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The System Has Failed
November 2004
Released: 2004, Sanctuary
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: EvilG

And so the new Megadeth CD, THE SYSTEM HAS FAILED, is upon us. We all knew, or hoped, that Mustaine would not wait too long before putting out new material. I got this CD not long after it’s release on September 14th, but rather than rush out a review with my initial excitement, I decided to wait a couple weeks longer to ensure that my initial reaction was not just based on my joy of having a new Megadeth CD, but that it was based on actually liking the songs. As you can tell by my 4/5 rating, I’m still quite into the new CD.

I won’t go into the details on the line-up issues, lawsuits with past members, and other BS surrounding this album. Rather, I’ll focus on what concerns me, the music! If your favorite album by Megadeth is RUST IN PEACE, then this is still not RiP part two but has a couple of moments that are close. If you take a mixture of some of RiP with some of the better moments of YOUTHANASIA or CRYPTIC WRITINGS than you will have a good idea on what to expect. The album opener, “Blackmail the Universe” is the big nod to RUST IN PEACE as pretty much is the song “Kick The Chair” I could of done with more songs being in this vein on the album though. The end part of “Truth Be Told” picks up the speed for a bit but the first part of the song is not as catchy. Tracks like “Die Dead Enough” and “The Scorpion” are more in line with the YOUTHANASIA / CRYPTIC WRITINGS era. Then there is a track like “Tears In A Vial” which sounds like some melodic 80’s metal track. “Back in The Day” starts out like Maiden’s “Flash of the Blade” before moving into other directions. The lyrics here are different for Megadeth with a look back over fond memories of metal with lines like: “Metal's King back then. And still is this today. Others imitate or challenge. But it never goes away”. “Of Mice And Men” is also lyrically a great song that has Mustaine being a little more introspective rather than dealing with the failed system, jury’s for sale, etc.. He’s been through a lot of bumps in his life, but he continues to pull through it all.

While THE SYSTEM HAS FAILED is not RUST IN PEACE Part II, it is arguably the best album they’ve done since then. It would have been interesting to hear some elements of PEACE SELLS on here since Chris Poland was back for the recording of the leads but unfortunately, I didn’t hear anything from that era. While this album may not be perfect, it is clearly miles ahead of Megadeth’s peers’ latest efforts…and you know who I’m referring to here!
Track Listing

1. Blackmail The Universe (4:33)
2. Die Dead Enough (4:18)
3. Kick The Chair (3:58)
4. The Scorpion (5:59)
5. Tears In A Vial (5:22)
6. I Know Jack (0:41)
7. Back In The Day (3:28)
8. Something I'm Not (5:07)
9. Truth be Told (5:40)
10. Of Mice And Men (4:05)
11. Shadow Of Death (2:15)
12. My Kingdom (3:04)


Recording Line-Up:
Dave Mustaine: Lead vocals, lead & rhythm guitar
Chris Poland: Lead guitar
Jimmy Lee Sloas: Bass guitars & backing vocal
Vinnie Colaiuta: Drums

Next review: » Megadeth - The System Has Failed
The System Has Failed
December 2004
Released: 2004, Sanctuary
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: JP

Year-end wrap-up: Each of the last few years to wrap up the year I have picked a theme for my reviews for December. This year due to the overwhelming number of CD’s that deserve exposure, recognition and commentary I am going to resort to quantity over quality. I usually try to give as much attention to each CD with extensive commentary however this month’s reviews (perhaps unfortunately) will be short and sweet and much more in the style of traditional magazine reviews where space restrictions are an important factor. (ie. Less detail) I apologize in advance to readers who expect much more detailed reviews. Please check the reviews archives as many of my colleagues have written excellent detailed commentary of many of these CD’s. I hope the large number of quick comments will help guide you making some of those important year-end CD purchase decisions. Happy Holidays and see you in January. JP

A very nice return to form what is essentially now one last kick at the can, end on a high note, (aka) the beginning of Dave Mustaines solo career. Will he be like Jeff Waters with Annihilator and keep the Megadeth name or go truly ‘solo’? Either way this is a great first step in erasing the bad taste left in our mouths by a string of weak studio CD’s, ‘Best of’ compilations and lame reissues. Despite the hype this is not RIP Part II but it is thrash. It’s fast, catchy and has that quirky and unmistakable Megadeth signature sound although they admittedly can’t compete in intensity with today’s leaner, hungrier, heavier thrash acts. Good production, good packaging decent lyrics with typically snarled, less than actually sung, this is their best CD in a decade.
Track Listing

1. Blackmail The Universe
2. Die Dead Enough
3. Kick The Chair
4. The Scorpion
5. Tears In A Vial
6. I Know Jack
7. Back In The Day
8. Something That I’m Not
9. Truth Be Told
10. Of Mice And Men
11. Shadow of Deth
My Kingdom


Dave Mustaine-vocals
Chris Poland-guitar
Jimmy Lee Sloas-Bass
Vinnie Colaiuta-drums



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