Dave Mustaine says that MEGADETH‘s new album is shaping up to be “heavy as hell.”

The follow-up to 2016’s “Dystopia”, which is tentatively due later this year, will mark the band’s first release with drummer Dirk Verbeuren (ex-SOILWORK), who joined MEGADETH three years ago.

Speaking to Kerrang!, Mustaine said about the progress of the songwriting sessions for MEGADETH‘s new disc: “We’re trying to keep with that real heavy thing. ‘Dystopia’ was more of us doing what makes us feel good; there’s a lot of super-heavy, fast drumming at the end of some songs.

“My son was in here two days ago, and when we were doing ‘Dystopia’, he was listening to the songs and making comments, and the ones he commented on were the ones that got the best response. When he came over this time, we were working on a song that has the tentative title ‘The Dogs Of Chernobyl’, and the intro riff has kind of a Hungarian guitar part, kind of like something MERCYFUL FATE did on ‘Into The Coven’. The song comes in super powerful and strong, and my son goes, ‘Oh god, that’s heavy as hell!’ and I just started laughing.”

The early sessions for the new disc are being co-produced by Chris Rakestraw, who previously worked on “Dystopia”, which was described by Record Collector‘s Joel McIver as a return to form for MEGADETH, and a big improvement over the previous two records.

Dave told “Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon” back in June 2018 that some of the new MEGADETH music is turning out to be more extreme than anything the band has done in the past. “The stuff that Dirk‘s been playing along to it is scary,” he said. “We’ve never had any of those blast-beat kind of things on our music before, and some of the drumming on this is so mind-blowing. It’s making me a better guitar player again, which I love. But I never thought we were gonna be playing this fast or this aggressive again.”

MEGADETH will support OZZY OSBOURNE on the next North American leg of the BLACK SABBATH singer’s “No More Tours 2” in May, June and July.

The band’s first-ever Megacruise aboard the Norwegian Jewel will set sail on October 13 from Los Angeles, California and hit ports of San Diego, California and Ensenada, Mexico before returning on October 18.

“Dystopia” was MEGADETH‘s first release with guitarist Kiko Loureiro, who was previously best known for his work with the Brazilian melodic metal band ANGRA.

As previously reported, MEGADETH will release a greatest-hits album, “Warheads On Foreheads”, on March 22. The disc will feature 35 remastered tracks selected by Mustaine.

Prior to the arrival of “Warheads On Foreheads”, MEGADETH will reissue two of its iconic records, 2001’s “The World Needs A Hero” and 2004’s “The System Has Failed”, through BMG on February 15.