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The REAL return of Mustaine - 72%

quacktheripper, November 18th, 2007

We all listened to Gears of War when it came out (as part of the OST of the game, to the excellence of which a certain Chacko Khan testifies.) and considering how fucking bad that song was, Sonic Abominations seemed like a more apt title for the album. Cut to March 2007, when samples of Sleepwalker were posted on the net. True, I probably had very low expectations from it but the song took me by surprise. It had all the trademarks of ass-kicking era Megadeth : a buzzing sledgehammer of a riff, that pissed-off snarl that ONLY Mustaine can possibly pull off and some superb lead guitar work. Now, here was hope that there was probably going to be a quality thrash/speed metal offering.

Alright, let’s cut to the chase here. There are approximately 93,846,171,015,101 threads on the internet about how MetallicA and Megadeth and some other bands that pioneered the thrash revolution have sold out, are not true to their roots anymore and “Megadeth/MetallicA’s next album : Do you think they can recapture the magic?”. However, the real question about a band like MetallicA or Megadeth today is do they WANT to make an album like Master of Puppets or Rust in Peace. I mean, it was the ‘80s; these guys had mullets and spandex. That kinda shit gets to you and you make pissed off music which kicked muchos behind (really, fucking mullets!!). But NOW, sitting in their 20 million dollar mansion with a tennis court and an indoor hot water pool and Jacuzzi, it’s kind of hard to be pissed off, right? Apparently not, as Mustaine has proved with United Abominations. I don’t know what that fucker is ticked off about now but damn, it’s worked wonders. Wait, maybe it’s George Bush. I mean, it wouldn’t be the first Bush-bashing album that has been outstanding this year. We already had Ministry's The Last Sucker getting a few kvltheads banging.

United Abominations is possibly Mustaine’s best output since Countdown to Extinction. It truly signals an intent to get back to producing the angry, vengeful, neck snapping music that we all came to love Mustaine for. The sound on this album is essentially a hark back to Countdown To Extinction and, to a lesser extent, Rust In Peace in terms of sheer ferocity of the riffage, the intricacy of structuring, blistering lyrical work and most importantly, the fucking awesome solo work, something which has been sorely missed since Marty “The God of Guitar” Friedman moved out. Glen Drover (ex - King Diamond) fills that void more than competently on this album and Mustaine too, is back in fine touch, pulling off a few scorchers himself. Bass duties are handled by James Lomenzo (ex-Black Label Society) but seriously, who are we shitting here? I miss Ellefson.

On to the good parts of the album now. As mentioned before, the song structuring and lyrical work are highly reminiscent of Countdown To Extinction, especially on songs like Sleepwalker and Amerikhastan which mirror the kind of elaborate finesse displayed on songs like Foreclosure of a dream and Architecture of Aggression. There's a lot of mid-paced ass kickers on the album such as the title song, Pray For Blood and the rather melancholy You're Dead which might I add, is a dead ringer (haw!no pun intended) for This Was My Life. The lyrics are extremely well written too, mostly dealing with the Iraq war and some Bush-bashing thrown in for good effect.

“And to beat violence, you must ignore the focus groups,
You must send in the Mossad, turn off the BBC, CNN
And don't look back
Rest assured there'll be no more Middle Eastern crisis. Hell, there'll be no more Middle East!”
YEAH! Go Mustaine!

There are a couple of clunkers on the album, such as the aforementioned Gears Of War and a new version of A Tout Le Monde with Christina Scabbia (of Lacuna Coil) further emasculating an already limp-wristed piece of work.However, these are only minor aberrations in what is otherwise an extremely ballsy, all out thrasher.

I am not going to imply that United Abominations warrants your undividend attention, or that it is going to garner any significant fraction of of the playtime that Rust In Peace or Countdown to Extinction managed to. Indeed, that money might be well utilized in purchasing the new Evile or Fueled By Fire. However, this album holds a lot of retribution value for most Megadeth fans.Vindication for sticking by the band through the bad times. And for my money, Mustaine finally gets his one up on MetallicA.

Originally written for [url][/url]