The history of Megadeth has never been boring. From their formation after Dave Mustaine was fired from Metallica to platinum success to numerous lineup changes and other drama over the years, they have remained a newsworthy and noteworthy band.
The lineup changes continued after 2013‘s tepidly received Super Collider. Guitarist Chris Broderick and drummer Shawn Drover exited the band.
Rumors swirled about possible replacements, including reuniting the classic Rust in Peace lineup. Eventually Angra’s Kiko Loureiro filled the guitar slot, and the band recruited Lamb of God drummer Chris Adler to play on their latest album Dystopia.
Megadeth have delivered a few “return to form” albums after past perceived missteps, and however you want to compare it to their previous release, there’s no doubt that Dystopia is a first-rate Megadeth album.
Mustaine has a seemingly endless supply of riffs and of politically charged lyrics. That theme continues on tracks like “Post American World,” “The Emperor” and the title track. When it comes to the riffs, Dystopia is definitely a thrash album. There are really heavy parts with an old school feel, but there’s also ample variety and some modern influences.
That variety includes orchestration on “Poisonous Shadows” that nicely augments the song without overshadowing it. The instrumental “Conquer or Die” begins slowly and acoustically, then explodes into an electrified display of guitar virtuosity.
Megadeth wrap up the album with a cover song, doing a rendition of “Foreign Policy” by the California hardcore punk band Fear. Its title and lyrics make it a very appropriate track for the band to do, and it fits seamlessly with the rest of the album.
The musicianship on the album is outstanding. The interplay between Mustaine and Loureiro sounds effortless, and there are numerous searing solos throughout. Adler brings a different sensibility to the table, and it works really well. Whether he’s contributing creative fills or providing a rock solid foundation while the guitarists shred, his performance is impressive.
Dystopia is the sound of a band that’s re-energized. Loureiro is a great addition to the lineup, and whether Adler is on board for the long haul or not, his contributions were very valuable. Fifteen albums into their legendary career, the resilient Megadeth continue to impress.
(Chad Bower, Loudwire.com)