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  MEGADETH
'Dystopia'
(Tradecraft via Universal Records)
Release date: Friday 29th January 2016

Johnny Main

johnny main



megadeth

Megadeth will forever known as one of the "Big Four" bands of Thrash Metal – one of the pioneering bands of the Eighties Thrash Metal movement, and a main stay on the European Festival circuit for many years.

Megadeth have a history of revolving band members, and the current situation is no exception with 'Dsytopia' being the first release to feature new drummer Chris Adler (who also occupies the drum stool in Lamb of God) and guitarist Kiko Loureiro who also plays in Brazilian Metal band, Angra.

'Dsytopia' is also the band's first studio release since 2013's 'Super Collider' and marks something of a return to form in some respects. Sure, the band are a great live act and never disappoint onstage whether it's in a club, an arena or at a festival, but their recorded output over the last half dozen albums or so, has been patchy.

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There were some moments of brilliance like 'Public Enemy No. 1' or 'Whose Life (Is It Anyways?)' from their 2011 album, 'Thirteen', along with moments of wondering where exactly the band were heading (for examples, see 'Dread and the Fugitive Mind' from 2001's 'The World Needs A Hero' or indeed, the entire 'Risk' album').

This is album number fifteen for the band and it manages to redress the balance from some of the previous less successful records, and it's almost like Megadeth founder and front man Dave Mustaine really put the effort in for this one both lyrically, musically and in his performance too.

Whether this been due to the influx of new blood and new abilities courtesy of Adler and Loureiro is up for debate, though these new songs make the band sound better than they have for some time, and in some cases the sound harks back to the multi-platinum selling glory days of 1990's 'Rust In Peace'.

If you take album opener, 'The Threat Is Real', for example, it has a feel that it could be left over from the 'Rust In Peace' sessions, such is Adler's drum pattern. It actually transpires that both 'Rust In Peace' drummer Nick Menza and guitarist Marty Friedman had been in discussions to rejoin Megadeth for this album, but ultimately these discussions came to nothing, but did they have a knock-on effect to the way Mustaine was writing some of the material in this albums early stages?

Whatever the circumstances regarding the song's history, there's no doubt that Mustaine's voice here is less screechy than it has been in the past and his deeper tone gives a distinct hint of menace to the lyrics.

'Poisonous Shadows' too is reminiscent of an older Megadeth number, 'Foreclosure Of A Dream' from 1992's 'Countdown To Extinction' opus, during the intro before the thundering drums (replete with tolling bell) come in with the extended electric guitar section.

An orchestral and heavenly choir leads the listener up to the main vocal section, so you're pretty much ninety plus seconds into the track before it actually settles down. What you have vocally, is something of a laid back performance from Mustaine but his intonation gives the vocals extra texture. Not the fastest number here by any stretch of the imagination but it's certainly a great track.

Even the title track, 'Dystopia', isn't a fast a furious Thrash tune that some fans may expect but it's more of a much less frantic but still a good paced number. The guitar riff is simple yet ties the whole song together and the guitar runs that feature during the chorus are different and very enjoyable.

Long-time Megadeth bass player David Ellefson gets his moment in the spotlight during a long bass run in 'Fatal Illusion' which also has a long meandering instrumental introductory section. Once the bass run is out of the way, the main guitar riff and drums kick in as the tempo picks up.

A solid number and among the fastest numbers here, it has both Mustaine and Loureiro working really well while Mustaine's voice has a sense of urgency about it, which is absent from other tracks.

megadeth

Other highlights include the instrumental 'Conquer Or Die' which has a twin acoustic guitar intro which is well performed and gives a respite from all the heavy electric guitars, before said guitars blast out of the speakers in this meandering but technically exquisite track.

'Bullet To The Brain' also gives Adler a chance to shine with some militaristic drumming alongside some soft acoustic guitar work during the intro before the basic electric riff breaks out. It's another mid paced number that will have you singing along to the chorus after relatively few listens. Again, Mustaine has a touch of menace to his voice here especially during the chorus making this another great number.

Overall it's clear that there's still a lot of life left in Megadeth and this album is a definite step up from the last couple, and this could be the band's most successful album for a decade.

With a full gig diary over the next few months taking the band across North America and Europe, it'll be interesting to see which tracks they decide to play live and see how they translate from the studio to the stage.

You can see the official video for 'The Threat Is Real' here:


You can see Megadeth live here:
Saturday 20th February – South Side Ballroom, Dallas
Sunday 21st February – Revention Music Center, Houston
Tuesday 23rd February – Fillmore Auditorium, Denver
Wednesday 24th February – The Complex, Salt Lake City
Friday 26th February – The Pearl - Palms Concert Theater, Las Vegas
Saturday 27th February – Comerica Theatre, Phoenix
Sunday 28th February – Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles
Monday 29th February – Warfield Theatre, San Francisco
Wednesday 2nd March – The Republik, Honolulu
Thursday 3rd March – The Republik, Honolulu
Saturday 5th March – South Okanagan Events Centre, Penticton
Sunday 6th March – Grey Eagle Event Centre, Calgary
Tuesday 8th March – Encana Events Centre, Dawson Creek
Wednesday 9th March – Rexall Place, Edmonton
Thursday 10th March – Mosaic Place, Moose Jaw
Saturday 12th March – Myth Live, St Paul
Sunday 13th March – Aragon Ballroom, Chicago
Tuesday 15th March – Rapids Theatre, Niagara Falls
Wednesday 16th March – Terminal 5, New York
Thursday 17th March – Terminal 5, New York
Saturday 19th March – Sands Bethlehem Event Center, Bethlehem
Sunday 20th March – Electric Factory, Philadelphia
Monday 21st March – House of Blues, Boston
Wednesday 23rd March – Cross Insurance Center, Bangor
Thursday 24th March – Videotron Centre, Quebec City
Thursday 28th April – Coliseo de Puerto Rico, San Juan
Saturday 30th April – Fort Rock @ JetBlue Park, Ft. Myers
Sunday 1st May – Welcome to Rockville @ Metropolitan Park, Jacksonville
Saturday 7th May – Carolina Rebellion @ Rock City Campgrounds, Concord
Friday 20th – Sunday 22nd May – Rock On The Range, MAPFRE Stadium, Columbus
Sunday 22nd May – Rock'n Derby @ Schaghticoke Fairgrounds, Schaghticoke
Thursday 26th May – Badlands Pawn, Sioux Falls
Friday 27th – Sunday 29th May – Rocklahoma, Festival Grounds, Pryor
Friday 3rd June – Gods Of Metal @ Monza F1 Racetrack, Milan
Sunday 5th June – FortaRock @ Goffertpark, Nijmegen
Tuesday 7th June – Power Festival @ Atlas Arena, Lodz
Thursday 9th June – Sweden Rock Festival, Solvesborg
Friday 10th – Sunday 12th June – Download Festival, Hippodrome de Longchamp, Paris
Saturday 11th June – Download Festival @ Donington Park, Castle Donington
Tuesday 14th June – Oosterport, Groningen
Wednesday 15th June – Z7 Konzertfabrik, Prattlen
Thursday 16th June – Rockhal, Luxembourg
Friday 17th June – Graspop Metal Meeting @ Festivalpark, Dessel
Friday 17th – Sunday 19th June – Hellfest, Clisson (Sold Out)
Friday 17th June – Graspop Metal Meeting @ Festivalpark, Dessel
Wednesday 22nd June – Huxleys Neue Welt, Berlin
Thursday 23rd June – Docks, Hamburg
Friday 24th June – Copenhell @ Refshaleøen, Copenhagen
Saturday 25th June – Tons of Rock @ Fredriksten Fortress, Halden
Tuesday 28th June – Live Music Hall, Cologne
Wednesday 29th June – Batschkapp, Frankfurt
Thursday 30th June – Backstage, Munich
Thursday 7th July – Universiada Hall, Sofia

'Dsytopia' Track Listing:
The Threat Is Real
Dystopia
Fatal Illusion
Death from Within
Bullet to the Brain
Post American World
Poisonous Shadows
Conquer or Die!
Lying in State
The Emperor
Foreign Policy

Megadeth are:
Dave Mustiane – Vocals/Guitar
Kiko Loureiro – Guitar
David Ellefson – Bass Guitar
Chris Adler – Drums

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28.01.2016










 


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