Album Review: Megadeth – Dystopia
Posted by Reggie
Release Date: 22 Jan 2016
Label: Universal Music Enterprise
Length: 55 Minutes
Genre: Thrash Metal
Previous Albums: Killing is my Business…and Business is Good (1985); Peace Sells…but Who’s Buying (1988); Rust in Peace (1990); Countdown to Extinction (1992); Youthanasia (1994); Cryptic Writings (1997); Risk (1999); The World Needs a Hero (2001); The System Has Failed (2004); United Abominations (2007); Endgame (2009); Thirteen (2011); Super Collider (2013).
Location: United States
It didn’t really take long for Megadeth to bounce back after the not-so-popular Super Collider (2013) album and a 50% employee turnover rate. Despite losing the consistency of their longest running drummer and guitarist (or close to it), Dystopia (15th studio album) aims to thrust Megadeth back in the forefront of American Thrash Metal…or just metal in general. Did they aim well? In short, yes.
Dystopia is no Rust in Peace, but it is a solid Megadeth album. I imagine they hate all of their music being compared to RiP, but what a hell of a benchmark they set back in 1990. By now, if you’ve heard anything from this album it is the first three tracks: The Threat is Real, Dystopia, and Fatal Illusion. Not a bad selection of songs to release ahead of the album. Of those three, I like the album’s title track, Dystopia, the best; it is the most melodic and rhythmic. Overall, those three songs set a pretty good example of what you will find on the album not to mention lyrics laced with cynicism. Think of the lyrics as a State of the Union Address for America and you get the gist. Some songs are faster while others are angrier and others are slower and more headbanging. Megadeth did a good job changing the tempos up a bit keeping things interesting. Personally, I never thought Megadeth suffered in that department anyway. The album has a lot to offer.
One of the most obvious things Megadeth is known for are guitars, solos, and riffing. There is no shortage of guitar splendor on Dystopia. See Conquer…Or Die; a really cool instrumental. Poisonous Shadows is the longest song at just over 6 minutes and boasts quality musicianship work from both Mustaine and Loureiro. In addition to the excellent guitars, Ellefson does a great job (as usual) with the rhythm section and Adler’s drumming technique is in line with the Megadeth sound, but you can tell he put his touch on things throughout the album. I think it gives Dystopia the edge it needed to come back from their previous work.
For Megadeth fans, Dystopia should ring in as, at the very least, a good album. I would be hard-pressed to find a Megadeth fan raise a stink about Dystopia. 30+ years later, 15 albums later, this could very well be another beginning for Megadeth. It is certainly a step in the right direction.
4 out of 5
Super Collider Review
Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying (retro) Review