Megadeth kick off their first new song since 2013’s Super Collider album with a heavy, creepy guitar line before kicking into jazz bass and a galloping thrash riff that harks back to the group’s early days. The track, “Fatal Illusion,” is the first taste of the band’s as-yet-untitled upcoming album, as well as their sound after welcoming Lamb of God’s Chris Adler on drums and Brazilian lead guitarist Kiko Loureiro into the fold. “It’s a fatal illusion to think that evil never dies,” frontman Dave Mustaine snarls.
The band recorded the new record in Nashville, but if “Fatal Illusion” is any indication, the whole thing will be a far cry from country. “Over the years, we’ve always said, ‘We’re going back to our roots,'” the singer told Rolling Stone earlier this year. “But the naysayers, they just want [Megadeth’s 1990 album] Rust in Peace 20 times, which is never going to happen. Because I’ve never written the same song twice. Unlike a lot of other rock and metal bands that rely on a set formula, I try and make the songs all different.
“The funny thing, though, was that when [David] Ellefson was doing the bass tracks I was telling him, ‘This is the “Tornado of Souls” part,’ ‘This is the “Bad Omen” part,’ ‘This is the “Black Friday” part,’ ‘This is the “Holy Wars” part,'” he continued, referencing songs from both Rust in Peace and the group’s 1986 album, Peace Sells … but Who’s Buying? “A lot of the things were in that kind of vein. Now, is it going back in time? Hell, I don’t know. But I like what I’m hearing.”
In the same interview, Mustaine also spoke highly of the band’s new additions, Loureiro and Adler, the latter of whom was just a temporary pinch hitter. “He’s an amazing musician, very well-rounded,” he said of the guitarist. And regarding Adler, he said, “One of the things that was great about having Chris come in was he’s been a fan for 30 years and he was able to say, ‘Well, this is the stuff I like about my Megadeth,'” he said. “And it was, ‘OK, cool.'”