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Hmm, now what? - 77%

evermetal, November 9th, 2009

Once upon a time there was a speed/thrash metal band called Megadeth. They came out of nowhere but as the years went by they turned into a great band that released two metal masterpieces driving their fans delirious. But all good things finally come to an end. In their place, another band with the same name was born. And this album ends the era of Megadeth as we knew them. The thrash metal hymns belong to the past, replaced by more classic heavy metal compositions. Songs, somewhat more commercial make up this album probably aiming for a wider audience. No, I am not saying that Youthanasia is a bad album, on the contrary it is pretty good and solid. It is just not Megadeth. But for the familiar vocals, it would have been difficult for me to recognize them.

Many had foreseen this change from their previous release Countdown to Extinction. All the elements that had become the bands trademark have reduced dramatically. The guitar riffs, though still heavy, are much slower and the pounding, thrashing drums more technical and calm. The vocals are well improved and this is really good. You can almost say that he sings this time. The rhythm section is quite strong and the solos very inspired and interesting. Then why do I fell so disappointed? I admit that when I first heard Youthanasia I was very excited but with time all this excitement faded away. And that’s because of the quality of the compositions. Even though the band is in a very good shape, the songs are not that great and breathtaking. Even now that I’m listening to the album I feel kind of bored.

There are some very nice moments in here like the opener Reckoning Day which really is a good song, with a bit fast and catchy riff and hard drumming. Friedman still delivers excellently, playing some truly melodic guitar themes. Okay, it’s not Rust in Peace, it’s not Skin ‘O My Teeth but still it’s very good. Train Of Consequences begins with sharp guitars and has a very strong, steady pace all the way. The use of harmonica may sound kind of strange but I think it fits quite well in here.

The other two good songs of the album are Blood Of Heroes and The Killing Road. They feature some heavy, fast at times riffs and a general heavy feeling, hard to experience in most of the album’s playing time. They are not very speedy but they possess something of the old Megadeth in them. They clearly stand out compared to the mediocrity of other compositions that are few but truly boring. I’m referring to Elysian Fields, Family Tree and Black Curtains. Completely dull and meaningless these ones take out points from the album and are just plain fillers. Ignore them!

There are also some slow, dark atmospheric tracks like Addicted to Chaos and I Thought I Knew it All, that have some pretty melodies and make a nice package but that’s all. The closing song, Victory and the self-titled one are decent compositions, above the average yet not in the spirit of earlier Megadeth.

In my humble opinion, I believe that Youthanasia does not stand up to the expectations of the fans. Not mine anyway. Megadeth found a safe path to tread on and this is what they chose to follow. I don’t blame them for that. This release is not horrible but it is miles away from the brilliant albums they gave us in the past.