Review Summary: Nothing Short Of Fulfilling Their Destiny2 of 5 thought this review was well written
I, like many others, believe 'Endgame' to be the peak of Megadeth's revival period in song-quality, production and execution. Everything seems to be right from the opening, 'Dialectic Chaos', which immediately hits you with a massive-sounding barrage of open chords followed by a proud, galloping metal masterpiece filled with solos alternating between Dave Mustaine and fantastic new guitarist Chris Broderick. This is a great way to open a metal album, showing the capabilities of the musicians on the album and also making an impressive instrumental song in the process. You know right from the start that you're in for something brilliant.
The quality never drops below being good at all and even if the first part of 'The Hardest Part Of Letting Go... Sealed With A Kiss' (which is constructed similarly to 'Holy Wars... The Punishment Due', being essentially two different songs morphed into one) is a bit lyrically cheesy, it's musically beautiful, with a well-done orchestral backing and intricate acoustic guitar playing and the '…Sealed With A Kiss' part is very awesome, containing some Iron Maiden-esque galloping and a violin-part which complements the riff very nicely. Apart from that, there isn't really anything negative to say about the album, unless you're not a fan of the extremely polished production.
It's hard to say which song stands out the most but if I had to pick, it'd be the Lord Of The Rings-inspired 'This Day We Fight!' for its relentlessly blazing speed, thrashing riffs and well placed and performed soloing. 'Bodies' also deserves a mention for its glorious classically-inspired second half and so does the title track for its epic structure with four parts: one (up to 1:32) is the mid-paced introduction, the second (1:33 to 3:43) is a galloping thrasher, the third (3:44 to 4:44) grooves behind Dave Mustaine's ranting and the fourth (4:45 to the end) is the double bass driven outro. The overall quality of the songs is undoubtedly very high.
'Endgame' may not be as good as 'Rust In Peace', but it is almost certainly better than anything Megadeth did afterwards and is probably the best metal album of 2009, or at least the best metal album by a band who's career spans over two decades. However, Megadeth hasn't matched the quality of this album in the albums that have followed it so far, so the future of Megadeth is slightly worrying. Even with that said, Megadeth have an impressive discography behind them, so no matter how low they fall, they still deserve respect for releasing albums such as 'Peace Sells... But Who's Buying?', 'Rust In Peace', 'Youthanasia' and 'Endgame'.