Megadeth is an American heavy metal band led by founder, frontman, and songwriter Dave Mustaine. The group was formed in 1983 following Mustaine's ejection from Metallica, and has since released ten studio albums, three EP's, and two live albums. Megadeth is one of the most commercially successful heavy metal bands, selling more than 20 million albums worldwide, including the Grammy nominated multi-platinum Countdown to Extinction.  In the US alone, Megadeth have received four platinum records, six gold records, and seven Grammy nominations for Best Metal Performance. Megadeth disbanded in 2002 following a severe nerve injury suffered by Mustaine, but after undergoing physical therapy, Mustaine reformed the band in 2004 and released The System Has Failed, which debuted at #18 on the Billboard pop albums chart.
Megadeth is well known for their distinctive guitar style, often involving complex, intricate musical passages, and trade off guitar solos.  Dave Mustaine is also known for his original vocal style, as well as his reoccuring lyrical themes, often involving politics, war, addiction, and more recently, relationships.
In their 21 active years, Megadeth has had 19 official members, with Mustaine remaining as the driving force, main songwriter, and sole original member. Megadeth is often mentioned as one of the "Big Four" thrash metal bands, along with Metallica, Anthrax, and Slayer.
Megadeth is known for their often recurring lyrical topics. War and military themes, and in particular nuclear war (as in "Set The World Afire," originally titled "Megadeth") are a common theme for many of the band's songs. The name Megadeth is a deliberate misspelling of the word megadeath, a term coined in 1953 by RAND military strategist Herman Kahn to describe one million deaths, popularized in his 1960 book On Thermonuclear War. Beyond nuclear war, topics also include the military-industrial complex ("Architecture of Aggression", "Hangar 18", "Take No Prisoners"), the aftermath of war ("Ashes In Your Mouth"), and sectarian violence ("Holy Wars... The Punishment Due"). Politics are also a common theme to many Megadeth songs, such as Mustaine's scathing assessment of Tipper Gore, the PMRC, and music censorship in the song "Hook In Mouth".  Mustaine takes an environmentalist stance in "Countdown to Extinction" and "Dawn Patrol", and shuns dictators in songs like "Warhorse", and "Symphony of Destruction". Mustaine's general cynicism about politics shines through on tracks like "Peace Sells",  "The World Needs A Hero" and "Blackmail the Universe".
Controversial and misunderstood lyrics have caused problems for the band, as the music video for "In My Darkest Hour" was banned from MTV in 1988, when the music channel deemed the song to be pro-suicide. The music video for "A Tout Le Monde" was later banned by MTV, again wrongly interpreted as being pro suicide, when in fact it was written from the perspective of a dead person, saying their last words to their loved ones.
"Tornado of Souls" describes Mustaine's fight to finally get himself off drugs,  while "Use the Man" is about a former substance abuse counselor who died of a drug overdose. Recently, some lyrics have taken on religious themes, including "Truth Be Told", which tells the biblical story of Cain and Abel, and "Shadow of Deth", with spoken lyrics taken directly from Psalm 23 of the King James Bible.
See Megadeth discography