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Review: Megadeth the World Needs a Hero the Band's Best Album Since Countdown to Extinction

Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

The World Needs a Hero is the Band's Best Album Since Countdown to Extinction

Megadeth is a heavy metal band that has had lots of ups and downs throughout its over 30+ years as a group. 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.

Megadeth band logo

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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.

I make that assertion having a slightly different viewpoint about the band’s album Risk which came out a few years before in 1999. This may sound obvious but even though this album is an improvement over that one, it is unrealistic to expect that it would be as good as Peace Sells But Who’s Buying.

If Risk was an experimental album, “The World Needs a Hero” is less experimental and sees at least a partial return for Megadeth to its older days. Disconnect is a song that has a creative tapping part in it.

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

Album TitleYear of ReleaseMain Guitarist Other Than Dave Mustaine

Peace Sells But Who's Buying

1986

Chris Poland

Countdown to Extinction

1992

Marty Friedman

Rust in Peace

1990

Marty Friedman

The World Needs a Hero

2001

Al Pitreli

The System Has Failed

2004

Chris Poland

So Far So Good So What

1988

Jeff Young

How is the Rest of the Album The World Needs a Hero?

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

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. What is the name of the guitarist that Al Pitreli replaced?
    • Marty Friedman
    • Steve Vai
    • Chris Poland

Answer Key

  1. Marty Friedman

"1,000 Times Goodbye"

Rate Megadeth's album The World Needs a Hero

Revisiting this album in 2020, The World Needs a Hero isn’t flawless but certainly is an album that deserves consideration for being one of the band’s better releases in the modern era (2000-present). Early on in the album, the one song that stands out to me other than Dread and the Fugitive Mind is the song 1,000 Times Goodbye.

© 2017 Ara Vahanian

Comments

Ara Vahanian (author) from LOS ANGELES on August 10, 2017:

Hello Ryan Fuller and I'd like to thank you for showing such a great interest in my articles about Megadeth. Glad to know that you bought this album on ITUNES and that you are enjoying it. I really think it has a lot of musical variety and that's one of the reasons why it is the band's best album since 1992. The vocals have improved as well. Keep on enjoying the album and have a nice day!

Ryan from Louisiana, USA on August 10, 2017:

This album is a good one. I just bought it on ITunes the other day. Really good rock metal album.

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