Review Summary: Thanks For Reminding Me Dave, But That Doesn't Make This Any Better!5 of 8 thought this review was well written
With 'Risk', Megadeth hit a real low. 'Cryptic Writings' wasn't great, but it did have some impressive stand-out songs and it didn't have anything as bad as even the best song on 'Risk'. There are no songs that even come close to saving this album, which is the main problem with the album; it doesn't give you anything worth listening to or something to redeem the album apart from the rare good moment like the main riff to 'The Doctor Is Calling' or the solos in 'Time: The End'. It's an almost depressing drag though lazy song structures, cringe-worthy vocals and ridiculous over-production.
There are many, many points on 'Risk' that will make you go “Dave?! What the hell were you thinking?!” like the purposeless introduction to 'Crush 'Em' ('Enter The Arena') or the one and a half minute rant opening 'Prince Of Darkness' with Dave Mustaine talking about how he is “More powerful than all the armies of the world” or “More violent than violence” (which is quite hilarious given that it turns into a weak pop metal song replete with pathetic chugging, presumably trying to win over metal fans with fake heaviness). Both of these do not transition well at all into the next section and without them, this album may have been improved a little. The worst sin committed here, though is the blasphemous bridge of 'I'll Be There', which disgraces the lyrics of 'In My Darkest Hour' (one of the best Megadeth songs, by the way), saying “In my hour of need, you WERE there...”. In fact, the entire song is pretty much the polar opposite of 'In My Darkest Hour' in quality, message and what it represents and it is quite possibly the worst song that Megadeth ever made.
I suppose Dave Mustaine isn't the only one to blame for this though, as most of the songs are also credited to Marty Friedman, who, at this time, you would expect to offer something more metal given his wonderful soloing but sadly, this was not to be. The bulk of the songs consist of slow, plodding radio rock and Marty has some responsibility for it along with Dave Mustaine. The real enemy, though, is someone who wasn't even involved in the creation of the album; Lars Ulrich. Suggesting that that a rival band should take more risks is not advice, its sabotage; when have you seen an experiment by a popular band go well? Rarely. Because Dave Mustaine was envious of the success of Metallica, of course he would accept the challenge.
It seems that the lyrics “The more seriously I took things, the harder that most became” from 'A Tout Le Monde' apply to Dave Mustaine's search for monumental commercial success, as the more mainstream Megadeth turned after 'Countdown To Extinction', the worse their albums sold in the nineties. 'Risk' is known as a permanent scar on Megadeth's discography for a reason; this is a risk that should've never been taken.