The System Has Failed review by Megadeth

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  • Released: Sep 14, 2004
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.1 (147 votes)
Megadeth: The System Has Failed
1

Sound — 9
The System Has Failed, Megadeth's tenth studio album, is a trip back to the bands familiar thrash metal roots, a sound that had been nearly dropped in their previous radio-rock heavy album, Risk, but was reinstituted in The World Needs a Hero. it's also the first album prior to frontman and rhythm guitarist Dave Mustaine's damaged nerve accident. This album is the polar opposite of Risk, baring lots of thrash oriented riff work, political lyrics, and solos played by featured ex-Megadeth guitarist Chris Poland. Pure, heavy hitting, Megadeth.

Lyrics — 8
Vocally, it's what I've come to expect of Mustaine. While not as growl oriented as the bands early releases, it still packs that thrash angst that Mustaine is infamous for. Still, no real thrills in that department. Lyrically, it's an excellent effort. Songs like Blackmail the Universe and Kick the Chair are lyrically ingenious and contain many of the standard lyrical puns Megadeth is known for. The lyrics also suit the instrumental work as well, with the cynical anti-political songs having strong thrash metal support.

Overall Impression — 9
Overall, it's an extremely strong come back following Mustaine's accident, and a definate improvement on The World Needs a Hero. I didn't experience any real disappointments with the album, knowing as soon as the riff came in on Blackmail the Universe that Megadeth was back, but it's still no match for the bands early work. it's no Peace Sells by any means, but it's a nice breathe of fresh air from their previous more radio oriented albums. I love Blackmail the Universe and Kick the Chair. They both seem to fit the general theme of the album's title as well as the cover artwork (which, in itself, is another awesome thing on it's own). Would I recommend this album? Sure. Fans who have grown accustomed to the less intense sounds of Risk and The World Needs a Hero may feel a little out of place listening to the album, but fans of the classic thrash-oriented Megadeth will find some gems here. Megadeth fan or not, I'd suggest all metal fans at least give this album a try.

14 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Survivalism
    Blackmail the Universe is one of the most retardedly difficult songs Megadeth has ever done. Every couple of months, I try to learn it and then get pissed off and quit guitar.
    Nightmare4560
    Tedward wrote: Abnormal_Omish wrote: thankgod for metallica! they gave us another great band! Megadeth are legendary and this album is too i remember posting a message JUST like that a while back... I think metallica has slighlty less talent than Megadeth, way less in songwriting, but metallicas talent is more like concentrated in their better songs where they leave the crappy songs for you to find out about when you buy the cd. Megadeth spreads the goodness out, i have yet to here a 'bad' Meagadeth song.
    right , you have yet to hear a bad megadeth song , have you listened to train of consequences.. metallica rule at songwriting mate , kirk hammet rules and is not overrated.. i like megadeth nd that , but TOC was awful.
    postmortem2006
    Survivalism wrote: Blackmail the Universe is one of the most retardedly difficult songs Megadeth has ever done. Every couple of months, I try to learn it and then get pissed off and quit guitar.
    Really? I found it very very easy and I suck at guitar haha!
    theotherguy7145
    Jawshuwa wrote: Metallica Riffs > Megadeth Riffs. Metallica Solos > Megadeth Solos. Metallica = Thrash metal (complex). Megadeth = Speed metal (fast). .... Appreciate one band, or the other, or both; don't bash and use opinions or bias to try and glorify one of them.
    Well said in the last bit! Both bands rock. I can't agree with Metallica being more "technical" though. Sure, their songs are longer, and have more parts, but the guitar playing and stuff is nowhere near as advanced as what Megadeths is! I prefer Megadeth personally. Gonna have to get this CD, looks pretty good!
    DSchmitty
    James Hetfield Rhythm > Mustaine Rhythm Kirk Hammett Solos < Marty Friedman (and the new ones) Kirk Hammett leads and harmonies > Megadeth harmonies. Both good bands, very distinctive sounds.
    guitargodwannab
    Jawshuwa wrote: Metallica Riffs > Megadeth Riffs. Metallica Solos > Megadeth Solos. Metallica = Thrash metal (complex). Megadeth = Speed metal (fast). .... Appreciate one band, or the other, or both; don't bash and use opinions or bias to try and glorify one of them.
    so wut do u say to ppl like me who LOVE BOTH of them ppl can love both bands
    [x]Huffy[x]
    theotherguy7145 wrote: Jawshuwa wrote: Metallica Riffs > Megadeth Riffs. Metallica Solos > Megadeth Solos. Metallica = Thrash metal (complex). Megadeth = Speed metal (fast). .... Appreciate one band, or the other, or both; don't bash and use opinions or bias to try and glorify one of them. Well said in the last bit! Both bands rock. I can't agree with Metallica being more "technical" though. Sure, their songs are longer, and have more parts, but the guitar playing and stuff is nowhere near as advanced as what Megadeths is! I prefer Megadeth personally. Gonna have to get this CD, looks pretty good!
    Go listen to ...And Justice For All. Personally I'm a fan of both bands, though I do prefer Metallica.
    Teh Skisgaars
    im a fan of both bands but metallica are better songwriters imo and if anyone has seen mustaine's vid's on guitar world dvd he doesnt know a damn thing about music oh and the four horsemen kicks the mechanix's arse
    herzeleid1995
    I love both bands, and wasn't around for the whole rivalry or for anything that either band did that sucked. So really, all I've been given to hear of them has been good, so my opinion of them is Megadeth is an amazing, fast paced, heavy band, and Metallica is the same, but not always as fast paced. But really I'd say they are two very different bands, enough so to a point where you might call them different sub genres of metal, which would render them incomparable to a point of opinion and bias. But the comments like "Most technical music out there, more complex," and "Best metal album out there." Really that's all ridiculous, because I can name three much more complex bands, whether you like them or not, in metal. Gojira, Dream Theater, Opeth. I don't particularly like those bands (except Gojira) but if you want complex music, Metallica, despite how great they are, does not win the ticket, neither does Megadeth. And greatest metal album out there? Nothing by Metallica classifies as such. If you can name a single song on an album you didn't like than it is immediately not the greatest anything. Best metal album out there? It's all speculation. But in my opinion, 'From Mars to Sirius,' Gojira.
    not_dead_enough
    herzeleid1995 wrote: But really I'd say they are two very different bands, enough so to a point where you might call them different sub genres of metal, which would render them incomparable to a point of opinion and bias.
    Yet there are people who think Risk and St Anger are a good comparison! Honestly for me Megadeth are my #1 band, and Metallica are equal 2nd with a couple others. That's based on my opinion, and I'm aware that there are more technical, heavier etc bands out there. You're right, people need to stop with the whole attitude that they're the only 2 bands in the world. Obviously we all know why people compare the two; but based on that same logic people should compare Metallica to Exodus, Ozzy Osbourne, Suicidal Tendencies and Black Label Society. Megadeth too should thus be compared with OHM, Nevermore, Savatage, King Diamond, Eidolon, Blue Oyster Cult, others I cbf thinking of/looking up and of course also Black Label Society. Just cus someone was once in the band, doesn't mean their band now must be connected with that band for life.
    Silas S Thompso
    Noverion : why is it that whenever megadeth and metallica are mentioned in the same thread its about hoos better. i prefer metallica, but kirk hammet is a seriously over-rated guitarest, the riffs are awesome megadeth, much better lead guitars but not as good at other areas. simple
    Megadeth has better music. James has a better voice. Mustaine has a unique voice that could be recognized anywhere. James has a somewhat unique voice, sometimes I mistake another band for metallica. Metallica have lost their chops. Megadeth is just a technical and still metal. Risk wasn't crap it had some good songs. The Time songs. Prince of Darkness. Wanderlust is pretty good. The whole album is good AS A WHOLE. Albums like Load get a little stale. Ride the Lightning is a good album. And as far as anyone will ever know, Mustaine obviously had an influence of James. Mustaine came up with the thrash riff style. The only song Metallca had before Dave taught James his style of riffing is Hit The lights (riff). Mustaine also showed Kerry King his style when Kerry played in Megadeth. That's three bands sounds of the big four that he's influenced. Not saying James had no style because he built off Daves style and made his own style. Dave had to change his style when Kill em all came out with his music. Some metallica songs aren't good. I own and have heard every song by both bands. I love every Megadeth song ever made. I love some Metallica songs from the early days. But that doesn't matter cause I'm going to listen to Dark Angel now.
    Camron62\m/
    James Hetfield > Dave Mustaine Kirk Hammett < Dave Mustaine Kirk Hammett = Marty Friedman Kirk Hammett + Chris Poland < Chris Broderick Cliff Burton > David Ellefson Jason Newsted < David Ellefson Robert Trujillo = David Ellefson Lars Ulrich < Gar Samuelson Lars Ulrich = Nick Menza Lars Ulrich = Shawn Drover Lou Reed + Bob Rock < Dave Mustaine isn't math awesome? i don't think anyone can convert this into a formula though. it'll take scientists from a heavy metal planet or something.
    WaddleDeee
    Camron62\m/ wrote: James Hetfield > Dave Mustaine Kirk Hammett < Dave Mustaine Kirk Hammett = Marty Friedman Kirk Hammett + Chris Poland < Chris Broderick Cliff Burton > David Ellefson Jason Newsted < David Ellefson Robert Trujillo = David Ellefson Lars Ulrich < Gar Samuelson Lars Ulrich = Nick Menza Lars Ulrich = Shawn Drover Lou Reed + Bob Rock < Dave Mustaine isn't math awesome? i don't think anyone can convert this into a formula though. it'll take scientists from a heavy metal planet or something.
    You have got to be trolling. Comparing Menza to Ulrich is like comparing Portnoy to some hobo off the street.