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by Martin Popoff

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Fresh Metal

Megadeth - Rude Awakening

Only precedent I can think of would be Ted Nugent's Intensities In Ten Cities, Megadeth recording their new songs in a live environment to capture a vibe that can only exist on stage. But lots has happened since the partly conceptual Rude Awakening. Dave Mustaine's arms stopped working and he tried to kill himself but then decided to quit the band instead, renouncing heavy metal, now selling off all of his gear, endeavoring to do Christian music only and be a better father. Ellefson has meanwhile joined Metallica and DeGrasso and Pitrelli are hard at work on the next Megadeth studio album, although Pitrelli has also hooked back up with Savatage. First to the conceptual half of Rude Awakening, disc two being somewhat autobiographical, about a misunderstood rock star, who bids adieu for the relative thrills of buying and selling on eBay. It opens with three tracks where the main character realizes the dishonesty of his recent music, quits and sits down to learn the workings of online auctions (Almost Honest, 1000 Times Goodbye and Mechanix, the last of which sounds like old Metallica). Into the middle of the album (Ashes In Your Mouth, Sweating Bullets), he learns of the scorching highs and the gut-wrenching lows of dabbling with the cyber-devil. Autographs do great; picks and laminates fail to sell at all. Payment and shipping issues are explored with Trust, a nice poppy song, marking a hummable melodic direction that could have made Mustaine and Ellefson huge stars had they stayed with the band. It is of no matter: DeGrasso and Pitrelli will reap the benefits. Symphony Of Destruction, an old hit from '92's Countdown To Extinction, is inserted bafflingly into the story. The eBay-related disc ends with Peace Sells and a heavy metal song called Holy Wars (our hero retreats into religious fanaticism), a track that is screaming and yelling acid rock where the drummer sounds like he's thrashing and wrecking his drums and the guitar players jump up and down on their instruments, a bunch of noise that I'm sure will shock and repulse a lot of loyal fans. The first disc doesn't seem to be conceptual in total, but like the second, it is a mix of easy drinking fun music and deafening acid rock better left to Ozzie Osborne, Lead Zepplin, Peter Tagtren, and other heavy metal thrashers. I hope DeGrasso and Pitrelli read this before they sing the new album, and learn how to play their instruments instead of breaking them into a hundred pieces and pointing their microphones at the pieces while they are breaking up!
Rating 7.5

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