I will not bore you with a “Hey Mustaine used to be in Metallica mud slinging contest”, or attempt to stir the pot, on Dave Mustaine who seems to always get some sort of online bashing from one website or another.  I do not know him, but I do know his music very well.  Fans rejoiced when the rumor mill swirled that Mustaine was attempting to get the Rust in Peace line-up together, including me.  Turns out the rumor was partially true.  Drummer Nick Menza did some practicing with the band; however the jamming was off and the band could not gel with him.  Marty Friedman then had some part, but he is really happy doing his own solo thing and so Dave Mustaine was just left with Dave Ellefson, the band still in need of a drummer and second guitarist.  The rumors became reality when Lamb of God drummer, Chris Adler, was announced as the session drummer for the new album, as well as assisting with touring with the band, as long as schedules did not conflict with Lamb of God touring.  Angra guitarist Kiko Loureiro was announced as the second guitarist.  What would this new incarnation sound like??  It would certainly have to be better than 2013’s very uneven Super Collider and there was no way it would be as bad as their 1999 album Risk, which was almost a career ender.  What Dave Mustaine has done is put together the best rhythm section the band has had since those Rust in Peace days, without question.

I will first comment that Dave’s vocals sound insanely good on this album.  As if the man is conjuring his old self, from 1990.  His menacing snarl is back, but deeper and angrier. Chris Adler has added some much needed juice to the band with an outstanding drum performance on Dystopia.  The band has added some much needed speed to their sound and Adler’s double bass is punishing on certain tracks.  Kiko adds some creative solos and really compliments Dave’s guitar style, as if the two have been playing for decades, together.  Ellefson, as always, plays great, no issues there.  So how do the new songs sound??  “The Threat is Real” comes in with ethereal female vocals before the isolated guitar riff and bass thumping comes in.  The tune goes into a cool Egyptian tinged guitar solo and the rhythm section scorches.  As soon as I heard this tune, prior to the album release, I was like “Mustaine Means ‘Effin Business and his Business is Good!!”.  The 2.25 spot with the quick pacing, soling, sounds literally like a section In “Holy Wars”-it is that goddamn great.  The chorus is also excellent.  The title track is next and harkens back to the Cryptic Writings era with the heavy/melodic and jumpy guitar riffing.  Well, does the band shoot its load just with those 2 songs??  Hell no. “Fatal Illusion”, one of the best tunes, on Dystopia, begins quite fantastically with truly heavy riffs and excellent guitar harmonics.  One of the heaviest openings of any Megadeth song.  Throw in a little isolated bass guitar solo and than the track picks up some speed and Adler is smashing the crap out of the drums, with a little poly-rhythmic drumming.  This adds another dimension to Megadeth’s sound.  The 2.30 part is really the “Holy Shit” part with the isolated guitar part and I swear it rips into something that could have been on “Peace Sells”, easily, with the speed metal thrashing, guitar solos and Mustaine’s outstanding vocal delivery.

This review is for the Best Buy special addition that adds 2 extra songs.  One of the bonus songs, “Look Who’s Talking”, thankfully does not have any spoken word moments from John Travolta, but rather an abundance of guitar solos and one of the fastest tracks on the album and very catchy vocal arrangements.   Dystopia contains much of the same sound from albums like The System Has Failed, United Abominations, Endgame and Th1rt3en.  However; Megadeth also reach back to their 80’s and early 90’s roots, with Dystopia by incorporating more speed and overall energy into the songwriting and songs.  I did see Lamb of God recently with Anthrax and Mr. Adler did not have a good night.  He was really off in his timing and effed up a lot of parts.  I was wondering if he was thinking of Megadeth drum patterns, rather than LOG parts.  Regardless, I’ve seen the bastard drum enough times to realize he just had a bad night at work.  I hope he continues to play on Megadeth albums.  I believe it’s his energetic and thrashing drum style that has lit a fire under Mustaine’s rump and has helped propel this album to one of the best Megadeth has ever put out.

The production is top notch and assists in the guitar riffs biting through your speakers and the album cover and booklet are all well designed.  This is a scorcher of an album and one of the best, for me, for 2016.  If you gave up on the band with Super Collider or the uneven Th1rt3en, I urge you to relegate those thoughts just to those albums.  Dystopia is fierce and ass kicking from start to finish, featuring the best guitar solos since the Rust in Peace days.  If you have missed Megadeth’s speed, rest assured, it is back on Dystopia.  Great, great album!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
March 21st, 2016


  1. Commented by: Slimmy

    As a Megadeth fan who stopped listening to them since Rust in Peace….this is a fucking great Megadeth record.

  2. Commented by: F.Rini

    Slimmy-you are so right. I’ve still followed them, but this is one of their strongest albums ever. Kicks ass. Thanks for reading and supporting TOTD. \m/

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