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Review: Megadeth The World Needs a Hero the band's best album since Countdown to Extinction
The World Needs a Hero is a BIG improvement compared to the album Risk
Megadeth is a heavy metal band that has had lots of ups and downs throughout its over 30+ years as a group. After a very poor album called Risk in 1999, fortunately, the band rebounded in a big way with a solid album called The World Needs a Hero. Released in 2001, the album has a new guitar player and his name is Al Pitreli. Al Pitreli takes over for Marty Friedman. Rejoining the band to play the drums is once again Jimmy Degrasso. The band didn’t need a heroic comeback as much as they needed to get their act together which they did for this album. I have long thought that Rust in Peace is the band’s finest album. But that album is too one-dimensional focusing mainly on speed and less on melody. And so we have another album in that category. But for the purposes of this article, it needs to be said that The World Needs a Hero is easily the band's best album since 1992.
Why is the album the band's best one since 1992?
I would make the case that The World Needs a Hero is the band’s best album since 1992’s Countdown to Extinction. After a few attempts to sound more mainstream and make it work failed, what we see on this album are decent vocals, good riffs, and the mentioned musical variety which helps any band.
Megadeth band logo
The World Needs a Hero has musical variety and that's a huge benefit
The World Needs a Hero is a more musically diverse album and that’s now what a longtime music fan like me is looking for. And if you are looking for musical variety, you will find it on this album. From the opening song called Disconnect, this quality is evident. The song is a catchy rock song about someone that lives a life of deception being oblivious to what is real. The song has some incredible lead guitar tapping in it. The World Needs a Hero (the title track) has a slower riff and mixed in with some interesting bass lines. It is one of the album’s weaker songs and by this time in their career, Megadeth has not been able to maintain the brilliance of their mid-1980’s form with albums such as Peace Sells But Who’s Buying. But despite that, this 2001 album is sure to please any music fan that’s willing to give Megadeth a second chance after they really let down many of their fans.
Why are the songs Moto Psycho and 1,000 Times Goodbye so musically important?
The next two songs show this musical variety the entertaining rock song Moto Psycho and the slower paced love song 1,000 Times Goodbye which also has lots of spoken dialogue in it that shows what can happen when the romance in a relationship is gone.
The songs Moto Psycho and 1,000 Times Goodbye: what are they about?
Moto Psycho is a song about someone who is traveling through life without adhering to responsibility or being accountable. He is living by paycheck to paycheck and it will be a matter of time before his reckless lifestyle leads to his doom. After this comes the very good love song called 1,000 Times Goodbye and this one beats the song Trust. The song is about ending a relationship that clearly did not work out. Sometimes as time passes by, one or both people in the relationship does not feel that spark or that love anymore. Sometimes we know that we cannot take that other person back no matter what. However, the song still is not the best love song of all time as far as heavy metal songs go. Burning Bridges starts with some unusual guitar sounds before becoming heavier. We must stand up to injustice and fight for what is right. If we are not brave and courageous, we cannot hope to last very long.
The official music video for the song Moto Psycho
Ranking of Megadeth's best albums in terms of greatness
1. Peace Sells But Who's Buying
Year of release (1986)
2. Countdown to Extinction
3. Rust in Peace
4. The World Needs a Hero
5. The System Has Failed
6. So Far, So Good, So What!
How is the rest of this very good album?
The next song Promises is an example of the album’s musical variety. After the hard rock style and heavier songs, the listener is treated to soft ballad style song about two people who promise to be reunited in heaven because on Earth they know that if they ever get married they will be the target of much criticism and shame. Sometimes, love can be one of the most complex feelings ever. The song called Losing My Senses makes a great suggestion. This suggestion is that we must always look forward in life and never look back at what could have or should have been. We will all die one day so it makes sense to look forward in life and take full advantage of the time that we do have.
Next comes the awesome thrash style song Dread and Fugitive Mind which has a lyrical similarity to the song Prince of Darkness. The end of the song has a great thrash metal section which is very memorable to me even 16 years later. Where was this sort of guitar playing prowess in the late 1990’s? What happened to Dave Mustaine and his abilities in those years? My guess is that his brain took a long time to really recover from the years of alcohol and drug abuse. The next song called Return to Hangar is similar lyrically to Hangar 18 in 1990 but it is not as good musically as that song is. The song When starts like the song The Call of Ktulu. I can definitely detect this in the guitar playing. The song is about someone who has been betrayed by his lover as she has spit in his face. Sometimes when we do all that we can for the one that we love, they don’t appreciate it and they instead betray that person.
The song called Dread and the Fugitive Mind
Best songs on The World Needs a Hero
The best songs on the album are many including Disconnect, 1,000 Times Goodbye, Moto Psycho, Recipe for hate… Warhorse, and Dread and the Fugitive Mind. The World Needs a Hero gets a very solid 90 out of 100 points.
Guitarist that Al Pitreli replaced
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© 2017 Ara Vahanian