Review Summary: If Megadeth continues to release albums like United Abominations they will probably loose fans instead of gaining fans. This album just repeats the past.
Thrash metal; what is thrash metal exactly? Well, thrash metal to me should be very fast and violent. The riff work should be nearly extremely varied, not to mention heavy as hell, and the drums should be very intense but also varied. Crunchy guitars and a metal clinging bass should be enough to create a solid sound. Thrash metal vocalists should have a torn, flawed singing voice and the lyrics should be about just anything, whether it be religion, violence, politics, day-to-day stuff. There are many examples of bands that have these specific requirements but my first thrash metal experience was Megadeth
(which didn't have all of these requirements at the time). Every time when I listen to a Megadeth
album I always say to myself: "Thank god that Dave was kicked out from Metallica so he could create a far more solid band than Metallica.
" Most metal heads know that Megadeth
has lived in the shadow of Metallica
, but to me, Megadeth
has always been the better part, especially because of the instrumental sections. While Metallica
made music with a sledge-hammer, Megadeth
created music with a surgical scalpel. Megadeth
hasn't been as heavy as Metallica
, but Megadeth
put more effort into instrumental skills and techniques, and they still sound lethal, heavy and aggressive. Megadeth
has released at least three albums that have made a huge impact on the world of metal, those being Peace Sells But Who's Buying?
, Rust In Peace
and Countdown To Extinction
. However, as with many other bands, Megadeth
also made a few down-albums, like Risk
and The World Needs A Hero
. But Dave Mustaine
has always been fighting back, even if critics and fans talked s*** about his music or the band, he has always returned fire. The band is now (unfortunately) a more commercial heavy metal band than a rough thrash metal one but they have been starting to return to their thrash roots. The System Has Failed
showed that the band still could deliver some old-fashion thrashing in small portions, and they claimed to continue this with their new album United Abominations
In 2007 Megadeth
released a new album called United Abominations
. This album does not separate itself from previous albums, as it actually sounds like an updated version of The System Has Failed
. And that means that the band is going in the right direction, back to their thrash belongings, but they still keep the mainstream elements (that they could get rid off). Yes, after these words you probably think that I will flame this album big time but no, don't worry. This album has some aces in its arm sleeves, both good and bad ones. To begin with Dave
has a new line-up (again) and this time he has recruited the Drover brothers Glenn
, and brought inJames Lomenzo
(all of them from various power metal and hard rock bands), but they don't add anything that might seem spectacular in terms of instrumental abilities. If we look at the overall material we will find steady rhythm sections, catchy leads and blazing solos.Sleepwalker
and Washington Is Next
are definitely the best examples of these kind of great tracks. Dave's
ability to sing hasn't changed, as he has improved slightly but he still sounds the same, which means that he has the love-or-hate vocals. The overall variety of tracks is great since no track sounds similar to others. There are fast tracks like Sleepwalker
, medium paced tracks like Gears Of War
and Never Walk Alone...A Call To Arms
, and slower tracks like A Tout Le Monde (Set Me Free)
ability to write lyrics might not be top-notch every time but in this album we will find some smart lyrics. Lines like When God versus God; the undoing of man.
(Amerikhastan) and How can there be any logic in biological war?
(Washington is Next!) are both expertly written, and these can also make you think.
Well, it is easier to point out the bad stuff in this album rather than pointing out the goodies, and that's because I thought that this album was going to be more advanced than The System Has Failed
. That album showed fans that something were going to change with the band's current music but this here album sounds like a second half. To me, this sounds like Dave
took Countdown To Extinction
, The World Needs A Hero
and The System Has Failed
a moulded them into United Abominations
. There are some thrash in this album but come on, the only track I would point out as a thrash track it would be Washington Is Next
. The rest of the tracks sounds like half-assed copies from previous material, but Sleepwalker
and Never Walk Alone...A Call To Arms
still sound refreshing though. The sound production isn't that great either, because when Ellefsson
was in the band the bass was pretty audible but not now. The guitars are too loud and that makes the bass become non-existent, and that makes a pretty flat and boring overall sound. The butchering of A Tout Le Monde
...oh no, don't even get me started. Why did they turn up the pace and add a female guest singer? When bands play songs live they tend to play them a bit faster, but this track isn't a live track, so this remake just feels like a lack of creativity in my opinion.
As a father said to his son once: "I'm not angry, I'm just disappointed", and that's exactly what I feel about this album. I thought that this was going to sweep the floor, but instead the album landed flat on floor. This sounded like previous material, as many tracks felt familiar from albums like The World Needs A Hero
for example. Every time I listen to this album, I exit after the three first tracks. I think that Megadeth
hasn't made any successful moves with this album, perhaps lyrically but not instrumentally or creatively. Many songs have their bright moments but in the end it gets tedious and boring. It doesn't matter if you're a fan or not, this album suits would suit many heavy metal followers, mostly because of the overall catchy material. Buy this album if you want but I think people were too high on this album right from the start and therefore gave it too much credit. Peace Sells But Who's Buying?
and Rust In Peace
will still remain as Megadeth
true masterpieces. This album is just another album to fill out your CD collection.
-- Washington Is Next (Without a doubt the best track of this album