Megadeth
Dystopia


3.0
good

Review

by DoofusWainwright USER (100 Reviews)
January 25th, 2016 | 257 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Dave plays his Trump Card

Despite aligning himself to the church of metal Dave Mustaine has always had a punk edge, one that ran a lot deeper than an ill-advised Sex Pistols cover. Politics and metal are common enough bedfellows but Megadeth stood apart from their peers thanks to the unique vocal delivery; Dave always spat out his lyrics with a snottily abrasive anti authoritarian sneer with markedly less of the quasi-operatics associated with late 80’s metal singers. It’s a style that suited a band called Megadeth well, an act forged in the era of Cold War paranoia, AIDS and the Greenhouse Effect. Mustaine’s well of inspiration seems to fluctuate with the Doomsday Clock such is his obsession with the potential destruction of mankind and it’s perhaps no coincidence that it’s only now, with the hand pointed the ‘closest to midnight’ since 1984, that he’s starting to sound more like his old self again. If the experts believe we’re in perilous danger of annihilation then who is Megadave to argue"

‘Dystopia’ is a controversial statement but an equally logical and entirely predictable one for Mustaine to deliver at this juncture. Indeed it could be argued that Megadeth’s material has altered very little politically over the years, rather it’s the attitudes of subsequent generations of listeners that have changed. For today’s western teenager war on a mass scale is something that happened to their great or great great grandfathers and likely to be kept at arm’s length by technology. Here’s a generation of young men with little fear of the types of culls that have historically afflicted their gender; the age of ‘a mega death won’t happen to me’ if you like. In today’s liberal climate this band can easily be dismissed as archaic and even outright goofy, but the times they be a changin’, and now other world views and marginalised voices are starting to make themselves heard.

The overriding theme of ‘Dystopia’ is that we’re living through the decline of Western civilisation and this will be brought about thanks to a Trojan horse enemy within. It ain’t subtle. The third line of lyrics on the album reads there’s ‘no controlling who comes through the door’ and song titles include ‘Post-American World’ and ‘Conquer or Die’; of course the temptation is to cry foul but it’s important to remember that Megadeth have always played to American fears of foreign bogeymen. Ask yourself if this is really all that different to ‘Rust in Peace’s holy wars and Cold War suspicions and you'll quickly conclude that the band would be pansying out NOT throwing their political hat in the ring here.

Whether you agree with ‘Dystopia’s political agenda or not at least you have to admit Mustaine sounds like a man with something to say this time and what’s pleasing is that this same sense of reinvigoration spreads to the music. The lineup has changed yet again following the resignations of Broderick and Drover and the injection of fresh blood appears to have added bite and snap. Dave has stated that the schedule for recording the album allowed for a more focused approach to song writing and it shows; the tracks here feel thematically linked, as though they inhabit the same ruined world, and in this way the album aligns itself closer to ‘Rust in Peace’ or ‘Countdown to Extinction’ than their more recent output. The acoustic intros to ‘Poisonous Shadows’ and ‘Conquer or Die’ reflect a band that no longer sounds in such a rush to get straight to the meat of a song all the time, a failing that made an album like ‘Thirteen’ drag.

As much as there’s plenty to be positive about here there are still some all too familiar flaws that Megadeth fans have been contending with for years now; namely a large proportion of the riffs on this release sound overly familiar, the solos aren’t all top tier quality and Mustaine’s already limited vocal range has now flattened out alarmingly. None of these weaknesses are devastating enough to derail the project entirely although they do apply the breaks to any notion this release will scale the heights and achieve classic Megadeth status.

It feels apt that a more dangerous outside world would equate to a more entertaining Megadeth album, raising the stakes usually makes for a more compelling game after all. Like an ageing despot Mustaine has been sitting in his war bunker growing increasingly cranky and history tells us it’s these types you have to watch out for; adding together all of the evidence it appears we could be set to see a more controversial, chaotic and madcap Megadeth from here on out…where do I register for the draft"



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user ratings (808)
Chart.
3.3
great
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Chamberbelain CONTRIBUTOR (4)
    A re-energised Megadeth emerge after 3 years of turmoil....

    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 
DoofusWainwright
January 25th 2016


20001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Davey boy showing welcome signs of total nuttiness here

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2016


14089 Comments


great review as always doof

you applied for contrib?

Digging: Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds - Let Love In

DoofusWainwright
January 25th 2016


20001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thinking about it Mort.



I hate application forms though lol

JigglyPDiddy
January 25th 2016


3344 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Just can't get into this thing.

Digging: Earl Sweatshirt - I Don't Like Shit, I Don't Go Outside

zaruyache
January 25th 2016


19969 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

pos review, neg album. Album doesn't even thrassshh m/

Digging: Black Funeral - Empire of Blood

DoofusWainwright
January 25th 2016


20001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The concept is what makes the album more enjoyable tbh

TheCrocodile
January 25th 2016


2926 Comments


I like the review, especially the third paragraph... the last two paragraphs look kind of thin and since they're back to back it looks kind of weird... not sure if it's a complaint or w/e, but it made me feel some type of way... pos nonetheless.

RunOfTheMill
January 25th 2016


3871 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Pretty great revy, you write really well. Pos

Digging: Outrage (JPN) - Black Clouds

DoofusWainwright
January 25th 2016


20001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks croc, you're right - those last two paragraphs aren't the strongest but I needed to put some criticism in there because the rating is only a 3/5 but I couldn't find a smooth enough way of linking them to the wrapping up para.



Cheers zaru and ROTM

LaughingSkull
January 25th 2016


599 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Best review on the album so far, in terms of analysis. I like how you explicated as much as possible on how Dystopia has a consistent central theme that actually works and is relevant. Last paragraph wraps things up nicely!

Now, I neither agree that this is a 3, nor that you did enough to justify it (review read more like AT LEAST a 3.5), but that's just my opinion.

Pos with two hands!

DoofusWainwright
January 25th 2016


20001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks Laughing, I rate System has Failed a 2.5 and Countdown a 3.5 and this feels somewhere between those two.



Feel free to read it as a 3.2/5 rating :D

Feather
January 25th 2016


4979 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Great review, pos. Might check this out.

LaughingSkull
January 25th 2016


599 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Doofus, I assume you wouldn't consider yourself a Megadeth fan then? Just a casual listener? Nothing wrong with it, just asking.

DoofusWainwright
January 25th 2016


20001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Laughing I'm a pretty big fan, I've been listening to them since 1990 but if Rust in Peace is a deserving 4.5 for me I can't then justify slapping a 4/5 on this one



This site hates 6/10 but that's a 'good' score.

LaughingSkull
January 25th 2016


599 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Oki doke then.

DoofusWainwright
January 25th 2016


20001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Laughing just checked your Megadeth ratings, some interesting ones. 'Thirteen' at a 1/5 and 'super collider' at a 4/5 drew my eye. I thought 'Thirteen' was kinda average but that's a panning you've given it there

LaughingSkull
January 25th 2016


599 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

1.0 was a shock rating I gave on impulse, so don't think much of it (or the review for that matter). I don't think the ablum's that bad, but it's my least fav from the post-revival Megadeth discog, because it was just a collection of rehashed recordings.

Davil667
February 5th 2016


3577 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Very nice review, your writing skills are remarkable! And I absoutely agree that the concept is one of the main reasons why this is so enjoyable. Good ol' Dave's getting gritty and angry again.

XingKing
February 5th 2016


14203 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is my favorite review of this record so far. Kudos to you, sir

DoofusWainwright
February 5th 2016


20001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks Davil, Dave sounds pissed off again on this album and that's what we all want



Cheers Xing



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