Thursday, March 19, 2015

Megadeth - The System Has Failed (2004)

After years of experimentation and a long hunt for that number one position in the sale lists, it seemed like the metal gods finally had heard all of the prayers from Megadeth fans all around the globe. Because after a short disbanding of the band caused by a injury that could have ended Mustaines guitar playing abilities, Mustaine came back with what he explains as a liberating record since he had a lot more control over it than what he had had in the last couple of albums. Maybe that is why "The System Has Failed" was a return to the Megadeth roots, or maybe it is because it was originally meant to be a solo effort by Mustaine.

No matter what, "The System Has Failed" is a kick ass record that brings Megadeth back to the thrash universe in impeccable style. I can guarantee that you have not heard the band sound like this since the 1990 classic "Rust In Peace". But what about the more mainstream rock Megadeth you ask? That part of Megadeth is almost non existent in this album, mostly thanks to the aggression that Mustaine and the session musicians in this album brings. A aggression that is very welcome to all of the thrash fans of the world. Sure, the mainstream stamp is not completely washed off in this album thanks to tracks like "The Scorpion" and "Die Dead Enough", but those songs still have more balls than about 85% of the material in the last 5 Megadeth albums.

If you do not believe me that Megadeth has found their old groove again, then let me hand you some hardcore evidence. First off, "Kick The Chair" kicks your ass with a groove that is very much alike the one in "Rust In Peace... Polaris", which instantly spells success. We also have the opener "Blackmail The Universe" who shows aggression in both musical and lyrical form, and the nice old school "Back In The Day" shows influences from bands like Judas Priest and Motörhead, but it still contains that thrash vein that makes the track all Megadeth and not sound like a cover, something that has been a problem for the band in the last couple of efforts.

The most interesting song though is actually "Something That I'm Not", a song that contains lyrics that could have several meanings. It could be a statement to the "non-thrash" Dave that have been a little too much of a control freak lately, or it could be sort of a revenge song towards Mustaine's former band, Metallica, whom also went through a mainstream period around the same time as Megadeth. No matter what, it is a stellar song that definitely makes the album a little bit more special.

In the end, this album is a showing that Megadeth is back in good form. "The System Has Failed" may not be as thrilling as any of the first 4 Megadeth albums, but it sure is a exciting ride to come along on. With a good variety and a nice big amount of aggression, Megadeth, and especially Mustaine, shows that they are far from done in the music business, that they still can deliver some fantastic music. This album does fall short thanks to some mediocre songs and a couple of unnecessary short tunes, but the quality is there, and that is something that cannot be taken away from the band. Megadeth has rebooted, and the system is back online, up and running smoothly. Let us hope that this system does not fail again.

Songs worthy of recognition: Kick The Chair, Blackmail The Universe, Something That I'm Not

Rating: 7,5/10 Shadows of Deth

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