THE SYSTEM HAS FAILED
Right now is definitely a glorious time to be a Megadeth fan. Dave Mustaine has just released what is arguably the best remastered collection ever put out. His intense overscrutinization of the back catalog resulted in a rare bettering of already great material. And really, it couldn't come at a better time for Dave and company. It's been a long time since there was anything to get really excited about in the Megadeth camp. Looking at their recent history, it hasn't been since YOUTHANASIA came out in 1994 that there was much reason to care what was going on in the Megadeth camp. Albums like RISK, THE WORLD NEEDS A HERO and CRYPTIC WRITINGS were all average efforts at best for the band. They were mixed in with a bunch of “let me out of my contract” records like CAPITOL PUNISHMENT, STILL ALIVE...AND WELL and RUDE AWAKENING. Following was the dissolving of the band in the wake of Mustaine's substance abuse relapse and an injury to his arm. It seemed like the band was over.
But not so fast! Mustaine recovered from the arm injury, got the creative juices flowing while working on the remasters, and went back to writing the kind of material that he'd built his great career on. He really started over; retooling the band and coming back with a fresh set of ideas and attitude. The result is THE SYSTEM HAS FAILED. This album is, without a doubt, the best album of new material to come out of the Megadeth camp in over a decade. By saying this, let's come in with some truths before evaluating. Truth number 1: This is not the Megadeth that roared on albums like RUST IN PEACE or PEACE SELLS. To paraphrase Mustaine himself, he's not 22 anymore and he's not the lethal shredder he once was. To compare this album to anything, it would be closer to the YOUTHANASIA release than anything else in the catalog. The songs on THE SYSTEM HAS FAILED are highly introspective looks at life, religion and politics – all topics Mustaine has worked with before. You can really tell that Mustaine was in a reflective mood when writing this material. Songs like “Back In The Day” and “Tears In A Vial” clearly have the feel that they were written based on observations Mustaine felt when he looked himself in the mirror. He also looks out at the political landscape of the world today on songs like “Blackmail The Universe”. And while that song is based in the fictional scenario of the President of the United States being shot out of the sky by terrorists, you can feel the emotional attachment to today's political pitfalls as Mustaine sees it.