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Megadeth were formed by frontman Dave Mustaine in 1983 (following his ejection from Metallica), this is their 11th studio album recorded 'at a series of sessions at haunted houses and rural farmhouses in the UK and US'. We should be grateful that the boys got out of those rural farmhouses alive.
Megadeth's style has hardly changed in over 20 years but apparently neither has the demands of their audience, who will probably think this is a great effort - frontman Mustaine seems pretty pleased saying that it: '!puts a smile on the inside of me for the first time in years. We can all smile on the outside, but the project has satisfied me and I am completely content deep inside'.
If only the album was as entertaining as the press release.
All the thrash ingredients are evident, but any edge has been sacrificed for the sake of speed and technical playing (and playing solos - "Playing For Blood" has 13 of them). It's just a series of well-played bland clichés, decorated liberally with toe-curling close harmony widdle.
Megadeth have lost the punkier edge to their sound that, on their better work, added a bit of a groove to their output. Any humour also seems to have disappeared.
The songs all sound the same. Liberal use of 'dramatic' voiceovers also instantly places the work firmly in the 80s.
They exist in a comic thrash metal parallel universe where one minute you can broadly criticise the UN, the next they're declaring 'Hey Jihad Joe? Guess what? We're coming to get you!'.
It's embarrassing listening. Other lyrical gems include: '!with a lust for revenge, answering the call. From New Yorqatar to Califarabia', and 'One day I'll dance on your grave, even if you're buried at sea'.
Beyond the bizarre and random song ideas, dodgy artwork, bland and repetitive production and laughable lyrics there's little here to hold anyone's interest. --Eamonn Stack
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