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After the arena-rock slowdowns (!) and banjo interludes (!!!) of 2013’s Super Collider, Dave Mustaine & Co. return to the paranoid, bone-dry thrash that made Megadeth teenage heroes in their early days. Opening with a conspiracist’s cornucopia of bad news (“The Threat Is Real”), Dystopia tears through 11 grim fight songs about political celebrity (“The Emperor”), global politics (“Post American World,” which borrows its title from a Fareed Zakaria book), and a host of other things to be worried about before capping it off with a cover of hardcore band Fear’s “Foreign Policy”—a song whose satirical suggestions of harmony through violent oppression hit eerily close to home.

Customer Reviews

Megadeth is back!!!!!!!

Fatal Illusion taps into the energy of Killing is my Business and Peace Sells to give us one of the heaviest Megadeth songs since The System Has Failed. Hope the rest of Dystopia thrashes just as hard!

Excellent Thrash

I don't want to say Megadeth is back too early, but this is the first thrash song Megadeth has released in 25 years. Dave was telling the truth when he said he was done with making radio friendly songs. This song touches their roots and adds a bit of their new sound in it. The first minute of this song is straight out of Slayer's handbook. Chris' drums are what add that special thump to the song. They're thrash drums, and Dave hasn't welcomed thrashy drums in his music in roughly 25 years. It has been quite a while since I've been able to listen to a new Megadeth song more than twice a day. "Fatal Illusion" has been in my now playing box no less than 15 times these past two days.

Excellent, hopefully lasting, return to form for Dave.

Too early to speculate

I say that because Megadeth sometimes tends to release the first songs from an upcoming album that don't really give an accurate representation of the whole thing, when the album does release. Look at how their last couple have fared. There wasn't much on Super Collider to brag about at all, and with Th1rt3en, they released "Sudden Death" and "Never Dead", which were two very strong songs that gave reason to make the album look promising, when in fact, it didn't turn out to be.

Chris Adler playing for the band now will bring something interesting to the fold, but I think many people may get the wrong idea from this. Adler may be drumming on it, but that doesn't mean that the band will be any faster or heavier, in the fashion of Lamb of God. It basically may just end up meaning that for the songs that are on here, the drumming is more technical. It all depends on how much of a hand everyone has in the writing process, and when you consider the fact that Megadeth should really be called MegaDave, I wouldn't bet that the material itself will change much just because of the addition of Chris. The drumming might, but the material and ideas still come from Dave himself. It seems like Chris got hired merely to play the drums on here, and while he will most certainly do it well, the bigger question is this: will his influence contribute to greater material than we've seen out of this band as of recent? That, everyone, is something that we will only fully know when the release date comes.

The two songs that have come out so far are a good listen. "Fatal Illusion" definitely is promising, and gives us a notion that Dave just may have some of that old school fury left in him. The next track, "The Threat Is Real", is apparently going to be the album opener. Having said that, this is where I am a bit leary. The track is good, but it seems to have a very similar vibe as "Never Dead", which was right in the middle of 2011's "Th1rt3en". Then again though, is that so bad? Either of those songs could have fit in very nicely with the Countdown to Extinction era. The only qualm is that for an album opener, you'd expect Megadeth to come out swinging a little fiercer, especially when considering that they've got some fresh blood in the lineup now, with many eager listeners waiting.

All in all, Dystopia probably won't be what many people are expecting of it. The reason, unfortunately, is that the hype of Lamb of God's skinsman manning the throne is setting certain expectations among the listeners, and those expectations are very subjective, considering that both bands are stylistically different, in a few ways. The key to enjoying this album upon release, for many, is going to be realizing that there is a difference between speed and energy. This album may not turn out to be the fastest of the band's attempts, but the energy and technical proficiency of the performace will be very apparent. It's about now that when one considers the elements thus far, this outing will be on par with, or close to, the quality of 2009's "Endgame", which was the best attempt from this band since the early '90s. Considering that this will arrive in 2016, it's fair to say that if Megadeth can still create an album of that quality even this late in their career, then the the band's diehards will find plenty to enjoy on here.


Formed: 1983 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Metal

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

After he left Metallica in 1983, guitarist/vocalist Dave Mustaine formed the thrash metal quartet Megadeth. Though Megadeth followed the basic blueprint of Metallica's relentless attack, Mustaine's group distinguished themselves from his earlier band by lessening the progressive rock influences, adding an emphasis on instrumental skills, speeding up the tempo slightly, and making the instrumental attack harsher. By streamlining the classic thrash metal approach and making the music more threatening,...
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Dystopia, Megadeth
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  • $7.99
  • Genres: Metal, Music, Rock
  • Released: Jan 22, 2016
  • Parental Advisory

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