The System Has Failed
Carson gave this album
As always, Megadeth has released a solid offering with The System Has Failed but has changed their sound a little from that of many of their newer releases.
This sound change could be due in part to the three year hiatus that Mustaine took. Or it could be due to the fact that the lineup has changed again with notable re-addition of Chris Poland on guitar. In any case, the album has a more thrash-like feel than any of the classic lineup albums since Rust in Peace.
Songs such as "Blackmail the Universe" and "Truth Be Told" are indicative of this overall trend towards their older, thrashier, sound. Although, I find the former track to also be less refined than much of their newer material almost like they were not quite finished with it. The latter track starts slow but turns heavier.
Long-time fans of Megadeth will still feel at home with this album though as it is not completely unfamiliar sounding. "Kick the Chair" would fit nicely on Rust in Peace. While "My Kingdom" would feels a bit like much of Youthanasia. Also, while not necessarily feeling like part of any specific prior album, "Die Dead Enough" is quite clearly Megadeth and should appeal to many fans.
It is interesting to note that the lyrics to two of the tracks are not original. "I Know Jack" contains the famous "you are no Jack Kennedy" remark directed towards James Danforth Quayle. The other track, "Shadow of Deth", contains the text of "Psalm 23".
Oddly, "Shadow of Deth" is only one of two songs on The System Has Failed to include a biblical reference. "Truth Be Told" deals with the topics of violence and subjugation and mentions the story of Cain and Abel as well as Noah.
Not to fear, the entire album does not feel like a church service although some do also borrow from literature. "The Scorpion" discusses deceit and manipulation through the fable of the scorpion and the turtle. The other track, "Of Mice and Men" tells of someone who has made more bad choices than friends and now wishes for more time to live.
There are only a couple of down-sides to this album. First, two of the tracks run a little too long and start to get repetitive: "Back in the Day" and "Something That I'm Not". These are still fairly decent songs, but they would be better if trimmed down slightly. The other complaint is that Megadeth strays too far from their sound in "The Scorpion" and "Tears in a Vial". The latter being almost mainstream metal that you could hear from a number of other bands.
Overall, this is a sturdy album that most Megadeth fans will enjoy, but don't expect to hear anything earth-shattering.
|1.||Blackmail the Universe||7.||Back in the Day|
|2.||Die Dead Enough||8.||Something That I'm Not|
|3.||Kick the Chair||9.||Truth Be Told|
|4.||The Scorpion||10.||Of Mice and Men|
|5.||Tears in a Vial||11.||Shadow of Deth|
|6.||I Know Jack||12.||My Kingdom|