The final product confirms the fact that this is another in a long line of tedious albums from Megadeth with no identity or true heaviness.
Written by: Dangerzone
ALBUM: The Sick, The Dying … And The Dead
LABEL: Universal Music Enterprises (UME)
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Dave Mustaine – vocals, guitar * Kiko Loureiro – guitar * Steve Di Giorgio – bass * Dirk Verbeuren – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead! * 02 Life In Hell * 03 Night Stalkers * 04 Dogs Of Chernobyl * 05 Sacrifice * 06 Junkie * 07 Psychopathy * 08 Killing Time * 09 Soldier On! * 10 Célebutante * 11 Mission To Mars * 12 We’ll Be Back
WEBLINKS: Site Link
It’s difficult to imagine anyone frothing at the mouth in anticipation of a new Megadeth album in 2022, but regardless Dave Mustaine continues to churn them out, this being the bands first effort since 2016’s ‘Dystopia’. In that time Mustaine underwent a cancer scare, along with the obligatory lineup changes, including the second ouster for bassist Dave Ellefson due to a now infamous sex scandal.
Mustaine enlisted veteran metal bassist Steve Di Giorgio to rerecord Ellefson’s bass parts, delaying the album significantly. The first three preview tracks all contained elements of thrash, encouraging to an extent, but ultimately suggesting rehashes of past efforts without the intensity. The final product confirms the fact that this is another in a long line of tedious albums with no identity or true heaviness. It’s a worn-out observation at this stage, the logic of the bands continued existence also open to question.
No matter how hard he tries, Mustaine has never been able to recreate the intensity of the bands first four albums. With Mustaine now in his 60’s, the bands glory days seem longer ago than ever, as everyone gets older and moves on with their lives.
Right from the onset of the title track it’s impossible not to press the skip button, the track building up as it progresses but never amounting to anything furious. Mustaine’s vocals sound more broken than ever, understandable at this late stage. ‘Life In Hell’ is a routine thrasher, the title pretty much an apt description of enduring this album.
‘Night Stalkers’ features a cameo from Ice-T as Mustaine pays homage to the aviation unit of Special Operations Forces. It’s also fast during the first half of the track, but the melody is flat and the guitar playing faceless.
The epic ‘Dogs Of Chernobyl’ is another sprawling cut that builds up to a crescendo, this one documenting Mustaine’s cancer battle. The final few minutes of this are probably the heaviest on offer as Mustaine tries to emulate ‘Hangar 18′ for the 500th time. Both ‘Sacrifice’ and ‘Junkie’ are easily skipped, dire slices of near hard rock. Lyrically Mustaine does his best to recapture the bitterness and spite of his earlier years, but now it’s a parody.
Equally as boring is ‘Killing Time’ and its regurgitated riffs and melody lines. This could be off any Megadeth album from the last 20 years.‘Soldier On’ features some regimented drum patterns befitting the war theme, but it never seems to deviate from this approach. The guitar solos again fall flat, no life or heaviness apparent.
There’s another attempt at an old school thrasher, the offender this time ‘Celebutante’. This appears to be a rallying cry about wannabe celebrities, the lyrical content seemingly from 30 years ago. Does Mustaine really believe in this stuff at his age? It’s like a metal version of Billy Joel‘s ‘Big Shot.’
The opening chords of ‘Mission To Mars’ had me wondering if I was listening to some electronica band, the song hardly improving as it moves agonizingly ahead. This is terrible, recalling past hideous albums like ‘Super Collider’. ‘We’ll Be Back’ was the first single released from the album, the most obvious thrash track and a total rip off of 1986’s ‘Black Friday’ from ‘Peace Sells.’ It’s practically a cover version, Mustaine running out of ideas obviously.
I attempted to listen to this album while driving to work and almost fell asleep to the lethargic content. The urge to fast forward and skip tracks was overwhelming, with nothing there to grab me. I’ve read a few glowing reviews claiming this to be the bands best since 1992, a familiar line but one that is far from the truth.
Some of the adjectives and incomprehensible phrases used by these hacks needs to be read to be believed. What world do they live in? This is just another Megadeth album, one in a long line that will come and go, while people continue to praise the early work almost 40 years later. If any album title has ever lived up to its name, this will one fits the bill, for both the music and band itself.