MEGADETH – The System Has Failed

MEGADETH - The System Has Failed


Sanctuary Records
Release date: September 14, 2004

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Due to a nerve injury to his arm a couple of years ago, Dave Mustaine decided to end his Megadeth career “forever,” it was said. Still, very few of us got surprised when a new Megadeth album earlier this year was announced. After spending a lot of time lately on re-mastering and re-issuing seven of his nine earlier albums (in stores last June), there is no reason to be shocked about Mustaine’s work-oholism leading him to a new studio recording.

The System Has Failed is a success story. Dave Mustaine has managed to fulfill his potential as one of the world’s most innovative and die hard Metal chiefs. This, of course, is not the first time during Megadeth’s twenty year long history that Mustaine has met his potential. Mr. Mustaine sure has got a number of personal issues (read: drug addictions) that have distracted his career, but despite these, he can look back at a huge number of gold and platinum selling albums. The worst thing about him though, is that he keeps on whining and complaining about how bad Metallica has treated him. Stop doing that, Dave. Metallica hasn’t released one good album since 1991. Megadeth, on the other hand, has provided us with several good, great, and excellent recordings!

The System Has Failed continues where Megadeth’s previous release The World Needs A Hero (’01) stopped, rich on heavy riffs, chasing beats, fast guitar solos and everything you love about Mustaine’s songs. Mustaine still is angry – he snarls his lyrics full of political comments and stories about his inner demons.

Chris Poland, who played on Megadeth’s two first releases, has had a studio come back as the second guitar player on this recording … and he has added a lot of guitars. He sure still knows how to grind an edge to Metal, even though he, for the last part of his career, has aimed his talent towards jazz-fusion (check out OHM: “LIVE” ON KPFK 90.7 FM on Lion Music, for example). Anyway, Poland is by no chance likely to be a part of any Megadeth touring unit.

However, someone certainly will and should, along with Mustaine, take the responsibility of getting these songs played live. Live, a lot of these new tracks would match whatever hit parade can be drummed up from Megadeth’s back catalog.

The opening track “Blackmail The Universe” is an uneven effort, and doesn’t give away what the continuation brings. The following three tracks on the other hand, “Die Dead Enough”, “Kick The Chair” and “The Scorpion” (check out Metal Express’ Jukebox), demonstrate Mustaine at his best — pure power pleasure. The latter’s bridge reminds quite a lot of Michael Jackson’s “Dirty Diana”, but at least that’s as far as the comparison goes. All three tracks prove that Megadeth still deserves to be honored as one of Metal’s most important bands.

Another highlight is “Back In The Days”, a stoner rock/80’s Metal cross over. It has great guitar work, and Mustaine sings as good as he is able to sing. “Shadow Of Deth” is a big surprise. Escorted by a marching drum beat, bagpipes, and a fuzzy guitar, this track, only 2:15 minutes long, takes you through a recitation of Psalm 23 from the Bible’s Old Testament. The narrator sounds funny enough, like Arnold Schwarzenegger, but manages to create a very special atmosphere around some of the most beautiful words ever written about knowing you are saved.

“Tears In A Vial”, “Truth To Be Told” and “Of Mice And Men” outdo the album’s more anonymous contributions. They should have been stored in Mustaine’s vault for another time …

Anyway, this is a great beginning to the rest of Dave Mustaine’s career. It is good to have Megadeth back. May they tour forever!

The System Has Failed will be released September 14, 2004.


Dave Mustaine: Vocals and Guitars
Chris Poland: Guitars
Jimmie Sloas: Bass
Vinnie Coliuta: Drums
Good old founding member David Ellefson is sadly enough at the moment out of the band.

Track list

Blackmail The Universe
Die Dead Enough
Kick The Chair
The Scorpion
Tears In A Vial
I Know Jack
Back In The Day
Something I’m Not
Truth To Be Told
Of Mice And Men
Shadow Of Deth
My Kingdom Come


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