Sudden Death (song)

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"Sudden Death"
Sudden Death cover.jpg
Single by Megadeth
from the album Thirteen
Released September 28, 2010
Recorded 2010
Genre Thrash metal
Length 5:08
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]

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]

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]


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]

"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]

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]

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


  1. ^ xFiruath (2010-10-28). Retrieved October 2nd, 2010 "Megadeth's "Sudden Death" Song Available For Streaming" Check |url= value (help). Retrieved 2010-10-02.
  2. ^ "Megadeth: Dave Mustaine Talks About 'Sudden Death' Track". 2010-08-30. Archived from the original on 2010-09-03. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
  3. ^ "Sudden Death - Single". 2010-10-24. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
  4. ^ Mike Escobar (2010-09-28). "Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock". Retrieved 2010-10-02.
  5. ^ "Interview with Dave Ellefson". 2010-06-25. Archived from the original on 2010-07-26. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
  6. ^ "New Video Interview With DAVID ELLEFSON". 2010-06-15. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
  7. ^ "2011 Rock Submissions". Scribd. Retrieved 2010-10-30.
  8. ^ a b c d "Awards Database". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 26, 2009.
  9. ^ a b c "53rd Annual Grammy Awards nominees list". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved December 2, 2010.
  10. ^ "Dave Mustaine Reveals New Megadeth Album Details". Rolling Stone. July 12, 2011. Retrieved July 13, 2011.
  11. ^ Richard Walker (2010-08-31). "Megadeth Creating Exclusive Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock Track". Retrieved 2010-10-02.
  12. ^ xFiruarth (2010-02-24). "Dave Mustaine Checks In With Megadeth Update". Retrieved 2010-10-02.
  13. ^ wookubus (2010-08-31). "Megadeth Frontman Teases 'Huge Project'". Retrieved 2010-10-02.
  14. ^ Deathcrush (2010-03-30). "Megadeth's Dave Mustaine Reveals New Song Title, "Sudden Death"". Retrieved 2010-10-02.
  15. ^ Chris Harris (2010-06-04). "Mustaine Pens Fresh Megadeth Track For 'Guitar Hero'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
  16. ^ "Megadeth's Dave Mustaine Interview HD". GameTrailers. 2010-09-10. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
  17. ^ Mdome, "David Ellefson Exclusive: Why I'm Back In Megadeth", Classic Rock, retrieved 2010-11-05
  18. ^ a b c "Megadeth's Dave Mustaine Talks About 'Sudden Death' Track". 2010-07-29. Archived from the original on 2010-09-03. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
  19. ^ Press release (2010-09-11). "Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock to Debut 11 Bands New to Guitar Hero This September". Archived from the original on 2010-08-16. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
  20. ^ "Dave Mustaine Brings Ass Kicking to Guitar Hero". 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
  21. ^ Press release (2010-09-16). "Dave Mustaine plays Sudden Death". Archived from the original on 2011-07-06. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
  22. ^ "Dave Mustaine plays "Sudden Death" ON A PLASTIC GUITAR". 2010-09-13. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
  23. ^ "Megadeth "Sudden Death" Tee". 2010-10-24. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
  24. ^ "Megadeth "Sudden Death" Lyrics and Video". 2010-08-31. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
  25. ^ The Scorpion (2010-10-04). "Sudden Death Lyrics?". Archived from the original on 2011-08-06. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
  26. ^ "Sudden Death Lyrics?". 2010-10-24. Archived from the original on 2011-08-06. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
  27. ^ "Dave Mustain, "Sudden Death" Featured on G4 TV's X-Play". Roadrunner Records. 2010-09-23. Retrieved 2010-09-23.
  28. ^ a b Dave Mustaine (speaker) (2010-09-01). Dave Mustang Talks Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock (Flash video) (Trailer). Activision. Retrieved 2010-09-01.
  29. ^ Gries, Arthur (2010-06-15). "E3 2010: Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock Preview". IGN. Retrieved 2010-06-15.
  30. ^ Quillen, Dustin (2010-10-13). "Analyst: Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock Sales Disappoint in September". Archived from the original on 2012-07-11. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
  31. ^ Ivan, Tom (2010-10-15). "Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock makes 'fairly dreadful start'". Computer and Video Games. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
  32. ^ "Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock PlayStation 3". Metacritic. Retrieved 2010-10-14.
  33. ^ "Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock". GameRankings. Retrieved 2010-10-14.
  34. ^ "Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock". Official Xbox Magazine (UK). 2010-09-24. Retrieved 2010-09-28.
  35. ^ Helgeson, Matt (2010-09-28). "Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock". Game Informer. Retrieved 2010-09-28.
  36. ^ Heppe, Abbie (2010-09-28). "Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock Review". G4 TV. Retrieved 2010-09-28.
  37. ^ "Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock - Review". 2010-08-31. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
  38. ^ Cocke, Tyler (2010-09-30). "Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock Review". Archived from the original on 2012-07-11. Retrieved 2010-09-30.
  39. ^ Gies, Arthur (2010-09-30). "Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock Review (Wii)". IGN. Retrieved 2010-10-04.
  40. ^ "53rd Grammy Awards Winners". Grammys. February 13, 2011. Retrieved February 14, 2011.
  41. ^ Thirteen liner notes. Roadrunner Records. 2011. p. 14.

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