The lineup is different. The record company is new. But vitriol-tongued Dave Mustaine remains Megadeth's constant. While more commercial and mature than such unbridled early releases as So Far, So Good . . . So What!
, this follow-up to the poorly received Risk
finds Megadeth mostly back to their metallic roots. Mustaine continues to alternately mine politics and self-reflection to good effect, and his solos still shred. The taut, hooky "Moto Psycho" is polished, millennial thrash, and though the rest of the material on this 12-song collection isn't as instantly memorable, it's certainly ambitious. Mustaine's biting vocal and the muscular musicianship of the powerful title track and the pained love-lost ode "1,000 Times Goodbye" hit the mark, as does the epic, string-laden ballad "Promises," though Mustaine's patented vocal seems out of place, as does the classical guitar on "Recipe for Hate . . . Warhorse." That said, old-school fans will worship the likes of "Moto Psycho" and the classic and brutal "Dread and the Fugitive Mind" and "Return to Hangar." --Katherine Turman