Megadeth- United Abominations (Roadrunner)
Considering Megadeth are damn near my favorite metal band of all time, this is an incredibly hard review for me to write. Dave Mustaine has written some of my favorite riffs, solos, and lyrics over the years, and has earned a legion of fans who know that Kill 'em All was really his brainchild and that Lars Ulrich is a whining bastard. But he's lost his touch since 2004's somewhat awesome The System Has Failed
; United Abominations
' music and lyrics seem to be what its title refers to. This isn't just mediocrity. This is utterly awful.
MegaDave, like any frontman for a signed band, hyped the album through the roof prior to its release, saying it was the album Megadeth fans have been waiting for since Rust in Peace
. That would mean it's thrash, right? Wrong. It's melodic, usually mid-paced metal in the vein of all the other 21st century Megadeth. Don't get me wrong, that isn't inherently bad: The World Needs a Hero
were both good records. And the problem isn't the new lineup: Glen and Shawn Drover and James Lomenzo are probably the best Megadeth incarnation after the classic lineup disbanded following Risk
(the only 'Deth album shittier than this). The problem is Dave. The songwriting magic is completely gone. Do songs entitled "Amerikhastan" and "United Abominations" even deserve to be listened to? Some of the best political metal lyrics we've ever heard came from the same pen that somehow managed to spew the line "from New Yorqatar to Califarabia" for the new record.
The album seems to be visionless; it seems as though Dave has run out of things to say. The only truly awesome song on the album is "Washington Is Next!", which still doesn't hold a candle to the best songs on other latter-day Megadeth releases. This album is literally saddening to listen to knowing that Megadeth were once the most relevant and creatively vital band in American metal.
Maybe Dave realizes that this album sucks; recent Megadeth setlists have
beem almost entirely devoid of these abominations. Maybe Megadeth will save themselves with the next record, or maybe they will remain relevant only as a nostalgia act, playing their brilliant output from the 80s and 90s, and sprinkling only a few new songs as they have been doing.
That said, Megadeth are one of my favorite live acts and I'll keep seeing them until Jesus comes for MegaDave.