Hard Reviews
by Martin Popoff

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Fresh Metal

Megadeth - 3 Track Advance

From various swirling emails it seems that folks are bent on continuing the Mega-Dave backlash out there despite what The World Needs A Hero is finally going to comprise. So far, I've got three songs and I'm quite excited about all of them for different reasons. Generally speaking, I like the way all of these sound raw and melodic at once, heavier than the Risk material but still open architecture, simple, disectable. The title track pushes Dave's personality into your face, something he's been doing as of late, a risky proposition to be sure, the man's uneasy relationship with mankind taking over the music as main topic of conversation (good guy? bad guy? direct and open or political and tight-lipped? arrogant or self-deprecating?). But it continues along the conversational Snoop Doggy Dave path of Sweating Bullets and Dread & The Fugitive Mind, Dave also daring us to react to his vocals which are getting louder and more idiosyncratic. But the beginning of the song is deceptive, eventually bolstered by cool riffs darting in, great vibe from the drums, weird topic (you've all seen his quote on the concept: he sounds loaded!). Disconnected continues the characteristic Mega-riffery (the man thinks he's Jeff Waters!), a somewhat Sabbatherian or Diamond Head-tinged riff draped over a direct and lively mid-pace groove, a catchy tune that doesn't pander to those wanting Dave to thrash out. Sort of hard Cryptic with grit. Moto Psycho is a little heavier still, and again, vaguely morose and heroic like a select couple of emotions Sabbath could pull and play out of their expanded deck around the time of Sabotage. Again, it's the splashy, tiny drum explosions of Jimmy DeGrasso that takes the song street, not the songwriting. All told, I'd have to say this taste - all three songs - sounds like Youthanasia-era writing with a much older, drunker, more casual vibe, Dave's same big metalhead mouth shot off with a painful toothache. Three solid backbiting drama-building tracks and no forced errors from trying too hard, a criticism that might be leveled at the chorus lyric and vocal of Kill The King, otherwise also a worthy new song, not, evidently, to be included on The World Needs A Hero.
Rating 8

Tad Morose - Undead
(Century Media)

Lost for three years as they untangled themselves from their long-standing home with Black Mark, Tad Morose are back with a crushing crisp album that hopefully will garner them the acclaim they deserve as one of the uncompromising originators of power metal's current wave. And as originators, none of the clichˇs are there, Tad Morose going for the gut with their extremely gothic and doomy riffs transformed into mid-chug power speeds and note densities. Vocalist Urban Breed sounds melancholy and angry at once, lacing signature moat metal melodies over a guitar, bass and drum barrage that is rhythmic sweet metal science, alchemical lead poisoning, thick in the blood but groovy and guitar-guttural. Extremely high fidelity and singularly serious, the closest comparative would be to a conservative, Memento Mori-anchored Nevermore, Tad Morose taking cusp-years Savatage (compare Servant Of The Bones to Hall Of The Mountain King) and coddling only the heaving heavy moments thereof. High point of many: Corporate Masters, which finds the band writing the best Dio song ever, Urban adding a vocal that recalls Grim Reaper.
Rating 9

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