Album Review: Megadeth – Dystopia (Universal Music)

The 15th album from thrash metal giants, Megadeth looks to erase the memory of 2013’s disappointing Super Collider reminding fans & critics alike that they are still a force to be reckoned with.

Boasting one of their strongest line-ups in the bands history (Dave Mustaine, David Ellefson, Kiko Loureiro & Chris Adler) the thrash metal qualities of Dystopia is evident from the moment opener The Threat is Real gets going. A frenzied start that is packed with riffs & beats that just smash you over the head. Any worries that Megadeth might be moving further away from traditional thrash metal is dispelled within the 4 minute span of this song.

Dave’s growling vocals are on top form throughout & he sounds genuinely pissed off at the world. The incredibly speed driven Fatal Illusion has him spitting & snarling at a pace that seems almost unreal.

One of the highlights of the entire album is the drumming. Now with Lamb of God’s Chris Adler on the sticks you get some serious heaviness & a speed that can’t be matched by any other drummer in the Megadeth history.

What makes Dystopia such a compelling listen is the variety, it’s not just crushing thrash metal songs with guitar solos dotted about. The quality of writing here is fable-like with every song sounding different yet having a consistency that ensures the album feels complete & not dis-jointed.

Songs like Post American World, with its chuggy beginning that excites & bleeds wonderfully into a more old-school style Megadeth song yet with a production that leaves it sounding so crisp & clear.

Every song offers something fresh, something different…the spoken word-like sections of Look Who’s Talking shouldn’t work but it does thanks to a catchy & riff-driven chorus. Even a 3 and a half minute instrumental, Conquer or Die sounds incredible pulling at your neck muscles.

Consistency has often been a Megadeth issue but there isn’t a bad song on Dystopia, picking a favourite song is very difficult as it seems to change on every fresh listen.

Simply put this is one of the best Megadeth albums not just since the heady days of Rust in Peace but of their entire career. Dystopia has set the bar for the rest of 2016; an early contender for album of the year & it’s going to be a tough one to beat.

Full Track-list:

1. The Threat is Real
2. Dystopia
3. Fatal Illusion
4. Death From Within
5. Bullet to the Brain
6. Post American World
7. Poisonous Shadows
8. Look Who’s Talking
9. Conquer or Die
10. Lying in State
11. The Emperor
12. Last Dying Wish
13. Foreign Policy (Fears Cover)

Megadeth - Dystopia (Universal Music)
  • 9.5/10
    The Final Score - 9.5/10
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