Megadeth - United Abominations - 2007 - Roadrunner Records
1 Sleepwalker 2. Washington Is Next! 3. Never Walk Alone...A Call To Arms 4. United Abominations 5. Gears Of War 6. Blessed Are The Dead 7. Play For Blood 8. A Tout Le Monde 9. Amerikhastan 10. You're Dead 11. Burnt Ice
Welcome home Dave. Welcome home. Mustaine and his new outfit of energized and youthful warriors hit the metal scene in a big way, returning to glory in triumphant fashion. This new record is simply brilliant, a mega-load of Megadeth, fired up with six-strings blazing, almost fueled by some sort of otherworldly force to wrong the ills of the world wielding a battle axe of freshly forged iron. This is THE Megadeth made famous by Max Norman, Dave Ellefson, Marty Friedman, and Nick Menza, only those members have been upgraded to newer versions. Former White Lion bassist James LoMenzo and Eidolon's Shawn and Glen Drover join this mission, wearing the combat fatigues of "Rust In Piece", swearing the angry and aggressive voices of "Countdown To Extinction", and reveling in the hook-laden strokes of "Youthanasia". In many ways "United Abominations" is the missing piece, the final chapter in what I considered at one point a holy trinity ("Rust...", "Countdown...", "Youth") and that can now be called the Four-Plex of metal greatness. The band borrowed John Bonham's drum kit, worked with famed producer Andy Sneap, and recorded with commercial talent Jeff Balding, all combined efforts that have delivered this to the top of the 2007 heap just shy of Machine Head's "The Blackening".
The album's first cut, "Sleepwalker", sets the stage for the return of the boys, startling with its boom-boom-boom guitar riff rattle followed by a sinking groove. Listen to Mustaine and Glen Drover's duel solos midway, marked by Shawn Drover's crushing pattern on skins. "Washington Is Next!" follows with a riff seemingly lifted right out of Maiden's songbook, lyrically positioned in the heart of our current war-scarred regime. "Never Walk Alone...A Call To Arms" and "Play For Blood" are both straight up hard driven power cuts that seem to be right out of "Youthanasia's" skillful and catchy primer. The selection "Gears Of War" is a pulverizing lick of metallic groove, built on intense measures and delivering a catchy chorus reminiscent of the title track on "Countdown...". "Blessed Are The Dead" is probably my favorite of the whole bunch, a symbolic modern day look at the book of "Revelations", emphasized with a NWOBHM styling draped over a memorable chorus. I personally could have done without the record's first single, a reworking of "A Tout Le Monde" (from the "Youthanasia" record) with the vocals of Lacuna Coil's Christina Scabbia. The song sounds watered down compared to its mighty original form.
The Bottom Line - Easily the best Megadeth album since the mid 90s and a welcome return to the heart of the band's sound.
About this Writer: Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.
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