According to Billboard, MEGADETH's new album, "The Sick, The Dying... And The Dead!", sold 48,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in its first week of release to land at position No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart. It marks the band's eighth top 10-charting album.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption as measured in equivalent album units. Units comprise album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). Each unit equals one album sale, or 10 individual tracks sold from an album, or 3,750 ad-supported or 1,250 paid/subscription on-demand official audio and video streams generated by songs from an album.
Of "The Sick, The Dying... And The Dead!"'s 48,000 units earned for the week, album sales comprise 45,000, SEA units comprise 3,000 and TEA units comprise a neglible sum.
MEGADETH's previous top 10 entries on the Billboard 200 were "Countdown to Extinction" (No. 2, 1992),"Youthanasia" (No. 4, 1994),"Cryptic Writings" (No. 10, 1997),"United Abominations" (No. 8, 2007),"Endgame" (No. 9, 2009),"Super Collider" (No. 6, 2013) and "Dystopia" (No. 3, 2016).
"The Sick, The Dying... And The Dead!" arrived on September 2 via UMe. The LP consolidates a furious return to form that began with the Grammy-winning "Dystopia", while pushing forward musically and marking frontman Dave Mustaine's recent triumph over throat cancer. Reuniting Dave 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, with 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 alumnus James LoMenzo rejoined the MEGADETH family as permanent bass player.
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" 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 Sick, The Dying… And The Dead!" also features a cover of DEAD KENNEDYS' "Police Truck" and Sammy Hagar's "This Planet's On Fire", the latter of which includes vocals from Hagar himself.
"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.
Regarding Hagar's contribution to "This Planet's On Fire", Mustaine told SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk": "It's a super-heavy song. And the good thing about this [is] we didn't just do the song; [Sammy] played on it too. So we've got a little bit of some guitar; we've got a lot of bit of singing. I think it's super badass."
As for MEGADETH's decision to cover "Police Truck", Mustaine said: "It's no secret I'm a big DEAD KENNEDYS fan, and I had wanted to do 'Holiday In Cambodia', but my friends in LÄÄZ ROCKIT had done that, and I felt that [I would] just let them have their glory off of that rendition of that song, and if the time comes, I'm sure there's another song that'll stick out to me. And there was — it was the song 'Police Truck'. So we recorded that one."
Earlier this year, Mustaine confirmed that DiGiorgio laid down the bass tracks on "The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead!"
There had been speculation about DiGiorgio's involvement in the new MEGADETH LP since July 2021, based on a Cameo video Mustaine recorded in which he offered the first glimpse of the bassist that re-recorded David Ellefson's bass tracks on the latest MEGADETH effort.
DiGiorgio is widely renowned as a pioneer on the fretless bass in heavy metal music, having played with TESTAMENT, DEATH and SADUS, among others. Within his genre, Steve is respected for his playing skills, versatility and incredible technique. He has more than 40 studio album recordings and over 20 years of touring the world.
In May, MEGADETH announced LoMenzo as a permanent member of the band. LoMenzo was MEGADETH's bass player in the mid-2000s and recently stepped back in as a touring member for "The Metal Tour Of The Year".
LoMenzo joined MEGADETH in 2006 and appeared on two of the group's studio albums, 2007's "United Abominations" and 2009's "Endgame". He was fired from the band in 2010 and replaced with returning original MEGADETH bassist Ellefson.
In addition to MEGADETH, LoMenzo has played with Ozzy Osbourne, Zakk Wylde and WHITE LION. For nine years, LoMenzo had also performed with iconic rocker John Fogerty.
LoMenzo played his first show with MEGADETH in nearly 12 years in August 2021 in Austin, Texas. The concert took place three months following Ellefson's dismissal from MEGADETH after sexually tinged messages and explicit video footage involving him were posted on Twitter.
Ellefson laid down his bass tracks on MEGADETH's sixteenth LP in May 2020 at a studio in Nashville, Tennessee.
In June 2021, Mustaine announced during an episode of his Gimme Radio program "The Dave Mustaine Show" that Ellefson's bass tracks would not be used on the new MEGADETH LP.
Ellefson was in MEGADETH from the band's inception in 1983 to 2002, and again from 2010 until his latest departure.