Megadeth
Endgame


4.5
superb

Review

by Greg Wood USER (20 Reviews)
September 10th, 2009 | 21 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Megadave and co. return with their best album in over 15 years.

When Megadeth broke into the mainstream with Countdown to Extinction in 1992 no-one really knew where they would go next. In an attempt to maintain their new-found popularity, the band released Youthanasia, a more ‘accessible’ album when compared to the heavy thrash attack provided by their earlier work, and while this album was by no means bad it was definitely a step back in quality for the band. During the 90’s they would take further steps back in a slow decline to mediocrity that eventually culminated with 1999’s Risk which, put simply, was a downright turd of an album and the ultimate low point in Megadeth’s back catalogue. Moving into the 00’s however things started to look up as both The World Needs a Hero and The System Has Failed were a definite improvement over anything the band had put out in recent years. So when United Abominations was released in 2007 to an overly positive reception, both fans and critics alike wondered once again where the band would go next, would they return to their thrash roots of the 80’s, or evolve their sound into something more mature and ‘progressive’ than they’ve ever done before?

The answer? Both.

Dave Mustaine and co. have produced what is quite possibly their best album since Countdown to Extinction. It pretty much blows any other ‘thrash revival’ album of the last few years out of the water; forget The Formation of Damnation, forget Christ Illusion, forget Hordes of Chaos, Endgame stands head and shoulders above them all.

Like all Megadeth albums what makes Endgame so great is the driving force behind the band: Dave Mustaine. His fast riffs, ripping solos, snarling vocals and varied lyrics are instantly recognisable amongst metal fans and really epitomise the sound of the band. There really is not one bad riff or solo on the whole album, and this applies to new guitarist Chris Broderick as well as Mustaine himself. Instrumental opener Dialectic Chaos highlights their impressive twin-axe attack at its best with a variety of aggressive and technical riffs, and fast shredding solos. There’s actually a rather nice variety of speeds and styles to the riffs, while 1,320 and Head Crusher showcase the speed and aggression associated with more typical thrash metal songs, 44 Minutes and Bodies are much more slower-paced, yet still pack as big a punch as the aforementioned speed-fests.

That’s not to say that the impressive guitar work overpowers the rhythm section by any means, as both bassist James LoMenzo and drummer Shawn Drover provide an excellent backbone to the band’s sound. Shawn’s fills are solid, consistent and in-time throughout, and he’s not above occasionally keeping things simple when required. And unlike a lot of metal albums, the bass is kept at a perfect volume; audible, but not over-bearing. Similar to Shawn, James is consistent throughout, thundering along with the guitars, and occasionally carving his own path through the songs with some unique riffs.

As mentioned earlier Dave’s vocals and lyrics are a major part of the band’s unique sound. He manages to cover a massive range of topics over the course of the album, from politics (Endgame, The Right to Go Insane), to war (How the Story Ends), to ancient torture devices (Head Crusher) and even Lord of the Rings (This Day We Fight!). Meanwhile, 1,320 brings back memories of Mechanix from the Killing is my Business… album, with it’s topic of fast cars and adrenaline, and The Hardest Part of Letting Go…Sealed With a Kiss tells your typical lost love story. All the while these lyrics are being perfectly sung, snarled and shouted by Mr. Mustaine himself; of course Dave has always been a marmite vocalist, but as a fan I really can’t fault his performance. The only track where his voice seems out of place is the aforementioned token ballad The Hardest Part of Letting Go…Sealed With a Kiss, where his attempt at a croon comes across as cheesy and doesn’t really fit the soft tone of the song. The Hardest Part… is actually the most ‘progressive’ track on the album, being a two-parter that flows between its multiple sections seamlessly; The Hardest Part of Letting Go… being the softer half, with its acoustic guitars and string arrangements, and Sealed With A Kiss being the heavier, more aggressive half.

It’s very unlikely that Megadeth will ever produce another album to equal their classics, but Endgame really does come close. Not only is it the sound of a band rediscovering their roots, it’s also the sound of a band progressing further than they’ve ever done before, showing amazing technical prowess while remaining tight and consistent throughout. Endgame is the best metal album likely to be released this year, and it's also Megadeth’s best album since their classic era. Testament, Slayer, Kreator, step aside; let Megadave and co. show you how it’s done.



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user ratings (1813)
Chart.
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Greggers
September 10th 2009


2375 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Album streaming here:

http://www.myspace.com/megadeth

KILL
September 10th 2009


71856 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

great review my friend!

Digging: A Guy Called Gerald - Black Secret Technology

Greggers
September 10th 2009


2375 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks my friend!

Willie
Moderator
September 10th 2009


16019 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

forget The Formation of Damnation
Forget you. That album is damn good.

Digging: Skrew - Universal Immolation

Greggers
September 10th 2009


2375 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah but this is better

Greggers
September 10th 2009


2375 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"wait i thought dave munstaine was in megadeth"

No, no, no...Dave Mustaine is in Megadeth

KILL
September 10th 2009


71856 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

nator is just another guy trying to be funny on sputnikmusic, nothing new

Phantom
September 10th 2009


8930 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

it's almost like he's trying to be eliminator

oh wait

LepreCon
September 10th 2009


4109 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

So, this is pretty good

Greggers
September 10th 2009


2375 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Metal album of the year for me

LepreCon
September 10th 2009


4109 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

2nd best for me

Greggers
September 10th 2009


2375 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

What's 1st for you then?

LepreCon
September 10th 2009


4109 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Heaven And Hell- The Devil You Know
Too slow, old-style and possibly unelite for many here, but I just can't get enough of oldschool metal

Greggers
September 10th 2009


2375 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good choice, that's a great album, but it's not quite Endgame :D

LepreCon
September 10th 2009


4109 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Agree to disagree?

Greggers
September 10th 2009


2375 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yarr me matey

Greggers
September 12th 2009


2375 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I thought The Devil You Know was pretty badass

Inveigh
September 15th 2009


25007 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I liked The Devil You Know, but I'm a thrash guy and Megadeth just does it for me. I may have to lower my rating once the initial musical high wears off, but for now this, Never Better (by P.O.S.) and The Tropic Rot (PtW) are my albums of the year.

But geez, there's still more that I feel like are being slighted -- Constellations (ABR), Beggars (Thrice) and New Junk Aesthetic (ETID) are all excellent too. 2009 has rocked much harder than expected thus far.

MO
October 21st 2010


18755 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is a very suprising and excellent album, even though I'm not the biggest Mustaine fan.

ZedO
March 7th 2012


1096 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

...Head Crusher, so awesome!



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