Many would argue that Dave Mustaine is lucky to be making music after suffering a compressed radial nerve in his arm but realistically Mustaine is lucky to still be making music after releasing albums like "Risk" and "The World Needs A Hero". However, much like Ministry, the Republican reign has led to a creative/commercial turnaround for Megadeth with 2004's "The System Has Failed" recapturing much of the bands charm - enough so that Roadrunner Records picked up the tab for this latest outing, "United Abominations".
Sure some may view Megadeth in 2007 as a Guns N' Roses-styled fiasco with Mustaine fronting a revolving cast of characters. But recent output have proven Mustaine still has the chops and the vision that propelled the group to success in the late 80's/early 90's. It's not surprising then that politics once again serve as the inspiration for the shredding featured here as the band deftly straddle the line between melodic Bay Area thrash and alternative rock.
Yes the songs may have mellowed a bit over the years, but there is a conviction and ferocity behind much of this latest material that sells nearly every track. In fact, even with innumerable blistering guitar solos, the pace remains brisk and tasteful enough to avoid Malmsteen wank proportions. Of course the political lyrical fodder finds Mustaine taking a snarling stand against the current state of the world and while his beliefs may be questionable at times, his faith in them surely isn't.
That said, there is still the somewhat goofy voice overs that serve as virtual newscasts and of course the flaccid 'soulful' remake of "A Tout Le Monde" (now a duet with Cristina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil) to answer for. If only these transgressions were as forgivable as they are forgettable. Irregardless, if "The System Has Failed" was Mustaine witnessing war crimes, then "United Abominations" is his impassioned testimony in front of the Hague.
(3.5 / 5)