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Not good, not good... - 38%

Nhorf, April 17th, 2008

Everyone knows that there are some bands out there that know how to deliver catchy albums. That type of albums that don't scream technical playing or fantastic riffage, but are still interesting and appealing. Scorpions, Lizzy Borden, Bruce Dickinson, even The Vision Bleak – if you want a record centered in catchy choruses just ask them. Well, this was what Mr. Mustaine aimed for with Youthanasia: he wanted to create a CATCHY album.

And he was able to make it: almost every song is extremely catchy, especially Train of Consequences and A Tout le Monde. But, my God, he centered ALL the record in the choruses and forgot that there are other things than vocals - there are drums, guitars, bass, and if you want a good record there must be, at least, some good and remarkable instrumental passages.
That is what this album lacks: powerful instrumentation. The powerful and heavy riffage is gone, the solos are simplified and so is the drum work, with Nick Menza using too much the AC/DC'ish kick-snare-kick-snare pattern.
I don't understand what happened - suddenly Metallica released a heavy metal album (the Black Album) and Megadeth changed, instantaneously, their sound, in order to follow Metallica's style. Weird. Why not keep putting out thrash records?

There are some good ideas here, however, and I don't deny it: the first riff of Train of Consequences is a killer and there is another interesting riff, played during the middle section of the title track. The bass line of Train of Consequences is extremely good too. Hell, the drum beginning of Addicted to Chaos is decent too, and works well as an intro to the song.
Another good thing is the improvement of Dave Mustaine as a vocalist. He sounded like a dead old woman trying to sing on their first albums but, at this time, he sounded much better - raw, on songs like Addicted to Chaos and Victory, and melodic on the calmer ones.

In fact, the album begins with some decent tunes; they aren't metal monsters but are still good. Reckoning Day contains some aggressive lyrics and competent riffage. The vocal performance is very raw too.
Train of Consequences is the second track and it is, surprisingly, the best song of the album. The chorus is addictive AS HELL, the solos are pretty good and the drum lines are listenable - yay! The first riff is, as I've already said, amazing. Addicted to Chaos is weaker than the previous two tunes, but it's listenable, and so is A Toute Le Monde, the ballad that the band composed in order to surpass the Metallica's ones (look to the track listing, woow, the ballad is the fourth track of the record, guess why?), but, despite working well, it isn't a masterpiece and doesn't even kick, for example, The Unforgiven's ass. Features a french chorus too, which is rather bizarre.

Then, everything goes downhill. The beginning of Elysian Fields sounds like a softer version of the intro to Set the World Afire and, after it, the song becomes forgettable. Well, in fact, all the other songs are very forgettable, except two: Victory and the title track.
Youthanasia would be extremely forgettable too, but, fortunately, it contains one hell of a guitar riff, played during the middle section, which is absolutely top notch, very reminiscent of the one on the break of Metallica's Frayed Ends of Sanity. Victory has some nice lyrics that feature many titles of past Megadeth songs and works well as a speed metal take, being, of course, pretty fast and headbangable.

...And the album ends. We have eleven songs, but, in fact, only six tunes are worth listening and, in the end, they aren't that great; however when you have a record full of awful songs, even the average ones sound like masterpieces, you know.
If you, after reading this, still want to get Youthanasia, I recommend you to search for the remastered and remixed version of it. The bass is more audible and everything sounds great. It also features some bonus tracks, but, meh, they aren't that great.

Oh, there is one thing, though, that rules about this record: the ARTWORK.

38 points – Meh, not great, not great at all!