“This Is The Album That Should Have Lars And The Gang Shitting Teeth...”
Rob Milz TMO
MEGADETH is back and blazing at full force and everything about “The System Has Failed” screams “Classic MEGADETH!” Just to get it out of the way, the year is 2004, not 1986, not 1992, so don’t go there. MEGADETH is 20 years old. Mustaine is still the man and MEGADETH is still the band! Well ok, MEGADETH is still MegaDave, since the whole MEGADETH line-up has been revamped. Marty is doin’ his million mile an hour, Japanese pop-star thing, and Ellefson I guess is working for Peavey and is currently mid-lawsuit with Mustaine for whopping $18.5 million big ones over some merch and publishing royalty issues that came about when Dave decided not to pull the plug on MEGADETH after all, leaving Mustaine as the only returning member, or is he? Technically, he’s not, but we’ll get to that.
You know, when Dave got kicked out of METALLICA so many years back, he made a vow, a vow to kick METALLICA’s ass. Needless to say, even though two decades have passed since then, this is the album that should have Lars and the gang shitting teeth! Not that the past albums weren’t enough, it’s just that compared to 2003’s “St. Anger”, this album puts METALLICA out of the race, it’s just that simple. Once you find you’re formula, keep it, master it, make it you’re own. METALLICA screwed with theirs one too many times unfortunately and as a result it crumbled through their fingers.
One thing that’s definitely a plus about this album is the “oh so familiar” feeling you get from the artwork. Just you’re regular run-o-the-mill MEGADETH cover that may as well be from the 80’s as opposed to now...oop, I went there. Not to mention the listing of who does which solos in the liner notes, always a nice bonus. And just who exactly would be swapping solos with The Man? None other than Chris Poland, that’s right, this album marks the triumphant return of Chris Poland, the original lead guitarist who hasn’t been seen with MEGADETH since “Peace Sells...” However, that’s not to say he hasn’t been busy. Since then, he has appeared on several albums including three solo albums of his own, as well as a few from his current jazz/fusion group OHM, not to mention a guest appearance on the 2003 Metal opus “As The Palaces Burn” from LAMB OF GOD which shows that he has definitely kept up on his metal chops, which as you will hear on this new album are still second to none.
As for Mustaine, well what can be said that hasn’t? The man is, well...The Man. However, Dave suffered a severe arm injury in 2002 that had him convinced he would never play again, so Dave disbanded the group altogether and it seemed as though MEGADETH was through. Supposedly, Dave got drunk and fell asleep on his arm causing severe nerve damage (???). However, with a miraculous recovery and a reworked set of band members, MEGADETH are here to stay.
At just under 50 minutes, Mustaine and Poland give you an ample supply of riffery that never drags for even a nanosecond, and with soon to be classics like “Of Mice And Men“, “Blackmail The Universe“ and “Truth Be Told“, this newest offering from one of the greatest Metal bands of all time clearly shows that the days of MEGADETH have yet to be numbered, even by Mustaine himself. \m/ (Online October 29, 2004)