The album explodes with “Blackmail the Universe” that has the coolest of riffs and the lyrics examines how Uncle Sam hides back while the world gets killed away from home. This is the political side of Megadeth that I expect and it featured insane bleeding riffs. Then it gets better with “Die Dead Enough,” where the song focuses on survivors/soldiers that struggle from getting killed and ending up to the unknown. The best thing of “Die Dead Enough,” is the lyrics that was so creative on focusing one’s perspective on facing war and each time you hear the chorus you just beg for more and hearing the deep-throat vocals of “And now I am” & “Aye-aye-aye” like a soldier that has no will for freedom and aggressive; easily the best song of the on the whole album. Speaking of aggressive, “Kick the Chair,” the song is so directly attacking the white house and the Bush’s power at his desk. I’m hoping that Dave Mustaine didn’t get his tax increase after making this song because I bet Bush got pissed when he first listened to this song because it’s totally anti-American (expect for the freedom of speech practice). Now if you’re thinking that this whole album is just about attacking US politics as the only variety, you couldn’t be more wrong because songs like “Scorpion,” that tells the fairly tail of the Scorpion and the Frog and it documents the tail, “Back in the Day,” which examines the better times of metal and freedom, and “Something I’m Not,” tells the story of one’s life being ruined by rumors and lies from other people. It was cute to hear Arnold Schwarzenegger-impersonator as the governator conquering the USA as president with the track “Shadow of Deth” (…Austrian Death Machine?).
Over all “System Has Failed” was a really great and memorable album. It captures the magic of Megadeth being total rebels & anarchists with their previous work with “Peace Sells” & “Rust in Peace.” Of course bashing Bush was overly done in the 2000’s, but the whole US politics? That was just as capturing as when they went fleshed-out on the United Nations with “Peace Sells” over 2 decades ago. After being a band for this long, I’m surprised and proud that they were the same as they where 2 decades ago and displayed what they are most known for in this album. I admit that towards the end felt watered down & they focused on US politics so much that they forgot some originality in their songwriting, but you got to admit that Megadeth could hold on this long even with the controversy and changes they went through to make it this far.
- Blackmail the Universe
- Die Hard Enough
- Something I’m Not
The Top Lister’s album score – 5 / 5