by Chamberbelain CONTRIBUTOR (204 Reviews)
January 23rd, 2016 | 15 replies

Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A re-energised Megadeth emerge after 3 years of turmoil.

It was June 2013 that Megadeth released their 14th album, “Super Collider”, which received mixed reaction from fans and critics alike. Some defended it by questioning whether it was supposed to sound like a metal album or simply an accessible hard rock record however others weren’t as forgiving; some labelling it as the worst album the band have made in over 10 years… Frantic to release new material to rectify this misstep in their impressive discography, Megadeth have finally unleashed “Dystopia”. Will it be a reviving utopia of thrash metal mastery or is it this is Megadeth’s reckoning day"

The first song answers the question for us. Thrash stereotypes such as shredding, chunky riffs and snarling vocals spew out from ‘The Threat Is Real’ but also balances the act between history and modernity as an intriguing Persian chant feature actually introduces the song. The riffing in ‘Death From Within’ and ‘Bullet To The Brain’ is notably more hostile than Megadeth’s latest work and the latter includes a looming cloud of Mustaine melodies with a darker rumble rather than the snappy mannerisms of thrash metal.

Megadeth’s two Dave’s have been run through the mill recently. After the failure of “Super Collider”, Dave Ellefson lost a brother to cancer while Dave Mustaine’s mother-in-law’s remains were discovered a month after she went missing. Furthermore, Shawn Drover (drums) and Chris Broderick (guitars) departed the band under the good ‘ol “creative differences”. Thankfully their positions have been filled by Lamb Of God drummer, Chris Adler, and Angra guitarist, Kiko Loureiro. With new band members comes a new stylistic approach in “Dystopia”. Kiko’s seems to truly value the legacy behind the band’s technicality as his zigzagging guitar leads in the title track zoom off with precise execution. Adler is no exception to this either. In ‘Poisonous Shadows’ his thunderous blast beats construct a forbidding aura that makes Mustaine’s snarls more sinister than they actually are. Adler’s drumming in ‘Fatal Illusion’ is comparable to the likes of Vinnie and Dimebag of Pantera: the drums are always there to rhythmically flank any erupting guitar hook that spirals off without warning. The freshness and talent of Kiko and Chris truly are half the reason the songs on this album are so coherently structured.

So what’s the catch" From the sounds of it, this sounds like “Rust In Peace Jr.”

Well that’s just it- Megadeth have not stepped up their game, they are simply back on track from 2009’s “Endgame”. Certain songs on “Dystopia” sound uncannily like Megadeth’s past work. Take the instrumental ‘Conquer… Or Die!’- It simply sounds like a less eargasmic ‘Dialectic Chaos’ (intro track to "Endgame") while ‘Post-American World’ and ‘The Emperor’ both sound similar to the “Symphony of Destruction” era. The problem that the band faced, prior to the album's release, was the immense pressure to create a reinvigorating ‘Megadeth album’ or accept failure once again. The safest way to ensure that “Dystopia” sounds great would, naturally, be to recycle the best features of their best work. And that’s exactly what this album is: a breath of fresh air after recent events, but a sense of familiarity of earlier work. Or rather: an excellent balance between the old and the new.

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user ratings (819)
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • DoofusWainwright (3)
    Dave plays his Trump Card...

    PsychicChris (4)
    Dystopia may be a retread of an established pattern but it does develop a few tropes that ...

    brettgoespunk (4)
    Dave and the gang really brought something great to the table this time around....

    segadeth (4)
    It's a fatal illusion to think that Megadeth ever dies....

  • midnightstrike3625 (4)
    As the follow-up to 2013's less-than stellar Super Collider, Dystopia does a fantastic job...

    Superreallycool (3.5)
    The best Megadeth has sounded in a long time...

    DrJohn (2)
    The Phrygians are marching towards my open chugging....

    rhinocerosmilk (3)
    Yes it's better than Super Collider....

  • LaughingSkull (4.5)
    WARNING: Fanboy hazard ahead. All semblances of objectivity may be abandoned in favor of (...

    nthulu (2)
    Final thoughts: Don't bother. There are a small number of tracks worth listening to but t...

Comments:Add a Comment 
January 23rd 2016


Album Rating: 4.5

Review is good, pos. Above commenter is too critical. Pos'd.

Only part I disagree is:

while ‘Post-American World’ and ‘The Emperor’ both sound similar to the “Symphony of Destruction” era.

To me, it sounds more like UA/Endgame era.

June 14th 2018


Seeing this as the new flagged review is kinda weird @_@
There should be a quiz show about this album, with contestants trying to actually tell which riff is from which song lmao.

June 14th 2018


Not memorable.

Digging: Method Man - Meth Lab Season 2: The Lithium

June 14th 2018


I'd lower my rating for this album to a 3, but then I remember The Emperor. Such a good song imo.

I still insist that the guitar solos and instrumental breaks on that song sound a lot like the ones on Metallica's Jump in the Fire (Kill Em All 1989 lmaoooo).
Don't know if anyone else hears that shit, I hope my brain hasn't been playing a bad joke for 2 years...

June 14th 2018


Yeah but that solo isn't that great. Just repeats at the end simple shit. Meh it's better than anything Metallica has done in awhile though.

June 14th 2018


Nice rating Aiwaz.

June 14th 2018


Album Rating: 3.5

second half is memorable


June 14th 2018


I'll check it out again tomorrow.

June 14th 2018


Code Red bruh.

June 14th 2018


It can't be better than TWNAH. Even though they jacked the riff from Sucking My Love on Disconnect, still a kickass tune.

June 14th 2018


Are you talking about this album or Code Red buddy?

July 19th 2018


Album Rating: 3.0

I'm not sure why so many reviews and comments online condemn this particular album's lyrics as if Dave hasn't been writing like this for years. I mean, tracks like Washington Is Next and Amerikhastan off United Abominations (also the title track, come to think of it) are arguably worse and more overtly xenophobic and right-wing than most of the tracks here.

either way that kind of writing is a major turnoff that's kept me from fully enjoying pretty much any of their new stuff. Endgame is the only real exception, and even that has the Infowarsy title track.

Digging: The Twilight Sad - It Won/t Be Like This All the Time

November 8th 2018


Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Need more man music on the front page.

December 3rd 2018


Album Rating: 3.0

So I am finally listening to this aaaand... I don't know.

Digging: Motorpsycho - The Crucible

December 5th 2018


Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

You better ask somebody then.


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