MEGADETH "The System Has Failed"
by Clifford "Junior" Newsted
8 Dirty Needles out of 10
The cover features a number of American politicians including the commander & chief George W. Bush & Bill "Bubba" Clinton & his ball & chain Hillary Clinton. They are standing in line outside in what appears the outskirts of Washington D.C. At the front of the line is a podium where Vic Rattlehead grips some 100 dollar bills & glaces over his shoulder with his trademark glasses & metal hanging from his skull. It has this appocalyptic feel to it. It’s reminiscent of the feeling I got when I first glanced at "Rust in Peace" or "Peace Sells." This fits the band well & has an old school flavor to it.
8 Angry Middle Aged Males out of 10
While there’s nothing out of the ordinary going on within the pages of the booklet, for a Sanctuary release, there appears to have been some time & effort put into this. Inside the you’ll find all of the lyrics to the tracks on this recording. You will also find who played what on each tracks at the bottom of each set of lyrics. Credit was given to all who contributed to this record. Then there’s the "thank yous" & the where & when this recording took place. The only thing that is missing in this 12 page booklet is pictures. There aren’t any. Then again, they aren’t a necessity either.
8 Alcohol Fueled Rages out of 10
I had read numerous reviews that almost tarnished my feelings about this disc. People either panned it or thought that it was mediocre at best. From the moment that I put on this record, I knew there was something distinct about it. After having to see the band put out lackluster record after lackluster record, if this one didn’t cut it Mega Dave should just pack it in. Lucky for us, even though Mustaine went into this project without a band, once done recording he has returned with the strongest record that he has put out since "Youthanasia." This alone will either turn people on or off, no matter, as the metal fans have grown to be just as fickle, as the pop fans, it shouldn’t surprise. Being that Dave is now in his 40’s, I can’t expect that he would put out a record like "Peace Sells" again, but I certainly don’t want to see him put out another "Risk," either. With "The System has Failed," he balances all the good that he has written in the past, which results in a well balanced disc that I feel he should feel proud of. While it’s a far cry from the speed metal days, he has stayed heavy enough & still has "it" in him. The band sounds tight, even though, they haven’t played together outside of the studio setting. The band consists of studio hired guns & Chris Poland returns to play solos throughout. Chris much like he did in the past,compliments Dave’s playing & vice versa. Something a little different on this record, there are a bulk of keyboards, just about every track has some & they do intensify each track. I think it isn’t until My Kingdom that you realize that there is a Hammond B on there. Another interesting thing that is on this record, is the use of backing vocals, from other than Dave Mustaine or the missing Dave Ellefson. This too, also helps bring Dave’s vocals to a new level. The best songs on here are Blackmail The Universe, Kick The Chair, The Scorpion, Back in The Day, Truth Be Told & My Kingdom. I think the only track that didn’t do much for me was Of Mice & Men. That is the only track that didn’t appear to belong on this record. And just in case you thought that Dave Mustaine didn’t have that anger & the ability to spew venom, just listen to the track Something I’m Not. That alone lets me know he’s back.
Comments: In short, this is a "great" record, but nothing that would be considered classic. It's a step in the right direction for Dave Mustaine. Truly the best effort since "Youthanasia."