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Megadeth - Dystopia review


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Band: Megadeth
Album: Dystopia
Release date: January 2016

01. The Threat Is Real
02. Dystopia
03. Fatal Illusion
04. Death From Within
05. Bullet To The Brain
06. Post American World
07. Poisonous Shadows
08. Look Who's Talking [Best Buy/iTunes bonus]
09. Conquer Or Die
10. Lying In State
11. The Emperor
12. Last Dying Wish [Best Buy/iTunes bonus]
13. Foreign Policy [Fear cover]
14. Me Hate You [Japanese bonus]
15. Melt The Ice Away [Budgie cover] [digital bonus]

I was lucky to be 14 years old when Rust In Peace came out, the album that many consider to be the best thrash release that has ever seen the light of day. Followed by a couple of very good records, Dave Mustaine and co. spent the next 20 years or so giving us music that ranged from not so impressive to very disappointing (with the exception of Endgame's pleasant surprise). So, what do Megadeth have in store for us in 2016?

From the first few notes of Dystopia the listener gets the point: there's a new guitarist in the band and he kicks ass. Seriously, one of the best things about this release is Kiko Loureiro. This guy from Angra has managed to give the band the spark and the freshness it so desperately needed and the guitar work in this album is simply brilliant. The other new studio member in the line-up is Lamb Of God's Chris Adler, who sets the pace and teams up well with Dave Ellefson, providing a solid rhythm section. The music in this album is better than it has been for a long time, the build-up of the songs is carefully planned and greatly executed, the riffs are interesting and the solos are there to make a hell of a difference. On the other hand, the lyrics could be better and one cannot but facepalm at the childishness and cringe-worthiness of a few of them. Apart from Dave's deteriorating lyrical ability, since he has now become a right-wing, hardcore religious, xenophobic redneck, his vocal delivery also seems to be wearing down. But Mustaine's voice was never one of his strong points and I guess the fans won't pay too much attention. There are two or three fillers in the album, but not in the sense that you rush to skip to the next song when you hear them. My personal favourites are "The Threat Is Real", "Foreign Policy" (I love it when they cover punk songs, "Anarchy In The UK" was fuckin' epic), "Dystopia" and "Poisonous Shadows", the last two being placed high up in the list of the best songs the band has ever written.

Of course Megadeth are not reinventing the wheel with Dystopia, but I'm sure no one expects them to anymore. The most important thing is the overall impression you get, that this is a Megadeth and NOT a Megadave album, which flows nicely, has good replay value and is made by the best line-up since the Friedman-Menza era. It's melodic, thrashy, with a lot of classic heavy parts and generally very enjoyable. The production is pretty good, I would personally prefer it a little rawer, but it definitely isn't as polished and sterile as in Countdown To Extinction, which I had found off-putting. For a Megadeth fanboy this record deserves a 9 and above, but I stopped being one back in 1992.

p.s. The standard edition features 11 tracks and it is the one you should get if you buy the album. You don't need any of the bonus tracks in the other editions.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 8

Written by nikarg | 27.02.2017

Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments: 8   Visited by: 140 users
27.02.2017 - 22:03
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
I like your intro, means more to me as things what many says what don't make sense, nice one and guitar player new, I doubt he was main song writer into the band
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
27.02.2017 - 22:10
Rating: 9

Nice review man! I really enjoyed this release, some nice riffs and solos
28.02.2017 - 03:36

Nice review and I love my right wing brother Dave. He a character for sure, but always finds talented musicians to play with him. He's a great axeman himself still IMO. This and Endgame are both excellent albums., I thought Thirteen was good too, but not quite as good. Rust will always be their best, but not the best thrash album ever. I'd put it in my top 10 though. Lucretia being my favorite all time Megadeth song followed by Tornado of Souls right after it. Damn awesome album. I'm gonna go listen to it right now.
28.02.2017 - 08:59
Thanks for the kind words guys.
@Bad English: I'm sure Kiko and the others didn't have a big contribution in the songwriting, but overall I think the new members played their part for the album to sound this good.
@thewall30: The solos especially are out of this world.
@IH8Hipsters: Love your nickname man. I agree that one of the best talents of Dave is his ability to find amazing musicians to play with him. Rust in Peace shaped my musical taste forever. Saw them live a few months ago and they were really good. Tornado of Souls still gives me goosebumps.
02.03.2017 - 22:41
Rating: 9

"Look Who's Talking" is a good song imo.
07.03.2017 - 21:07
Written by lemme on 02.03.2017 at 22:41

"Look Who's Talking" is a good song imo.

It's better than the other bonus tracks, but not special compared to the songs in the standard edition I think.
26.03.2017 - 05:19
Winter Heathen

This is definitely their strongest effort since Endgame, although everyone seems to conveniently skip United Abominations. I thought that album, despite being their most politically charged record, was a surprise and had a lot of in-your-face riffage that complimented Dave's conspiracy theory lyrics well.

I still think Glen Drover was one of the best acquisitions Mustaine ever had.
Power metal incarnate.
09.06.2021 - 17:08
Rating: 9

Excellent album 9/10

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