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02 May 2015

Scott Jessup

While we wait to hear from Megadeth's Dave Mustaine regarding the recent surprising departures of drummer Shawn Drover followed by guitarist Chris Broderick after many years of performing together. The speculation is naturally rife as to who may be their replacements and it's a gig that no doubt many would be eager to give a shot if the opportunity presents itself to them. With the timing of this and more so the sad news regarding Dave Mustaine's mother in law you can understand why we haven't seen any updates on the situation from the man himself. As to what this means for the future of this prominent metal group according to limited comments by bass player Dave Ellefson they are not disbanding.

Change isn't always a bad thing is it? A fresh input may not be just what's needed, and I don't see the point in going back to past members as tantalising as some of those prospects may be, when after all they departed for a reason and this could possibly lead to future issues. Also could we see a Dream Theater style audition process like when drummer Mike Portnoy departed? I hope not as I really didn't like the way some participants were shown, and as Megadeth aren't with the same label anymore it doesn't seem likely. Out of those names that are being touted as contenders for the vacant drum spot the first person that came to mind was legendary drumming powerhouse Dave Lombardo, and he has shown an interest in the role. Slayer just isn't the same band anymore without his name in their line-up, and what Lombardo could bring to Megadeth would certainly raise my anticipation more so than it has been in years for the band's new releases.

Megadeth have had their share of scintillating guitarists delivering big time over the years, with Marty Friedman being my standout but he has clearly moved on. Annihilator's mainman Jeff Waters is another talented shredder that has been mentioned before in connection with Dave Mustaine, and that is something that really had me excited about the possibilities, but the more I think about that potent combination the less I can see it working. Two leaders in one band does sound like a recipe for potential disaster. So who I would like to see as their next guitarist? Well he is another with past connections having auditioned for the band at the age of only sixteen, that is the seriously talented Jeff Loomis who has recently been performing with Swedish melodic death metal band Arch Enemy. His amazing work with Nevermore, those two excellent solo albums and Conquering Dystopia clearly shows that his playing would be an immense asset to the band in such a crucial role. I suppose though having recently teamed up with Arch Enemy who knows whether he's still open to the idea of joining Megadeth, one would hope so.

Lombardo and Loomis just seem like the obvious choices, and while I don't share quite the same level of enthusiasm for the other names mentioned I will be eager to hear if Megadeth can bounce back and deliver the goods like they used to.

Scott Jessup


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