Review Summary: Many memorable tracks unfortunately let down by a few really boring numbers in the latter half
Following a less than subtle departure from their thrash metal style of old with Countdown To Extinction, Megadeth's sixth studio album was to take them further down the commercial path they had begun to tread on that release. As such, the highly technical brand of thrash metal that the band were best known for on releases such as Rust In Peace is once again missing in favor of a mid-paced string of songs that make use of infectious choruses and simplistic yet enjoyable riffing. Despite this, Youthanasia remains a heavy enough album for fans of the band in general and arguably gets one up over Countdown To Extinction with its memorable collection of tracks.
Reckoning Day kicks things off in crushing fashion with a set of riffs that are both rather heavy and boasting a lot of replay value. Something really special about this song is the drumming which sets it apart from the simple beats that make up the majority of this release, with the barrages of drum work closing the song off being among my favorite moments from Youthanasia. Other fantastic songs from this release include the haunting and emotional A Tout Le Monde, a track which garnered controversy due to its supposedly suicidal lyrics, and the immortal Train Of Consequences. Words cannot describe this song, from the sing-a-long chorus to the magnificent guitar work throughout and Dave's furious vocal delivery throughout. The lyrical content to this song is also really well written, completing the puzzle to what is arguably the strongest song on the album.
Despite the praise heaped upon this album, there is one main problem. The fact is that after a while, these songs become very repetitive. The reduction of the pace of this album to but a mere crawl really damages it for the most part, with songs like Black Curtains being completely forgettable. The verse riff to this song is as bad as this album gets, whilst the echoing vocals serve as an irritation more than assisting this release. The Killing Road begins promising but also turns out to be a snooze-fest, with not enough interesting riffs to carry it through its length.
Youthanasia is a solid effort from Megadeth but sadly really does seem to drag on toward the end of the album. The first half is jam-packed with some of the best songs they have put out, and this alone makes it more than worth your hard earned money. Just don't expect another Rust In Peace.