Top positive review
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Megadeth continue their return to form.
on 23 April 2007
Speaking about 'United Abominations', Megadeth's 11th studio recording, Dave Mustaine recently stated that the album's sound could place it before 'Rust In Peace' or after 'Countdown To Extinction' in the band's catalogue. This is a fair assessment as, musically, it mixes elements of the speed and heaviness of the former with the melody of the latter. Despite Mustaine's physical problems he remains perhaps the finest thrash guitarist today, and the entire album is performed with Megadeth's trademark precision. The addition of an all new supporting cast of Glen and Shawn Drover, on guitar and drums respectively, and bassist James LoMenzo has brought a new energy to the band, that has recently been notable by its absence.
Mustaine is a spokesperson for a generation of metal bands and fans alike, and now represents everything positive about the genre; using his position as a platform to promote sociopolitical concerns. It therefore comes as little surprise that, lyrically, the core of the album follows on from 2004's 'The System Has Failed' in dealing with the occupation of Iraq, the American government and the general state of the world today; all delivered in Mustaine's sneering vocal style. But, where that album showed flashes of potential, 'United Abominations' consistently delivers. Songs such as 'Amerikhastan', 'Washington Is Next!' and the title track would sit comfortably on any of their early albums; when the band breaks into the middle section of opener 'Sleepwalker', it rivals the likes of 'Tornado Of Souls' or 'Hangar 18'.
If there were to be any criticism it would centre on the re-recorded version of 'A Toute Le Monde'. Thirteen years after it appeared on Youthanasia, it sees Mustaine duet with Lacuna Coil front woman Cristina Sccabia, and, while the overall pacing and end harmony guitar parts are more satisfying than the original, it's hard to understand why a song with such personal subject matter should ever be sung by more than one person.
Although 'United Abominations' doesn't quite reach the heights of their late eighties/early nineties heyday, it doesn't contain a single filler track and is certainly their strongest release in more than a decade.