The Sick, the Dying... and the Dead! is the sixteenth studio album by American thrash metal band Megadeth, released on September 2, 2022, on frontman Dave Mustaine's Tradecraft label via Universal. It is the first Megadeth album to feature drummer Dirk Verbeuren, the second Megadeth album to feature guitarist Kiko Loureiro, and their first studio album in six years since Dystopia (2016), marking the longest gap between two studio albums in the band's career. In production for more than two years, the album was produced by Mustaine and Chris Rakestraw.
During the album's recording, founding bassist David Ellefson was dismissed from the band due to a sex scandal. His bass parts were removed from the album and were re-recorded by Testament bassist Steve Di Giorgio.
The Sick, the Dying... and the Dead! took more than two years to materialize, with the recording sessions taking place between May 2019 and towards the end of 2021, the longest time Megadeth has taken to record an album up to this point. The album was originally slated for an early 2022 release, however issues with vinyl printing and distribution resulted in the release date initially being pushed back to the summer. The album was later delayed further to a September 2022 release.
Former Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar features on a cover of his song, "This Planet's on Fire". "Police Truck" is a heavier cover of the Dead Kennedys song. The song "Night Stalkers" features rapper Ice-T on vocals. Frontman Dave Mustaine commented about it, "There's a song called Night Stalker . I can't remember if that was the fastest one or not, but Night Stalker is about the 160th Battalion with the U.S. Army, and it's all the black-ops helicopters that go in at night, nobody knows they're there, they're in, they're out. "I had my buddy Ice T join me on a part in the middle of it, because Ice was a Ranger in the army, and he did two tours over in Afghanistan…I think that was back in '91, when I first met him. I know he was a Ranger." "Killing Time" focuses on a former girlfriend of Mustaine's. The first clip released from the album (which was released on Cameo) was titled "Life in Hell".
Mustaine noted that "believe it or not, is a love song". Part of the lyrics were written by Mustaine's radiologist, who had treated him for throat cancer. "I said to him that I needed a couple of phrases and some information about the radiation poisoning when everyone got sick at Chernobyl, so he wrote this masterful piece for me and I used it in full."
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