Megadeth?! You say. Now just hold on there! This is being touted as a return to form – “their best since rust in peace”, etc etc. Well before we get started I’d just like to say that Rust In Peace isn’t very good. However, Countdown to Extinction by Megadeth is one of my top 10 metal albums. And that’s even though it has Psychotron on it. Psychotron = finest worst lyrics ever about a killer robot:
“Target to destroy
Arms in employ
Full assault fire threat
You will terminate
Life systems disconnect”
I can just imagine the conversation from the rest of the band: “So let me get this straight Dave, we’re writing an album about the threat to mankind from all the environmental damage and you want to put a song on about a killer robot?”
I lie really – All Megadeth lyrics have always been terrible. But isn’t that the best bit of metal?
Anyway, I’ve lost touch with Megadeth but they’ve plowed on for years. But a couple of good reviews for this album and I thought “fuck it, i’ll check it out.”
Oh my, this type of music still exists? Countdown to Extinction was 17 years ago (holy fuck, i’m old) and it still sounds more innovative than the nonsense they’ve just released. There are people who want to hear solos at least twice a song? And not just solos which show a varied dynamic but a solo that stays in that widdly high part of the guitar and then a second one that’s low down? Talk about getting stuck in a rut! No real dynamics between the solos – just solos for the sake of solos. Technically impressive? Maybe, but do they give anything to the song?
And Dave’s voice. That famous sneer he had throughout the early work. It’s gone, replaced by a “can I really be bothered anymore” tone. The first track Dialectic Chaos is really not bad at all. An instrumental that makes you sit up “here we go” I thought. “This is fast and hard. Ace.” But all too soon it’s over and as the rest of the songs trail by you realise that Dialectic Chaos was like one of those trailers for films which show all the good bits and reveal all the surprises. Truly, there is nothing more on the entire album that Dialectic Chaos doesn’t give us in it’s 2:25 running time. (well apart from vocals but as I stated before that’s not much to look forward to).
The next track This Day We Fight is fast and full. Again, it’s pretty good. It just sounds like Metallica’s Death Magnetic. Which is the direction I think they’ve gone in. You all know the story about Dave Mustaine and Metallica and if you don’t you won’t even be reading this. It’s very much like The End of the Line by Metallica in fact. It also contains 7 separate solos in 3:27. That’s just silly. Especially since they’re all widdly ones and are not that impressive.
Track 3: 44 Minutes. Thank god it’s not that long. Songs about bank heist and shoot out. Nice chorus ruined by bawls lyrics.
“Baptized in a firefight
Hot blood running cold as ice
44 Minutes of target practice
All hell breaking loose”
3 or 4 solos although the one at the end is pretty cool.
Track 4: 1,320. This song is about racing cars. This sounds like the lyrics were written by Judas Priest. It’s all about “tank full of nitro”, “quick as a bolt of lightning”, “a rocket ride”, etc. Which, let’s be honest, if Judas Priest HAD written it – that would be about fucking cocks which is what all of their crappy songs were about. Just sounds tired. Metal songs about fast cars? Come on, can we move past this Metal? This is why people laugh at you! Solos: Bit of a jumble here. 1 harmony solo then a full minute of solos and harmony solos at the end. Let’s just say if I wanked to this, I would pull my dick off.
Track 5: Bite The Hand. Sledgehammer heavy riff which is promising but quickly becomes tired. Are you seeing how cliched this is yet? I shall just start quoting lyrics to give you an idea: “Worldwide Suicide” “when it’s dog eat dog, you are what you eat” Solos? 2. Does the same as the last song: last minute is entirely a solo.
Track 6: The Bodies Left Behind. Same as one before. Bored now. Sledgehammer variation of previous riff. And, oh my god, solos start at 1:50 and go all the way to the end at 3:34. Dull.
Track 7: Endgame. Hmm. This is entirely about The President of USA and new world order and stuff. Surely, this has been timed badly since you lot have a new president and people are pretty hopeful. (well, more than before anyway!) Sure it’s dismissive of Bush but didn’t you have 8 fucking years to rip that cunt, why wait till he’s gone before you did it? Oh yeah, you’re pussies and your entire mullet headed fans think Bush is awesome. Either way, this starts talking about The End of the Line which is funny since that is the Metallica song they are still trying to rip off. Solo’s. Fuck loads, who knows. At least 5. Solo all the way to the end in fact. Again. Oh wait. A FADE OUT?! WTF? Disgrace.
Track 8. The Hardest Part of Letting Go…Sealed With a Kiss. What? Acoustic guitars?! Well with a name like that it has to be the balla… oh wait. Here come the heavy guitars. Actually, this is pretty good too. Cheesy and bouncy in that Iron Maiden way. And Dave Mustaine trying to hold a tune over acoustic guitars with his fucked voice… actually, it’s so funny, I’m gonna show you it. Check this: Megadeth – The Hardest Part Of Letting Go… (snippet)
Hahaha, let’s all laugh at that goodbye line. A lot. Oh wait, this track fades out too. BOO! No creativity nobs! Solos: who knows. I was laughing at his voice.
Track 9: Head Crusher. BANG, and we’re back to fast metal again. Yawn. Oh this is about crushing heads in some torture machine. Hmm, this kinda goes against the indignation you had about the new world order n Endgame. “now let the torture begin”. Believe me, I have been listening to this album for long enough to know when the toture began, mate! 2 Solos with the last one slapdashed all over the end like someone trying to recreate a jackson pollock painting by wanking onto a canvas with a fistful of broken glass.
Track 10: How The Story Ends. Nothing special. Cliches: “bang drums of death”, “destroying every town, light it up and burn it down”. *shakes head*. Nice section with spanish guitar in the middle. Oh hang on, that’s ripped from Metallica too isn’t it? Solos: at least 3 but I lost count cos I fell asleep.
Track 11: The Right To Go Insane. Okay, with a title like that this should be dumb! Starts off strong actually. But then the lyrics come in: “Gruelling nine to five”, “Graveyard shift”, “living on the edge” “nothing left to lose” – Wow, proppa cliches! All in the first verse and chorus. Solos: 4.
+ Megadeth either end their songs with a solo or they fade them out.
+ All Megadeth solos are the same. There were maybe 2 or 3 that stood out. And I counted between 25-30 in total. Possibly more. All in 44 minutes. Holy fuck.
+ Someone should stop them writing lyrics. He could write a song about Metallica being a bunch of art fags. Or how he has RSI. All of that would endear you more than “tanks of nitro”.
+ Megadeth are worse than they started off I think. It was okay to make this music in the 80s and 90s. No one minded. Done now it just smacks of pig headedness – something I feel the average metal fan stinks of anyway. Look at all this new technology that has been created since the 80s! Listen to those bass drums Timbaland creates – imagine them as double pedals on a Cannibal Corpse album! Listen to those synths on Lady GaGa’s album! They’re twice as heavy as any guitar on any Slayer album! Oh, right, you want to sound like you did on the last album? And the one before that. Well, metal you need a fucking kick up the arse. When will you realise that just because it’s fast and loud it may as well be a single chord held for 44 minutes unless you have some fucking dynamics? Or different instruments? Guitar, bass, drums? YAWN IN CAPITALS.
Final Score: 3/10
(mostly because the second & third time I listened to it to write this review I found bits I liked a lot moe than I thought I did originally. This review was supposed to be harsh and I feel I’ve let them off. You may not think the same.)