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The System Has Failed

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Average Rating
★★★★½
(379 Reviews)

Metal Album Reviews[RSS]

  • Dave Mustaine is back, proving once and for all that he is the metal king! The System Has Failed is a modern masterpiece of epic proportions. Complex riffs, shredding solos, zany jazz inspired drums, and the most furious lyrics penned since Rust In Peace.And let’s not forget the superior songcraft! Each song on this album is unique and has a style of its own. There are thrashers (Kick the Chair/Blackmail the Universe), hard rockers (Die Dead Enough/The Scorpion/Of Mice and Men), epics (Truth Be Told/Back In the Day), and even cool mucial interludes with spoken word segments (I Know Jack/Shadow of Death).There is literally, something for every hard rock/metal fan. TSHF is a perfect mix of metal bliss. Dave’s riffs haven’t sounded this fresh in years! This is the album Mustaine has been trying to write since Countdown to Extinction. Not that the albums since then have been bad (Cryptic Writings was great for example), but they are less than perfect and are sometimes muddled by goofy/silly lyrics and melodies. I need not even mention Risk….Megadeth has reclaimed their place at the top of the hard music scene…The System Has Failed will go down in history as one of the absolute Megadeth classics, proudly taking its place next to Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying, Rust In Peace, Killing Is My Business, and Countdown to Extinction. No self respecting metalhead can go without this. Do yourself a favour and buy this thing NOW!!!

    Posted on December 4, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • In the absence of guilt, I can say that this is the album that Metallica has been trying to make for the past 10 years–(Lars, can you hear that, that’s how drums are supposed to sound on a metal album!!Stop letting Bob “Yoko Ono” Rock feed you stupid pills, your drums sound like sh*t on St. Butt-munch). The System Has Failed is a ferocious, head-slamming comeback from Dave Mustaine. That he calls this Megadeth might be a point to argue for true die-hards, since it’s pretty much Dave at the controls, but what’s changed there? Dave has always been the man in charge where Megadeth is concerned. SYSTEM is hard, it’s honest, and it is extremely metal. There is a believability here that we can count on. Standouts inclue “Die Dead Enough”, “Kick The Chair”, “Of Mice And Men” & “Truth Be Told.” This is an adult metal album, not the juvenile puree of say St. Anger. Dave is pissed off and he’s always been pissed off and he’ll probably stay pissed off, end of story. Its relevant, poignant, and realistic. A wee bit heavy on the political side, but what the hell. Gotta bitch about the system, right? I look forward to seeing them on tour.

    Posted on December 4, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • In 2002, Dave Mustaine disbanded Megadeth after suffering a nerve injury to his arm; at the time, he didn’t know whether he would ever be able to play at full capacity again. Two years later, his arm has healed, and it’s obvious from listening to the new album that he’s found renewed passion for his craft.

    Simply put, The System Has Failed is a great album. And if the rumors are true that this is the last Megadeth album, then what an album to go out with. It’s definitely not Rust in Peace, so don’t expect that — Dave will never again write the kind of amazing riffs and crazy arrangements that permeated that album. But there’s plenty of meat here, and it’s signature Megadeth: tight, compact rhythms, awesome solos, and some melody interspersed here and there to make this a very eclectic, balanced and diverse album. Some songs sound like they could have been on Youthanasia or Cryptic Writings; some sound like they could have been on So Far So Good So What, or maybe Peace Sells. There’s a little something for everyone here.

    Here’s a song by song breakdown:

    1) Blackmail the Universe – 10/10. Fantastic song with some progressive influences. It took a while to grow on me, but that’s only because it doesn’t follow the typical verse/chorus/verse/chorus format in most rock. The arrangement is interesting, the musicianship is tight, and this is old-school Megadeth all the way — heavy as hell, and Dave and lead player Chris Poland shred on this one.

    2) Die Dead Enough – 8/10. This is the “radio song.” The music isn’t as complex or interesting as most on the album, but the melodies are catchy. You’ll find yourself singing this one to yourself.

    3) Kick the Chair – 10/10. Another old-school song; this one just shreds. Some off-kilter melodies at the beginning, and then Dave and Chris trade off solos at the end. Just like the good ol’ days. Heavy thrash song here.

    4) The Scorpion – 9/10. This one has some really nice melody, especially in the chorus, but it’s also heavy and features some nice Poland solos. Has a borderline “epic” feel to it, and there’s some crunchy, interesting palm-muting riffage behind the chorus.

    5) Tears in a Vial – 8/10. Not the heaviest song, but again, the melody is addicting here, and the solos are great as always. Sounds like a song that could have been on Cryptic Writings.

    6) I Know Jack – 9/10. The only reason this song doesn’t get a 10 is because it’s only 40 seconds long. It’s kind of an instrumental; no Dave vocals here, just some clips from a famous political debate. See if you can hear it.

    7) Back in the Day – 10/10. Another fantastic song. Very fast. There’s less melody in this song, but that would appeal more to old-school fans. It also seems like there’s a bit of an Iron Maiden influence in this song, especially with the galloping riffs at the end. Great riffs, solos, and flow. Great song.
    8) Something That I’m Not – 9/10. Didn’t like this one all that much at first, but then it grew on me. Not really fast, but it has some heavy riffs, and the lyrics are hilarious: they’re quite obviously about Lars Ulrich of Metallica. A hidden gem here.

    9) Truth Be Told – 6/10. Not one of the strongest offerings here. The end is cool, with some decent shredding and solos, but the beginning seems disjointed, and the first half melody doesn’t quite catch. The second half of the song salvages it, though.

    10) Of Mice and Men – 9/10. This is another one that had to grow on me. Has kind of a Crypic Writings feel, and at first I didn’t like the main melody in the chorus, but it grew on me over time. This song actually has some personal lyrics from Dave that border on uplifting. Solid song.

    11) Shadow of Deth – 9/10. Just like “I Know Jack,” this one only gets a nine because it’s so short. Awesome harmonizing guitars throughout. This one is another quasi-intrumental; there are clips of someone speaking (can’t tell if it’s Dave or not), but the music is the highlight here.

    12) My Kingdom – 7/10. One of the weaker offerings here, but it’s starting to grow on me. It has a talking-style verse that didn’t sound quite right at first, but there’s decent chug throughout.

    If you’re a Megadeth fan, new-school or old-school, I definitely recomment you give this album a shot. The lyrics range from personal to political, and the music draws on all eras of the band while introducing some new ideas and innovation. Terrific effort by Mustaine. Can’t wait to see the new lineup on tour.

    Posted on December 4, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • After the last few albums, I had decided that I wasn’t buying Megadeth albums anymore. The last two studio albums really had turned me off of Megadeth. However, a new version of Megadeth is back. Dave Mustaine had posted song snippets from this new album in full on the Megadeth website. All of them sounded pretty promising so I decided to check out the new Megadeth.

    That was a very good choice. This is by far the best Megadeth album since Rust in Peace, which is Megadeth’s “White Album”. The album is entirely solid, and doesn’t seem to have anything “slow” like Moto Psycho was like on the last album. This is a good solid Megadeth album that envokes memories of the classics from the past (Rust in Peace, Countdown to Extinction) while having a good clean current sound, unlike some metal albums which sound too muddied.

    Most definitely worth a pickup if you’ve ever liked Megadeth in the past.

    Posted on December 3, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Man, if you gotta go….go out in style. This is a FANTASTIC album. I’ve read some reviews that were pretty negative and I’ve noticed a few things that seem consistant in them.

    One, it’s almost ALWAYS their first listen that they hate it. I’m a huge metal fan with over 1500 cds. I love all of the different genres of metal. Death, Nu, Classic, Progressive, but my favorite is definately Thrash. One thing I’ve learned with all of those bands and styles: You usually will not know what you think about ANYTHING on the first listen. I’ve listened to TSHF many times and love it. The first time I listened to it, I liked it, but not as much as TWNAH (I really can not understand why a lot of people don’t like that album.) This is because they were all new songs. You can’t sing along to a brand new song nor can you get emersed in the music of one. Why? Because you’ve never heard it before! Of course you’re going to like something you can sing along to and know every single time-change better than something that you don’t know where it’s going. As I said in the St. Anger review….people just jump the gun too much with music. They are not fair to the bands, songs, nor themselves half the time because they listen to 30 seconds and decide if they like it or not. If you are reading this review looking for the true purpose of a review…to help you decide if you will like the product or not….then I urge you to give this, and all albums, a chance before you make an opinion on it.

    Second, and lord is this a big one….everyone seems to compare everything to something else. I’m aware of it and still I do it. But, after a few listens, I try to ignore the past albums and let the new one stand on it’s own legs. Don’t say in your head “Well, this just isn’t like…..” That is simply saying you refuse to listen to it any other way than what you EXPECTED it to be. Don’t put this in, thinking “Okay…..Is this gonna be what I expected?” Listen to what it IS. Hell no it’s not what you expected. Why? Cuz Dave Mustaine didn’t call you up on the phone and ask you for your input.
    I’m putting it on the record: Rust In Peace is the greatest thrash metal album of all time (in my opinion.) No, this is not Rust In Peace 2. No, this is not Countdown to Extinction 2. Stop comparing it to them. I think another reviewer on here said it better than anyone. If you compare everything recorded to Rust In Peace, you will be disappointed. So why would you do that? Nothing can top that album or even equal it as far as i’m concerned. If you want Rust In Peace 2, then put Return to Hangar on repeat all day. Dave finally answered everyone’s request and gave the fans a return to that form. It has similar lyrics (obviously) and a near exact music structure. It was nice to re-visit that album with something new but there’s no way I’d want him to record another album just like RIP. You know why? Not only would it just be stagnant and not let him move forward as a song writer and musician, but it would begin to take some of what I love about RIP away. I don’t want to split the love I have for that album over 2 or even more albums just like it. I have it to listen to forever and that’s all I need.

    I know this is long and seems like i’m just ranting and raving about my opinions. Yes, this is a way of expressing my opinions about this album. But…I’ve just read so many reviews by people that are just ignorant. If you don’t like the album, fine. But how can someone respect that opinion if you do it with such a closed mind? Pry that sucker open and stop living in Hanger 18. You won’t find something better so move on.
    I know some of you want to move right on down to that pretty little button that says no, my review wasn’t helpful to you. Go ahead. It won’t hurt me any. But I’ve read over this several times and believe this is very helpful….to someone willing to give something a chance.

    Posted on December 3, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now