Megadeth is back with their first new studio album since 2004’s The System has Failed, and old school Megadeth fans will be pleased with this latest release tagged United Abominations. Any hint of previous Megadeth lyrical content will no doubt give away that this is a play on United Nations, and the album definitely delivers on the political commentary that has been so ingrained in Mustaine’s songs over the years. This lyrical composition more in tune with Megadeth’s roots is also accompanied by music that is indicative of their platinum years as well.
The album is full of hard thrashing yet catchy riffs representative of those that made Megadeth famous in the late ’80s and early ’90s. On top of that, Mustaines voice is still as strong as it ever was as he belts out his trademark high pitched snarls. As I said before, fans of their classics like Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying and Countdown to Extinction should be very pleased with United Abominations. The album is metal through and through, and that is refreshing in today’s overload of, mostly bullshit, genres and sub-genres.
The tracks I enjoyed the most tended to offer innovative riffs and progressions while maintaining the appeal of straightforward metal. “Sleepwalker,” “Never Walk Alone…A Call to Arms,” and “Gears of War” are great examples of this and really showcase that Mustaine still has very viable songwriting chops. From what I’ve been reading people tend to enjoy the re-recording of Youthanasia’s “A Tout Le Monde (Set Me Free)” featuring vocals from Lacuna Coil’s Cristina Scabbia, but I honestly still prefer the slower, less metal original. I guess I’m not a true metal head in that sense, but I think more broad musical fans may agree with me here.
In all, United Abominations is a more than worthy effort from an aging, yet still pissed off Mustaine. I really think he benefited from a completely new, young lineup. I hadn’t previously heard of Glen Drover, Shawn Drover, or James Lomenzo, but these guys are incredibly capable musicians. If you’re curious about this album and were waiting for Megadeth to return to their trademark sound, this is as close as you’re gonna get without any evidence of Mustaine attempting to rehash the past. It’s fresh, yet vintage. Go ahead and pick this one up. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.