"In retrospect the most demanding Mega album, hands down, is Countdown to Extinction for sure, because it was such a step up on every level and especially the digital recording we did was very demanding, and it's also one of my favorite albums we ever did."
Countdown to Extinction was released in 1992 and was a major commercial success for Megadeth, reaching number two on the Billboard 200 chart and selling over 10 million copies worldwide. The album was also a critical success, with many critics praising its more streamlined and accessible sound.
Ellefson said that the band had to work hard to achieve the sound they wanted on the album. "We had to learn how to use the digital recording technology. We had to learn how to write songs that were more concise and to the point. And we had to learn how to perform those songs live."
The album's success helped Megadeth to reach a wider audience and establish themselves as one of the leading bands in heavy metal. Countdown to Extinction is considered to be one of the band's best albums and is often cited as a turning point in their career.
In addition to being a commercial and critical success, the album also won a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance for the song "Symphony of Destruction." The album spawned several other hit singles, including "Sweating Bullets" and "Skin o' My Teeth".
As of today, it remains a popular album among Megadeth fans and is often considered to be one of the greatest heavy metal albums of all time. The album's demanding recording process helped to create a sound that was both innovative and accessible, and it helped to solidify the band's status as one of the most important in the genre.