Matt Albers keeps you hXc (hardcore, for you noobs) by giving you interesting information on today’s metal scene. In his review of the United Abominations Tour, you’ll find out how versatile and vivacious the metal scene still continues to be.

Dave Mustaine of Megadeath
Dave Mustaine of Megadeath

Playing to a packed house at Pop’s in Sauget Illinois, thrash metal pioneers Megadeth gave fans an undoubtedly enjoyable show of their best songs spanning their entire career.

After releasing their first album , United Abominations, on Roadrunner Records in the spring and touring with the band Heaven and Hell, Megadeth embarked on their own small venue U.S. tour with special guests In This Moment and The Confession.

The first act, The Confession, had an interesting modern hard rock sound. Each song they played had a different sound and vibe to it. Some songs were rather dark with yelling and growling, while others were more fast-paced. Both types of songs incorporated plenty of metal riffs and guitar shredding. Their overall sound was a balance of alternative and metalcore, a combination of Avenged Sevenfold, Papa Roach, and Atreyu. However, they seemed to only draw enthusiasm from about one third of the crowd. The rest were mostly hardcore thrashers and metalheads, only there to see Megadeth and were unimpressed–even annoyed–by anything but thrash metal.

The second opener was the new metalcore band In This Moment. After they formed in 2005 they immediately began promoting themselves via Myspace and were eventually singed to Century Media Records. Their debut album, Beautiful Tragedy, was released in March 2007. With an album under their belt, they were booked on the Jagermeister second stage for Ozzfest 2007 where they gained even more popularity.

In This Moment’s music is a melodic metalcore with the outstanding riffs of lead guitarist Chris Howorth and vocalist Maria Brink. Brink’s strong vocals are reminiscent of other female metal singers, from Evanescence’s Amy Lee to Otep. Her screaming sounds almost too raspy and over the top on their recordings, but in concert her voice fits flawlessly with the rest of the band. In This Moment’s musical talent, strong stage presence, and devotion to their fans made the Pop’s crowd instant In This Moment fans.

After the opening acts finished their sets, the crowd became increasingly anxious to see Megadeth take the stage. The unveiling of drummer Shawn Drover’s giant drum set (complete with an entire set of cymbals hung from a circular bar above the set) excited the crowd even more. Finally, frontman and songwriter Dave Mustaine, the leading force behind Megadeth for twenty-four years, took the stage. From their classic songs like “Peace Sells” and “Hangar 18” to their latest like “Washington is Next” and “Never Walk Alone…A Call to Arms,” Megadeth’s thrash metal talent is truly, and indisputably, legendary. Their latest lead guitar player, Glen Drover, who joined in 2004, proved to be a great addition with his extremely talented guitar riffs and shredding abilities on all songs both on their recordings and on stage. Mustaine also exhibited a stage presence that was both boastful and humble, only taking a few breaks in between songs to speak to the audience, either showing loyalty to his fans by constantly thanking them for coming out or making short, sly and humorous wise-ass remarks about politics, the European press, and a group of goofball fans attempting to create the world’s largest heavy metal bullhorns hand sign by connecting all of their hands together.

With the struggle of thrash metal on mainstream radio in recent years and the classic thrash sound on the brink of extinction, one would think that classic thrash bands, like Megadeth, would either break up or depart from their originally founded sound to adopt a new sound to secure popularity and record sales (case in point: Metallica). Much to the surprise of metal listeners, however, Megadeth has continued to write new music without straying away from their original sound; United Abominations is a prime example of this fact.

With Megadeth’s constant standing sound on all of their songs and albums, their show presents itself of nothing short of heavy metal nostalgia. The classic thrash metal sound and the corresponding enthusiasm coming from this band on stage is not what you’d expect to see from today’s metal bands and performances. Seeing them today takes one way back and makes you think you’re suddenly in the 1980’s again. Megadeth’s performance was classic, but also a wake-up call for more of today’s metal bands. They show that older bands can continue to rock hard and put on an amazing show even in a small setting. Megadeth pridefully shows a clear and non-stop devotion to their music in their live show.

The bands on Megadeth’s “United Abominations Tour” all showcased their own individual sounds and talents and sounds that appealed to all kinds of hard rock listeners. Megadeth alone puts on an amazing and classic show for fans of any type of metal. Their songs, riffs, stage presence, enthusiasm, perseverance, and ongoing classic thrash sound makes for an entertaining and one of a kind show that metalheads should not pass up.