Review #157: Megadeth – Dystopia

Artist – Megadeth
Album – Album (2016)

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Megadeth are a thrash-metal band from California, USA. The band formed in 1983, after singer/guitarist Dave Mustaine was kicked of the the thrash-metal pioneers Metallica. Megadeth have gone through many line-up changes over the years, but as of this album the band includes Dave Mustaine – guitar/vocals, Dave Ellefson – bass, Kiko Loureiro – guitar and Chris Adler – drums. Along with the previously mentioned Metallica, Megadeth join Anthrax and Slayer as being named by fans (and eventually naming themselves) the “Big Four”, four bands that were most influential/successful in the Thrash genre. Megadeth have a large discography of 14 studio albums, now adding to that with the recent ‘Dystopia’.

Mustaine has become a bit of a polarising figure in the press as of recent, spouting a lot of far right wing nonsense, in regards to immigration, gun control etc. ‘Dystopia’ in its lyrics and topics seems like Mustaine has finally just said “F*** It” and decided to interject all his paranoid ideas into this album, displaying the future as a wasteland where humanity has collapsed, all because of lenient border control. Another negative, which has actually been happening for a while, is Mustaine’s increasingly annoying vocal tone/delivery, grating on the ear more and more as each song passes, far from the distinctive, powerful and often frightening style he had on earlier records i.e Sweating Bullets. The guitar solos are probably the highlight of ‘Dystopia’, not surprising as Mustaine himself is a very talented guitarist and has always hired talented lead guitarists, they display a unique style to Megadeth and fit each song pretty well. The rhythm and guitar riffs on the other hand are boring, have been compressed to hell and back, delivering no dynamics, which is key to sparking interest in the listener … all we hear is chug, chug, chug. If I were to recommend a song from this album it would probably be the title track … the best of a bad/bland situation.

Last year saw the return of a few key metal figures (Iron Maiden, Slayer, Killing Joke) all delivering fantastic albums and showing that they still have far more to offer. I fear that Megadeth have no more to offer and this downfall has been a long time coming.


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