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Megadeth - United Abominations

By CrpnDeth, Staff Photographer/Writer
Saturday, June 2, 2007 @ 8:46 AM


Roadrunner Records

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The highly anticipated release of Megadeth’s United Abominations was unleashed on May 15th, and as with most new releases coming out nowadays, it is politically charged. The political theme of songs like United Abominations, Gears of War and Amerikhastan don’t necessarily beat you over the head with the songwriter’s opinion, but they definitely paint a picture of disgust for most pissed off Americans.

Take the title track for example. The spoken word finale pretty much says it all:

NATO invaded Yugoslavia to end ethnic cleansing, there was no U.N.
The U.S. invaded Afghanistan after 9/11, there was no U.N.
Saddam Hussein violated 17 U.N. resolutions; The U.N. was asked to join the war in Iraq. The U.S. invaded, Ha! there was no U.N.
Libya bombed a discotheque in Berlin killing Americans, there was no U.N.
Iran funds any terrorist organization it can, and attacked the U.S. in the seventies, there was no stinking U.N.
Facing War without end, looking into the future, there was no more U.N.

While the points are made throughout the whole disc, this isn’t a new material for Mustaine. He has long been discontent with the way the world is going, specifically the US and UN policies, and the Iraq bullshit just gives him more fuel to power that hallmark Mustaine attitude. So what! The disc is still precision Megadeth. It shows how well the band is becoming more comfortable, both in songwriting and musicianship. The guitar riffs and solos come at you from all directions from both Mustaine and Drover, and the solid drumming from Shawn Drover easily matches stick for stick with Menza. While newest member James Lomenzo is in the shadow of Dave Ellefson, he holds his own. He still needs a little more time in the ‘Deth camp to get fully acclimated – hey, this is only his first disc with the band and he did play in White Lion. Live he seems to be timid (although he may be loosening up on the current Heaven and Hell tour).

Personally, my anticipation for new Megadeth material began faltering during the late 90’s when Risk followed up Youthanasia and with the “Greatest Hits” that have come out since, there was no one more thrilled with the release of The System Has Failed than I was. If one must consider labeling a Megadeth disc a “comeback” then this was surely it in more ways than one. However, I don’t feel United Abominations has superseded the ferocity of System. There are several Rust-type riffs throughout a few tracks, but for the most part there isn’t much that hits and leaves a mark.

So far I seem to be in the minority for this one, but I hold fast that the remake of A Tout Le Monde with Cristina Scabbia from Lacuna Coil is probably the hidden gem on the disc. Most people are probably scratching their heads and wondering why – hell I was – but listen to it and you will see. The dual vocals bring a new dimension to the song. Having the switch of lead vocals mixed in to the background as well just fits. I think any other female singer would not have done the song justice.

This disc stand up in its own right, as there are trademark Mustaine riffs woven throughout – beginning with the opening track Sleepwalker. While you won’t be disappointed grabbing this one, for me it just seems to follow the typical roller coaster ride of momentum that has followed most of Megadeth’s releases since Countdown.

***


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