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

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

Making Heavy Metal music for 39 years, Megadeth get credit for both longevity, but also sustained success. A cornerstone as part of the big four of Thrash Metal for many years running, the Dave Mustaine led Megadeth are back in action once again with another newest album. 

Released on September 2, 2002, and titled The Sick, The Dying… and the Dead!, it is quite appropriate considering all the suffering people have endured the last few years in one way or another. Twelve tracks in total, and recorded at Mustaine’s home studio in Nashville, Tennessee, the support cast included Guitarist Kiko Loureiro, Drummer Dirk Verbeuren, and Bassist Steve DiGiorgio, before Megadeth-alumni James LoMenzo rejoined on bass full-time right in time for touring. 

The band’s sixteenth overall album, the title-track kicks things off with five explosive minutes of good old Megadeth guitar overlaying that can not be denied. In fact, Mustaine has never had a dull moment with Megadeth when selecting fellow guitarist; from guitarists Chris Poland to Marty Friedman, to current member,  the aforementioned Kiko Loureiro.

Then there is the fun, energetic rush of “Life In Hell” full of complex solos and fast beats, but also darker lyrical content. From here there is much to dive into and appreciate musically with this album in terms of layering and production. With this in mind, you really cannot fully absorb it all in just one listen; you will need a few extra runs, but after that, it will definitely speak louder than first impressions would have it.

Mentioning a few of the big moments, there is the super speedy vibes of “Night Stalkers” which would be a good choice for a live show. Also features Ice-T, it is a  bit of a wildly intense combination of interchanges matched with the fast and furious riffs. 

Moving forward, “Sacrifice” shares some impressive riffs all while keeping a basic structure to it. Then chimes in one of the most fun lyrical tunes of the collection, “Junkie.” Keeping it real, the guitars tell a similar story to the lyrics in a great way. After this you have “Psychopathy” which is a short interlude that breaks out with a spoken scientific definition of the word before “Killing Time.” The latter is a five minute tune about the dissatisfaction of the human race; pretty standard for Megadeth. Matching the lyrics are some serene guitar parts and instrumental layering that is solid. 

Which leads us to the last half of the album which includes the catchy “Soldier On” which honestly seems to be the most anthem-like track of all. This is followed by “Celebutante” creeping in with a soft and slow approach before blasting off into another speed driven entity of chaos and magnitude. Lastly “Mission to Mars” creates a spaced out musical vibe before “We’ll Be Back” charges forcefully into your heart with more powerful Thrash riffs and some enhanced production.

Overall, The Sick, The Dying… and the Dead! seems to fall somewhere around 2016’s Dystopia, above 2011’s Thirteen, and definitely sticks to the roots of the band in a good way, but with some modern edits. Like always Dave Mustaine creates a phenomenal, dynamic result with Megadeth, and that is why Cryptic Rock gives The Sick, The Dying… and the Dead! 4.5 out of 5 stars. 

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Lisa Burke
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Lisa is a metalhead at heart with a variety of musical genre interests, and the determination to save the world, one Metal show at a time. Her professional passions range from Rock n Roll and Gothic Metal inspired fashion design to Heavy Metal and Rock n Roll journalism for live and album reviews. She currently contributes these reviews to Metal Assault and CrypticRock.

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