Megadeth (L.A. California)
Genre: Thrash Metal
Record Label: Tradecraft
Release date: January the 22th 2016
Ladies and gentlemen, please fasten your seatbelts! For Megadeth is back! Legendary Dave Mustaine's latest record, Dystopia is simply breathtaking! This 15th studio release of LA veterans is a must have for every fan of metal music! Why?? Well, the list of the arguments may be a bit too long to be put in a single review. But above all, Dave Mustaine is once again lurking the thrash waters. Last 2 records, Th1rt3en and Super Colider are a joke when compared with the latest one. I would align Dystopia with Endgame or United Abominations in terms of quality and brutality. The moment I saw the album title and some of the song titles like: Post American World, Foreign Policy and self titled Dystopia I was pretty sure that Dave Mustaine is preparing magnificent thrashback release. But what was everyone sceptical about is the new Megadeth line up. Kiko Loureiro of Angra replaced Chris Broderick on lead guitars, while Chris Adler took over the position behind the drums from Shawn Drover. And I must say that all the doubts will be cast aside as soon as you hear Dystopia! In my opinion, these guys have managed to assimilate in their role better than their predecessors.
Album is opened by Arabic chants that transforms in a sandstorm of crushing riffs within a blink of an eye. Exotic instruments in the background, crazy solos and the outburst of riffs will surely catch your attention. It's kinda ironic but, The Threat is Real is pretty mediocre song when compared with the rest of the stuff off Dystopia. The title track is mid-paced piece of work that in terms of music irresistably reminds me of The Hardest part of letting go, Sealed with a Kiss. Those riffs are pretty sweet if you ask me! And those solos surely set Kiko's and Daves' freats on fire! Dystopia is a perfect juncture of awesome tunes and extremely good satyrical lyrics! It seems like Mustaine have read works of anti-utopic writers lately, such as Yevgeny Zamyatin, George Orvell, Anthony Burgess, Aldous Huxley and others. The next one, Fatal Illusion....well I deem to say that I haven't heard anything like it for a while!! That intro riff combined with tremolo violence and string bendings that will hit you like a cold piece of blood-lethal steel and eventually split your head and chop off your ears in half. The ultimate badassery continues with Ellefson's manic bass attack which transforms into thrashing fury. Chris Adler's drumming adds a perfect dose of aggression to all of these killer riffs. His style will make you fell as if you were listening to Nick Menza pounding the drums! As the song is coming to an end, you can hear the sample of bomb defusion... And really, Fatal Illusion sounds as loud as the explosion of an atom bomb! Final moments of the song possess that Good Mourning/Black Friday vibe, embodied through Mustaine's furious vocals. When thrashiness is at stake, I deem to say that Fatal Illusion can be put right next to Poison was the Cure or some other classic Megadeth song.
Death From Within is another more than a decent mid-paced song with handful of guitar licks around the corner. Catchy riffs, catchy chorus..everything's there! Yet, it is pretty overshadowed by the magnitude of other great work on Dystopia. Right after that, acoustic intro and "war drums" are clearing path to another great "love" song, Bullet to the Brain with pretty memorable phrasing and face-melting lead works. The riffs are slamming and pounding all the way as much as Chris Adler's double bass attacks! Now, Post American World's song title speaks for itself! With this one, Dave Mustaine have brought his critics of American imperialsm to another level - dark vibe is quite essential to this song; chugging riffs and spooky chord proggressions in the background combined with Mustaine's recognizable vocals is outstanding! Acoustic guitar in the second half of the song are like some calm before the storm, put right before Kiko's Friedman-like soloing! With no doubt, Post American World is one of the finest work from Megadeth's entire opus!
Poisonous Shadows intro will make you feel as if you were listening to classic tunes such as Forclosure of a Dream. And then, groovy riff with Kiko's crazy solos on top of them kick in! Orchestral parts really give this song an epic state of atmosphere. Mustaine must have been proud of this piece of art! Gives me chills everytime I hear it! However, the song itself ends with piano part and Dave's whispering (I would cut that part as unnecessary). Chilling epicness continues with amazing classical guitar intro which can be heard in Conquer or Die, the only instrumental song on this record. Man, I love the way acoustic guitars screech! And they even sound heavier than distorted ones! If you are fond of lenghty solos, this one will surely be your cup of tea! *Jaw dropped*
After a couple of more ambient/mid paced songs, tension is building up to a state of boiling with another thrashterpiece, Lying in state. Once again, Mustaine is bashing megalomanic imperial politics. Even the solo sounding as Iron Maiden's Mother Russia is intentionally put in place to raise the bar of criticism to another dimension ! Priceless! That thing really made my day!!! Riffs need not to be disussed in details: they will make you rattle your goddamn head! There's even one leak that reminds me of Alison Hell. Finally album is closed by a song The Emperor. It really stands out from the rest of the songs. It possesses Skin o' my Teeth/Sweating Bullets kind of vibe. And also, it's definitely the catchiest song off Dystopia. And for some reason, everytime I listen to that song have a feel that party is coming to an end! Killer tunes! Not to mention Kiko/Mustaine rancid dual solo attack! However, the last song on the record is amazing cover of Fear's Foreign Policy. I haven't heard riffs as strange as these! And Mustaine gave this song a propper stamp for sure! He transformed it into thrash anthem of some sorts. And that tremolo violence will punch you in the face! Deluxe version of Dystopia contains 2 awesome tunes: Look Who's Talking - a mixture of thrash/pop tunes with solos that will rape your ears for good! Everything about it is dark and brutal except for the poppy chorus. Yet, Kiko and Dave are grinding these solos with a style! Last Dying Wish starts with MegaDave's loundspeaker invective speech accompanied with rapid-fire sounding riffs! All the sudden, Cold War paranoia is in the house!!!
Megadeth's Dystopia is an album that deserves to be heard by every person who claims to be metalhead. The masterwork of Dave Mustaine's songwriting is just outstanding! I even dare to say that Slayer's Repentless or Anthrax's For All Kings sound like a joke when compared with piece of art such as Dystopia. New line up has proven to be working like a charm. As far as I'm concerned this thrashing masterpiece can easily end up as the best album of 2016. Don't believe me?? Well, you'll prove yourself wrong the moment you hear it.