Rust in Peace
Rust in Peace
Released September 24, 1990
Recorded 1989–90 at Rumbo Recorders in Canoga Park, California
Length 40:44
Number of tracks 12
Label Capitol
Previous Album
So Far, So Good... So What!
Next Album
Countdown to Extinction

Rust in Peace is the fourth studio album by American heavy metal band Megadeth. It was released by Capitol Records in 1990. A remixed and remastered version, featuring several bonus tracks, was released in 2004. A limited edition 180 Gram LP using the original mix was issued in the U.S. in 2008 by Capitol Records. This is the only remastered version of the original mix currently available.

According to "National Album Positioning Charts", Rust in Peace sold 1,116,700 albums in the United States.

Singles featured on the album include "Holy Wars... The Punishment Due", and "Hangar 18", both of which were made into music videos.

This was the first Megadeth album to feature guitarist Marty Friedman and drummer Nick Menza.

Rust in Peace was also nominated for Best Metal Performance at the 1991 Grammy Awards, but lost to Metallica's cover version of the Queen song "Stone Cold Crazy." At the 1991 Foundations Forum, it won a Concrete Foundations Award for Top Artist Radio Album.

The album was released for the Rock Band series on February 9, 2010.

Rust In Peace is considered one of the greatest heavy metal albums of all time.

In January 2010, the band announced that they will be doing a North American tour to commemorate the album's 20th anniversary. They will perform the whole album live including many tracks that have never been performed live, such as "Five Magics", "Poison Was the Cure", and "Rust in Peace...Polaris".


After being released from a twelve-step program, Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine had hired drummer Nick Menza and guitarist Marty Friedman to record Rust in Peace, creating what would become the band's first stable line-up, lasting to 1998. Bassist David Ellefson along with Mustaine remained from the previous line-up. Rust in Peace was produced by Mike Clink, who previously co-operated with Whitesnake and Guns N' Roses. Clink's job as producer contributed to the outcome of the record, with Mustaine being satisfied with the results.

Lyrical themesEdit

Politics, warfare and the environment are the main topics explored throughout the album, with songs such as "Rust in Peace... Polaris," which is about intercontinental ballistic missiles, and their effects on the world (Polaris refers to the Polaris missile); "Take No Prisoners," which is about prisoners of war; and "Holy Wars...The Punishment Due," which is a two-part song containing "Holy Wars," which is not referring to any historical place or event (although, according to some sources, was influenced by the reaction of the crowd to Mustaine's comment about unity of Ireland during a concert which took place there, despite the obvious reference to Israel on the lyrics) and "The Punishment Due," which is about the Marvel Comics character The Punisher, of which Mustaine was a huge fan at the time. "Dawn Patrol" is about the environment being destroyed by global warming and greenhouse gases.

"Five Magics" references to the obscure fantasy film Goreblade: Warrior King of the Universe, in which the hero who lives by the sword must master the five magics to become Warrior King and marry the princess, although he is warned that the power could corrupt him as it did the previous master.


Allmusic cited Rust in Peace as "Megadeth's strongest musical effort".

The album was certified Platinum in 1994, and received Grammy nominations in 1991 and 1992 for Best Metal Performance.

IGN named Rust in Peace the 4th most influential heavy metal album of all time, after Metallica's Master of Puppets, Black Sabbath's Paranoid and Iron Maiden's The Number of the Beast.

Rust In Peace was selected by fans at the BNR Metal Pages as the greatest heavy metal album of all time, beating out classics as Judas Priest's Stained Class, Black Sabbath's Paranoid, Iron Maiden's The Number of the Beast and others. The poll was created using a tournament format, with Rust In Peace beating Metallica's Master of Puppets in the final round.


In 2002, Mustaine remastered the debut Megadeth album, Killing Is My Business... and Business Is Good!. Inspired by the positive outcome of the re-release, he worked to remaster all of the subsequent Megadeth albums which had been recorded with Capitol Records (up to 1999's Risk).

Rust in Peace was re-released in 2004 with a new sound and four new bonus tracks. During the audio mixing process, Mustaine found that the original lead vocal tracks for "Take No Prisoners", "Five Magics" and "Lucretia" were missing — he had no choice but to re-record the vocals on "Take No Prisoners" and use alternate takes for "Lucretia" and "Five Magics" and possibly "Rust in Peace... Polaris" as the second verse differs slightly from the original.


The album's artwork was created by longtime Megadeth artist Ed Repka. It shows band mascot Vic Rattlehead and the leaders of the five major world powers (at the time) attending a secret meeting in Hangar 18, with Vic in the foreground presiding over the body of an alien.

The world leaders, from left to right, are former British Prime Minister John Major, former Japanese Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu, former German President Richard von Weizsäcker, former Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, and former American President George H. W. Bush.


No. Title Composer Length
1. "Holy Wars... The Punishment Due" Dave Mustaine 6:36
2. "Hangar 18" Mustaine 5:14
3. "Take No Prisoners" Mustaine 3:28
4. "Five Magics" Mustaine 5:42
5. "Poison Was the Cure" Mustaine 2:58
6. "Lucretia" Mustaine, David Ellefson 3:58
7. "Tornado of Souls" Mustaine, Ellefson 5:22
8. "Dawn Patrol" Mustaine, Ellefson 1:50
9. "Rust in Peace... Polaris" (5:44 on reissue) Mustaine 4:28
Total length:

2004 bonus tracks

No. Title Composer Length
10. "My Creation" Mustaine, Nick Menza 1:36
11. "Rust in Peace... Polaris" (Demo) Mustaine 5:25
12. "Holy Wars... The Punishment Due" (Demo) Mustaine 6:16
13. "Take No Prisoners" (Demo) Mustaine 3:23



Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.