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Megadeth – The System Has Failed

Label: Sanctuary Records
Format: CD
Released: 2004
Reviewed By: Rich Catino

Now do we call this Megadeth featuring Dave Mustane or the reverse? Well anyway regardless, it is a return to form under the bands legacy. Dave recalls all the elements of the past that gave Megadeth their good name even though the players on the record are none from the classic lineup established on “Rust in Peace”. Chris Poland (who played on the first 2 albums) does return to play some solos but nothing that will bring you back to his time with the band.

As you can see from the cover artwork, Dave has brought the namesake to a better time with mascot Vic at the head of a podium in front of the nation’s capital and the demise of mankind at hand, and of course the politicians are at fault. Here we have an element found in Megadeth’s lyrical content different from other bands, tackling all the issues found in the countries news headlines.

The record starts with an arrangement very similar to what you would hear on “Countdown to Extinction” on the track “Blackmail the Universe”. Continuing with “Die Dead Enough” is something that would be found on “Youthanasia” where at that time Dave’s riffs were a little different, less thrashy though heavy, and the focus was found in the melodic chorus. “Kick the Chair” is classic “Rust”, utilizing complex riffing and solos, with an arrangement that is all over the place. Actually this song is the closest thing to the kind of musicianship found on “Rust in Peace”. “The Scorpion” is rather slow paced, uses voice samples, and sees some commonalities to “Cryptic Writings” or “Risk”, the most experimental period for the Deth. “Truth Be Told” is rather old school speed metal and is the one tune bringing me back to “Peace Sells”, even in Dave’s choice in vocal snarls.

Throughout it is a strong collection of songs, with Dave’s writing taking from various periods of Megdeth’s history to bring things full circle rather well given Dave claims this is the last studio record under the Megadeth name.
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