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Megadeth - United Abominations (9/10) - USA - 2007

Genre: Heavy Metal
Label: Roadrunner Records
Playing time: 48:03
Band homepage: Megadeth

Tracklist:

  1. Sleepwalker
  2. Washington Is Next!
  3. Never Walk Alone... A Call To Arms
  4. United Abominations
  5. Gears Of Wars
  6. Blessed Are In The Dead
  7. Play For Blood
  8. A Tout Le Monde
  9. Amerikhastan
  10. You’re Dead
  11. Burnt Ice
Megadeth - United Abominations

It’s fairly safe to say that Dave Mustaine’s stock has fallen faster than an emptying Enron boardroom. In the past decade, having laid his band to rest more than once, after a revolving door policy of musicians that even Axl Rose can’t beat and after some very poorly received albums the name MEGADETH was no longer synonymous with state of the art Speed Metal.

 

‘’The System Has Failed’’ re-captured a glint of the power, ferocity and technical prowess that MEGADETH encapsulated in the 80s, but for all intents even hardcore ‘DETH fans had all but lost Mustaine to his demons and anger management issues.

 

And so to the present the eleventh MEGADETH album, ‘’United Abominations’’, sees Mustaine return with a very much back to basics Heavy Metal album that sits more than comfortably with ‘’Rust In Peace’’, ‘’Peace Sells’’ and the multi-platinum ‘Countdown To Extinction’’.

 

This album is such a welcome return to Mustaine’s visceral take on world events and he has plenty to spit his venom at. With much of his rancour directed to the political arena MEGADETH has rarely sounded more potent or deadly. Opening with the rampant riffing of ‘’Sleepwalker’’ quickly dispels the feelings of waste that has perpetrated the previous few albums. This is bang on the button head banging Heavy Metal. The now (hopefully) solid addition of the Drover brothers (they of EIDOLON) has pinned down the MEGADETH sound to a bomb dropping barrage of resolute Metal. Not since ‘’Rust In Peace’’ has MEGADETH laid down such precision riffing and concise song structures. ‘’Washington Is Next!’’ keeps up the relentless charge, although pinching from MAIDEN’S ‘’Wasted Years’’ this is polished slice of charging Melodic Metal. Featuring some fine guitar interplay between Mustaine and Glen Drover this is simply pure classic MEGADETH in ‘Hangar 18’’ form. The title track unleashes volley after volley of spiralling solos and riffs whereas ‘’Blessed Are The Dead’’ probably wouldn’t be out of place on a JUDAS PRIEST record. With Mustaine providing a top drawer vocal performance, his guitar playing is never in question, it’s the aforementioned Drover brothers that have injected the muscle into a MEGADETH sound that was falling by the way side. Those familiar with the brooding Power Metal menace of EIDOLON will need little introduction. Glen supplies razor sharp riffs that could splice steal and blistering solos. Shawn along with James Lomenzo on bass provides a bottom end that easily rivals that of the classic era ‘DETH.

 

Mustaine may have had his fair share of detractors and he has deserved much of the unwanted criticisms but few bands can stand against the back catalogue of MEGADETH a group so important in the development of Speed and Thrash Metal. They may have lost their way these last few years but the strength of ‘’United Abominations’’ lies in the effortless way it combines all the rudiments of the MEGADETH sound from those early days and melds them into what is their best album since 1990.

 

MEGADETH are selling… are you buying?

(Online July 10, 2007)

Chris Doran



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