Megadeth – Dystopia
2016, Universal Music Enterprises
1. “The Threat Is Real”
3. “Fatal Illusion”
4. “Death from Within”
5. “Bullet to the Brain”
6. “Post American World”
7. “Poisonous Shadows”
8. “Conquer or Die!”
9. “Lying in State”
10. “The Emperor”
11. “Foreign Policy”
Digital Bonus Track:
12. “Melt the Ice Away”
Dave Mustaine – Lead Vocals, Guitar
David Ellefson – Bass, Backing Vocals
Kiko Loureiro – Guitar, Backing Vocals, Piano
Chris Adler – Drums
Producer: Dave Mustaine & Chris Rakestraw
Wow! What a surprise! A new line-up of Megadeth! Joining the two Daves are Brazilian guitarist Kiko Loureiro and Lamb of God drummer Chris Adler. I had no issue with Chris Broderick and Shawn Drover being in the band but I guess when it comes to Megadeth, everyone Dave Mustaine is on borrowed time.
On to the music at hand, Dystopia is easily the band’s best release since 2004’s The System Has Failed. For the record (no pun intended), I thought Super Collider (2013) had some enjoyable moments but was a little lost on direction. Going a few years further back to Th13teen and Endgame, the band was trying to get heavy again but they completely forgot about melody. Both of those albums were frenetic, forgettable messes and I was starting to think Mega Dave had lost his touch.
It’s interesting that Dystopia has the band sounding as tight as a ever as a new producer has come on board in the form of Chris Rakestraw. Perhaps he helped breathed some new life into the band. I never thought Andy Sneap and especially Johnny K ever truly delivered. I hope Dave never uses either of them again.
As with any album these days, there are multiple editions of it. I ordered my signed vinyl copy through the band’s PledgeMusic page and it came with a digital download of the album as well. The digital download and Spotify editions both include a cover of Budgie’s “Melt the Ice Away” as a bonus track. Japan gets “Me Hate You” while iTunes & Best Buy get “Last Dying Wish” and “Look Who’s Talking”. I’d love to hear those three songs but they haven’t hit YouTube yet!
It’s the album’s two cover songs that do absolutely nothing for me. The Budgie song and Fear’s “Foreign Policy”. The funny thing is, I’ve read people knocking Megadeth for having a punk song and some people saying it’s the worst Megadeth song ever… apparently they don’t realize it’s a cover song.
Everything else is top notch. “The Threat Is Real” and “Dystopia” are classic Megadeth and a great one-two combo to open the album. “Poisonous Shadows” is a moody number that sounds like it’s from The System Has Failed. “Lying In State” has a The System Has Failed vibe as well. “Conquer Or Die” is a fantastic instrumental that gives Kiko a co-writing credit.
I haven’t listened to a new Megadeth release this much since United Abominations but Dystopia easily trumps that release. It’s hard to say where I would rank this in the band’s catalog. They have tons of great album and you can now included Dystopia in that long list.
Highlights: “The Threat Is Real”, “Dystopia”, “Fatal Illusion”, “Poisonous Shadows”, “Lying In State”, “The Emperor”