To take things slightly off-topic, and to get a blog entry in for this week, I decided to post reviews of two albums I picked up recently. One of them is brand new, the other’s about a year old at this point.
First off, I will review Megadeth’s latest effort “United Abominations“. Overall, I would give this album a 7 out of 10. Among Megadeth albums, I would probably give this album a 5 or 6 out of 10. This album seems to be something Dave Mustaine put together just to prove that he could still make albums. The music is sub-par, as far as Megadeth goes, and the lyrics are rather cliche. In addition, Dave Mustaine seems to have gone off the deep-end, swinging from the radical left all the way over to the extreme right. His life in Phoenix seems to have shifted his political views drastically.
Before you even put the disc in your CD player, you are confronted with some rather toxic words, written on behalf of the band, insisting that we must not only “stay the course” (as our “fearless leader”, George W. would have us do), but put all of our efforts and resources (including troops) into destroying the Middle East and all of the nations tangentially connected to Al Qaeda.
On a side note, however, with the release of this album came a nice re-design of Megadeth’s Web site. It’s still extremely crowded, but I must say I am very impressed with the Flash banner at the top of the site, and am truly amazed at how quickly the site loaded, despite the inordinate amount of images on the front page.
My final word on the subject: If you are a Megadeth fan and a completist, as I am, then go ahead and pick up the album. If, however, you only casually listen to the group, don’t bother. “System Has Failed” and “World Needs a Hero” are much better albums from these gods of metal.
Onto my other review. This one is of Ministry’s “Rio Grande Blood“, which was actually released in May of last year. Overall, I would give this album a 9.5 out of 10, and I would rate it the same among Ministry’s albums. Being a huge fan of Ministry, from “With Sympathy” all the way to this latest project, it takes a lot to impress me with new material. The last three efforts from Ministry failed miserably at that attempt. This project, however, has blown me away. “Dark Side of the Spoon” was truly almost terrible. The next two albums were okay, but nothing spectacular.
“Rio Grande Blood” is an amazing “tour de force” from the industrial giants that have been around for more than two and a half decades. The music is driving, powerful and original. In some points, it reminisces older Ministry (from the days of “Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste” and the runes album (generally called Psalm 69)) as well as pulling influences from great Viking and speed metal.
The lyrics are some of Al Jourgensen’s best yet, including some wonderful samples of our “fearless leader” that have been re-arranged to say what us liberals hear most times we hear him talk. This album is more politically driven than anything Ministry’s put out before (no doubt with some gentle prodding from Mr. Jourgensen’s good friend Jello Biafra, who makes a guest appearance in the song “Ass Clown”). This is what we Ministry fans have been waiting for for over 10 years.
Eat your heart out Trent Reznor – you will never make an album this good.
My final word on this album, if you are a fan of industrial at all, you have to check this album out. You won’t be disappointed.