Review Summary: Best Megadeth album since “The System Has Failed”.
Though this album adds absolutely nothing new to the genre and mostly has the same old generic Megadeth style of songs almost throughout the album, it has quite a few things that stand out unlike their previous album. As a whole this album is good. It's just that when you get a new Megadeth album you tend to expect more automatically because one usually thinks of one thing: "Rust In Peace".
Now while there's never going to be another "Rust In Peace", Megadeth still make quality albums and this is one of them. When you think of RIP, you think of Marty Friedman and his guitaring. After his departure from the band. it was clear to see in all these years that nine out of ten times his shoes were too big to fill. So, when Chris Broderick was announced as the new guitarist of Megadeth in early 2008, I was very skeptical, I hadn't heard anything by Broderick before and didn't have very high hopes. In fact, after Metallica released Death Magnetic, I thought Megadeth had lost the war and could never come close to it, at least this time because United Abominations was sub-par at best. Glen Drover left after that and he was a good guitarist. Forget Marty Friedman, could Broderick at least fill Drover's shoes?
Contrary to my predictions, Chris Broderick came through on this album. He shreds insanely and he does it really, really well. The drumming is solid as always. Shawn Drover who's also excellent live and never misses a beat is as good as he ever was. Mustaine's vocals are at times aggressive and when the time calls for it, lazy, which is a good thing but can be annoying to some people. Overall a good all round performance by the band. Unlike “The System Has Failed”, this doesn't sound like just one man's work and unlike “United Abominations”, one doesn't get the feeling that Dave is missing the glory days and trying too hard. The production on this album is top notch as well.
The songs on this album are all unique in their own ways. Unlike “United Abominations”, this album doesn't drag as far as pace is concerned. It depends on the way you look at it really. While the riffs can be generic, the songs themselves are structured perfectly and everything is right where you'd expect it to be with a few surprises here and there which actually is good enough although it’s Megadeth, one of the best Metal bands ever. Like I mentioned earlier, one always tends to think of “Rust In Peace” and uses that as the measuring stick as far as Medadeth albums are concerned. I realized that one can't expect much more than what’s on this album because it's Megadeth's twelfth album and we're used to their sound. They can't do something too drastic at this stage of their career. They already did something like that in the late 90’s and everyone knows what happened then.
"This Day We Fight!" is an all out thrasher and a good opening song after the heavy intro "Dialectic Chaos" which didn't actually mean anything. Really, there was no purpose for that song to be there. The album should have started off with "Head Crusher" and "This Day We Fight!" should have been next. Anyway, so far, so good. This is where most Megadeth albums in recent memory start dying: song number 3 or 4. To be honest, I was expecting just that, but "44 Minutes" is an awesome song. It starts off with a nice intro and the chorus is catchy as well. The shredding on the solo is just perfect. Following that, "1,320" is a fast paced fun song with a really heavy and catchy ending which reminded me of "Hangar 18". "Bite The Hand" has some really good guitaring and good vocals as well, Dave sounds totally pissed off here, but the lyrics are pretty dumb which makes the song seem like rubbish on the first listen, but it kind of grows on you later on. "Bodies" is probably my favourite song on this album, it’s a medium paced song with good lyrics and the tempo is just right which carries you along towards the end of the song and becomes a total shredder. "Endgame" and "The Hardest Part of Letting Go...Sealed with a Kiss" are decent songs, but they get boring half way. "The Hardest Part of Letting Go...Sealed with a Kiss" insists upon itself and is ostentatious. Headcrusher, the single is an all out thrasher like I mentioned and is just fun.
"How The Story Ends" is catchy and has a fairly decent solo. "The Right to Go Insane" is also one of the best songs on this album. It starts off pretty normally and chugs along till the chorus which is pretty catchy which in turn leads into a shredfest along with some really amazing guitars that ends the album on a good note. I feel the way an album ends is equally important as the start, it determines whether the listener will come back to it or not. If just the first 3 or 4 songs are good and the rest of the album is mediocre or bad, then the album wouldn't have any staying power. Thankfully that's not the case with this album which is sure to be one of the best releases of 2009.
Songs that stand out:
The Right to Go Insane
This Is How The Story Ends.