Megadeth

Still, Alive...and Well?

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Megadeth's impending breakup could have been predicted by the declining quality of their album titles, which had once been the most creative in all of metal. Sadly, Still, Alive...and Well? is their best title since Rust in Peace, and it comes six months after the band's demise. But the title is the only thing about this album that makes much sense, as it's very existence is questionable. Taking six live songs and six songs from The World Needs a Hero, this album sounds like a sampler for the latter and a dumping grounds for the former. The first six songs were recorded at the same concert as the Rude Awakening disc, but were left off of that album because of time constraints. So here they are, sounding for all the world like their original versions except for the added murk of a live setting. Admittedly, the songs taken from Countdown to Extinction offer inspired performances, but that's a minor compliment in the grand scheme of things. The six songs taken from The World Needs a Hero have not only been previously released, but they're all from the exact same album, which was only released a year before this. This tactic reeks of laziness. With excellent B-sides, like Trent Reznor's remix of "Symphony of Destruction," still languishing on import-only, it seems like a shame to re-release songs that are barely a year old. This is the same sort of cash-hungry nonsense that made Motörhead and Judas Priest's catalogs so hard to follow, and it stinks that Dave Mustaine is allowing it to happen too. A mysterious and unsatisfying release, Still, Alive...and Well? is a poor epitaph for such a radically unique band.

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