CHRIS POLAND – Return To Metalopolis Live

CHRIS POLAND - Return To Metalopolis Live
  • 6.5/10
    CHRIS POLAND - Return To Metalopolis Live - 6.5/10


Lion Music
Release date: May 25, 2007

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Return to Metalopolis was Chris Poland’s reemergence to music. After being excused from his duties as lead guitarist for Megadeth, Poland knew the pressure of climbing out from under the shadow of Mustaine. History would probably say Chris didn’t live up to the hype if you were judging by album sales. Return to Metalopolis went relatively unnoticed in the Metal community; but then, with the exception of Yngwie and Satriani, instrumental Metal can be a fickle scene. Chris was making a statement with his solo release, be it intentional or not, that he was a growing musician, not just another Metal guitarist.

Although Return … is a heavy album, Poland was teetering on the boarder of Fusion, much in the vein of John McLaughlin. With Return To Metalopolis – Live those Fusion influences become a bit more apparent without Mustaine’s heavy crunch behind Poland, Chris’s warmer and biting tone, which doesn’t adhere to the standard Metal tone. Chris focuses more on the chunky rhythms and almost shies away from soloing, as if to say this isn’t just a guitarist record. The tempos are predominantly fast with varied time signatures. The overall theme is dark and heavy, but there is foreshadowing where Chris would eventually take his playing in his current band, OHM:.

Of course, Poland has to play to his audience as any smart showman would, and the band doesn’t take long to break into the classic Megadeth tune, “Wake Up Dead,” featuring bassist Dave Randi on vocals. The players all nail their parts, and Randi doesn’t suck, but Megadeth without Mustaine on vocals is just all wrong; there is no real life, the song isn’t allowed to breathe. The rest of the tracks sound much like the studio versions only not as full-sounding since the recording was straight off the board. The sounds are clean for the most part, with the bass only getting a little fuzzy in spots; the audience sounds small, as they are only being picked up through the amp mikes. The album also features an unreleased B-side recorded around the same time as “Return …, and there is a 2003 OHM: cut. There is also a poor quality video of “Alexandria,” which is so dark it is pointless.

For die hard fans, it is Poland at The Mason Jar with one of the only known recordings from the short tour to support an underground legendary release of Return to Metalopolis. The recording is straight from the board with no overdubs. It is as raw as anything out there. It is a preview of what Poland would go on to record with his Damn the Machine release, and hey, he was the original lead guitarist in Megadeth. For anyone else, well there isn’t a big stretch here from the original Return … release, the quality is sub-par for audiophiles, and the bonus tracks aren’t going to make fans take notice. Even Poland’s playing doesn’t rise to the level he can achieve; this is a fans-only album and doesn’t stand to increase much attention from a new fan base.


  • Jeremy Juliano

    Jeremy was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He's been involved with and has been following the Metal scene since the early 1980’s. He started out his Metal journey with heavy doses of Maiden, Accept, and Saxon. And in recent years, he has enjoyed the new age of Metal with bands like Hammerfall, Edguy, and Nightwish, to name a few.

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