Megadeth is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California, formed in 1983. Founded by guitarist/vocalist Dave Mustaine and bassist David Ellefson following Mustaine's departure from Metallica, the band has since released twelve studio albums, six live albums, two EPs, twenty six singles, thirty-two music videos, and three compilations.
As a pioneer of the American thrash metal movement, Megadeth rose to international fame in the 1980s and was ranked as one of the "Big Four of Thrash", along with Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax, who were responsible for creating, developing and popularizing the thrash metal sub-genre. Megadeth has experienced numerous line-up changes, due partly to the band's notorious substance abuse problems. From 1983 to 2002, Mustaine and Ellefson were the only continuous members of the band. After finding sobriety and securing a stable line-up, Megadeth went on to release a string of platinum and gold albums, including the platinum-selling landmark Rust in Peace in 1990 and the Grammy nominated, multi-platinum Countdown to Extinction in 1992. Megadeth disbanded in 2002 after Mustaine suffered a severe nerve injury to his left arm. However, following extensive physical therapy, Mustaine reformed the band in 2004 and released The System Has Failed, followed by United Abominations in 2007; the albums debuted on the Billboard Top 200 chart at #18 and #8, respectively. Megadeth, along with their new lead guitarist Chris Broderick, released their twelfth studio album, titled Endgame, on September 15, 2009, which debuted at #9 on the Billboard 200.
In the band's 25 active years, Megadeth has had 20 official members, with Dave Mustaine remaining as the driving force and main songwriter.
Megadeth is known for its distinctive instrumental style, often featuring dense, intricate passages and trade off guitar solos. Mustaine is also known for his "snarling" vocal style, as well as his recurring lyrical themes including politics, war, addiction, personal relationships and religious themes.
Megadeth has sold close to 25 million albums worldwide, with five consecutive albums being certified platinum in the USA. The band has also been nominated for seven consecutive nominations for Best Metal Performance.