Megadeth - The System Has Failed
Sanctuary
Heavy Metal
12 songs ()
Release year: 2004
Megadeth, Sanctuary
Reviewed by Mike
Major event

After a brief “retirement,” Dave Mustaine has resurrected the Megadeth name and delivered a comeback album entitled The System Has Failed. Mustaine has brought back original guitarist Chris Poland back into the fold, at least for the studio recording of this album. I have seen much buzz around the internet in anticipation of this album. There seems to be great anticipation that this album will be a “return to roots” album of sorts, harkening back to the band’s glory days of Rust in Peace. If you are amongst the fans hoping for the sequel to that classic album, prepare to be let down. This is still a great Megadeth album, worthy of the Megadeth name, and worthy addition to your collection, but don’t expect Rust In Peace 2. There are a couple of tracks that show flashes of RIP, but the majority of the album falls into a mold more reminiscent of Countdown to Extinction and Youthanasia.

The album kicks off on a heavy note with Blackmail the Universe. A hard driving riff gets things going for what is perhaps the heaviest song on the album. This track also features some time changes and really impressive dual guitar solos that help make this track the most reminiscent of the RIP era that you hear on this album. Die Dead Enough, the first single from this album, is next in line. With its mid tempo, melodic quality, this track is a great choice for the album’s first single. Futhermore, the chorus lines are powerful and memorable, a nice reminder that Megadeth have the ability to create great mid tempo cuts just as they can create full throttle thrash masterpieces. Kick The Chair follows up, the other track that can most readily be associated with the sounds of RIP. Vinnie Colaiuta’s outstanding drumwork coupled with an aggressive riff structure that dominates the song give this song plenty of power. A few more songs in this vein would have been appreciated, but such is not the case.

The remainder of the album churns along at a much more restrained pace (compared to Kick the Chair and Blackmail the Universe). Of these songs, there are a couple of definite standouts, some good Megadeth songs, and some very ordinary sounding songs that I find easy to skip after numerous spins. One of the highlights for me is Back In The Day, a track in which we hear Dave reminiscing about what made him what he is today. Iron Maiden style riffs in this song give this song an old school, classic 1980’s heavy metal sound, something a bit different from the rest of the album. Another standout, and perhaps the most adventurous track of the album is Truth Be Told. This cut starts off by alternating between subtle, acoustic fills and mid tempo hard rocking parts complimented by gang like chorus lines. However, the second half of this song is a real treat for fans as it explodes into a fury of dual guitar solos followed by a steady, pounding riff at a speedy tempo. As for a couple of songs that fell flat for me, The Scorpion and Something I’m Not are the two lowlights for me. The Scorpion is a slow, haunting track that falls victim to melodic, but painfully repetitive verses. Something I’m Not is built around a monotonous riff structure that is as generic as a wardrobe consisting only of blue jeans and white tee shirts. The lyrics are an entertaining listen, and several energetic solos try to give this song some life and at least make the song salvageable. Ultimately, this track could have benefited heavily from more creative songwriting and riffing.

For a “comeback” album, this album should certainly please, but not astound all Megadeth fans. After coming out of brief retirement and forming yet another new lineup for Megadeth, I am quite happy with the final product that Dave & company have delivered. I see this album as a modest improvement from The World Needs A Hero, so I would only expect that trend to continue as Megadeth continues forward. Dave's voice hasn't lost a beat, and his delivery is full of emotion, giving the entire album an energetic kick in the ass. While the mid tempo cuts do outnumber the speedy, thrashy moments, the sound is 100% Megadeth. Aside from a couple of dull, but not terrible moments, there aren't any bad songs to be heard. Don't get caught up in any "This is the next Rust in Peace" hype. Just listen to this disc as the new Megadeth album and take it for what it is. If you appreciate Countdown to Extinction and Youthanasia, you'll enjoy this album as well.

Killing Songs :
Die Dead Enough, Kick the Chair, Back In The Day, Truth Be Told
Mike quoted 80 / 100
Marty quoted 82 / 100
Jay quoted 83 / 100
Aleksie quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Megadeth that we have reviewed:
Megadeth - Dystopia reviewed by Goat and quoted 78 / 100
Megadeth - Super Collider reviewed by Goat and quoted 59 / 100
Megadeth - Th1rt3en reviewed by Goat and quoted 83 / 100
Megadeth - Cryptic Writings reviewed by Goat and quoted 78 / 100
Megadeth - Endgame reviewed by Goat and quoted 91 / 100
To see all 18 reviews click here
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