MEGADETH “The System Has Failed” /CD/



The tenth full-length album by the legendary American Thrash Metal band.
Band's second and final studio album released by Sanctuary Records. "The System Has Failed" was the first of three Megadeth records not to include original bassist and co-founder David Ellefson. Instead, the album features session players, including former Megadeth guitarist Chris Poland on lead guitar, the very talented guitarist whom he'd fired after the masterful "Peace Sells" album back in the day. However, Poland only provided lead guitar parts and solos on a contractual basis and did not rejoin the band. That re-pairing of Mustaine and Poland alone makes "The System Has Failed" worthwhile. No, this isn't a good old-fashioned Thrash album, but you can tell Mustaine is going for that vibe, especially on songs like "Back in the Day", one in particular that should give dyed-in-the-wool headbangers a giddy sense of déjà vu.
"The System Has Failed" marks a return from the dead for Megadeth - and quite a glorious return, it must be said. When bandleader Dave Mustaine was diagnosed in early 2002 with radial neuropathy - strained nerves in his left arm and hand - the snarling guitar shredder was forced to disband his once groundbreaking band after nearly two decades of activity. Granted, it wasn't that big of a loss at the time, chiefly so because Megadeth had long passed its prime. The band's key recordings date back to the Speed Metal era, from 1986 (the year of "Peace Sells...", "Reign In Blood" and "Master Of Puppets") to 1992 (the year Megadeth, like Metallica a year earlier, made a distinct, more commercial shift, releasing "Countdown To Extinction" - to the dismay of many longtime fans). Following "Countdown", Megadeth struggled. The band continued to release albums, but they weren't well received and, very sadly, one of Metal's once preeminent acts became a bitter has-been. So after Mustaine's injury, the disbanding of Megadeth didn't seem all that unfortunate at the time - it seemed overdue, some would argue. Then in 2004, shortly after an exemplary reissue campaign, Mustaine resurrected Megadeth for "The System Has Failed".
"The System Has Failed" is actually more of a synthesis, taking the reckless abandon of pre-"Countdown" Megadeth and infusing it with the melodic songwriting of latter-day diamonds in the rough like "Symphony of Destruction" and "A Tout le Monde". Add to this some especially thoughtful lyrics (archly political, nakedly personal, and shamelessly mature), and you have the recipe for an excellent, damn near perfect Megadeth album, up there with "Peace Sells", "Rust In Peace" and "Countdown To Extinction" - as unlikely as that may seem.
"The System Has Failed" received positive reception from critics and managed to debut at number 18 on the Billboard 200. Regardless of where "The System Has Failed" ranks alongside Megadeth's other standout albums, however, it most certainly blows away practically every other aboveground Metal album of 2004! No joke!! This is the sort of latter-day masterpiece Metallica struggled in vain for a decade-plus to record to no avail!!!
Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company, 2004 (SANCD297). Made in Germany. First press.


Tracklist:
1. Blackmail The Universe 4:33
2. Die Dead Enough 4:19
3. Kick The Chair 3:58
4. The Scorpion 6:00
5. Tears In A Vial 5:22
6. I Know Jack 0:40
7. Back In The Day 3:28
8. Something That I'm Not 5:07
9. Truth Be Told 5:40
10. Of Mice And Men 4:05
11. Shadow Of Deth 2:15
12. My Kingdom 3:04
Total playing time: 48:32 min.


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