United Abominations | Roadrunner
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  May 18, 2007
3.0 3.0 Stars
ABOMINATE YOURSELF: The new Megadeth album captures Dave Mustaine (left) in a particularly pissed-off mood.

Given that it has a new line-up, comes only a few years after a serious injury to frontman Dave Mustaine’s left arm, and features one tune named after an Xbox game, you’d be firmly within the bounds of reason to expect the new Megadeth album to sound like a watered-down version of the classic thrash-metal band Mustaine has led since he was kicked out of Metallica almost a quarter-century ago. Yet United Abominations is actually Megadeth’s least diluted work in years. It overflows with Mustaine’s patented guitar theatrics, which despite their familiarity still amaze in “Sleepwalker” — where he lays classically inspired curlicues over his young bandmates’ speedy chug — and in “Gears of War,” which almost redeems its video-game link with loads of laser-gun riff action. The album also captures Mustaine in a particularly pissed-off mood: the title track is a no-holds-barred takedown of the United Nations (an organization he recently described to Revolver as “totally ineffective”), and in “Amerikhastan,” the singer tells “Jihad Joe” that “we’re coming to get you.” Mustaine’s politics can tend toward the simplistic, but his playing doesn’t.

Megadeth + Machine Head + Heaven And Hell | Tsongas Arena, 300 Arcand Avenue, Lowell | May 17 | 617.931.2000
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