any longer
That that doesn’t kill me
Only makes me stronger
I need a ride to the morgue
That’s what 911 is for
So, tag my toe and don’t forget
Ooh to close the drawer


2. Symphony Of Destruction


You take a mortal man,
And put him in control
Watch him become a god
Watch peoples heads a’roll

Just like the Pied Piper
Led rats through the streets
We dance like marionettes
Swaying to the Symphony …
Of Destruction

Acting like a robot
Its metal brain corrodes
You try to take its pulse
Before the head explodes

[Solo – Marty]

The earth starts to rumble
World powers fall
A’warring for the heavens
A peaceful man stands tall


3. Architecture Of Aggression


Born from the dark,
In the black cloak of night.
To envelop its prey below,
Deliver to the light.
To eliminate your enemy,
Hit them in their sleep,
And when all is won and lost,
The spoils of wars are yours to keep.

Great nations built from the bones of the dead
With mud and straw, blood and sweat,
You know your worth when your enemies
Praise your architecture of aggression

[Solo : Marty]

Ensuing power vacuum
A toppled leader dies
His body fuels the power fire
And the flames rise to the sky
One side of his face a kiss
The other genocide
Time to pay with your ass
A worldwide suicide

[Solo : Marty]

Born from the dark
In the black cloak of night
To envelop its prey below
Deliver to the light
To eliminate your enemy
Hit them in their sleep
And when all is won and lost
The spoils of war are yours to keep


4. Foreclosure Of A Dream

[Mustaine – Ellefson]

Rise so high, yet so far to fall
A plan of dignity and balance for all
Political breakthrough, euphoria’s high
More borrowed money, more borrowed time
Backed in a corner, caught up in the race
Means to an end ended in disgrace
Perspective is lost in the spirit of the chase

Foreclosure of a dream
Those visions never seen
Until all is lost
Personal holocaust
Foreclosure of a dream

Barren land that once filled a need
Are worthless now, dead without a deed
Slipping away from an iron grip
Nature’s scales are forced to tip
The heartland cries, loss of all pride
To leave ain’t believing, so try and be tried
Insufficient funds, insanity and suicide

[Solo : Dave]

Now with new hope some will be proud
This is no hoax, no one pushed out
Receive a reprieve and be a pioneer
Break new ground of a new frontier
New ideas will surely get by
No deed, or dividend. Some may ask “Why?”
You’ll find the solution, the answer’s in the sky

[Solo : Marty]

Rise so high, yet so far to fall
A plan of dignity and balance for all
Political breakthrough, euphoria’s high
More borrowed money, more borrowed time



5. Sweating Bullets


Hello me … Meet the real me
And my misfits way of life
A dark black past is my
Most valued possessions
Hindsight is always 20-20
But looking back it’s still a bit fuzzy
Speak of mutually assured destruction?
Nice story … Tell it to Reader’s Digest!!!

Feeling paranoid
True enemy or false friend?
Anxiety’s attacking me, and
My air is getting thin
I’m in trouble for the things
I haven’t got to yet
I’m chomping at the bit and my
Palms are getting wet, sweating bullets

Hello me … It’s me again
You can subdue, but never tame me
It gives me a migraine headache
Thinking down to your level
Yea, just keep on thinking it’s my fault
And stay an inch or two outta kicking distance
Mankind has got to know
His limitations

Feeling claustrophobic
Like the walls are closing in
Blood stains on my hands and
I don’t know where I’ve been
I’m in trouble for the things
I haven’t got to yet
I’m sharpening the axe, and my
Palms are getting wet, sweating bullets

[Solo : Dave]

Well, me … It’s nice talking to myself
A credit to dementia
Some day you too will know my pain
And smile its blacktooth grin
If the war inside my head
Won’t take a day off I’ll be dead
My icy fingers claw your back
Here I come again

Feeling paranoid
True enemy or false friend?
Anxiety’s attacking me, and
And my air is getting thin
Feeling claustrophobic
Like the walls are closing in
Blood stains on my hands and
I don’t know where I’ve been
Once you committed me
Now you’ve acquitted me
Claiming validity
For your stupidity
I’m chomping at the bit
I’m sharpening the axe
Here I come again, whoa!
Sweating bullets

6. This Was My Life


It was just another day
It was just another fight
It was words strung into sentences
It was doomed to not be right

There is something wrong with me
There is something wrong with you
There is nothing left of us
There is one thing I can do

Lying on your bed
Examining my head
This is the part of me that hates
Paybacks are a bitch
I throw the switch
Somewhere an electric chair awaits
Hey! This was my life
Hey! This was my fate

This was the wrong thing to do
This was the wrong one to be doing
This was the road to destiny
This was the road to my ruin

Now there’s motives for the suspect
Now there’s nothing left to say
Now there’s method to the madness
Now there’s society to pay


In our life there’s if
In our beliefs there’s lie
In our business there’s sin
In our bodies there’s die

[Solo : Dave]

This was my life
This was my fate

7. Countdown To Extinction

[Mustaine – Ellefson – Menza – Friedman]

Endangered species, caged in fright
Shot in cold blood, no chance to fight
The stage in set, now pay the price
An ego boost don’t think twice
Technology, the battle’s unfair
You pull the hammer without a care
Squeeze the trigger that makes you Man
Pseudo-safari, the hunt is canned …
The hunt is canned

All are gone, all but one
No contest, nowhere to run
No more left, only one
This is it, this is the Countdown to Extinction

Tell the truth, you wouldn’t dare
The skin and thophy, oh so rare
Silence speaks louder than words
Ignore the guilt, and take your turn
Liars anagram is “lairs”
Man you were never even there
Killed a few feet from the cages
Point blank, you’re so courageous …
So courageous


One hour from now
Another species of life form
Will disappear off the face of the planet
Forever … and the rate is accelerating

8. High Speed Dirt

[Mustaine – Ellefson]

Do it if you dare
Leaping from the sky
Hurling through the air
Exhilarating high
See the earth below
Soon to make a crater
Blue sky, black death
I’m off to meet my maker

Energy of the Gods, adrenalin surge
Won’t stop ’til I hit the ground, I’m on my way for sure
Up here in the air, this will never hurt
I’m on my way to impact, taste the high speed dirt

Paralyzed with fear
Feel velocity gain
Entering a near
Catatonic state
Pressure of the sound
Roaring through my head
Crash into the ground
Damned if I’ll be dead


Jump or Die!

[Solo : Dave, Marty]

Dropping all my weight
Going down full throttle
The pale horse awaits
Like a genie in a bottle
Fire in my veins
Faster as I go
I forgot my name
I’m a dirt torpedo

[Solo : Marty]

High Speed Dirt …

[Solo : Dave]

9. Psychotron


Assassin in stealth
Assailant from Hell
Impervious to damage
Computer on-board
Engaged in a war
Non-stop combatant
Maybe not a mutant, maybe a man

Part bionic
And organic
Not a cyborg
Call him Psychotron

Burning inside
Godspeed in glide
Battle plan running
A killing machine
Just downright mean
And forever cunning
Maybe not a mutant, maybe a man


Target to destroy
Arms in employ
Full assault fire threat
Sensors indicate
You will terminate
Life systems disconnect



10. Captive Honour

[Mustaine – Ellefson – Menza – Friedman]

Madness comes, and madness goes
An insane place, with insane moves
Battles without, for battles within
Where evil lives and evil rules
Breaking them up, just breaking them in
Quickest way out, quickest relief wins
Never disclose, never betray
Cease to speak or cease to breathe
And when you kill a man, you’re a murderer
Kill many, and you’re a conqueror
Kill them all … Ooh … Oh you’re a God!

Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury
Have you reached a verdict?

Yes, we have Your Honour, we find the defendant Guilty!
On all counts for crimes against all humanity

By virtue of the jury’s decision and the power
Vested in me by the state I hereby sentence you to be
Incarcerated with no possibility of parole for life

Life? … What do ya mean life? … I ain’t got a life

Boy! … Your soul better belong to Jesus! …
Hmmm-mmm cause your ass belongs to me!

Captive honour, ain’t no honour

No time for questions
No time for the games
Start kicking ass
And taking down the names
A long shit list
A shorter fuse
He is untouchable
And guarantees you’ll lose

Captive honour, ain’t no honour

[Solo : Dave]

Inside the big house
His nightmare unfolds
Before he got there
His manpussy was sold
Black, blanket welcome
This tough guy’s now a bitch
Praying for death
It can’t be worse than this

Captive honour, ain’t no honour

[Solo : Dave, Marty]

11. Ashes In Your Mouth

[Mustaine – Ellefson – Menza – Friedman]

People have round shoulders from fairing heavy loads
And the soldiers liberate them, laying mines along their roads
Sorrow paid for valor is too much to recall
Of the countless corpses piled up along the wailing wall

Melting down all metals, turning plows and sheats to swords
Shun words of the Bible, we need implements of war
Chalklines and red puddles of those who have been slain
Destiny, that crooked schemer, says the dead shall rise again

Where do we go from here?
And should we really care
The end is finally here
God have mercy!

Now we’ve rewritten history
The one thing we’ve found out
Sweet taste of vindication
It turns to ashes in your mouth


If you’re fighting to live
It’s OK to die!
The answer to your question is …
Welcome to tomorrow!

[Solo : Marty, Marty, Dave]

Where do we go from here?
God have mercy!


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