October 31, 2022

Megadeth - The Sick, The Dying... & The Dead! (2022) ⚓

*Standard pressing. 
Contains 12 tracks total.
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Thrash Metal
Label Number: B0034810-02

© 2022 UMe/T-Boy Records
The return to form that began on 2016's Dystopia continues with The Sick, the Dying...and the Dead!, the 16th studio album from metal institution Megadeth. As with Dystopia, Megadeth ringleader Dave Mustaine and his bandmates focus on precision thrash, this time around turning in a tighter, cleaner batch of songs that feel both intently focused and streamlined for maximum intensity. The time leading up to the album wasn't an easy one for the band, however, and the six years that passed between the last record and this one stand as the longest time between new material in the band's nearly 40-year history. The turbulent time spent working on The Sick included not just Mustaine being diagnosed with and aggressively treated for throat cancer but also Megadeth co-founder and bassist David Ellefson leaving the band due to his involvement in a sex scandal. The hard-fought nature of this particular chapter in the band's development can be heard in the songs, which are, for the most part, no-nonsense ragers marked by the kind of technical perfection the band made their name on in the '80s and '90s. After the title track opens the album with a somewhat conceptual, meandering arrangement, Megadeth gets right down to business with the speedy and powerful "Life in Hell," a song that matches the snarling menace of anything in the band's catalog. New drummer Dirk Verbeuren makes his debut on The Sick, and his economical but relentless playing is a huge factor in the direct force that defines the album. Six-and-a-half-minute mini-epic "Night Stalkers" is a swarm of riffs and Mustaine's well-established war imagery, with an unexpected voiceover cameo from Ice-T. The band stays primarily in full-on mode, with sinister blasters like "We'll Be Back" and "Celebutante" giving way to only slightly less brutal workouts like the creeping "Killing Time," which includes one of the album's most masterfully constructed breakdowns. Mustaine has sounded angry and irritated on almost every song he's ever recorded, but the bile is a little thicker on The Sick. It's a tense and impatient record, even by Megadeth's standards, and re-affirms the band's status as completely essential metal deities who are still operating on a level of excellence most of their peers fell from decades ago.

tags: mehadeth, the sick the dying and the dead, 2022, flac,

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