‘The Sick, the Dying…. And The Dead!’ is blustered with trademark riffs and the signature drum rolls of Dirk Verbeuren. The title track slams you right in the face with an aggressive blend of thrash and heavy metal, loaded with monstrous and crafty lead guitars. Dave Mustaine’s perceptive songwriting never strays from the old-school roots of thrash metal. There is top-notch quality and a fine performance from these veterans along with the thumping bass guitar of Steve DiGiorgio, adding undisputed and sensational vibes to the music. Each track opens with a massive riff and the melodies are irresistibly hooky. Efficiently, Megadeth offers vital and rapid-fire tempos. In fact, this has got to be their most genuine and aggressive record to date and I am sure old-time fans will be delighted by this great achievement.
‘Life in Hell’ and ‘Night Stalker’ offer breakneck speed. There are some incredible high-octane action and marvelous melodies flowing within the composition here. In the latter song Ice-T even makes a cool cameo. With its massive solo sections that are reminiscent of bands like Slayer, the song explores the dexterity of incorporating supercharged guitar riffs. Megadeth has got tons of aggressive riffing and some catchy guitar patterns throughout. As a result, the songs are littered with the archetypal trademarks of Dave Mustaine’s signature guitars and vicious vocals.
One of the standout tracks on the album is ‘Dogs of Chernobyl’ which offers something truly massive and beyond the traditional heavy/thrash metal spectrum. The solo sections are slickly utilized throughout. Furthermore, the guitar arrangements on this album are astonishing. ‘Sacrifice’ starts off with an energetic guitar section, so expect plenty of heavy turbulence amid the sudden tempo changes. Its dark, aggressive and dramatic lead guitars are wonderfully executed by Kiko Loureiro. One of the main key factors of the album is the fluid cohesion: ‘The Sick, the Dying… and the Dead!’ demonstrates kilter musicianship. There is great chemistry between Dave Mustaine and Kiko:the songs are heavy and incredible catchy full of deadly hooks. ‘Junkie’ brings high-octane energy with an emphasis on the ultimate thrash and heavy metal fusion.
We get some great drumming from Dirk Verbeuren who conveys powerful beats. ‘Killing Time’ stands as one of the catchiest songs. Apart from the impressive guitar arrangements, fierce guitar riffs and catchy melodies, Megadeth perfectly retains its top-tier performance. ‘The Sick, the Dying… and the Dead!’ is, without a doubt, an excellent follow up. The bold expansion into thrash/NWOBHM makes it a badass album. The second half of the album maintains its aggressive thundering tone with tracks like ‘Soldier On!’ showing the unique songwriting prowess of these veterans.
Megadeth on its 16th album delivers consistent top-tier performance, courtesy of its imposing strength and heaviness. With lead guitars and melodies galore, ‘Célebutante’ spews forth monstrous chugging riffs. I insist that “The Sick, the Dying… and the Dead!” proves that the band is at its best form. For this reason the album is reminiscent of earlier albums like ‘Countdown to Extinction’ and ‘End Game’. Another strength here is that the band truly understands how to approach the songs with the old roots of heavy/thrash metal. While the songs are rife with mega chugging guitars, the vicious aggression results in a significant modern touch. If there’s any catchier song on the album, then it has got to be ‘Mission to Mars’. The sleek guitar works build into one mind-blowing chorus, leaving you in a state of astonishment with the rhythm guitars soaring flawlessly.
The drums are on a rampage against the dark melodies as the enthusiasm hits its climax with shredding solos. The rampage continues, but never falls short of the top-notch performance. ‘We’ll Be Back’ is a merciless exercise in speed/thrash metal where the guitars and the drums unleash an electrifying combination of lethal riffs and extreme drum blows.
- Music / Songwriting 10/10
- Vocals / Lyrics 8/10
- Mix / Production 10/10
- Artwork & Packaging 7/10
- Originality 10/10
‘The Sick, the Dying… And The Dead!’ is a sublime record, finely honed by Dave Mustaine and Co. One can safely say that the 16th album is Megadeth’s most aggressive and inspirational record to date.