MEGADETH – Dystopia
Oh man, I have been looking forward to this album for some time now, and finally it has arrived….and managed to blow me away! Following the not-really-that-interesting-and-yet-diverse predecessor entitled «Super Collider» (2013), I am pleased to announce that Megadeth has indeed returned with a hard-hitting vengeance that ought to silence the naysayers and disbelievers once and for all. Contrary to so many other legendary metal bands, Megadeth still has what it takes and fucking delivers this time around! Am I surprised at this turn of events? No, not really, because Dave and his troops have never really disappointed me, and one thing that remains constant is that Dave is a great songwriter and lyricist. While some experiments such as «Risk» and «Super Collider» did not really give the majority of fans a boner, I still hold that there are some great songs to be found on each of them. However, «Dystopia» sounds more akin to a missing link of sorts between «Youthanasia» and «The System Has Failed», which may sound strange to some of you, but I will do my best to elaborate on that statement below.
While the majority of songs are very catchy and memorable, they are suitably complex and layered to the point where one can listen to the album over and over again only to discover subtle nuances and small details pretty much every time one spins the disc. The musicianship is simply excellent. No, fuck that, the word excellent does not do these guys justice; Megadeth now consists of four EXTREMELY talented individuals who have managed to spawn a captivating and highly interesting album that encapsulates all the best parts of previous albums while simultaneously looking to the future. «Dystopia» has Megadeth written all over it. All the ingredients that we love and cherish are firmly installed and in place; Chris Adler’s drumming is impeccable, the riffs are razor-sharp, the solos and leads fly like bullets, and the sound is bombastic. Make no mistake about that. Tell me that the opening riff in «The Threat is Real» is not inhumanly brilliant? Right, that is what I figured. As always, the lyrics are thought-provoking and lend themselves well to reflection and contemplation. Any low points? Well, «Foreign Policy», which is a Fear cover, does not really cut it for me and is simply too bland and uninteresting for my taste, but the remaining tracks are all killer. Highlights? Come on, are you kidding me?! You have been paying attention so far, have you not?
As I mentioned earlier on, the album reminds me of both «Youthanasia» and «The System Has Failed», but for some reason I am finding it difficult to explain why I feel that way. I suppose the lyrics and some of the melodies remind me slightly of «The System Has Failed», but the drive, the intensity, and the production bring back memories of my encounter with «Youthanasia» when I was just an ugly and overweight kid. Also, I think «Youthanasia» has an emotional depth to it that is also present on this new assault, «Dystopia».
If you found «Th1rt3en» and «Super Collider» disappointing, I dare say that «Dystopia» will make you forget all of that and simply fall in love with the band again. «Dystopia» is a vibrant, exciting, and energetic record. It certainly got me excited, and I am willing to bet that it will make you excited too. Every self-respecting fan of quality music ought to try to lose themself in this album. It definitely proves that the band is firing on all cylinders and is as relevant as ever.