Sudden Death (song)

Last updated
"Sudden Death"
Sudden Death cover.jpg
Single by Megadeth
from the album Thirteen
ReleasedSeptember 28, 2010
Genre Thrash metal
Label Roadrunner
Songwriter(s) Dave Mustaine
Producer(s) Andy Sneap
Megadeth singles chronology
"The Right to Go Insane"
"Sudden Death"
"Public Enemy No. 1"

"Sudden Death" is a song by the American heavy metal band Megadeth. It was written by Dave Mustaine [1] for inclusion in the 2010 music video game Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock , which was released on September 28, 2010 in North America. [2] The song itself was released as a single with cover art [3] on iTunes on September 24, 2010, and on September 28, Roadrunner Records made the song available for streaming on its website. [4]

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

Megadeth American heavy metal band

Megadeth is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California. Guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassist David Ellefson formed the band in 1983 shortly after Mustaine's dismissal from Metallica. Along with Metallica, Anthrax, and Slayer, Megadeth is one of the "big four" of American thrash metal, responsible for its development and popularization. Their music features complex arrangements and fast rhythm sections, and lyrical themes of death, war, politics, and religion.


It is Megadeth's first release with bassist Dave Ellefson since 2002, following his return to the band in 2010. [5] [6] The song was well received by critics and was described as one of the hardest songs in the Guitar Hero franchise. Roadrunner Records submitted the song to consideration for Best Metal Performance at the 53rd Grammy Awards. [7] Several months later it was nominated, making it the band's second consecutive nomination, following "Head Crusher" in 2010, and band's ninth overall nomination in the category. [8] [9]

The Guitar Hero series is a series of music rhythm games first published in 2005 by RedOctane and Harmonix, and distributed by Activision, in which players use a guitar-shaped game controller to simulate playing lead, bass guitar, and rhythm guitar across numerous rock music songs. Players match notes that scroll on-screen to colored fret buttons on the controller, strumming the controller in time to the music in order to score points, and keep the virtual audience excited. The games attempt to mimic many features of playing a real guitar, including the use of fast-fingering hammer-ons and pull-offs and the use of the whammy bar to alter the pitch of notes. Most games support single player modes, typically a Career mode to play through all the songs in the game, and both competitive and cooperative multiplayer modes. With the introduction of Guitar Hero World Tour in 2008, the game includes support for a four-player band including vocals and drums. The series initially used mostly cover versions of songs created by WaveGroup Sound, but most recent titles feature soundtracks that are fully master recordings, and in some cases, special re-recordings, of the songs. Later titles in the series feature support for downloadable content in the form of new songs.

The Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance is an award presented at the Grammy Awards to recording artists for works containing quality performances in the heavy metal music genre. The Grammy Awards is an annual ceremony, where honors in several categories are presented by The Recording Academy of the United States to "honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position". The ceremony was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards.

Head Crusher song by Megadeth

"Head Crusher" was the first single from American heavy metal band Megadeth's twelfth studio album, titled Endgame, which was released on September 15, 2009. The single was released on July 7, 2009. According to Roadrunner Records official website, a download of "Head Crusher" was available for 24 hours on July 7. The track was previously available for listening by calling Dave Mustaine's number, through the, a service he launched that enables musicians to connect to their audience over the phone. The song was played live for the first time at the "Canadian Carnage Tour" on June 24, 2009. On December 3, 2009, it was announced on the official Megadeth homepage that "Head Crusher" had been nominated for "Best Metal Performance" for the 52nd annual Grammy Awards, the band's first nomination in 13 years, since "Trust".

Although the song was not originally recorded for an album, it was later included as the opening track on the band's 2011 album, Thirteen , as a remixed version by Johnny K. [10]

<i>Thirteen</i> (Megadeth album) 2011 studio album by Megadeth

Thirteen is the thirteenth studio album by American thrash metal band Megadeth. It was released worldwide on November 1, 2011, by Roadrunner Records, although the album was released on October 26, 2011 for Japan. Thirteen is the first Megadeth studio album since The World Needs a Hero (2001) to feature bassist and founding member David Ellefson, who returned to the band in 2010. Th1rt3en debuted at number 11 on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 42,000 copies in its first week. The album broke into the top 20 in several other markets as well. It has sold about 120,000 copies in the United States as of December 2012. The album has received largely positive reviews from critics.


In early February 2010, it was reported that Megadeth was working on a yet unnamed secret song project. [11] What the project was about or how it would be released was not known or announced at the time. [12] Several weeks later, ultimately after much speculation, the project was reported to be a promotional recording by Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine. [13] In early March the song had its name announced: "Sudden Death", though some sites had mistakenly reported the song as "Sudden Deth". [14] A few months later it was confirmed that the song was written exclusively for Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock , and would be featured in an important part in the game. [15] The Megadeth songs "Holy Wars... The Punishment Due" and "This Day We Fight!" were also set to be featured in the game. [16] It was the first song Megadeth recorded with original bassist Dave Ellefson following the replacement of James LoMenzo in early 2010. [17]

A promotional recording, or promo, or plug copy, is an audio or video recording distributed free, usually in order to promote a recording that is or soon will be commercially available. Promos are normally sent directly to broadcasters, such as music radio and television stations, and to tastemakers, such as DJs and music journalists, in advance of the release of commercial editions, in the hope that airplay, reviews, and other forms of exposure will result and stimulate the public's interest in the commercial release.

Dave Mustaine American musician

David Scott Mustaine is an American guitarist, singer, songwriter, actor and author. He is best known as the co-founder, lead vocalist, guitarist and primary songwriter of the American heavy metal band Megadeth, as well as the original lead guitarist of the American band Metallica.

<i>Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock</i> video game

Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock is a music video game developed by Neversoft and published by Activision. It was the sixth main entry in the Guitar Hero series and fifteenth overall, and was released in September 2010 for PlayStation 3, Wii, and Xbox 360. Similar to previous entries in the franchise, it is geared towards playing in a four-person band experience, including lead and bass guitar, drums, and vocals. The game is available as a standalone title, allowing players to use existing compatible instrument controllers, and as a bundle that provides these controllers.

"Sudden Death" was the first release with original bassist Dave Ellefson since 2002 Davidellefson.jpg
"Sudden Death" was the first release with original bassist Dave Ellefson since 2002

About the recording of the song, Mustaine remarked, "I thought it was a great idea for us. We've had experience with games in the past, and our songs have been in sports games and Grand Theft Auto , but we never really got into the Guitar Hero thing. When they talked to us about doing this, I never imagined it would be something this honorable." [18] Later in the same interview he continued, "Only once in my career have I had this happen before," referring to 1991's soundtrack for Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey , to which Megadeth contributed "Go to Hell". "We had written something and Interscope told me to make the lyrics even darker. Activision heard the track, and said, 'We want more solos on it.' And I said, OK, I can do that." [19] Before release, for promotional purposes, Dave Mustaine had publicly played the song on Guitar Hero showcasing the high level of difficulty of the song, to a high degree of media coverage. [20] [21] [22] To further promote the game and the band, a T-shirt was released featuring the cover artwork. [23]

<i>Grand Theft Auto: Vice City</i> 2002 open world action-adventure video game developed by Rockstar North

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is an action-adventure video game developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games. It was released on 29 October 2002 for the PlayStation 2, on 12 May 2003 for Microsoft Windows, and on 31 October 2003 for the Xbox. An enhanced version was released for mobile platforms in 2012, for the game's tenth anniversary. It is the sixth title in the Grand Theft Auto series and the first main entry since 2001's Grand Theft Auto III. Set within the fictional Vice City, based on Miami, the game follows Tommy Vercetti following his release from prison. After he is caught up in an ambushed drug deal, he seeks out those responsible while building a criminal empire and seizing power from other criminal organisations in the city.

<i>Bill & Teds Bogus Journey</i> 1991 film by Pete Hewitt

Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey is a 1991 American science fiction comedy film, and the feature directorial debut of Pete Hewitt. It is the second film in the Bill & Ted franchise, and a sequel to Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989). Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter and George Carlin reprise their roles. The film's original working title was Bill & Ted Go to Hell and the film's soundtrack featured the song "Go to Hell" by Megadeth, which Dave Mustaine wrote for the film. The film, which partially spoofs The Seventh Seal, received mixed reviews from critics, but has since gained a cult following like its predecessor.

Activision American video game publisher

Activision Publishing, Inc. is an American video game publisher based in Santa Monica, California. It currently serves as the publishing business for its parent company, Activision Blizzard, and consists of several subsidiary studios. Activision is one of the largest third-party video game publishers in the world and was the top United States publisher in 2016.

The full lyrics were later confirmed and released officially after the release of the song, [24] [25] along with official single cover art, featuring the band's iconic mascot Vic Rattlehead falling from the sky with a failed parachute and burning angel wings. [26]

Mascot person, animal, or object thought to bring luck, or for fictional, representative spokespeople for consumer products

A mascot is any person, animal, or object thought to bring luck, or anything used to represent a group with a common public identity, such as a school, professional sports team, society, military unit, or brand name. Mascots are also used as fictional, representative spokespeople for consumer products, such as the rabbit used in advertising and marketing for the General Mills brand of breakfast cereal, Trix.

Vic Rattlehead

Vic Rattlehead is the illustrated mascot of the American thrash metal band Megadeth. Vic is a skeletal figure who embodies the phrase "See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" as well as a symbol of censorship. His eyes are covered by a riveted-on visor, his mouth is clamped shut, and his ears are closed with metal caps.

Parachute Device used to slow the motion of an object through an atmosphere

A parachute is a device used to slow the motion of an object through an atmosphere by creating drag. Parachutes are usually made out of light, strong fabric, originally silk, now most commonly nylon. They are typically dome-shaped, but vary, with rectangles, inverted domes, and others found. A variety of loads are attached to parachutes, including people, food, equipment, space capsules, and bombs.

Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock

"Sudden Death" was featured in a pivotal point during the game's storyline. During the last level of the story-mode of the game, the game's narrative culminates during a level called the "Battle of the Beast", or also renowned as "level ten". [18] The finale is set to a new 2-part arrangement by Megadeth. [18] Two other Megadeth songs, "Holy Wars... The Punishment Due" and "This Day We Fight!" were also featured during the same level, making the finale of the game three consecutive Megadeth songs. [27] When the player has completed the "Battle with the Beast", they have the opportunity to return to the previous venues and have otherwise beaten the game. [28] Dave Mustaine co-composed the song as a means of "challenging the Guitar Hero community", [28] and contains portions that he believed were "the most difficult parts" he has written in his life. [29]


Initial sales of Warriors of Rock were below estimates. The NPD Group reported 86,000 units sold in the United States across all platforms for the last five days of September during which it was available. This figure fell below the initial sales of the previous games, such as 1.5 million and 500,000 units in first-week sales for Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock and Guitar Hero World Tour , respectively. [30] [31] The game was released September 24, 2010 in Europe, September 28, 2010 in North America and September 29, 2010 in Australia, and the game itself received mixed though generally positive reviews. [32] [33] [34] [35] [36] However, Megadeth's contributions were in particular well received, with "Sudden Death" being described as one of the hardest songs in the franchise's history. [37] [38] [39]

In December 2010, the song was announced as a nominee for Best Metal Performance at the 53rd Grammy Awards. [8] This was the band's second straight nomination, being nominated for "Head Crusher" the year prior in the same category. This is also the band's ninth nomination overall. [8] Until 2017, Megadeth had never won a Grammy Award, and were one of the most nominated bands ever without a win and are now the second most nominated metal band in history. [8] It was producer Andy Sneap's 3rd Grammy nomination and his second with the band. [9] "Sudden Death" was nominated against Iron Maiden's "El Dorado", Korn's "Let the Guilt Go", Lamb of God's "In Your Words" and Slayer's "World Painted Blood". [9] The Grammy ended up going to "El Dorado." [40]

Track listing

  1. "Sudden Death" – 5:08


2011 Grammy nomination





See also

Related Research Articles

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