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CD Review: MEGADETH – United Abominations

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When you ask today's metal heads who the titans of metal are, you're likely to hear names like LAMB OF GOD, DIMMU BORGIR, ARCH ENEMY and CHILDREN OF BODOM. Rewind about twenty years and those names would be SLAYER, METALLICA, ANTRHAX and MEGADETH. They were the godfathers of thrash, undisputed giants who have influenced virtually every band in the current metal scene. For the past few years, these groups have been trying to reclaim their thrones from the current reigning champs (some more successfully than others.) This time it's MEGADETH's turn to play their hand with their newest album, "United Abominations."

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The hype surrounding this album has been less than extraordinary. This could be do to the feeling that MEGADETH's previous release, 2004's "The System Has Failed," showed lack of heaviness- it was missing that "fire" that MEGADETH's early albums possessed. I personally thought there were some very groovy tunes on "The System Has Failed," but not in the same vein as early MEGADETH. This new album, however, has completely turned the tables.

"United Abominations" presents a well planned and executed musical masterpiece. From technical and musical standpoints, this album is killer. The guitars and drums are everything that they should be. Mustaine and Drover play riffs and solos that are inventive, unpredictable and that walk the line between thrash and progressive metal. The mixing also stands out on this album. Vocals are mixed expertly with the guitars and drums. And political monologues and news reports are seemlessly woven into the melodies of each song, adding a haunting and poignant element to the album.

The tracks on this album vary from the upbeat, speed driven "Never Walk Alone… A Call to Arms" to the bitter-sweet, mellow re-recording of "A Toute Le Monde" featuring LACUNA COIL's Christina Scabbia. United Abominations isn't just an album for guitar geeks or die-hard MEGADETH fans; it is an album for anyone who appreciates metal in its truest form. Its all about playing hard, playing with heart and playing whatever the hell you want to.


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