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Megadeth: United Abominations

The long awaited Megadeth arrives with United Abominations and I think this is a release that will quickly be regarded as one of the finest in the groups catalog. From start to finish this is an intriguing listen that is loaded to the hilt with the brand of Thrash Metal fury and melody that the band has been known for since their inception in 1983. The other important note is that this will be the first recordings for the most recent lineup of the band. Brothers, Shawn and Glen Drover (drums and guitar) have been touring with the group for a couple of years now and James LoMenzo (bass) only half that time but only now are finally able to show just how good a recording with their talents can sound. They shine like blazing Metal stars on every track. Another reason for the albums overall appeal is the fact that it has this "Old School" Metal purity that is not often found on the newer band releases. Given the wide array of genre specifications these days it's nice to see an album that shows you that the roots for them all still rocks the hardest. As expected, United Abominations also contains a lot of fuel to the fire and deep, politically charged dialogue courtesy of Dave Mustaine. I have always given him serious credit for his ability to write an intelligent album and speak his mind in the music as opposed to standing at a podium at an awards show and suddenly letting his beliefs fly. You know where Dave stands on every track and he shows not only an educated mindset during songs like "Washington Is Next" and "United Abominations" but he shows the listener that it is all based on being aware of the world at large. There is nothing clueless about Dave Mustaine and he does not walk blindly through the notes as he lines out the recent world troubles and their actions during "Amerikhastan". Understand that he is not being Anti-American here but is instead speaking loud in a voice that many others are choosing to speak in. It's a voice that sparks debate and disagreement and not needed for this review, but suffice it to say it does speak volumes on these songs. The listener is advised to read along with the lyrics before they make any harsh judgements about the performers because it all makes more sense when you do. Mustaine will definitely leave you thinking with this one and I am betting that this is exactly what he wanted the result to be. The album was produced by Andy Sneap (Killswitch Engage, Arch Enemy, etcetera) and at times will melt your speakers. Favorite tracks for me are the referenced ones above as well as "Burnt Ice" and Gears Of War". With the strong production, solid musicianship and thought out songwriting we clearly have a winner in the Metal battle with this one.

It's safe to say that the older Megadeth fans will love United Abominations since many elements from the bands early years are touched upon as they find tastes of Peace Sells, Killing and Rust In Peace in the songs. New fans will not be left out in the cold either as the fresh feeling is still there and even finds them re-working their classic "A Tout Le Monde". This time around it finds the lovely Cristina Scabbia, vocalist of Lacuna Coil along for a duet. This track shines and while you probably never expected Mustaine to make a move like this he shows that it works for the tune just fine. It is bound to get some heavy rotation based on both contributors popularity at this time. Everyone knows that an important factor in a good Metal album is tightness and thankfully the recent years of touring have found the Drover Brothers to be a machine that Mustaine easily works with. The lead guitar work and drumming are the tops here and while I admit to being fond of certain players in the bands history, I can definitely say that this is perhaps the best Megadeth lineup in many years. My hope is this is the first of several more recordings and plenty more Gigantours if we are lucky.

Track Listing
  1. Sleepwalker
  2. Washington Is Next!
  3. Never Walk AloneA Call To Arms
  4. United Abominations
  5. Gears Of War
  6. Blessed Be The Dead
  7. Play For Blood
  8. A Tout La Monde (Set Me Free)
  9. Amerikhastan
  10. You're Dead
  11. Burnt Ice

Added: May 31st 2007
Reviewer: Ken Pierce
Related Link: Megadeth Website
Hits: 3824
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Megadeth: United Abominations
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2007-05-31 17:40:29
My Score:

Although I'm not sold on Dave's need for the constant political rants and war bashing, this new Megadeth platter is musically the most smoldering set in many, many years. Go-for-the-throat rippers like "Sleepwalker", "Washington is Next", "Burnt Ice", and "Gears of War", just to name a few, are some of the most groovy, technical metal thumpers this collective has churned out in years, Mustaine and Drover really cranking into overdrive with their venemous and high-flying guitar bursts. Honestly, the only real drawback here is the sort-of sappy re-make of "A Tout Le Monde" with Ms. Scabbia from Lacuna Coil on guest vocals, which pales in comparison to the original version recorded some years ago. And while the frequent voice overs and news-like narrations can at times be a distraction, there's still no denying that this is Mustaine & Co's most lethal metal release since Rust in Peace.

Megadeth: United Abominations
Posted by Jedd Beaudoin, SoT Staff Writer on 2007-05-29 06:42:46
My Score:

Nearly 25 years after its formation, Megadeth is making its most brilliant work, a feat that some acts find unthinkable末maybe impossible末after half that time.

Megadeth has always been smarter than many of its metal contemporaries. Smarter in the sense that 'Deth leader Dave Mustaine has never shied away from tackling, in detail, topics that his peers have only paid lip service to. When Mustaine sings about politics, about global events, it's never in the abstract, faraway sense; his lyrics are riddled with references to the here and now of things末the boundaries and bombs that make the threat of war末or the threat of doom末 real. So it's no real surprise that his band's newest release features lyrics liberally peppered with references to Afghanistan, 9/11, NATO and the like. His ability to probe the questions of our times lands him in a universe parallel to the likes of Joe Strummer and Billy Bragg more than the one dominated by Ozzy and Ronnie James Dio.

But no one buys a record or a ticket to a show specifically to hear five-minute polemics, they plop down that cash to shake their hair or shake their thang, and that's where Mustaine's real talent末a talent for creating ear-perking riffs and solid, carefully-constructed songs末comes in. Lyrically, United Abominations may require that you read the newspaper on a regular basis but it also allows you to let loose with abandon and excitement. "Never Alone A Call To Arms," "Gears Of War" and "Play For Blood" are remarkable because they recall the classic metal of Judas Priest, Diamond Head and the like and prove that there's nothing quite like an overdriven boogie-based riff to excite the most primitive impulses in the listener. It's a great juxtaposition:
Being at once asked to pay attention to the world around yourself and being pried into the pit so that you can let all the gravity and minutiae of our times float into the wind.

Judged on the musical merits alone, this may be Megadeth's strongest release to date. The arrangements are tight; no metal excess exists anywhere in its 11 offerings; the rhythms and wails are familiar and true to the genre and the production shines with a clarity not always present on past band offerings. As has been the case all along, Mustaine makes a bid or two for commercial radio, namely by revisiting Youthanasia's "A Tout Le Monde (Set Me Free)"
with Lacuna Coil vocalist Cristina Scabbia. It's Mustaine's most emotionally honest vocal performance to date and one that will no doubt finally earn him wider critical recognition for his efforts.

» Reader Comments:

Megadeth: United Abominations
Posted by Hugh Dark on 2007-05-18 16:56:26
My Score:

I have to say that I do not agree with all the hype. The production is ordinary as are the songs, solos and everything else. Mustaine should have called Poland back and this would have been a better time. The first 2 songs kill and after that it starts to put you asleep. In fact, I still can't remember any song titles past the first 2. You make the choice, but my copy is already turning into a coaster. If Metallica makes a half-hearted effort it should be better than this.

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