Album Review: Megadeth – The Sick, the Dying… and the Dead!

Megadeth, the iconic thrash metal band, returns with their sixteenth studio album, “The Sick, the Dying… and the Dead!” Released on September 2, 2022, after a six-year gap since “Dystopia” (2016), this album marks a significant point in the band’s storied career. Produced by Dave Mustaine and Chris Rakestraw, this album had a tumultuous journey to completion, with several delays due to Mustaine’s throat cancer diagnosis, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the dismissal of bassist David Ellefson due to sexual misconduct allegations.

Despite these challenges, “The Sick, the Dying… and the Dead!” delivers on the high expectations that come with any Megadeth release. The album showcases the band’s signature blend of thrash metal, complex guitar work, and thought-provoking lyrics. The addition of drummer Dirk Verbeuren, who replaces Chris Adler, adds a fresh dynamic to Megadeth’s sound.

The album opens with the title track, setting the stage for what’s to come. “The Sick, the Dying… and the Dead!” immediately grabs your attention with its relentless energy and Mustaine’s signature snarling vocals. It’s a powerful start that tells you Megadeth is back with a vengeance.

One of the standout tracks, “Night Stalkers,” features rapper Ice-T on vocals and explores themes of black-ops helicopters and covert military operations. This collaboration adds a unique flavor to the album and highlights Megadeth’s willingness to experiment with their sound.

“Killing Time” is a personal, emotional track, focusing on a past relationship. Mustaine’s lyrics provide a raw, relatable look at the scars left by lost love. It’s a side of Megadeth that adds depth to the album.

Another noteworthy aspect is the inclusion of two cover songs, “This Planet’s on Fire” with Sammy Hagar and a heavier rendition of the Dead Kennedys’ “Police Truck.” These covers pay homage to Megadeth’s influences and are a welcome addition to the album.

“The Sick, the Dying… and the Dead!” has been well-received by both fans and critics. It continues the trajectory set by “Dystopia,” showcasing Megadeth’s enduring relevance in the metal world. The album debuted at No. 3 on the US Billboard 200 and reached high chart positions in various countries.

In summary, “The Sick, the Dying… and the Dead!” reaffirms Megadeth’s status as a powerhouse in the world of thrash metal. It’s a testament to the band’s resilience and musical prowess. Despite the challenges faced during its creation, the album delivers an intense and engaging listening experience that both long-time fans and newcomers will appreciate. If you’re a fan of Megadeth’s iconic sound, this album is a must-listen. Dave Mustaine and the band have proven once again that they’re a force to be reckoned with in the world of heavy metal.

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