United Abominations – Megadeth

This is fucking awesome! It was out of sheer nostalgia & curiosity that I decided to check out Megadeth’s brand new album United Abominations. The band in question have been known for an ever rotating list of band members with the sole exception of guitarist & lead vocalist Dave Mustaine. Truth be told, it is , in every aspect, Mustaine’s band. And I was a huge fan of the classic line up of Mustaine, Dave Ellefson (bass), Nick Menza (drums) & Marty Friedman (guitars) that was stable from 1990 onwards till 1999. That line up produced some great albums, so anyone who comes as replacements for any of the other three members is gonna have to prove themselves big time. So I got the album and now I can say that I really did enjoy it! Megadeth is back to singing about corrupt politics, war & hatred. This is a great return to form for the band, even though 3 of the quartet are new members. The band’s current lineup is a good one, with guitarist Glen Drover, bassist James LoMenzo and drummer Shawn Drover.

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The title track of the album refers sarcastically to the United Nations, who Megadeth claim have failed to protect the invasion of Afghanistan & Iraq. Sleepwalker which starts off the album in great style, is about the heinous crimes that one commits when the mind is asleep. Washington Is Next is about about biological war, after which a new world order rises to enslave people and that DC is their next target. I know that Mustaine is a hockey fan and that he supports the Phoenix Coyotes (based in the city which he calls home) but is he also a football & Liverpool fan? Seems so when he puts a song titled Never Walk Alone…A Call To Arms. Gears of War is an anti-war song, a topic close to the Megadeth clan, spitting bile at the authorities who design weapons for war. The song was first played on October 31, 2006 in Six Flags New England during an event for the Xbox 360 game, Gears of War. The song was in the process of being written when the creators of the game contacted Dave Mustaine about sponsoring Gigantour 2006. Mustaine then retitled the song “Gears of War”. Dave Mustaine also said in an interview that he was inspired after playing the game and decided to rename an already-written, but untitled song.

Next comes Blessed Are The Dead, which is about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, a slight dig at his former band Metallica. You get a surprise in the form of a remake of their own classic 1994 hit single A Tout Le Monde, which is sung as a duet along with Cristina Scabbia, singer of the Italian Metal/Rock band Lacuna Coil. This is the first single released from the album with a new music video made for it. I prefer the original version but had I heard this one first, I would have loved it. Burnt Ice is about drug addiction, which is a subject covered extensively throughout Megadeth’s career. The word “ice” is referring to the street term for Methamphetamine. This is especially relative to Mustaine, because he was a user of cocaine and numerous other drugs. Then you have Amerikhastan which warns the US that they are headed to becoming another Afghanistan if they continue their path of religious extremism and there is a call to “Jihad Joe” to beware. You’re Dead closes out the album.

The album has Megadeth at their thrash metal / speed metal best, with complex guitar solos & riffs throughout. The bass & drums excel in most places and the lyrics are biting with Mustaine at his snarling, sneering best. The band is now 50% Canadian & 50% American. New guitarist Glen Dover is an excellent player and some of the riffs reminds me of Iron Maiden. James Lomenzo might be a surprise choice, since he is more famous for being the bass player of White Lion, who sound nothing like Megadeth. But he honed his harder roots while with Pride & Glory and Black Label Society, too southern metal & rock bands. Shawn Dover, brother of Glen, is a wonderful drummer. And Mustaine is Mustaine. How can you miss with a combination like that?

Song at his fomre for the day – “Washington Is Next” – MEGADETH

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