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47
4.5 out of 5 stars
The System Has Failed
Format: Audio CDChange
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 23 October 2004
On first hearing that Megadeth were going to release a new album after the band had split up a couple of years ago I was really excited. "The World Needs A Hero" was great, and with Dave Mustaine having a point to prove, this album was going to be brilliant - and Megadeth don't disappoint. "The System Has Failed" is fantastic right from the first few seconds. "Blackmail The Universe" begins with a corny news report - but you won't care one the riffs kick in. The song stops in the middle to allow for a invigourating new riff and then it picks up again. "Die Dead Enough" is really soulful, while maintaining heaviness - something which most bands fail to accomplish. "Kick The Chair," "The Scorpian," and "Back In The Day" are all stand out tracks with "Back In The Day" bursting out into a double bass drumming mele by the end. The album is what any Megadeth fan expects: eastern solos and huge chugging and complex riffs. Megadeth are back and should be great when they are on tour.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This album was Dave's comeback from an arm injury, and I am sure glad that he did come back. Blackmail the Universe kicks in with the sound of a plane being shot down, then cuts into a ferocious riff that tells the world that Dave is back. This sets the tone for the rest of the album. My personal highlights from this album include The Scorpion, Back In The Day, Of Mice and Men and the totally awesome Kick The Chair. Its been a year since its release and I still think its a great album that goes down with other gems. I've seen Megadeth live this year twice and the new stuff fits in with the rest of the set perfectly. (You cant beat the plane-crash opening of BTU as an opening to a gig, especially when a plane fly's over at the same moment!!!) Anyway, just get this album and may a true metal legend live and rock on!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Megadeth's tenth studio album The System Has Failed was a largely superb record that picked up the sound that the band had started with The World Needs A Hero and paired out all the commercialism, made the guitar tones heavier and dirtier and injected some classic Thrash Metal attitude into the wonderful modern metal that frontman and primary songwriter Dave Mustaine had been coming out with at the time.

Interestingly, while The System Has Failed sounds like a revitalized Megadeth record, it actually began its life as a solo album from Dave Mustaine, and was the first ever Megadeth release not to feature long time bassist David Ellefson. Despite this inconvenient fact, The System Has Failed is a hugely exciting Megadeth album with some serious highlights and astonishing guitar work.

Album highlights include the fast and thrash influenced 'Kick The Chair,' 'Blackmail The Universe,' and 'Back In The Day,' which are still to this day some of the band's finest work and must listen stuff for all Megadeth fans and more than welcome in any live setlist. Fans who prefer the material that the band made in the 80s should definitely check those songs out.

Unfortunately the album doesn't retain that exact level of sheer quality throughout, otherwise it would be one of the bands best albums, as it stands it is just a very good album but not an all time classic. The album certainly did spark an upward trend in Megadeth releases and the next two albums along with this helped fully restore the public's respect for Megadeth which was somewhat challenged on some of their previous works.

For fans of the band's melodic and slower works from the nineties, there are songs like 'Tears In A Vial,' and 'The Scorpion,' which are full of brilliant guitar and strong vocals.

Overall, The System Has Failed maybe shouldn't be the first Megadeth album that you pick up and the band have made better albums, but when you do get yourself a copy you will not be all that disappointed, especially with the aforementioned thrashier tracks.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
As the initial fervour for this album seems to have died down, i thought i'd attempt to revive it, especially since Dangerous Dave is currently touring the UK.
Most other comments seem to be spot on, the general consensus is that "TSHF" is a five star album and i cannot disagree with that. I would probably also go one step further and suggest the only previous release it doesn't supercede is "RIP." Of course with any band thats been around for as long (and had as much influence & success) as Megadeth its a stupid excerise to compare them with the past, so lets judge this record on its own merits:
Opening with "Blackmail The Universe," THSF goes straight for the jugular with a chugging double bass start that doesn't let up until Dave demands you "lift up yout fists in revenge." The material is pretty complex, with different riffs / variations popping up pretty quickly but this doesn't make it a confusing listen. Chris Poland is a shredder of the highest order but Dave also sounds pretty sharp with a regular flow of pull offs / hammer ons you'd expect from the great man.
"Die Dead Enough" was the first single and is one of the more radio freindly songs on offer here, but when "Kick the Chair" literally does just that, you know we won't be drifting into a "Risk" type Spiceworld. "KTC" is probably recognised as the best cut, Dave really spits venom here without detracting from the overall harmony (say what you want about Megadeth's "pop phase" but Dave's voacals are all the better for it).
"The Scorpion" is catchy and melodic with an underlying (dark) theme of drug addiction. This must go down a storm live. "Tears in a Vial" is a personal favourite (although no one else seems to think so), a very touching song that i'm sure most people can relate to. Special mention for the outro section of both this track & "Back in the Day" must go to drummer Vinnie Colaiuta who does a superb job throughout, as does Jimmy Sloas stepping into Junior Ellefson's shoes.
"Back in the Day" is a retrospective look at the birth of Thrash in the early 80's, a scene of which Dave is a true pioneer. The music is pure "Speed Metal" and will be sure to stir up many a pit "across the world from stage to stage."
"Something that i'm Not" is another track with a catchy hook, lyrically it sounds directed towards a certain member of Metallica, i suppose you've got a 50/50 chance of working out which one. "Truth be Told" is probably one of the less instantly recognisable songs but certainly grows on you with each listen (sometimes they're the best ones!). "Shadow of Deth" has two lovely riffs but is slightly spoilt in my opinion by the religous overtones. Maybe i don't get it, pretty much like "My Kingdom" which i really don't think fits with all thats come before it. Like i say, maybe i've missed something.
Which brings us to "Of Mice and Men," an autobiographical account of Dave's early years and Megadeth's forthcoming video. A great singalong of a tune very similar to the type of composition from "Cryptic Writings."
All in all for the most part, everything works on "TSHF." The heavy riffs, the melodies, the lyrics and of course the solo's are all of the high standard you would expect from a great band like Megadeth. I have heard rumours this may be their last album and tour & if so, i'm sure you'll join me in praising one of the greatest musical entitites ever to have graced the music business. Rock on Dave!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 20 October 2004
After thinking that Dave Mustaine's career was ended by RSI, it's good to finally get to hear a new Megadeth album. I must admit that I've not been impressed by their recent output. 'Cryptic Writings' was the last CD that I really got into. With 'The System Has Failed', Mustaine seems to have re-found his knack for writing heavy and technical yet melodic music. Perhaps the return of Chris Poland to the fold has also helped give this album a more rounded and fleshed out feel. For my money, this is the best megadeth CD since 'Rust in Peace'. Stand out tracks so far: 'Die Dead Enough', 'The Scorpion' and 'Of Mice and Men'.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 25 September 2004
I've been listening to Megadeth since Peace Sells... and I can't believe that Dave has come up with this album. It sounds like a contemporary version of Peace Sells. The Chris Poland solos are very noticable (and enjoyable), but the song writing is just very NOW!
If this album had come out 15 years ago, Megadeth and maybe not Metallica would be sitting atop the metal pedastal. Die Dead Enough is a metal pop song par excellence.
Within his own genre (cause Megadeth music has always been recognisably Dave, even the rock years) this is an outstanding album. It is as breathtaking in its time as Peace Sells, or Rust.... in fact, if Dave wasn't 40+ this album would probably have had a massive impact on modern (sorry, nu) metal.
If you want to hear speed / thrash they way they made it in the 80s, buy this record. Thats the best compliment that one can give....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 December 2005
A friend of mine bought this album and showed it to me. I had never before bothered too much about Mustaine and those fellas. But he showed me a few songs (The Scorpion and Kick The Chair) and I was hooked. This album is by my standards a classic. I love it. It's very good. But I think a few people doesn't realize that it's that good and therefore they say it's a bit weak. But the problem is that there is no real stand outs, they all kinda blend. Unlike a few earlier albums (CR, and CTE) which had one or two fillers, this one has none, they are all good. ¨
This album doesn't set any standars. It doesn't raise any bars, it doesnt push the limits. It's just plain old good metal.
So if you're curious about Megadeth or just uncertain about buying it I say buy it and judge for yourself. I think it's good. And the average here on amazon also points to that:)
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 19 September 2004
Back in 1990 I wouldnt have a bad word said against Megadeth to me they were Gods,Rust in Peace, a master Piece, but as it hurts me to say it, their last 4 albums were rubbbish (I even had concerns over Countdown) so i was dubuios whether to part with my hard earned for this, but they (or Mustaine) have come back from the brink "System" is a dam good album, great big, angry guitars (think a more mature "Peace Sells") the album kicks off very aggressive, and pretty much stays there, the other reviewers have said about "Kick the Chair" being good, good!? Its Killer! sounds like it has been lifted off of "Rust" there are a few cheesy songs on there but you let that go, "Mice and Men" I really like even though it aint by far the fasted/Heaviest song on there, They can never do another Rust in Peace, but they did a better job of trying with "System" than metallica (note the small "m") did with St Anger trying to redo "Puppets" or "Lightening". Basically if you are an Old Skool Megadeth fan then you will like this, This is what should have come out after "Rust In Peace" This Sells......So Go Buy It!
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on 10 August 2004
After Dave Mustaine effectively ended Megadeth with his injured arm a couple of years back, the prospect of any new Megadeth album, yet alone such a good one, seemed bleak. After getting an advance copy I can confidently say fans won't be disappointed. Original lead guitarist Chris Poland returns to provide his blinding and instantly familiar style, but aside from that no other old members play here with bassist Jimmie Sloas and drummer Vinnie Colaiuta providing the tigtht rhythm section (though I hear Nick Menza is returning as Megadeth's live drummer).
The style of 'The System has Failed' is Classic Megadeth, there is a marked return to the thrash style of old on many tracks. 'Kick the Chair' for instance could be straight off 'Rust in Peace', and 'Shadow of Deth' sports one of the heaviest riffs they have ever done. This is more than just a Rust in Peace clone however, its a very strong and unique album in its own right, and there are also a few touches of 'Countdown to Extinction' to be heard here also.
If you believed Megadeth were in decline after 'Countdown', and 'Youthansia' then this new offering may restore your faith in Dave Mustaine as a talented musician and songwriter. This is an essential purchase for all Megadeth fans of old, but also has enough strong material to attract new listeners.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 October 2004
This album is brilliant reminder that no matter how much nu-metal rubbish is in the market that true heavy metal and thrash will not die! A tremendous album with powerful riffs, great solos and the great voice of Dave and drums and bass of great quality. The only rubbish song in this album is i know jack not a suprise considering it is 40 seconds long. The others are truly great for any true metal fan it reminiscent of rust in peace the bands last great album. Now Megadeth are back with a vengeance in 2004 this album lays St. Anger to shame, it brings the glory of metal back, it is truly the top presently, second probably Iron Maiden's Dance of Death and then St. Anger by Metallica.
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