Album Review: Megadeth – The Sick, The Dying… and the Dead

Album Review: Megadeth – The Sick, The Dying… and the Dead
Reviewed by Tim Finch

Megadeth are set to celebrate their 40th anniversary by headlining Bloodstock Festival in 2023, but before they hit that milestone there is the release of album number sixteen – ‘The Sick, The Dying… and The Dead’ - which hits the airwaves in September this year.

The album starts in what it would seem to the listener to be a post apocalyptical landscape. A wind howls, a bell chimes in the distance as a voice calls out “Bring Out Your Dead”. Within thirty seconds Megadeth have painted quite a picture which leads us into album opener, the title track from the recording.

The distinctive guitar sound of Dave Mustaine gives the hardened Megadeth fan the reassurance this album will not stray far from the sound which they love. A sound that he started developing as far back as ‘Peace Sells…’ and ‘Rust In Peace’ but one that got heavily polished around the time of ‘Youthanasia’. From then on the razor sharp edge of his riffs was replaced by a refined guitar sound and on ‘The Sick, The Dead… and the Dying’ that polished sound returns once more.

Album Review: Megadeth – The Sick, The Dying… and the Dead

At times on the album the lyrical content take control and drives the albums direction. ‘Junkie’ is an interesting track, telling a story that leaves the listener feeling a little uncomfortable, especially given Mustaine's past substance abuse issues. Whilst ‘Mission to Mars’ lyrics seem lathered in cheese, whether intentional or not, it is just a bit cheesy.

Elsewhere, the tribal drum intro to ‘Psychpathy’ has an addicting quality, ‘Solider On!’ is the highlight of the album, ripping through the listeners ears with a repeating riff that screams old school Mustaine. Whilst album closer ‘We’ll Be Back’ is an all-out thrash attack from the first second and will have the old boys salivating with memories of their youth forty years hence past.

Whilst never quite hitting the highs of the first six Megadeth albums, ‘The Sick, The Dying… and the Dead’ does have its highlights. There is no doubting this is a Megadeth album, so distinctive is its sound and there’s enough high paced, thrash driven songs that will translate perfectly to the live arena when Megadeth hit that Bloodstock stage next August!

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