album covers, megadeth

“United Abominations” by Megadeth

Artist: Megadeth
Title: “United Abominations”
Label: Roadrunner Records
Release Date: 5/15/2007
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 4.5/5

The long awaited Megadeth arrives with “United Abominations” and I think this is a release that will quickly be regarded as one of the finest in the groups catalog. From start to finish this is an intriguing listen that is loaded to the hilt with the brand of Thrash Metal fury and melody that the band has been known for since their inception in 1983. The other important note is that this will be the first recordings for the most recent lineup of the band. Brothers, Shawn and Glen Drover (drums and guitar) have been touring with the group for a couple of years now and James LoMenzo (bass) only half that time but only now are finally able to show just how good a recording with their talents can sound. They shine like blazing Metal stars on every track. Another reason for the albums overall appeal is the fact that it has this “Old School” Metal purity that is not often found on the newer band releases. Given the wide array of genre specifications these days it’s nice to see an album that shows you that the roots for them all still rocks the hardest. As expected, “United Abominations” also contains a lot of fuel to the fire and deep, politically charged dialogue courtesy of Dave Mustaine. I have always given him serious credit for his ability to write an intelligent album and speak his mind in the music as opposed to standing at a podium at an awards show and suddenly letting his beliefs fly.

You know where Dave stands on every track and he shows not only an educated mindset during songs like “Washington Is Next” and “United Abominations” but he shows the listener that it is all based on being aware of the world at large. There is nothing clueless about Dave Mustaine and he does not walk blindly through the notes as he lines out the recent world troubles and their actions during “Amerikhastan”. Understand that he is not being Anti-American here but is instead speaking loud in a voice that many others are choosing to speak in. It’s a voice that sparks debate and disagreement and not needed for this review, but suffice it to say it does speak volumes on these songs. The listener is advised to read along with the lyrics before they make any harsh judgements about the performers because it all makes more sense when you do. Mustaine will definitely leave you thinking with this one and I am betting that this is exactly what he wanted the result to be. The album was produced by Andy Sneap (Killswitch Engage, Arch Enemy, etcetera) and at times will melt your speakers. Favorite tracks for me are the referenced ones above as well as “Burnt Ice” and Gears Of War”. With the strong production, solid musicianship and thought out songwriting we clearly have a winner in the Metal battle with this one.

It’s safe to say that the older Megadeth fans will love “United Abominations” since many elements from the bands early years are touched upon as they find tastes of “Peace Sells”, “Killing” and “Rust In Peace” in the songs. New fans will not be left out in the cold either as the fresh feeling is still there and even finds them re-working their classic “A Tout Le Monde”. This time around it finds the lovely Cristina Scabbia, vocalist of Lacuna Coil along for a duet. This track shines and while you probably never expected Mustaine to make a move like this he shows that it works for the tune just fine. It is bound to get some heavy rotation based on both contributors popularity at this time. Everyone knows that an important factor in a good Metal album is tightness and thankfully the recent years of touring have found the Drover Brothers to be a machine that Mustaine easily works with. The lead guitar work and drumming are the tops here and while I admit to being fond of certain players in the bands history, I can definitely say that this is perhaps the best Megadeth lineup in many years. My hope is this is the first of several more recordings and plenty more Gigantours if we are lucky.

Track Listing:
1. Sleepwalker
2. Washington Is Next!
3. Never Walk Alone…A Call To Arms
4. United Abominations
5. Gears Of War
6. Blessed Be The Dead
7. Play For Blood
8. A Tout La Monde (Set Me Free)
9. Amerikhastan
10. You’re Dead
11. Burnt Ice

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