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Back to their Metallic Roots

Megadeth’s ‘The World Needs a Hero’ An Instant Classic

By Chaitra Chandrasekhar

Staff Writer


‘The World Needs a Hero’

Sanctuary Records

List $17.97

With The World Needs a Hero, legendary metal band Megadeth gives its die-hard fans pure, unadulterated metal. From “Disconnect” and “Recipe for Hate” to “The World Needs a Hero,” Megadeth has given one of the best albums of the year for metal-heads. This is a refreshing album with full-toned, forceful and intense music and lyrics.

Megadeth was an early proponent of trash metal, earning both commercial and critical success, having had seven Grammy nominations. They live up to their reputation with this raw, self-produced album, featuring 12 tracks and returning the band to the kinetic and cathartic sound of their nascent years. The band lineup of Megadeth for this album is vocalist/acoustic guitarist Dave Mustaine, acoustic guitarist Al Pitrelli, bassist David Ellefson and drummer Jimmy DeGrasso.

Mustaine is bursting with the adrenaline-fueled enthusiasm of freedom after years of being shackled. They have a new label, new management and a new road crew. This album signals Megadeth’s return to pure metal. In the words of Mustaine, “It’s given us a blood transfusion.” It definitely is a “Fan’s record” as Mustaine sees it. The World Needs a Hero is Megadeth’s ninth full-length album since their 1985 debut Killing Is My Business. This album will be released in North America on Tuesday under the band’s new contract with Sanctuary Records.

All songs are written by Dave Mustaine except “Promises” (which is co-written with Pitrelli). The songs smack of cynicism, sarcasm and (self-inflicted?) pain -- the hallmark of Megadeth (and metal at large). Megadeth’s long-standing success and Mustaine’s own personal happiness have not come in the way of the uncompromising and hard-hitting lyrics.

The themes of futility, detachment and adversity shine through the lyrics and the music -- as is apparent in “1000 Times Goodbye,” “Promises” or “Silent Scorn.” Mustaine’s music is back to complete metal after Megadeth’s musical departure in their last two albums, Cryptic Writings (1997) and Risk (1999). Their personal feeling is that the departure was necessary for the evolution of the band. The World Needs a Hero is hard, fast, loud and progressive -- a reiteration of their stand as a metal band. This album is a strong and firm attempt at reaffirming their spot at the top of the heavy metal hierarchy and they seem to have done an amazing job of it.

The speed-metal band has not mellowed with the passage of time. Their musical vision of metal and pessimistic take on the world is as strong as it ever was. The razor-sharp guitar shredding, snarling vocals and spitting skepticism cut like an out-of-control laser on the album. The addition of Pitrelli, veteran of Savatage, Asia, Alice Cooper and others, on guitar seems to have helped in the road back to metalhood. The World Needs a Hero is the album Megadeth insisted on making. It’s real Megadeth in true Megadeth style.