The System Has Failed marks a return from the dead for Megadeth -- and quite a glorious return, it must be said. When bandleader Dave Mustaine was diagnosed in early 2002 with radial neuropathy -- strained nerves in his left arm and hand -- the snarling guitar shredder was forced to disband his once groundbreaking group after nearly two decades of activity. Granted, it wasn't that big of a loss at the time, chiefly so because Megadeth had long passed its prime. The band's key recordings date back to the speed metal era, from 1986 (the year of Peace Sells, Reign in Blood, and Master of Puppets) to 1992 (the year Megadeth, like Metallica a year earlier, made a distinct, more commercial shift, releasing Countdown to Extinction -- to the dismay of many longtime fans). Following Countdown, Megadeth struggled. The band continued to release albums, but they weren't well received and, very sadly, one of metal's once preeminent acts became a bitter has-been. So after Mustaine's injury, the disbanding of Megadeth didn't seem all that unfortunate at the time -- it seemed overdue, some would argue. Then in 2004, shortly after an exemplary reissue campaign, Mustaine resurrected Megadeth for The System Has Failed.