This time last year, the future of Megadeth was uncertain to the public. Guitarist Chris Broderick and drummer Shawn Drover had left the band within hours of each other in November. Bandleader, lead singer, and guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassist David Ellefson were auditioning replacements.
There were rumors of a Rust in Peace (1990) lineup reunion. It was attempted, but it didn’t happen.
Angra guitarist Kiko Loureiro and Lamb of God drummer Chris Adler were officially announced as Megadeth’s newest members in Spring 2015.
The band’s latest effort, Dystopia, was released this January. Widely acclaimed, it hit #3 on the Billboard Top 200. It beat Adele and Justin Bieber for the #1 iTunes spot in Canada and has been regarded by many as Megadeth’s finest album in decades (or at least since Endgame).
Fresh on the heels of Dystopia‘s success, Megadeth set out on the killing road with a killer set of supporting bands in tow: legendary crossover punks Suicidal Tendencies, Finnish melodeath virtuosos Children of Bodom, and emerging Colorado thrashers, Havok. I am a fan of all the bands on the bill and had seen them all previously, which made me particularly excited for this show.
Havok opened with four songs. Among those were “D.O.A.” and “Give Me Liberty… Or Give Me Death”. On my side of the pit, you couldn’t hear David Sanchez’s vocals very well, but the band put on a hell of a show, as was expected of them. Considering I had seen them play to packed smaller venues, I was surprised that more people in the crowd did not know who they were. I was also slightly disappointed that they only played four songs. But even though most of the crowd seemed unfamiliar with the band at first, Havok was given hearty applause once they finished their set.
Children of Bodom played another short set, which included songs from their newest album, I Worship Chaos (2015), and classic material like “Hate Me” and “Angels Don’t Kill.” The guitars were nearly inaudible on my side, which saddened me, because I really admire Alexi Laiho’s guitar work. The sound levels were fixed about halfway through their set. Regardless, Bodom shredded.
Up to this point, the crowd was mostly calm in my area, with a few people moshing and one girl crowdsurfing during Bodom’s set. But once Suicidal took the stage, all hell broke loose.
Suicidal Tendencies opened with a ripping version of “You Can’t Bring Me Down,” and singer Mike Muir was running and jumping all over the stage throughout their whole set. None other than Slayer’s Dave Lombardo was behind S.T.’s kit. Their dynamic seven-song set was filled with hits like “Institutionalized” and “I Saw Your Mommy”. The crowd was going wild, with plenty of people headbanging, moshing, and crowd-surfing. Even though they had small rigs (the guitarists only had half-stacks), they were the best-sounding band of the night so far, and definitely the most energetic.
Next up was the band everyone was waiting for.
Suicidal quickly tore down their equipment, and a curtain dropped, revealing the massive futuristic apparatus Megadeth would be playing in front of. It was nice surprise to see Mustaine’s guitar tech, Willie Gee, setting up. From what I knew, he had retired last year.
About twenty minutes later, the lights went down. An intro animation of Megadeth’s logo danced on the video screen as “Prince of Darkness” played in the background. Then, the band launched into “The Threat Is Real,” strutting onstage as lights flashed and smoke machines went off.
Dave Mustaine may not be the most flamboyant frontman in metal, but he strode all over the stage throughout the band’s set, bobbing his fiery mane up and down while his fingers danced all over the fretboard. His voice sounded in particularly great condition tonight. Even though the band was tuned down to D to accommodate his vocals, it gave the songs an added darkness.
David Ellefson and Kiko Loureiro also walked up and down the stage as they played, heading back to their microphones in time to sing backing vocals. Even as they sang, they smiled and interacted with the crowd, throwing us picks in between songs. To say Kiko nailed Marty Friedman’s solos would be an understatement.
Chris Adler was situated atop a massive drum riser embedded into their futuristic stage prop. I couldn’t see his face much during the actual show, but the pictures I took show him smiling.
Their setlist spanned 30 years; they played material off most of their albums from Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying? (1986) to Dystopia (2016). It was awesome to hear some deeper cuts from Rust In Peace like “Dawn Patrol” and “Poison Was The Cure,” as well as their hits like “A Tout Le Monde”.
What struck me as odd was that the Phoenix crowd did not seem to know the “Megadeth, Megadeth, aguante Megadeth” chant that Argentina had pioneered for “Symphony Of Destruction”. Not only do the Argentinian crowds chant it, but so do the crowds in other Latin countries. Fellow Latino Kiko Loureiro came to my side of the venue and saw me mouthing those words, then he smiled at me.
As the four members united at center stage to take their final bow and throw picks and wristbands into the audience, my only thought was, “Why did it have to end?”
I had seen Megadeth before. Not once, but three times, and those three shows paled in comparison to this one. It was like I had seen a different band, and in a sense, I had. All the members seemed legitimately happy to belong to the same group, and you could feel their radiance beaming from the stage.
Catch this tour if you can. You won’t regret it.
- The Threat Is Real
- Hangar 18
- Wake Up Dead
- In My Darkest Hour
- Sweating Bullets
- Dawn Patrol
- Poison Was The Cure
- Skin O’ My Teeth
- Fatal Illusion
- A Tout Le Monde
- Symphony Of Destruction
- Peace Sells
- Holy Wars…The Punishment Due
March 2, 2016 | Categories: Concerts, Heavy Metal, Melodic Death Metal, Thrash Metal | Tags: Alexi Laiho, Angra, Children of Bodom, Chris Adler, dave lombardo, Dave Mustaine, David Ellefson, David Sanchez, Dystopia, Havok, heavy metal, I worship chaos, Kiko Loureiro, Lamb of God, Megadeth, Mike Muir, Slayer, Suicidal Tendencies, Thrash Metal, Willie Gee | 1 Comment
Megadeth released the music video for the single “Super Collider” today (we reviewed the entire album here). The plot revolves around two high school kids in love, and Dave Mustaine plays the girl’s angry father who does not let them be together. We see David Ellefson play a science teacher, Chris Broderick play another kid’s father, and Shawn Drover play a school janitor. “Elysian Fields High School 10th Anniversary Reunion” makes us wonder… is a “Youthanasia” anniversary tour in the works?
Ghost B.C. released the music video for “Monstrance Clock,” and we at TBOS must say it’s pretty cool. It was filmed on location at two of the band’s shows in Los Angeles and New York City. We get to see Ghost in their live element, which is where they truly shine. Plus, it’s a nice departure from the “Year Zero” video, where the band barely made an appearance.
Feel free to share your opinions below.
July 3, 2013 | Categories: Doom Metal, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Music, Music Videos | Tags: chris broderick, Dave Mustaine, David Ellefson, ghost, ghost b.c., Megadeth, monstrance clock, papa emeritus, shawn drover, super collider | Leave a comment
Before I begin this review, let me make my biases known.
I am a major-league Megadeth fan. I am a card-carrying member of the Megadeth Cyber Army. If you look at the “about” page of this blog, you will see me happily nestled between the two MegaDaves, singer/guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassist David Ellefson.
Naturally, I was very excited about the release of the band’s latest effort, Super Collider.
With Super Collider, you can’t just say something like, “It’s Cryptic Writings-meets-Th1rt3en” and be accurate. SC is truly a culmination of all things ‘Deth, with some flashbacks to their thrashier days, elements of their more melodic and experimental albums like Risk, and the newer 2000s material. If you were expecting Rust in Peace II, you will be disappointed. But if you approach it with an open mind, you might be pleased.
SC kicks off with “Kingmaker”, which was released as a single approximately two weeks ago. It renewed people’s faith in Super Collider after so many had been disillusioned by the previous single, the 70s-road-trip-rock title track. “Kingmaker” is like a cross between Black Sabbath’s “Children of the Grave” and ‘Deth’s own “Sweating Bullets,” a tribute to the band’s own musical heritage while adding the thrash elements Megadeth have become known for.
Then comes the infamous “Super Collider,” in a very stark contrast to the opening song. For those who haven’t heard it, it sounds more like Foghat than Megadeth. It’s a middle-of-the-road hard rock song that doesn’t really go anywhere. Mustaine revealed that the band filmed a humorous music video to promote the lead single, and perhaps his intention behind the song will be known once the video is released.
The title “Burn!” sounds like Mustaine’s yell in “Take No Prisoners,” but the song itself is an average rocker, with a chorus that feels more at home in a KISS, Motley Crüe, or even a disco song (“Burn, baby burn… ’cause it feels so good”).
“Built For War” is definitely the worst song on the album, maybe even Megadeth’s worst song, period. Meme Theater posted a review of the album right after it leaked, and their critique of this track says it all:
“…it feels like there was Megadeth playing a toned down Megadeth song in one room while Dave Mustaine sings an unrelated melody and lyrical arrangement in another room, while a 2ND DAVE MUSTAINE stood in yet another separate room in said ‘Built for War!’ at random times, as bored as possible…”
“Off the Edge” has a very nice, dark intro and segues into an average metal song but with sub-par lyrics, at least for Megadeth (“Lately, it seems the world is going crazy / It won’t be long till they replace me / And nothing seems to faze me, anymore”). Think of “Fast Lane” from Th1rt3en, but with worse lyrics.
“Dance in the Rain” is the turning point of this album. David Draiman (Disturbed, Device) lends songwriting and guest vocals to this amazing song, which is one of Megadeth’s best since Youthanasia. The song is about American politicians/government taking advantage of We The People as we struggle to make ends meet. It reminds me why I love Megadeth in the first place: chugging guitar rhythms, Shawn Drover’s fast feet at the double bass drums, Chris Broderick’s wailing leads perfectly complementing Dave Mustaine’s eternally stark lyrics. The song starts off slow and progressively speeds up, eventually ripping into a blazing riff and brutal drums backing Draiman’s powerhouse vocals. It would be right at home on United Abominations or Endgame.
“Beginning of Sorrow” is another good , somewhat slow song with heavy lyrical content, about a neglected child. Mustaine’s daughter Electra contributes some backing vocals.
“The Blackest Crow” is one of the most anticipated songs on this album, since video previews on the band’s website showed instruments like a banjo, fiddle, and slide guitar being used. There were also talks of country legend Willie Nelson guesting on this track. Though Nelson did not appear, the song does its hype justice, serving as a strange but pleasant bridge between bluegrass and heavy metal.
Mustaine wrote “Forget To Remember” about his mother-in-law, who has Alzheimer’s disease. Though it is an upbeat song for Megadeth, the lyrics are some of their most poignant: “If this is living, what the hell is living for? / You’ve boarded up your eyes, your mind has locked the door”. Broderick’s fills and Mustaine’s voice are beautifully in sync, with the fogginess of some of Mustaine’s vocal lines possibly representing the fogginess of the woman’s memory. This is definitely a highlight of the album, though it is more radio-friendly than most Deth fans are used to.
“Don’t Turn Your Back…” starts off with an impressive bluesy guitar solo and progresses into a badass riff, then into a poppy chorus with more cheesy lyrics (“The best advice I can lend is / Don’t ever turn your back on a friend”). Kinda My Little Pony for Megadeth, even though the musical elements are fantastic.
Though “Cold Sweat” is a Thin Lizzy cover, ironically, it is one of the most Megadeth-sounding songs on the album. Great cover that sounds at home on Endgame.
“All I Want”, the first bonus track, has a vibe similar to Th1rt3en’s “Wrecker” and has obvious KISS influences in the lyrics (“We took off on a rocket ride”). Decent medium-tempo metal song.
“A House Divided” should have been released on all versions of the album. It is truly a shame that it is only available on the deluxe edition. It has an interesting trumpet intro by Bob Findley (who played on Megadeth’s “Silent Scorn”), and like “Dance in the Rain,” reminds me why I’m a fan of this band. Once again, Mustaine sings about injustice (“This is a sad day for violence / When speech results in silence”) as gang vocals creepily chant “We all know something’s wrong” in the background. It gave me goosebumps. It is a suiting finale to the new material.
The final track is a live version of “Countdown to Extinction,” recorded in Pomona, Calif. in December of last year. It is a preview of Megadeth’s next CD/DVD release, Countdown to Extinction Live, which should come out this fall.
Super Collider is just one of those albums that is so different, it has to grow on you. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen it called “Risk II”. But the truth is, there are so many different elements on SC, you can’t compare it to one single item in the Megadeth catalogue. It stands alone.
Final verdict: 7/10
2 .Super Collider
4. Built For War
5. Off The Edge
6. Dance In The Rain
7. Beginning Of Sorrow
8. The Blackest Crow
9. Forget To Remember
10. Don’t Turn Your Back…
11. Cold Sweat (Thin Lizzy cover)
12. All I Want (Bonus Track)
13. A House Divided (Bonus Track)
14. Countdown To Extinction (Live In Pomona, CA) (Bonus Track)
June 4, 2013 | Categories: Album Reviews, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Music, Music News, Reviews, Speed Metal, Thrash Metal | Tags: album review, Bob Findley, chris broderick, Dave Mustaine, David Draiman, David Ellefson, Electra Mustaine, Johnny K, kingmaker, Megadeth, shawn drover, Silent Scorn, super collider, Tradecraft Records | 19 Comments
Megadeth debuted their newest single, “Kingmaker,” on Twitter today. Let us just say that it blows the previous single, “Super Collider” out of the water.
The album Super Collider is released June 4.
May 18, 2013 | Categories: Heavy Metal, Music, Music News, Music Videos, Speed Metal, Thrash Metal | Tags: chris broderick, Dave Mustaine, David Ellefson, kingmaker, Megadeth, shawn drover, super collider | 9 Comments
You can also hear a snippet of their new song, “Don’t Turn Your Back,” here.
This week in metal was a hard one to cover due to the excitement surrounding NAMM. So here are the highlights of this week:
- Ozzfest Japan 2013 will take place in May and feature Black Sabbath. Other bands include: Slipknot, Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators, Deftones, Tool, The Treatment, Dir En Grey and Steel Panther.
- Dave Mustaine revealed that Megadeth will embark on a short tour with Iron Maiden in Spain, Italy, and France. He said that Megadeth is nearly finished recording their fourteenth album, but did not reveal what record label they have signed with. Mustaine also gave some hints as to what bands will be on Gigantour 2013. He said they are “notorious bad boys”. Perhaps they will tour with Mötley Crüe once again?
- Dee Snider (Twisted Sister) was the subject of an all-star roast featuring Lita Ford, Zakk Wylde and Jim Norton.
- Ray Burton, father of deceased Metallica bassist Cliff Burton, signed autographs at the ARIA Guitars booth at NAMM.
- Drummer Tommy Aldridge rejoined Whitesnake.
- A preview of the new 3D Guns N’ Roses concert film is now available.
- L.A. Guns posted the first photo of their new lineup featuring guitarist Michael Grant (Endeverafter).
- A preview of the new Motörhead book “Roadkill” went online.
- Geoff Tate’s Queensryche revealed a new lineup.
- The Dillinger Escape Plan and Trapped Under Ice were added to New England Metal and Hardcore Fest.
- A Sepultura biography is due for release later this year.
- Roadrunner Records signed Kvelertak.
- Poison drummer Rikki Rockett will star in a new reality series called “American Drums”.
- Flotsam and Jetsam bassist Jason Ward will not be joining the band on their upcoming tour with Testament and Overkill due to family commitments.
- Drummer Lyle Cooper quits The Faceless.
- A rumored lineup of Mayhem Fest includes Rob Zombie, Amon Amarth, Deftones, and Children of Bodom. The official lineup will be released Mar.18.
Thus concludes TBOS’s “This Week In Metal”.
January 27, 2013 | Categories: Glam Metal, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Music, Music News, Speed Metal, Thrash Metal | Tags: American Drums, Amon Amarth, ARIA guitars, Black Sabbath, Children of Bodom, Cliff Burton, Dave Mustaine, David Ellefson, Dean guitars, Dee Snider, Deftones, Dillinger Escape Plan, Dir En Grey, Endeverafter, Flotsam and Jetsam, Geezer Butler, Geoff Tate, Gigantour, Guns N' Roses, Iron Maiden, Jason Ward, Jim Norton, Kvelertak, L.A. Guns, Lita Ford, Lyle Cooper, Mayhem Fest, Megadeth, Metallica, Michael Grant, Motley Crue, Motorhead, Myles Kennedy, NAMM, New England Metal and Hardcore Fest, Overkill, Ozzfest, Ozzfest Japan, Ozzy Osbourne, Poison, Queensryche, Rikki Rockett, Roadkill, Roadrunner Records, Rob Zombie, Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, Schecter Guitars, Sepultura, Slash, Slipknot, Steel Panther, Testament, The Conspirators, The Faceless, The Treatment, Tool, Trapped Under Ice, Twisted Sister, Whitesnake, Zakk Wylde | Leave a comment