Megadeth – The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead!

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Six years after the grammy nominated Dystopia comes Megadeth’s 16th album, The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead! With Dave Mustaine’s successful battle against throat cancer and the sex grooming scandal engulfing long term, now ex bassist David Ellefson happening between the two records, his parts re-recorded by Steve Di Giorgio (Testament), it has been a tumultuous time for the metal icons. 

This record follows on from Dystopia and offers up more of what Megadeth are best at, no nonsense thrash metal with plenty of anger and venom. They start things as they mean to go on with the title track, a blistering statement of intent about the black plague that is relevant in this post pandemic world. “I’m a disease and I’m addicted to myself” snarls Dave Mustaine in the punchy thrasher ‘Life in Hell’, he is riled up and in fine form here as is their axeman Kiko Loureiro, in only his second album with the band. He provides plenty of nimble fretwork on the frenetic ‘Night Stalker’, a brutal track about a battalion in the U.S. army featuring a short but sweet cameo from Ice T, who is in full Body Count mode.

The Sick… is a brutal and pissed off record that does not relent, not that he went away but it is good to have the cantankerous old dog back. Everyone is on form here, as is drummer Dirk Verbeuren on his debut album with the band – his machine gun drumming powers the melodic ‘Dogs of Chernobyl’ towards its ferocious climax. ‘Celebutante’ is a foot to the floor number with a pleasingly chunky riff and ‘Soldier On’ sports a heavy groove and some tasty guitar harmonies.

For a band approaching its 40th anniversary, albeit with only one original member left, this is a remarkably strong album with hardly a dud on it – the closest thing being the skippable, sci-fi tale ‘Mission to Mars’. It is their best one since Endgame and covers the gamut of their 80’s and early 90s sounds, with ‘Junkie’ sporting a catchy, Countdown to Extinction-esque chorus.


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