Review Summary: Still a long way to go yet, Dave
Megadeth United Abominations Review
By the time of United Abominations, Megadeth's thrash revival had already begun with The World Needs A Hero, so the band aimed to take this even further and try and regain what had made them so special and, ultimately, so important in the late 80's and early 90's. An 11 track affair, the album was entitled United Abominations, a name that spelled politics and hate. Everything Megadeth stood for.
Kicking off with Sleepwalker, the album clearly is in the thrash vein, as this is one of the thrashiest tracks they had done since Rust In Peace. It is, however, overly long, with the main riff being overused, and the timing a little off, with ideas being repeated in ways that would shame any fanboy of any of their early work. The drumming on this song is great, but the guitar work is not. How often do you say that for a Megadeth song? The vocals and lyrics are catchy, and fun, but ultimately this song is underwhelming.
Thankfully, Washington Is Next picks the album up fantastically, with a full speed ahead assault on your ears. If you can not feel your neck moving by now, you seriously are ***ed in the head. This would have fit easily in with their classic material, and contains some great lyrics from Dave, coupled with one of his best vocal performances of all time.
The next track, Never Walk Alone, is a fairly average one, but this leads into United Abominations. Usually, with title tracks on a Megadeth album, you are hit with a fantastic riff fest. In this case, however, we open up with a haunting intro, before leading into a very chuggy riff and insightful lyrics. This song is often bashed from this album, however, i really like it. It has a certain charm and power to it that makes the difference. The vocals and lyrics are right up there with the best, the guitar work is not as poor as often made out, the drumming keeps a nice rhythm, and the bass is decent. The chorus is catchy. What is not to like?
Gears Of War, written for the video game of the same name, is nowhere near up to standards, containing a piss poor slow riff near the start, poor vocals from Dave, a terrible solo, and nothing at all that holds up against some of the better cuts. Blessed are the dead starts promising, but takes too long to get going. When it does get going it is good, but it takes far too long. The chorus, however, is one of the better ones on the album.
Play For Blood starts off with some noodling and a decent riff to it, before diving head first into one of the better riffs on the album, and some great, energetic Dave Mustaine vocals. The lyrics are fun, and everything comes together fine. The solos are brilliant, and it is a genuinely fantastic track.
A Toute Le Monde (set me free) is NOT a pointless redo as much of the Megadeth community will have you believe, it is in fact a fun, nice song to listen to, with a certain dark beauty that i really love from it. It is not the fastest, nor the heaviest track theyve written, but it is amazing. And Cristina Scabbia's voice is to ***ing die for.
Unfortunately, Amerikhastan and Youre Dead fail to live up to standards set by the past two tracks, and Burnt Ice is often overhyped. Sure, it is a shred fest start to finish, but it is trying too hard to be the next Peace Sells or Hangar 18. The chorus is underwhelming, and it generally never got going for me.
So, UA is a mixed bag of an album. Are Megadeth back? Kind of, but not too a huge degree. It is an album that has its great tracks, but also its poor tracks, and half-baked ideas mashed together into songs. Its fun enough, and definately lead to the masterpiece that was Endgame, but it isn't quite on the standard i would expect from Megadeth. 3/5