Who said hair metal was dead? Trash metallers Megadeth have marched into 2016 loud with their fifteenth studio album, Dystopia, and it’s a doozy. Packed to the brim with giant riffs and electrifying solos, the album is a blast to the hair metal movement while still maintaining a modern (or futuristic, I should say) tone.
Kicking off immediately huge is intro track ‘The Threat Is Real’ that is tinged with Middle Eastern vibes and a massive riff accompanied by crushing drumming. The album continues to deliver powerful, headbanger riffs like in the title track ‘Dystopia’ and ‘Fatal Illusion’, but also takes some interesting turns. ‘Poisonous Shadows’ features an outro with spoken word, a piano piece performed by guitarist Kiko Loureiro, and subtle strings. The song, as well as ‘Post American World’ and ‘Conquer Or Die!’ feature acoustic guitars in them, the later of which is an instrumental take takes a break from Dave Mustaine’s raspy vocals. The closure track is a cover of ‘Foreign Policy’ by hardcore punk outfit Fear, giving the song the Megadeth vibe of hair raising riffs and Mustaine’s powerful voice. Much of the album also features a particularly particularly apocalyptic sound to compliment the theme of the album, that being of a future society overcome by science (seems to be a trend lately) and oppression. Lyrically, the album follows the formula of futuristic society full of anarchy and rebellion complimented by the oppressive instrumentals. Admittedly, the album does get a bit dull after the first few tracks if you listen through it consecutively, as the formula of big riffs and tremendous choruses does get old. Luckily, the second half of the album brings in some unexpected elements that add some color to the album.
Dystopia goes to show that you can never kill off music. Debuting at Number 3 on the Billboard 200, it’s Megadeth’s second highest charting album, and in 2016! It’s huge success compliments how huge of an album it is. Through the ages, the band has continued to develop its huge sound and make its mark on metal. Headbanging can’t be killed.
Favorite Songs: The Threat Is Real, Poisonous Shadows, Fatal Illusion
Least Favorite Tracks: Lying In State, Bullet In The Brain