Megadeth is an American thrash metal band from Los Angeles, California. They were formed in 1983 by guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassist David Ellefson, shortly after Mustaine's dismissal from his previous band Metallica. The band soon signed to Capitol Records and released their first major label album Peace Sells... but Who's Buying?, considered highly influential in the underground metal scene. After stabilizing their line-up, Megadeth released a string of platinum selling albums, including Countdown to Extinction, certified double platinum and responsible for bringing Megadeth to public recognition. In 2002, Megadeth was temporarily disbanded because of Mustaine's arm injury. The band was re-established in 2004 without bassist David Ellefson, who took legal action against Dave Mustaine. Ellefson rejoined the group in 2010, and is featured on all recordings since then.
Megadeth is known for its distinctive, technical instrumental style that often features fast rhythm sections and complex arrangements; their songs convey gloomy lyrical themes including death, war, politics, and religion. A pioneer of the American thrash metal movement, the band is credited as one of thrash metal's "big four" along with Anthrax, Metallica and Slayer, who were responsible for the genre's creation, development and popularization. Since its inception, Megadeth has released fourteen studio albums, with six of them being certified platinum in the United States. With 50 million records sold worldwide and eleven Grammy nominations, Megadeth ranks as one of the most successful American heavy metal bands.