Yeah, I am a big MEGADETH fan from way back. I was a fan before MEGADETH existed. I remember when James Hetfield and Dave Mustaine had their confrontation. I remember when Dave Mustaine got the boot from METALLICA and was sent home by them on the bus from New York. I was pumped in 1985 at the thought of a METALLICA spawn going head to head with the original. For many years, I was happy or at least content with the results.
Why the fuck is this important you say? Two reasons actually…it pisses me off that Dave and co. are always following in METALLICA's footsteps especially when those steps are right across the shit-filled moat of mediocrity ("Load" & "Reload" specifically) and 2nd…I'm old enough, experienced enough and have spent enough money on these guys to have a say. Hold on this may get ugly!
What's good on this release? It came in a regular jewel case which was not cracked…that's ok. The picture of the hairless cat and the mice inside the booklet are alright…I'm a vet, I like animals. The production is pretty good I guess. That's about it…fuckin' pathetic.
Is it really all that bad…pretty much. The cover is awful. It bugged me on the rack when I bought it and now it represents all that can go wrong in Metal. The band pictures were obviously based on those taken of FIREHOUSE or the country band LITTLE TEXAS years back. I remember the first time I popped this in the car CD player and while listening to the first couple passable tunes, I read the song titles and I got that feeling…that same feeling you get when you look at BON JOVI's new albums and know that the songs are gonna be rehashed, mellow radio-friendly crap.
The track "Enter The Arena" opens into "Crush 'Em" which I believe was used by someone in the World Wrestling Federation…I'm ok with Metal tunes being used by wrestlers because of their aggressive nature but this song was so blatantly aimed for that market that it makes me puke. It goes beyond anthem into the world of corny…no wonder it's good for pro wrestling…really pathetic I say. The ballad "Breadline" is just a sad attempt at music, nothing Metal about it. Dave can't sing well enough to even pull this off. "The Doctor Is Calling" has a short, Dethy spoken section in the middle but the painful sounding chorus ruins it for me. Then there's "Ill Be There For You" and if you are thinking there is no fuckin' way that a tune could be heavy with that title then you're right…and it's bad too. "Wanderlust" is ok…I would say it would be acceptable filler for a great album but unfortunately here it is one of the better tunes.
I like the song "Ecstasy" but not on a MEGADETH album. I'd bet money on it that "Seven" was written after close listens to METALLICA's "Load" album…vewy, vewy bad…it isn't even good enough to be stuck on their "Load" leftovers album "Reload". I can't believe I had to wait until the last song to get a bit heavier. The song ain't great but I can live with it and its more mellow intro probably because of the rest of the album being so poor. I actually like the second song "Prince Of Darkness" - it feels like a MEGADETH song and is the heaviest on the album. Coupled with the opener "Insomnia" which is decent, you would easily scoop this CD up at the store if you are buyer who buys after previewing only one or two songs.
So I guess you know the score on this one can't be good. I can't really give marks for the jewel case or the animal pictures. After being around this long, production should be good quality so can't give much there. When it comes down to it, there are truly 10 songs on this release and I think I would chuck all but three if I would have been in the studio lending a hand. Sounds like a good way to score the CD if you ask me.
I can't believe after all this time that I reviewed this CD. I guess if I wanted to forget and put it behind me, I would have given it away or better yet thrown it away. I think I'll keep it alongside the Blaze Bailey era MAIDEN CDs just to remind me how bad it can get. (Online May 13, 2003)