MEGADETH - The System Has Failed
August 6, 2004, 14 years ago
A glorious tangle of So Far, So Good, Rust In Peace, Countdown and Youthanasia, The System Has Failed marks the killer return of everything you loved about Dave. Man, and that above list includes another gem, the fact that Dave has rounded off the post-Rust signature hi-fi sound for a warmer, fatter, yet still clean metal vibe. But System still thrashes (politely), with many tracks turning fast at the Mega-appointed time, Dave riffing all over the place, sneering bravely politically, and offering vocal melodies that are rich, complex, and again, of a type only Dave would attempt (see 'Die Dead Enough' and the very weird and irresistible 'The Scorpion'). Then there's anthem to metal 'Back In The Day' which is fresh territory for Dave triumphantly conquered, Mustaine writing a quick, melodic retro rocker that is effortless stadium-grade metal with a wink to the NWOBHM. It's a pity the line-up for the record betrays a bit of a studio job, because what this "band" achieves is a seamless, groovy chemistry, on a record that is sequenced for maximum enjoyment, Dave offering a tight, focused collection around a variety of the band's celebrated themes, each song ambitious and meaty (and even epic), even the odd mellow bit containing extra textures such as strings. There's much on here to be happy about, even a laid-back rocker like 'Of Mice And Men' catching a wave as Dave serves up another self-deprecating and autobiographical number, helping turn System into another chapter of what is really an audio book charting a life that cracks us up as much as it riles.