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The album that should have come after Countdown...,
This review is from: The World Needs A Hero (Audio CD)
I lost faith in Megadeth, when I read the reviews for Risk back in that dark bleak year it was released in 1999, I thought, could Dave stoop any lower?.this is Megadeth after all, it's in the name. Megadeth should live up to what the band name stands for, and with each album after Countdown, Dave Mustaine's writing ability and song structure were getting ever weaker, in my opinion. But then came along 'The World Needs a Hero'. After leaving Capitol Records, and Dave producing the entirity of the album, refilling the gaps left by the incredible Nick Menza and Marty Friedman, with the formidable Jimmy DeGrasso and Al Pitrelli, it seemed Megadeth were getting their Mojo back! And what a return this was! In my opinion, this is easily the worthy successor to Countdown to Extinction, This is the album, had it been the road they continued, would have sat perfectly next to it.
I've read a lot of people (not on here I might add) saying the album is poorly produced, the songs are weak, and that the vocals are not Dave's best, but I strongly disagree. From the opening track, 'Disconnect' (I like the fact that the word 'Disco' and the meaning of disconnecting themselves from the past mistakes are sublimally included!)you get the old Megadeth engine revving again! The title track has an interesting groove, almost unlike anything they've tried before, and a refreshing style of verse, a personal protest from Dave about ignoring the fat cats, and standing up for the name Megadeth once stood for, bringing the flag back to the fans! On other tracks, 'Motopsycho' has elements of another sludge metal groove, but also a retro feel to it, and a great rhythm chorus, adding his trilogy of fast lane road deth! with '501' and 'High-Speed Dirt'.
There's the brilliant, 'Dread and The Fugitive Mind', which was released as a taster for things to come on Capitol Records final Megadeth release, 'Capitol Punishment'. This was such a strong direction for Megadeth after it's fans were worried where they were going after the abmissal 'Risk'. It screams of everything that was great about Megadeth during Rust in Peace and Countdown, and again proved that Dave still had the snarling teeth to bite you with. Dave Mustain has always been a one off vocally and with his song writing. He has a unique sound instantly identifiable, but the chinks in his armour were starting to show with too much experimenting, and not enough thought of the songs, and what the name 'Megadeth' stood for. Let Metallica play and fail..Megadeth were always from the heart and truer in the metal sense for me.
The track that really stands out for me is 'Recipe for Hate-Warhorse'.. this could easily fit between Peace Sells,Rust in Peace, and Countdown, with it's excellent song structure, and twist, reminding me of Wake Up Dead and Ashes in Your Mouth's frustrated sibling.. It's a song that Dave really showed you that he still had the abilities of producing pure Megadeth, technically, and sonically. Megadeth have always been about changing tempo and keeping the listener guessing, and this song proved he was still capable of that. A perfect mid-section to the album and one of my favourite Megadeth tracks of all time.
Onto the superb Return to Hanger. This is such a perfect continuation of the story, and very well thought out. It instantly gives me a nostalgic feel, and doesnt stray too far from the original,but is it's own 'beast', that it makes it more relevant.
The closing track. 'When', is probably one of Dave's most personal visceral epics he has written, then and since, and has such a dark brooding build up. His voice sounds so dark and angry, the lyrics a biting seething efegy, that I consider still might be about his inner demons battling Metallica's fame. 'When' will Dave get the credit he so desperately craves. Well, this album is a fitting tribute to the legacy of Megadeth, and a travesty for recognition, in my opinion. The musicianship is astounding. Jimmy Degrasso's drumming is the perfect recipe for the Megadeth sound, Al Pitrelli's guitar work, if a little understated, provides the missing link to Marty Friedman, and Dave Ellefson as ever is the driving force on bass, a unique player that has always brought expectional input to the band from day one so long ago. (Glad he's been back a while, he should have always been there.)
The only negative is that it could have been just that little bit heavier in guitar sound, but song wise, it is the most consistent album they have released since Countdown. In my opinion, a better overall album than The System has Failed (I know, I know, I'll get ripped for this!but I thought Dave was trying too hard to recapture the elements of Peace Sells, and it didnt produce the songs as a whole) Better than United Abominations, that was a solid first half, but grew weaker towards the end (And a re-write of A Toute La Monde?? PLEASE!, a good song originally, but running out of ideas, and a bit of a cash in I think) So far, End Game, 13 and SuperCollider have all left me uninspired, due to the lack of strong, consistent material, and it seems Dave might be dangerously falling back into the 'Risk' trap again..so is 2014/15 due for another World Needs a Hero?.. I think so...