By Clare McCabe
Released May 31st, 2013 - Universal
Mr Mustaine returns with his pals for their 14th studio album with a roar.
On the first listen, all the usual suspects are there including Dave's intense lyrics, his gravelly voice and jangly layered guitars. Mustaine is joined by his current line-up of Chris Broderick sharing guitar duties,David Ellefson on bass and Mr Shawn Drover on drums.
My favourite right from the go is Cold Sweat - a sweet cover of an old Thin Lizzy classic done really well to be honest. Beginning of Sorrow is another early highlight with its heavy beat and gloomy lyrics. And then we haveThe Blackest Crow - is that a banjo there at the beginning, slightly bluesy and quite different from the usualMegadeth sound - really like this one. The Mustaine growl really comes out on Dance in the Rain (a touch of Suicidal Tendancies here - with guest vocals supplied by Disturbed frontman Dave Draiman).
Of note is the fact that Mustaine has acknowledged the recording sessions for this album were more collaborative - read he didn't try to take control of everything /boss everyone around so much and let the others come up with suggestions and even lyrics. And it shows that they all know each other a bit better and are comfortable working together - bet they are enjoying touring this one.
Last time I saw Megadeth live was at the fabulous No Sleep Til Auckland extravaganza at Auckland's Logan Campbell Centre a few years back and they did not disappoint live.
They are currently touring their new material on the latest Gigantour (organised by Dave himself), along with Black Label Society, Hell Yeah and Jason Newsted's latest band Newsted (wonder if they will jam any old Metallica tunes together?). Mustaine commented on the tour in a recent interview on Billboard.com "I feel that this lineup has the potential to be a really, really cool Gigantour. All the bands on it are super-aggressive, just extreme metal". Bet that tour would go down well in New Zealand boys (hint, hint).
All in all am surprisingly impressed with Megadeth's latest offering - more of the same thanks boys and bring your show back to NZ when you have the chance.
Still can't get that banjo out of my head - just one more listen.....
3.5 / 5