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Review of Dystopia by Megadeth
by TeenHelp February 3rd 2018, 12:36 PM

Review of Dystopia by Megadeth
By Tort (TheAtomicBlade)

"Holy shit." Those are the only words that came to my mind when I listened to thrash metal legends Megadeth's new album Dystopia. The 15th album by the legendary band formed by Dave Mustaine clocks in at a relatively modest 50 minutes. But every single one of those minutes counts. In my opinion, this album is a return to the classic thrash metal genre Megadeth helped pioneer back in the 80s, while maintaining relevance to the modern world.

The beginning track, The Threat is Real, begins with a rather haunting Asian/Middle Eastern style vocal cover, before breaking into rather aggressive guitars. Dave Mustaine, along with new axeman Kiko Loureiro, don't waste any time in making you start shaking your head to the insane riff. The two solos in the first two minutes have a very distinctive Asian influenced feel. A cheeky throwback to their classic Holy War song ( off the Rust in Peace Album) in my opinion. However, unlike a lot of callbacks, it doesn't feel forced. Chris Adler was the recording drummer, and he wasted no time in playing his rolls that perfectly compliment the guitar genius that is Mustaine, while also giving the listener something to rock their head to.

The next few tracks, Dystopia, Fatal Illusion and Death from Within maintain this high paced aggression. I don't think anyone in the studio had anything but good old thrash metal on their minds while recording or writing. The bass line by Dave Ellefson is a bit clearer here, in my opinion, giving a nice little boost. Mustaine and Loureiro don't disappoint either, treating the listener to brilliantly seamless soloing and powerful chugging on the rhythm sound. However, Fatal Illusion has a few solos that feel a bit forced, between verses. They are great, but I feel that adding them a bit later would have given the song a more complete feel.

Bullet to the Brain takes a U-turn in terms of intros. The classical acoustic guitar opening with a marching beat drum made me double check I had the right album on. But about 25 seconds in you don't need to worry. This song has a much greater level of melody than the starting our. The tempo is a bit slower too. However, it provides a great insight into the musical talent of this band. It doesn't feel out of place, although the lyrics leave a lot to be desired, when compared to the previous songs. Chris Adler, however, is phenomenal. His drumming reminds me of some Lamb of God (which he is a member of) songs and that is an interesting feeling. The two bands (Megadeth and Lamb of God) have different sounds, and in this case they have created a combination that has the brutal strength of Megadeth's thrash metal, while blending the groove sound Lamb of God seems to enjoy. Further, the rolls and fills of the previous songs are replaced with a stronger double bass drum and damn it just shows his prowess. The main solo of this song, is in my opinion, the best on this record. Starting slow, and then accelerating into the style that has been previously shown on this album, it doesn't feel forced, flows beautifully AND just shows off how well the 56-year-old Mustaine knows his way around the guitar.

The rest of album is great, but is not outstanding, with the exception of The Emperor. A surprisingly bouncy guitar and drum riff made me jump and wiggle in my seat. Obviously intended to be a diss at world leaders, this song has a fun feeling in an otherwise serious album. The lyrics are openly anti-politicians, but the chorus is where the punch is. Dave Mustaine singing "You look so perfect, but everybody knows, They're petrified to say the emperor has no robes, So bloody perfect, but everybody knows, They're just so petrified that the emperor has no clothes, Just so you know, That's how it goes" is hilarious to say the least. Not to mention, given the present political climate of the world, it cannot be more accurate.


Overall, this album is outstanding. Megadeth have proven that they are not washed out and definitely deserved the Grammy they won this year (2017). Dystopia is a return to the roots of Megadeth, while also displaying the band's growth. I personally have never been Megadeth's biggest fan, but this album is one I adore. If you are a newbie to thrash metal, this is one you want to listen to along with the classic albums (such as Metallica's Master of Puppets, Slayer's Reign in Blood, and Megadeth's very own Rust in Peace). I highly recommend you use headphones while listening to the album in order to fully appreciate the drums and bass that may be slightly understated on speakers.

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  (#2 (permalink)) Old
Clarent Offline
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Name: L.
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Re: Review of Dystopia by Megadeth - February 3rd 2018, 04:13 PM

Rightfully earned Album of the Year when it came out. Fantastic album in every single way.


The risk I took was calculated, but boy, am I bad at math.
   
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