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Best in years - 85%

MurderNArson, May 3rd, 2007

Hell yes. This isn't old-school Megadeth nor is it even true thrash, but it still kicks ass all over the place. I have been thoroughly unimpressed with anything Megadeth has put out since Rust in Peace (I could never grasp why everyone loves Countdown and Youthanasia - both have their share of truly dull songs mixed in with the good ones), but now, for the first time since that masterpiece, we have a Megadeth album that is solid all the way through. That's not to say this even comes close to RiP, but I think its safe to say it's better than anything since.

This definitely isn't a return to Megadeth's old sound, though it does crop up here and there in songs like "Sleepwalker" and "Play For Blood" (and note that by "old sound" I mean what they did on their first four albums, the only sound worth returning to). In a lot of ways, however, it is a return to what made them kick so much ass to begin with: attitude. With the exception of the "A Tout Le Monde" remake, this album of political diatribes, snarled vocals and powerful guitar (even if good thrash riffs are in short supply) has a vitality and edge to it that has been noticably missing from this band for years,

As I mentioned before, it's very solid. There are few great songs, but no bad ones. Some particular standouts include the opener "Sleepwalker," which is an absolute beast, the shredfests of "Amerikhastan" and "Burnt Ice," and the guitar solos in, well, pretty much all the other songs. In the context of everything else, even the pointless "A Tout Le Monde" is tolerable.

Dave sounds as good (or bad, depending on what you think of his distinctive voice) as he ever has, and the lyrics are, for the most part, pretty good. "Sleepwalker" is a bit cheesy, and I could do without the almost constant references to the Book of Revelation (Dave must really think the world's about to end), but then again, Megadeth lyrics have always been rather hit or miss.

A word about the solos: they destroy worlds. Megadeth might not be churning out the killer riffs they used to, but the lead guitar work on this album almost makes up for that. The solos are plentiful and face-melting - what more could you ask for?

Bottom line: I still long for the Killing is My Business through Rust in Peace days, but I think it's pretty clear those days are over. I'm glad Megadeth has finally found a way to sound good doing something different. This is the album they've been trying to make since Risk fell flat, and while it's not the old Megadeth, it sure as hell is the best the new Megadeth has ever done.