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Shoot Dave again - he ain't dead yet, goddammit. - 13%

Vlachos, May 19th, 2007

This album, along with its apologists, is full of misleading tripe. Anyone with half a brain predicted that this album would be full of references to current world events, the United Nations and whatnot, but this? This is nothing but a tool for Mustaine to vent his frustrations with the world. It would be a different story if he channeled his rage and disgust and used it to fashion music based on that, but alas it is not so, as he is a snob. Worse yet, the political ideals represented by the lyrics and spoken passages are so overt that it practically renders all musical qualities as immediately forgettable.

There are two outstanding tracks: ‘Sleepwalker’ has a half-decent riff and a recall to ‘Take No Prisoners’ at the 3:20 mark at the break, and ‘Gears of War’ has both a catchy opening (“gears of war… gears of war…”) and chorus. The reason these are outstanding? No, not because they’re great songs bunched in with a bunch of shitty ones, but because neither of these feature the overbearing lyrical themes which overshadow all the others (the second coming of ‘A Tout le Monde’ is an exception, but that one’s awful anyway). Unless I bothered to carefully dissect it, the former could be about an actual sleepwalker, so it doesn’t outright force-feed the listener with political garbage. The latter sounds as if Dave, completely by accident, stumbled upon the genius found on such tracks as ‘Polaris’ from Rust in Peace by targeting warfare lyrically, but remaining somewhat indirect and accentuating the melody and catchiness. There’s no wonder as to why ‘Gears of War’ was released as a single and ‘Sleepwalker’ was a playable track on their MySpace. Despite being decent, these songs have practically nothing in common with the classic ‘Deth albums and even less to do with a high quality of musicianship, especially considering the man penning these songs.

The other single which isn’t painful to listen to is ‘Washington is Next’, but as you would have guessed by the title it’s driven by its lyrical themes, discussing direct issues without creatively turning them into actual songs. This is especially true of the title track; it begins with a spoken passage addressing some bullshit I don’t care about, and the rest of it plods along, complimenting the droning lyrics. Listening to this album is like listening to a lecture you’re not particularly interested in: after it’s done, you can’t really recall anything specific despite it having been about a specific subject.

That’s why tracks like ‘Gears of War’ work, while the other tracks just do not. The former sacrifices the details of current events and issues in the name of musical quality, whereas the latter are just commentaries without the application of artistic integrity. Songs aren’t supposed to just convey talking points outright without bothering to articulate them in at least somewhat poetically, otherwise it’s just garbage. And that’s the overbearing fault of United Abominations: It’s just a series of messages that aren’t even vague to the listener, and the music is little more than a background that isn’t one bit creative. In summary, this album is bereft of any discernable quality and creativity due to the glorification of what appears to be Dave Mustaine’s opinion on everything.

Due to the fact that the actual music is just there to compliment the ideals and values, the album becomes even worse because it just seems like an exercise of mental masturbation. Megadeth has made zero progress, musically, in the last decade, this outing included. Essentially, this album is a portrait of a bitter man venting his frustrations and blasting everything he hates about the world without even bothering to make music. The music’s presence merely serves as a platter to dish out the verbal excrement, really. Dave’s attempts at criticizing world powers through music are a bit too rich when one considers that he has barely taken the time to construct anything worthwhile himself and expects his fans to pay just to listen to his bullshit. Maybe it sounds like an unfair or invalid criticism because, hey, after all it is music… but that IS the music, as sad as that sounds. I can only implore you to never, ever bother with this. Ever.

Oh, and did I mention there’s another ‘A Tout le Monde’? It’s like the first one, except this time it’s about as enjoyable as a turd in a bathtub.