Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Album Review: "United Abominations" by Megadeth (2007)

This has been a busy spring for Dave Mustaine. First came a live DVD, then a tour with Black Sabbath Heaven and Hell followed by the release of "United Abominations", an album which builds on the momentum established by the solid 2004 comeback effort for Megadave, "The World Needs a Hero", but takes things to a brand-new level.

Now in his mid-forties, Mustaine is full of piss and vinegar both musically and lyrically. He finds much to comment on concerning the state of the world today (not that you should care what an entertainer has to say) and works out his anger and confusion with mad fret work underscored by full-blown yet melodic aggression. With song titles like "Amerikhastan", "Gears of War" and "Washington Is Next", in addition to the damning title track, there's much to chew on here. I haven't heard lyrics like this since the long-since-passed literary glory days of Neil Peart. More importantly, the additions of the Drover brothers and former White Lion bassist James Lomenzo have resulted in a level of musicianship that is rivalled only by the latest Maiden album when it comes to releases from the last couple of years. For a taste, check out "Sleepwalker", "Gears of War" and the remake of 1994's "A Tout Le Monde", originally featured on 1994's Youthanasia but now redone as a duet with Lacuna Coil's Christina Scabbia.

As I am north of thirty, I am one of those who strongly believes that the new stuff that's out there now just doesn't compare to the old school bands. This is a shining example of why. "United Abominations" is Mustaine's finest work yet and blows away most of what you'll hear on rock radio today. The Killers, White Stripes and all of those other flash in the pan outfits should go back to school, learn how to play some scales and arpeggios, and throw this on to learn about real art crafted by a true professional who has done it, survived, and emerged with his artistic integrity and creative juices not only intact but never better.

Overall rating: 9.25/10


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