The original studio album ”Return to Metalopolis” was a part of the wave of instrumental records that it was fashionable for “guitar-heroes” to do in the 80’s and early 90’s, and one of those that every guitar-hero-wannabe had to have on his shelf. And this album being focused more on “the good riff” than showing off how fast you could play, or how equilibristic solos it was possible to do, already then set it apart from most of the other albums in that genre, and made it a classic.
Back in 1990, when the original album was issued, Chris Poland was promoted as “ex-Megadeth guitarist” (having played on the first two Megadeth albums), and it was also what made me buy it back then. And the style in riffing was very recognizable from “Peace Sells…” to “Return…”, with some melodic parts and different guitar sounds added on “Return…”, but clearly with the emphasis on the rhythm and riffing – sort of a cross between Megadeth and early Joe Satriani. On “Peace Sells…” only Mustaine is credited for the song writing, but judging from the tracks on “Return…”, Chris Poland must have had quite some influence on, how the composition and sound of the tracks on the first two Megadeth records was.
This is the only known live material recorded on the short support tour in 1991 for the release of “Return To Metalopolis”, and it’s obvious in the sound quality that it’s more than 15 years old; on the other hand the sound is quite okay considering the possibilities of recording at that time, and there hasn’t been tampered with the original tape – no overdubs or nothin’, no tricks – it is as they played it – respect!!
Actually the concert is the first 6 tracks, and only three of them are from the original “Return…” album, so for you who already has the original studio album, there are two “new” C.P. tracks to be found here, and a version of the Megadeth number “Wake Up Dead” from “Peace Sells…”. Bass players Dave Randi “sings” on “Wake Up Dead”, but enjoy it for the playing…
On the CD is also three other tracks: An unreleased studio demo with the trio; a B-side from the first OHM: studio album (2003) somewhat more fusion-jazzy than the rest, and a video of OHM: doing a 1999 reworked version of “Alexandria” from the original “Return…” studio album; neither sound nor picture is perfect on the last, but a funny gimmick it is.
This is really a gem for old fans of Chris Poland and Megadeth, and if you’re a guitar player in metal and own neither of these albums, go get the studio album first, and if you dig his playing, get this one as well.