Megadeth – Dystopia


I am one of those skeptics who didn’t welcome the line-up changes in the Megadeth camp as I always thought highly of Chris Broderick and Shawn Drover. As a matter of fact, I strongly believe that this was the best line-up since the classic one of 1990-1998 (Mustaine/Ellefson/Friedman/Menza). In addition, Broderick’s replacement with Kiko Loureiro (Angra) didn’t seem the most fitting one as the Brazilian axeman may be an accomplished musician but I don’t think that it was the best choice for the overall profile and sound of Megadeth. On a positive note, I was certain beforehand that Mustaine wouldn’t repeat his abominable mistake of “Super Collider” and with all these in mind I slip the album on my CD player…

The truth is that the album kicks off on a quite impressive style as the first four compositions storm through the speakers and take you by storm! The title track stands out due to its melodic guitar pattern, the opening cut “The Threat is Real” openly flirts with the exceptional “Endgame”, “Fatal Illusion” is classic Megadeth while the best song on the album –at least from my perspective- is called “Death From Within” and leaves some sonic traces from “The System Has Failed” album. Unfortunately, the rest of the bunch is not as good as the aforementioned compositions. “Bullet To The Brain”, “Poisonous Shadows” and the Fear cover of “Foreign Policy” are forgettable, the instrumental “Conquer…Or Die” is nice and the trio of “Post-American World”, “Lying in State” and “The Emperor” is simply OK. Toby Wright’s production brought back Megadeth’s sharpness that was so much missed on “Super Collider”, Chris Adler is flawless behind his kit, Mustaine & Ellefson reach the usual high standards while Loureiro –I repeat- proves to be that he is not the ideal choice for Megadeth. That being said, I am not insinuating that he is not a good guitarist; quite the contrary.

All in all, “Dystopia” is an OK album that doesn’t kick our asses (as “Endgame” did 7 years ago) but at least it’s not embarrassing as its predecessor. I believe that we must give this line-up a chance…time will tell.

Highlight: The cover artwork is one of the best sleeves that Megadeth has displayed in the last few years.