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THE BIG FOUR SONG CHALLENGE SERIES - Matchup 173

Anthrax "You Gotta Believe" (2016) VS Megadeth "Fatal Illusion" (2016) VS Metallica "Now That We're Dead" (2016) VS Slayer "War Ensemble" (Live from Sofia, Bulgaria) (2010)

The refrain of "You Gotta Believe" is more sinister than you realize.  Judging by the chorus, the song should be called "Impaled" (which was the name of the intro track that leads into it) because it's about running people through like mere bags of blood.  Normally when you see a song with the title "You Gotta Believe" you expect it to be inspirational, but in this case it is a command.  "You Gotta Believe in me, or I kill you for being a heretic."  Musically, it's a burner, but it gets interrupted by a quiet middle section that comes out of nowhere and kind of feels unearned.  It's really like they drifted off into a different song; by the time the chorus comes back around you've forgotten where you started.

"Fatal Illusion" bangs pretty hard.  It's one of the best songs on "Dystopia" and it sounds like it'd be at home on any of their harder albums.  Lots of chug, lots of sixteenth-note kickdrum action, lots of leads, a faster part halfway through the song that intensifies an already headbang worthy song..."Fatal Illusion" is probably one of the better songs I'm going to review this time around, truth be told.

The beginning of "Now That We're Dead" sounds like one of those videos you've seen that say "New Metallica song 2012! - In The Shadows" or something.  They'll sound like someone who's figured out how to get their tone like The Black Album and wrote a simple metal song, then just titled it as a Metallica video to get clicks.  Anyway, the beginning of this song feels like that.  And it's certainly not the last time that thought flashed through my mind while listening to "Hardwired...To Self-Destruct".

And what the FUCK is Lars doing with his toms at the beginning there?  I think it wouldn't bug me nearly as much if the toms didn't sound like mouse clicks instead of drums, but that's a discussion for another time.  The solo is pretty good, the vocals are really good (honestly the best part of this album is the vocals) but the song as a whole is pretty baseline.  I wouldn't go so far as to say "Meh", but for Metallica?  Maybe.

Let's be honest.  The original "War Ensemble" would fucking shred all of this shit to shit and back but this is a live version, and not even the best live version.  To top it all off, I don't really like live albums that much, so I can't really give it full credit, now can I (especially when Tom Araya just straight doesn't even sing the second chorus and spends most the rest of it being out of breath)?  Tomorrow, Slayer won't be giving us a live album though.  They'll be giving us the real thing.  So until then:

"Fatal Illusion": 4
"Now That We're Dead": 3
"You Gotta Believe": 2
"War Ensemble" (Live from Sofia, Bulgaria): 1

UPDATE TOTALS:

Metallica: 10
Megadeth: 9
Anthrax: 7
Slayer: 4

ALL TIME TOTALS:

Anthrax: 445
Metallica: 436
Slayer: 435
Megadeth: 396

And with that, Metallica retakes second place all time.  They are only nine points behind Anthrax.  What's gonna happen next?  Come on back tomorrow to find out!

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