Megadeth have spent the last two years working on their newest album on and off and now the thrash legends have finally started the recording phase.

Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, the group had intentions on recording the follow-up to 2016's Dystopia before their co-headlining summer tour with Lamb of God kicked off. With stay-at-home orders in place due to the pandemic, Megadeth were unable to get in the studio together and the tour, which was also set to feature Trivium and In Flames, was eventually pushed to 2021 anyway.

Speaking with The Metal Circus, bassist David Ellefson confirmed that the thrashers had indeed started tracking their 16th studio album. As usual, it was the rhythm section that was up first as Ellefson and drummer Dirk Verbeuren, who will make his studio debut with Megadeth on this record, began laying down their tracks. "The main thing, the first thing we wanted to get done was drums and bass, so me and Dirk were working on that this last week," relayed Ellefson.

"So, look, it's underway. I think that's the good news now — the album is officially underway. We've been writing it since late 2017," he said, noting the last gig before the writing first started, "Our last show was in Buenos Aires, Argentina back in November of 2017. And then the intention from there was just to get started composing. But it's on its way — the ship is sailing, which is great."

The writing sessions were interrupted in the summer of 2019 when Mustaine revealed he had been diagnosed with throat cancer. Even as he received treatment, the guitarist / vocalist spent time collecting new material and Megadeth officially returned to the road in January of this year on a European tour with Five Finger Death Punch. Not long after, the coronavirus hit, but at least Mustaine confirmed he is now cancer-free.

Ellefson was guarded when asked what the fans can expect the new material to sound like. Ultimately, he concluded, "I think for us, what we find is that when we're in a room and we're playing something, and if we're all going, 'Yeah, that's freaking awesome,' if we like it, chances are you're all gonna like it."

Working titles for new songs were previously said to include "Dogs of Chernobyl," "Faster Than Anything Else" and "Rattlehead, Part Two." Megadeth's new album may even feature an Ellefson-sung ballad about the past bad blood between him and Mustaine.

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