Welcome to The Saw’s Butcher Shop! Your Master Butcher, The Saw, is bringing you a new album review. On September 2, 2022, via UMG Recordings, Megadeth released their new album, The Sick, The Dying… And the Dead! Two words: Speed Metal! Or, Thrash Metal! However, the two phrases are not the same. We already know that Megadeth are the old-school Thrash legends, but this new release reminds us of what excellent, experienced musicians, Speed/Thrash Metal, and an injection of new ideas can do to our ear-holes!
The Sick, The Dying… And the Dead! is Megadeth’s 16th studio album! That’s incredible in it’s own merits! The album was originally scheduled for a 2019 release, but in June of that year the band announced that Dave Mustaine (founding vocals, guitars) had been diagnosed with throat cancer. In May 2021 David Ellefson (founding bass) was dismissed from the band for (allegedly) posting sexually explicit pics on Twitter. He had already recorded bass tracks for the new album, but they were scrapped and re-recorded by the legendary Steve Di Giorgio (former Death, Testament). James Lomenzo, former Megadeth bassist, was tapped as the live bassist, and later, as a member of Megadeth (again). And finally, in early 2022, because of vinyl printing issues, the album was delayed again.
The Sick, The Dying… And the Dead! continues the narrative of the storied Megadeth history. The first two singles (“We’ll Be Back” and “Night Stalkers [feat. Ice T]”) are examples of the records Speed Metal attack, while the third single (“Soldier On!”) is a fine expression of the album’s Thrash movement.
Speed Metal tracks: “Life in Hell,” “Sacrifice,” and “Celebutante”
Thrash Metal tracks: “The Sick, The Dying… And the Dead,” “Dogs of Chernobyl,” “Junkie,” “Killing Time,” and “Mission to Mars”
Other Tracks: “Psychopathy” is a little informative interlude making us aware of mental illness issues. Two tracks are included on the digital download – “Police Truck” is a cover of the Dead Kennedy’s song, and “This Planet’s on Fire (Burn in Hell)” is a Sammy Hagar cover featuring Sammy Hagar.
This is a good, thorough offering by Megadeth. It’s classic in its Speed/Thrash presentation. It reminds me (mostly) of Megadeth’s mid-career era iteration, with expressions of the band’s ability to crush it, like in it’s early days. Dave Mustaine is a legend; one of the kings of the riff! And this album contains nothing if not riffs upon riffs. Dave is also known for his licks – as in, lead guitar work. And there are A LOT of those (by him and Kiko) on this record.
I think the new line, here, is found in Dirk Verbeuren’s (drums) contributions. Though he has been in the band for six years, this is the first studio album containing his drum-work. He brings a new sense to the underpinning of Megadeth. He’s been around a while, but his style is of the newer generation and really adds something fresh to the structure. His timing, and (really) his ear, I think, are his secret.
The way Dave and Kiko work together, a great working relationship not seen in Megadeth before; this duo invited Dirk into the song writing experience and it really shows. I’ve got to mention that, though he doesn’t contribute on this album, James is a very solid bass player with an excellent stage presence. All of this, says Dave, “adds a cohesive sense to the band.” One that Megadeth have never had.
The Sick, The Dying… And the Dead! is polished Speed/Thrash Metal, in mature Megadeth fashion. I love all the riffs each song offers. And Dave, with a clean bill of health, does a lot of singing on this album, too! His familiar pitch and delivery have a new, gruff characteristic, that adds another layer of depth to the songs. Good stuff!!
Rating: 9/10!! Really good, classic Speed/Thrash Metal attack, with polished vocals and overall sound!
Favorite Songs: Life in Hell, Sacrifice, Celebutante