By Bob Nalbandian

The System Has Failed
Sanctuary Music

Now we're talkin' Megadeth! The System Has Failed can very well be the comeback album of the new millennium. Redeeming his classic thrash-metal roots, mastermind Mustaine recruited a crop of session musicians to complete what he claims will be his final masterpiece. And what better way to lay Megadeth to death! This album delivers first-class thrash, combining classic metal elements with the extreme, something that has continued to make Megadeth one of the most esteemed bands in metal history.

From the opening notes of "Blackmail The Universe" it's apparent that Mustaine means serious business as he once again holds the throne to progressive thrash metal! Session drummer Vinnie Colaiuta proves to be one of the most seasoned players on this planet as he effortlessly, and flawlessly, slams through all twelve tracks. A far cry from Sting recordings, Mustaine gives Vinnie the reins to truly shine on this album, and Vinnie takes full advantage of that by providing exceptional drum fills and jaw-dropping double-bass throughout the entire disc. Bassist Jimmie Lee Sloas follows superbly, without missing a beat. The big surprise is the re-appearance of guitarist Chris Poland [who performed on some of Megadeth's most acclaimed albums] who provides superlative lead guitar work throughout the record. Poland brings back those legendary, tasteful guitar leads that have been omitted from metal in recent years. With hints of Schenker ("Die Dead Enough," "The Scorpion") and Blackmore (the lead in "Kick The Chair" strongly resembles "Kill The King"), Poland's searing leads take thrash metal to new heights. And let's not forget about Mustaine's masterful, bone-crushing riffs and incredible vocal melodies! The opening riff to "Kick The Chair" will truly rip your face off while the lyrical hook in "The Scorpion" will surely be planted in your head for days to come. "Back In The Day" is sure to become a thrash-metal anthem paying tribute to the classic metal era of the early '80s (lyrically speaking, this is the American version of Saxon's "Denim and Leather"). "Truth Be Told" will instantly remind one of "Rust In Peace" era Megadeth, with an awesome middle break that will take you back to "Hangar 18." "Of Mice And Men" is lyrically a "growing of age" song similar to Montrose's "Make It Last," with classic rock/metal elements that again contains ultra-memorable lyrical hooks and guitar riffs. The System Has Failed is easily the best metal album of 2004 and is sure to be considered a heavy metal masterpiece in the years to come. This is what heavy metal music is all about.

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