Thrash Metal pioneers and metal icons Megadeth will cap a summer of successful global touring with the release of their highly anticipated 16th studio album, The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead! via UMe on September 2, 2022.
Featuring twelve new tracks, The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead! will be released on CD, vinyl, and cassette, as well as digitally through all online partners.There will also be a limited deluxe edition 2LP, 12-track album pressed on 180g black vinyl housed in a numbered gatefold jacket with a 12x24 lyrics/credits insert, a lenticular vinyl lithograph and a bonus 7-inch featuring “We’ll Be Back” and the unreleased B-side “The Conjuring (Live).” The limited deluxe edition can only be purchased via Megadeth’s official online store, through Sound of Vinyl, and uDiscover Music.
The first song to be released from The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead! is the ferocious, quintessentially Megadeth track “We’ll Be Back,” which is accompanied by the world premiere of ‘We’ll Be Back: Chapter I,’ an epic, action-packed short film chronicling the origins of Megadeth’s mascot, Vic Rattlehead. Created by Dave Mustaine, produced by Rafael Pensado, and directed by Leo Liberti, “We’ll Be Back: Chapter I” is a soldier’s tale of bravery, personal sacrifice, and the will to survive. You can watch it below.
“Our hero [in the video] is just a normal guy, who’s working in the military, but something’s f_ked up,” Mustaine tells uDiscover Music. “He leaves to go to work and this group of mercenaries comes to kill his family and they go after our hero’s son, so our hero finds out and he loses it. That’s the start of it. The whole movie starts off with this crooked politician laughing, but you don’t really know what he is. You also see how Vic [Rattlehead] is born, but you just have to see it all for yourself. It’s fantastic.”
The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead! consolidates a furious return to form that began with the Grammy winning- Dystopia, while pushing forward musically and marking Mustaine’s recent triumph over throat cancer. Reuniting visionary Megadeth leader and sonic architect Dave Mustaine with co-producer Chris Rakestraw (Danzig, Parkway Drive), who together helmed 2016’s Dystopia, the album was recorded at Mustaine’s home studio in Nashville, Tennessee.
“Chris is not a really famous producer, but he’s excellent at what he does,” Mustaine tells uDiscover Music. “I think if I worked for him, or he worked for me and we did more stuff together, people would line up to have work for him.”
Joining Mustaine on The Sick, The Dying…And The Dead! are guitarist Kiko Loureiro and drummer Dirk Verbeuren. Bassist Steve DiGiorgio temporarily stepped in to record the album–with the kick off of Megadeth’s recent tour, Megadeth-alumni James LoMenzo rejoined the Megadeth family as permanent bass player.
“James rejoining the band was actually the beginning of something wonderful for me,” Dave Mustaine says. “Because I knew something great was gonna come out of this. He played exactly what I played on the songs before I got there and did it with absolute savoir faire. And any of the parts that weren’t written yet or that I wanted him to embellish on, he also did with style.”
“Now, I’m in the dressing room and when the guys walk in, Kiko will walk behind me and he’ll put his hand on my shoulder and he’ll gimme a squeeze or pat my back,” he adds. “Dirk always says ‘hey, buddy!’ and smiles. The same with James. James and I have rekindled our friendship and it all makes it so easy to play this type of music now.”
“For the first time in a long time, everything that we needed on this record is right in its place,” Mustaine enthuses. “I can’t wait for the public to get hold of this!”
Featuring some of Mustaine’s strongest songwriting while also incorporating writing from the rest of the band, The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead! brings together everything that’s exhilarating and distinctive about Megadeth. From the blistering throwback fury of “Night Stalkers” (featuring icon Ice-T) and first single “We’ll Be Back,” to the more mid-tempo and melodic “Soldier On!,” and the very personal title track, with its enthralling twists and turns.
“The songs have beautiful, uplifting solos and a lot of really great musical passages,” Mustaine reveals. “The chorus in ‘Sacrifice’ is an amazing melody. It’s hard as hell to play and I don’t know if I’ll be able to sing it at the same time live, but I’ll give it my best shot. I always do.”
The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead! melds the ultra-frenetic riffing, fiercely intricate solos, and adventurous spirit the quartet are known for, all laced with signature virtuosity and precision and Mustaine’s singular sardonic snarl. This album combines all the crushing musical motifs that have made Megadeth both repeat metal disruptors and revered genre flagbearers.
Megadeth have recently revealed their roadmap into the web3 space, offering expanded Cyber Army fan club experiences. The first NFT drop will be a generative collection called Rattleheads, pulling from nearly 40 years of iconic Vic Rattlehead themes and imagery.